Put It In Your Bag And Pipe It: How To Use Piping Tips

green buttercream cake - coco cake land

fringe garlands buttercream cake - coco cake land

If you’re a fan of Coco Cake Land, you know that I am nutso about vintage cakes – buttercream cakes and piping in all forms is the name of my game, and I love finding new uses for piping tips! I’m excited to show you how to use piping tips- along with a few of my favourite cakes and the handy dandy piping tips I used! Plus, a tutorial on how I made this super cute blue and green cherry topped number. Ready, set, pipe!

piping tips - coco cake land

Piping tips are these cute metal cones (above!) with special formations on the tip, so when icing or buttercream is squeezed through the ridges and pointy parts make perfect striations in the buttercream, creating a unique shape or pattern. Piping tips can create the look of buttercream roses, leaves, grass, fur, polka dots and SO much more. Piping borders gives cakes a beautiful finish and a contrast of colour. Read my post on how to frost a cake here for a primer! Piping tips are often held in place by a coupler and a coupler ring – white plastic pieces (as shown above!) that allow you to easily attach a piping tip and switch out tips to other tips, too.

an assortment of piping tips - coco cake land

One of my favourite piping tips is the french open star tip – I’ll be using this open star tip to pipe borders on my cake!

green buttercream cake - coco cake land

To make this robin’s egg blue cake with jagged piped buttercream edges, first frost your cake to the crumb coat, then a final coat of buttercream.

how to use piping tips - coco cake land

Snip half and inch off the tip of a disposable piping bag. Place the cone part of the white coupler set into the piping bag. Place the silver piping tip on top; screw it together using the coupler ring. Fill your piping bag with buttercream!

how to use a piping bag - coco cake land

You can practice a few patterns on a piece of parchment paper or a plate! The french open star tip can make adorable drop stars, a shell border pattern, or mini rosettes.

how to pipe a buttercream border - coco cake land

Pipe a shell border along the bottom of your cake – squeeze the piping bag to make a ball-like shape, then pull away to make a “tail.” Pipe the next shell on top of the tail to hide it, and continue until the entire border is finished!

blue and green cake ideas - coco cake land

Next – using the same tip but a different technique, make a big jaggedy drop star “kiss” shape! Hold the piping bag at a 90 degree angle straight up and down, and pipe a blob then pull the piping bag upward, creating a kiss like shape. I liked to pull it as high as I could for dramatic effect and look!

buttercream cake - coco cake land

buttercream cake - coco cake land

You could pipe the entire top of the cake like this, and I almost did – but then I decided to add a single bright red maraschino cherry to the center! I love how a maraschino cherry instantly brings you back to a 1950s diner pie or cake – or a Wayne Thiebaud painting!

buttercream cake - coco cake land

Add a happy little dash of sprinkles and you’re all set to take this cutie to a party!

buttercream cake - coco cake land

Celebrate life and slice on in!

slice of cake with cherry - coco cake land

buttercream cake - coco cake land

Here are some of my favourite cakes and their corresponding piping tips!

pink birthday cake tutorial - coco cake land

This party animal pink birthday cake I made for my sister! I used a medium sized French open star tip for the fancy blobettes and pink shell border.

blue bear cake and birthday garland

This beloved blue bear cake I made for Teddy’s 2nd birthday! One of my most favourite cakes ever. I use the multi-opening tip to make animal “fur” or grass! So fun.


This 1980s inspired pink rose cake with blue buttercream and pink rosettes! The classic open star tip was used to make the borders and rosette center.

how to make a ruffle cake - coco cake land

I love this buttercream ruffle cake I made for my niece’s birthday! The good old large leaf tip was my friend in creating it!

buttercream roses cake coco cake land

This buttercream flower cake!!

pink ruffle birthday cake - coco cake land

Any guesses as to what tip I used to make this cake? :)

how to use piping tips - coco cake land

With so many cute piping ideas and endless colour options, it’s no wonder buttercream cakes are my favourite type of cake to make. Because piping tips rule so hard, Sweet Estelle is giving away a piping tip party pack! 10 different piping tips and an assortment of super cute sprinkles, yours to be won! Simply leave a comment here with an answer to one of these questions: Which is your favourite go-to piping tip, and why? (Leave me a link to one of your buttercream piped cakes!) or if you’re a piping tip novice, which piping technique are you eager to learn? Winner chosen at delightful random! CONTEST NOW CLOSED – Congratulations COURTNEY! Please email me at lyndsay (at) cococake (dot) com to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone for entering! xo

Thank you to Jennifer at Sweet Estelle for providing the giveaway, and for being one of my loyal blog sponsors! Love her to (sprinkly) bits! Follow Sweet Estelle on Instagram and Pinterest for cute baking and piping ideas! 

