This post is about some beginning piping techniques.  You may have a few question before we start.

What kind of icing do I use? – Use what ever you have on hand.  Whipped ganache, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Italian Buttercream, Whipped cream, Wilton style Buttercream.  Almost anything thing but a royal icing.

What do I pipe it on?  A piece of wax paper, parchment paper or even a plastic wrapped cake board,  You want a surface you can scrap the icing back off of so you can reuse it to practice.

Must I practice?  Well no, but remember you will then be learning and making mistakes on the finished product,Sometimes it is not that easy to scrap off and cover up the mistake.

Can I reuse the icing?  Sure, but I try and only reuse it for practice or something I am going to eat.  I do not want to sell or serve an inferior product

If you have other questions, please ask me in a comment below.

Beginner piping techniques

The first one I am going to show you.  The standard shell border.  This is the most common one you will see.  Start out with you tip about 45º to  the surface, squeeze some icing out as you move forward and up creating a hump then pull back and down toward the surface as you let off the bag creating a tail. Start the next shell on the tail of the one just completed and repeat until you are finished. Try to keep everything the same size.


.The Reverse Shell Border. This one is a harder, but you can do it too.  You are make a shell, but you are making the shell in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. Thus the name, reverse shell.  Start off with the bag at a 45º angle, squeeze out some icing as you raise the tip some in a clockwise motion, letting off on the squeeze as you bring the tip towards the surface creating the tail.  The next shell is made in a counter-clockwise motion. Repeat the clockwise, counter-clockwise shells until you are done.

The star border.  Keep the bag at 90º to the surface, squeeze to create a star then lift up. Place the next star aside of the first and repeat until your border is complete.

The ZigZag border.  Another simple one.  With you bag at a 45º angle squeeze out icing as you go in a zigzag motion, keep squeezing to create one continuous line.

Lastly, I have 2 rosettes. The first rosette, hold the bag 90º to the surface. squeeze and make a circle, continuing the circle on top of the first circle to fill in. Lift up when complete.  The second rosette, hold the bag at 90º to the surface, squeeze the bag making a circle and then fill inside the circle, lifting the bag when it is filled in. This forms a smaller single height rosette.

Scrap the icing off the wax paper and reuse for more practicing.


Watch a video on Beginner piping techniques tutorial