How to Decorate a Cake With a Plastic Bag

Are you looking to add a creative touch to your homemade cakes? In this article, we’ll show you how to decorate a cake with a plastic bag, providing you with a simple and versatile tool for piping beautiful designs onto your desserts. Cake decorating is an art form that allows bakers to showcase their creativity and personality, and using a plastic bag for piping opens up endless possibilities for unique designs and patterns.

When it comes to cake decorating, the tools and supplies you use can greatly impact the final result. In the following sections, we’ll provide a detailed list of all the tools and supplies needed for cake decorating with a plastic bag, including different types of plastic bags, icing tips, and icing colors. We will also cover step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the cake for decoration, including leveling, filling, and crumb coating.

Understanding how to prepare the icing is essential for achieving professional-looking results when decorating a cake. We will walk you through tips for preparing the icing and coloring it for different design needs, as well as achieving the proper consistency for piping. Additionally, we will provide detailed instructions on how to fill and assemble the plastic bag for piping, including the use of different tips for various designs. So let’s get started on this creative journey together.

Tools and Supplies

When it comes to decorating a cake with a plastic bag, having the right tools and supplies is essential to achieve professional-looking results. Here is a detailed list of everything you will need for cake decorating using a plastic bag:

  • Plastic Bags: Disposable piping bags are the most commonly used for cake decorating. These can be found at any baking supply store or online. Alternatively, you can also use resealable plastic bags as an affordable and accessible alternative.
  • Icing Tips: A variety of icing tips are essential for creating different designs and textures on your cakes. When starting out, it’s best to have a set of basic tips including round, star, and petal tips. As you become more experienced, you can invest in specialty tips for intricate designs.
  • Icing Colors: Gel-based food coloring is recommended for tinting your icing as it provides vibrant colors without altering the consistency of the icing. You can find icing colors in a wide range of shades to suit any design need.
  • Other Tools: In addition to plastic bags, icing tips, and coloring, other useful tools include offset spatulas for smoothing the icing and creating texture, a turntable for easier piping, and parchment paper for practicing different designs before applying them to the cake.

By having all these tools and supplies ready, you will be well-prepared to start experimenting with different cake decorating techniques using a plastic bag. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, having the right equipment will help you achieve beautiful results on your cakes.

Tools and SuppliesDescription
Plastic BagsDisposable piping bags or resealable plastic bags
Icing TipsVariety of basic and specialty tips for different designs
Icing ColorsGel-based food coloring in various shades
Other ToolsOffset spatulas, turntable, parchment paper

Preparing the Cake

Before you begin decorating your cake with a plastic bag, it’s important to ensure that the cake itself is properly prepared. Here are some step-by-step instructions for preparing the cake for decoration:

1. Leveling: Use a long, serrated knife to carefully trim off any domed or uneven parts of the cake to create a level surface.

2. Filling: If you plan to add a filling between layers, carefully spread a layer of frosting or filling on top of one of the cake layers, then place another layer on top and press down gently. Repeat this process if you have multiple layers.

3. Crumb Coating: To prevent crumbs from mixing into your final icing coat, apply a thin layer of icing over the entire cake and refrigerate it until firm before proceeding with your final decorations.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your cake is properly prepared for decorating with a plastic bag. Once these steps are completed, you can move on to preparing your icing and assembling the piping bag for creating beautiful designs on your cake.

Preparing the Icing

To prepare the icing for piping with a plastic bag, start by choosing the right type of icing. Buttercream icing is commonly used for cake decorating with a plastic bag due to its smooth texture and versatility. Once you have chosen your icing, it’s time to prepare and color it according to your design needs. If you plan on using multiple colors for your design, divide the icing into smaller bowls before adding colors.

When coloring the icing, remember that a little goes a long way. Start by adding a small amount of gel food coloring at a time and mix it thoroughly until you achieve your desired shade.

Keep in mind that some colors may deepen over time, so it’s best to start with less coloring then gradually add more if needed. Additionally, ensure that you are using gel food coloring rather than liquid food coloring, as gel coloring will not alter the consistency of the icing as much.

Finally, achieving the proper consistency for piping is essential for creating clean and precise designs on your cake. The ideal consistency for piping with a plastic bag is smooth and creamy, similar to toothpaste. If the icing is too stiff, it will be difficult to pipe smoothly, while if it’s too runny, it will not hold its shape when piped onto the cake.

Adjusting the consistency can be done by adding small amounts of milk or confectioners’ sugar until you reach the desired texture. Once you have prepared and colored your icing to perfection, you are ready to move on to assembling and filling your plastic bag for piping.

Assembling the Piping Bag

When it comes to cake decorating, using a plastic bag for piping can be a convenient and versatile tool. Assembling the piping bag properly is essential for achieving professional-looking results. Here are detailed instructions on how to fill and assemble the plastic bag for piping, including the use of different tips for various designs.

Choosing the Right Plastic Bag and Tip

Before assembling the piping bag, it’s important to choose the right type of plastic bag and icing tip for your design needs. For smaller, intricate designs, a small, sturdy plastic bag with a small round tip is ideal. For larger designs or borders, a larger plastic bag with a star tip or petal tip may be more suitable. Make sure to cut the plastic bag at the right length depending on the size of your icing tip.

Filling the Bag With Icing

To fill the plastic bag with icing, begin by inserting the icing tip into one corner of the bag. Then use a spatula to scoop prepared icing into the bag, filling it only about halfway full. It’s important not to overfill the bag to avoid any potential mess or difficulty in handling.

