It’s birthday week around here and the celebrations continued with icing cupcakes. I’ve always found the cake decorating aisle at craft stores intimidating. There are so many gadgets that appear to be necessary to pull off a bakery-worthy cupcake. Which icing tip to use? How do you use those icing bags? Should I get washable decorating bags or disposable? Will my cupcakes really look like the ones in the picture? Do I need a baking class just to ice cupcakes? The list of wonders and frustrations go on.
Luckily for me I have a friend who is a talented cake decorator; her kids’ cakes always look like they came from a bakery. She has agreed to give me a lesson the next time she has her cake tools out and ready to create another masterpiece. In the mean time, I had to carry on solo, and here is the result.
I did buy the disposable decorating bags and a few icing tips. I gave them a go with ok results. I struggled refilling the icing bags. Once one lot of icing got squeezed through and I needed to add more to continue, I found it difficult to get the now twisted and sticky bag to cooperate such that I could add more icing to the opening of the bag. Picture me with fingers covered in icing while trying to hold open the bag with one hand and scooping out more icing with a spatula in the other hand– then getting stuck in between . I gave up and simply used a fresh bag. This was a waste and I thought I might save a few pennies and try it with a Ziploc bag. I’ve done that before but always end up wrestling the bag to get the icing to stay down at the tip. The square shape of the Ziploc doesn’t lend itself to easy icing. The conical shape of the purchased decorating bags made the job much easier.
The solution: turn the Ziploc squares into triangles. You’d be surprised at the difference in ease of icing that this change makes. Take a sturdy Ziploc bag, I prefer the freezer strength to the regular Ziplocs, and fold it into a triangle. Secure the edge with staples and you are ready to go. This icing bag will fill in for a purchased decorating bag in a pinch or all of the time if you find the method an easy one. You can either cut a hole in the bag and ice without the metal icing tips, or go ahead and add the tips the same way you would with a regular icing bag.