45 Responses to “Put It In Your Bag And Pipe It: How To Use Piping Tips”

  1. Mariana @The Candid Kitchen

    I am so glad you posted this tutorial. Piping can be a nightmare and puts me off making cakes sometimes. This has inspired me!!!

    1. Andrea

      I would love to be better at roses!!

  2. Arlene

    I’d love to learn how to pipe really great lettering. One year, I received a cake for my birthday with the most GORGEOUS script on it. That was 10 years ago and I’ll never forget that cake. (;

  3. Lisa

    I would love to try piping with “real” tips. I love to bake, but find that squeezung frosting through a ziplock bag is enough to impress most people in my circle! These cakes are truly an inspiration!

  4. Lacy

    I am a novice at piping, and all of these look great! I’m particularly interested in learning how to do the fur and grass technique!

  5. chiara

    Love the cherry on top! Actually love all these cakes. My frosting will never look that good!

  6. Vanessa

    I love Wayne Thiebaud! The ruffles and the star are my faves — hoping my cakes turn out as beautiful as yours!

  7. Eun Hye

    I love your cakes! I am a piping novice and would love to practice making rosettes!

  8. Michelle

    I’m a novice, pretty much a beginner! When I first saw rosettes on cakes I thought they were so pretty and was surprised to learn that they just use a star tip! They look like something I might be able to do, but I’m sure I’ll need some practice :)

  9. Halee

    piping technique are you eager to learn?
    I’d LOVE to learn that gorgeous piped ribbon you did in one of the cakes above. It looks so difficult but so cute! I love piping but I’m quite the novice, so I love your tutorials and the giveaway is appreciated :)

  10. Lolly

    Uh, I have to admit frosting generally ends up being eaten before it reaches the cake…I would love to learn how to make frosting look like fur. Thanks for the quick lesson.

  11. Emma

    I am a piping novice, but I would love to learn how to do pretty rosettes and all the different borders!

  12. Natasha

    I would love to master the ruffle cake, it’s so beautiful.

  13. Heather

    I usually use the french open star tip as well. I woul dlove to learn how to make flowers, especially roses!

  14. Gail

    I took a cake decorating course in the 1970’s. Enjoyed decorating cakes for years but have not done much in the last two decades. My favorite tip is the open star. I just made your Hungry Caterpillar cake using vanilla cupcakes with two kinds of frosting: one buttercream and the other with whipped cream. I made a chocolate brownie torte for the face cake. It was a hit a my friend’s baby shower. Thank you for posting the tutorial!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      oh hooray – glad to hear it, gail! thanks so much – email me pics if you have a chance! ^__^

  15. Steph

    I am a fan of gigantic star tips for cupcakes! Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Cindy

    I LOVE that you embrace piped frosting cakes! I made a fondant covered wedding cake once, complete with gum paste roses, and I have never touched fondant again. Haha! I love your style and really hope “blobettes” is a technical term ;)

  17. Emily

    I love the versatility of the open star tip. I’ve never seen a ruffle cake quite like they way you did it; I’m looking forward to giving that technique a try!

  18. Matison Smith

    I love the multiple open tip because it makes great looking grass. Me and my sister made truffla trees for my mom and used that tip to make grass

  19. Ashley

    I’m new to baking, but I really want to get into baking and decorating cakes. I absolutely love the ruffle technique and would really like to learn how to use it.

  20. Lauren Tourville

    I absolutely love baking and I adore all of your cake creations! I am eager to learn all piping techniques but mostly excited for learning the rosette and the open star tip. I also recently signed up for cake decorating classes and can’t wait to start !

  21. Michelle Carroll

    I am a piping novice, but I am eager to learn how to use the open star tip. I love the look of vintage inspired cakes, and I am passionate about teaching myself new skills. Thank you for your beautiful photographs and easy to understand explanations!

  22. Courtenay

    Whoa…what? Piping set give away? I already read this piping tutorial, in preparation from making my son’s FIRST birthday, birthday cake…never noticed this give away! Thank you Instagram! As a cook by trade ALL of this is intimidating…pastry=scary, but I want to try it all! I love the French open star tip for rosette cakes, and the leaf tip for ribbons….but I think the multi-open tip is the neatest! Never seen that before! Fur on cakes?! Yay!!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Courtenay – you are the WINNER! Please email me at lyndsay (at) cococake (dot) com to claim your prize!! Congratulations!! ^__^

  23. Samantha

    I would love to learn how to make all of those perfect frosting stars. Somehow my frosting is always a collossal disaster. Your cakes are always so beautifully made and gorgeously frosted.

