You don’t need fancy icing pastry bags to make pretty cupcakes. Frosting your cupcake can be accomplished with materials you already have in your kitchen– a Ziploc bag and Duck tape! Get ready to find your inner pastry chef and create beautiful iced desserts with this simple Ziploc icing bag trick.
Icing made easy with the Ziploc Bag Icing Trick
I first shared this post showing the Ziploc bag icing trick in 2012 and it has been one of my most popular posts. Who doesn’t love a kitchen shortcut! Materials as basic as a Ziploc bag and duck tape turn will transform how you decorate cupcakes and cakes. Even if you usually use pastry bags for icing baked goods, you’ll turn to this trick on the odd day when your supplies run out. I know I have done just that!
My first few times using this kitchen hack turned out well and so I’ve refined the process along the way. Freezer Ziploc bags work better than sandwich bags. And this is not a promotion for Ziploc, but honestly, Ziploc bags work far better than their generic counterparts.
Duck tape (or any brand of duct tape) works better than the stapling technique I first implemented. Scotch tape or packing tape work less so, but in a pinch, use what you’ve got!
The cake decorating aisle at craft stores can be 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. Simplify and use this Ziploc icing bag trick.
Materials needed for the Ziploc Bag Icing Trick
- Ziploc Bags (I like freezer quart size)
- Duck Tape (obviously any color will do but this tie dye pattern is fun)
Start with Ziploc bags and duck tape. Scissors will be necessary too.
Turn the Ziploc squares into triangles. You’d be surprised at the difference in ease of icing that this change makes. Secure the edge with duck tape and you are ready to go.
Filling the Icing Bag
Filling any type of icing bag– Ziploc or pastry– can be a messy process. Make it easier on yourself by placing the icing bag in a tall glass. Open the bag as wide as possible and use a spatula to fill the bag with icing.
Trying to hold the icing bag in one hand while wrestling with the spatula in the other simply doesn’t work for most of us! A glass frees up your hand and provides a steady place for the icing bag to rest.
Once the Ziploc icing bag is filled, push any excess air out and seal the top. Cut the tip of the icing bag with scissors and you’re ready to decorate those cupcakes!
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 decorate as is –without the metal icing tips– or go ahead and add the tips the same way you would with a regular icing bag.
Icing Decorating Techniques
Decorating techniques are the same with this Ziploc Icing Bag Trick as they would be with a pastry bag. Try decorating in a swirl from inside out like the cupcakes in the background of the above photo.
Another suggestion is to hold the bag upright and squeeze with equal pressure so that the icing covers the surface of the cupcake. Pulling the bag straight up and releasing the pressure will create that bakery-like finish with a point of icing on top.