spinning piping bag against pink background

Here’s the Best No-Mess Way to Pipe Buttercream Frosting!

Who doesn’t love baking? Throwing something sweet in the oven for your friends and family to enjoy can be so gratifying! BUT, what kills me when it comes to making these goodies is the fact that decorating them can be messy business, to put it mildly. I equate working with frosting like working with eyeliner—sometimes it comes out perfectly and other times it, well, just doesn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I rely on my plastic dessert decorator every time I whip up my famous cupcakes, and it does help me achieve some pretty cool buttercream ruffles, but the whole process tends to be rather hit or miss.

For one, the clean-up that’s involved with piping frosting can be time-consuming, especially if I am working with multiple flavors and colors of frosting. But, the absolute worst part of the process is having to sacrifice precious frosting whenever I decide to switch out the variety.

Whenever I see pastries that are adorned with perfect little swirls like this, I think: Sure, these cupcakes are cute, but you know that they must have taken forever to decorate!

That’s why I searched far and wide for a piping technique that would not only convince people into thinking I was a pastry chef, but also would help with some of the clean-up. Luckily, our friends over at LittleThings had just the trick!

In their video, they illustrate the best way to effortlessly change frostings while using just ONE ordinary piping bag. Here’s how it works:

  1. Start by taking a well-whipped buttercream frosting of your choice (I recommend making this one yourself) and plop a dollop onto a sheet of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Be sure to pack the frosting tightly, leaving the ends loose.
  2. Grab each of the open ends in either hand and spin the dollop around in loops, kind of like you’re playing with a jump rope. Do this until both ends are tightly sealed together.
  3. Insert the makeshift frosting container into your piping bag, taking care that one of the ends works its way smoothly out of the end of the nozzle. Cut the excess plastic end, getting as close to the hole in the plastic nozzle as you can, then fasten the metal tip.
  4. When you are all finished with your masterpiece, unscrew the nozzle and remove your plastic wrap frosting holder. If you have other types of frosting that you are working with, simply unscrew the metal tip and repeat the process.

Now, I know I said that this piping technique is pretty much a no-brainer, but it does take a little bit of practice. To learn the ins and outs of the process for yourself, be sure to watch LittleThings’ video below. Once you get it down, you’ll never pipe frosting the same way again!

What do you think of the plastic wrap spinning method? Have you tried this yourself? How do you decorate your baked goods? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!