  24. Amber

    I’m brand new to piping – I’d love to learn how to make roses (once I get the basics down, of course!).

  25. Emily Taylor

    The open star tip is my favorite-especially when using two or more different colors. Right now I’m using Wilton tips. I’d love love love to learn how to make the gorgeous ruffles that your cakes have!


  26. Natalie

    I recently found your instagram and have loved all your posts. I’m a piping novice, but I’d love to learn how to create ruffles! They always look so fancy!

  27. Anna

    Your cakes are beautiful! I already have some piping tips, but they sit in the pantry because I have no idea how to use them. Hopefully with a little practice (and the tutorial) I can finally make something half as pretty as yours!

  28. Codie

    Baking and cake decorating is my passion. My favorite tip to use is the multiple opening tip. It is so versatile I have used it to make grass for soccer cupcakes and fur on monster cupcakes

  29. Hannah

    I’m still a total piping rookie but I’d love to learn how to do the buttercream flowers. That cake (and all the others!) is stunning!

  30. Jenn

    I’m excited to pipe using the star shaped tips. They would definitely look nice on a cake (if I can even manage to do that properly). And also piping roses seems like something I would want to learn. The last time I “piped” something was with a ziploc bag because my local grocery store didn’t have any piping tips or piping bags in stock.

  31. Megan

    I use the star tip, and the tip 12 probably the most. I wish I knew how to properly use more of them! And I wish I was good at piping on words/letters.

  32. Zarah

    thank you for beeing such an inspiration. i would like to try making those sweet little trees. perfektly for christmas!

  33. Katharina

    I would love to experiment more with different kind of pipes. The pipe to make grass looks super nice and it would be perfect for Christmas cookie decoration!
    I would love to try some of your recipes.
    Love your cakes!

  34. Edwina

    I am still a novice with icing, so I always find the basic French open star tip easiest to use because I can get away with icing cakes like this: http://websta.me/p/844455547690212656_145377998
    However, I would love to learn to use a large closed-star tip to ice cupcakes with that generous swirl of icing (like in your Swirls of Love: Wedding Cupcakes!).

  35. Eun

    I’m a novice but I would love to learn how to make the shell border pattern using the french open star tip!

  36. Shelby O

    I’m a piping novice who loves to bake but hasn’t allowed myself to much (because how can you not eat it?!). I’m also a recent mommy so now I can bake guilt free :) I’m really excited to use all of the tips but especially to follow your tutorial on your beatifil kids cakes. If I had to pick one tip that I really want to learn it would be the open star tip.

  37. Kamre

    I’m a piping novice. I love to bake. I remember when my mom used to make cakes like 15 years ago and I would get to play with the left over frosting and her tips. I would love to learn how to make all the cute little animals cakes that you make. They are absolutely adorable.

  38. Yeoh Su Fen Lisa

    Huuuuuge fan of yours ! i love your instagram cake pics and always feel so inspired by them. I am extremely passionate about baking and opened a part time online bakery early this year but have now stopped to continue my education but still bake during my free time. although all my equipment is left back in my home country and would love to win this piping set. Sorry for the long intro. My favourite tip has to be the star tip ! its so versatile, it can create so many types and patterns, rosettes, swirls, hydrangea bunches, and everything just looks so elegant ! Here’s one of my takes using this tip https://www.facebook.com/LittleMissHelga/photos/pb.401158383294224.-2207520000.1418155280./640382462705147/?type=3&theater . All tips are capable of creating amazing designs and i love experimenting with them, but id definitely pick the Star tip just because of its flexibility ! Thanks and i hope to hear from you soon, Merry christmas ! :)

  39. Jessica

    Love these cakes so hard! I’m a big fan of the good ole 2M tip.

  40. Heather

    Your cakes are AMAZING!!! I’m a little obsessed with your blog and Instagram… Okay make that a lot. Thank you so much for all your posts and pictures :)

    My favorite tip is the star tip. I like to cover cakes in a colored buttercream with the star tip (just like in your pineapple cake!!!!!!)

  41. Savannah

    These cakes are amazing!! I am so terrible at piping — the extent is cutting a corner off of a Ziploc baggie, having it explode, and then getting frustrated and using a butter knife. However, I am so determined to learn how to do flowers. I LOVE flowers on cakes and cupcakes, I think it is so classy! I especially like your blue and pink flower cake, which I’m pretty sure you compared to “Pretty in Pink.” I also really want to learn how to pipe ruffles (vertical and horizontal), they’re just so fluffy and feminine! Love it!

  42. Kathy

    I am a novice, but I really want to learn to do ruffles!


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