Assembling and Sealing

After filling the bag with icing, push all of the icing down towards the tip while squeezing out any air bubbles through the top opening of the bag. Once all air is removed from inside and you’ve pushed out excess icing, twist or fold down the top of the bag to seal it shut. Secure it tightly with your fingers so that no icing can escape from the top while piping.

With these detailed instructions on assembling the piping bag and using different tips for various designs, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautifully decorated cakes using a plastic bag for piping. The versatility that this method offers is perfect for both beginners and experienced bakers looking to add their personal touch to their cake creations.

Piping Techniques

Cake decorating can be a fun and creative way to add a personal touch to any celebration. When using a plastic bag for piping, there are various techniques that can be used to create stunning designs on a cake. These techniques include creating lines, rosettes, stars, shells, and borders. Understanding these basic piping techniques is essential for anyone looking to decorate a cake with precision and style.

How to Make Cake Decorating Gel

For creating lines on a cake using a plastic bag for piping, it is important to hold the bag at a 45-degree angle and apply even pressure while piping. This will ensure that the lines are straight and consistent in thickness.

Rosettes can be made by applying pressure while swirling the plastic bag in a circular motion. Stars can be created by holding the bag upright and squeezing out icing while quickly pulling up to form stars of different sizes.

Shells are piped by holding the bag at an angle close to the surface of the cake and applying steady pressure while moving the bag back and forth to create shell-like shapes. Lastly, borders can be made using different tips for zigzag borders or smooth lines around the edges of the cake. Mastering these basic piping techniques is important before moving on to more advanced designs in cake decorating.

It’s always helpful to practice each technique on parchment paper before attempting them on a cake. Additionally, watching video tutorials or seeking guidance from experienced decorators can also help improve skills in mastering these basic piping techniques.

LinesHold bag at 45-degree angle
RosettesApply pressure while swirling in circular motion
Hold bag upright and squeeze out icing while pulling up quickly

Advanced Tips and Tricks

Advanced piping techniques can elevate the art of cake decorating to a whole new level. With the use of a plastic bag, decorators can create intricate designs, layer colors, and even write with icing to achieve professional-looking results. These advanced techniques require patience and practice, but the end result is truly impressive.

Writing With Icing

One of the most impressive advanced piping techniques is the ability to write with icing. Whether it’s a celebratory message, a name, or a special date, being able to pipe letters and words onto a cake adds a personal touch that will be appreciated by the recipient.

To achieve professional-looking writing with icing, it’s important to practice on a flat surface first before attempting it on the cake. Using a small round tip and steady hand is crucial for creating clean and legible writing.

Creating Intricate Designs

For those looking to take their cake decorating skills to the next level, creating intricate designs with icing is an excellent challenge. From lace patterns and filigree designs to delicate florals or elaborate motifs, there are countless possibilities for creating visually stunning cakes. It’s important to start with simple designs and gradually work up to more complex ones as proficiency improves. The key is patience and attention to detail when piping intricate designs onto the cake.

Layering Colors

Layering colors with icing allows decorators to create depth and dimension on their cakes. By using multiple piping bags filled with different colored icings and various tips, decorators can achieve stunning visual effects such as ombre gradients or vibrant multi-colored designs. It’s important to ensure that the consistency of each colored icing is similar so that they all flow smoothly from the piping bags. Layering colors requires precision and coordination but can result in truly eye-catching cakes.

With these advanced piping techniques, cake decorators can take their skills to new heights and impress friends, family, or clients with professionally decorated cakes. Practice makes perfect when it comes to these techniques, so don’t be discouraged if achieving flawless results takes time. With dedication and persistence, decorators can master these advanced piping techniques for truly showstopping cakes.

Finishing Touches and Display

Decorating a cake with a plastic bag opens up a world of possibilities for adding finishing touches to your creation. Whether you’re looking to add simple embellishments or intricate borders, the versatility of piping with a plastic bag allows you to customize your cake to suit any occasion. Here are some tips for adding those final touches and properly displaying your beautifully decorated cake:

  • Embellishments: Adding embellishments to your cake can take it to the next level. Whether it’s edible flowers, sprinkles, or fondant decorations, using a plastic bag for piping allows you to carefully place these embellishments exactly where you want them. Be sure to consider the theme or color scheme of your cake when choosing embellishments.
  • Borders: Creating a border around the edges of your cake can provide a clean and polished look. With a plastic bag and the right icing tip, you can easily create various border designs such as scallops, shells, or beads. Remember to choose a border design that complements the overall design of your cake.
  • Proper Display: Once your cake is beautifully decorated, it’s important to display it in a way that showcases all your hard work. Consider using a decorative cake stand or plate that complements the design and colors of your cake. Additionally, ensure that the lighting in the display area highlights the details of your decoration.

By paying attention to these finishing touches and proper display techniques, you can elevate the appearance of your decorated cake and create an impressive centerpiece for any celebration. The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating with a plastic bag, so don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different designs.


In conclusion, decorating a cake with a plastic bag offers a versatile and cost-effective way to create beautiful designs. By following the detailed instructions provided in this article, anyone can learn the essential techniques for successful cake decorating using this method. From preparing the icing to assembling the piping bag and executing various piping techniques, this guide has covered everything you need to know to get started.

It’s important to remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to cake decorating. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out exactly as you hoped – with patience and persistence, you can improve your skills and create stunning designs. Experiment with different icing tips, colors, and techniques to find what works best for you and unleash your creativity.

So why not give cake decorating with a plastic bag a try? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced baker looking for new techniques, the simplicity and accessibility of this method make it worth exploring. With some practice and a little creativity, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with beautifully decorated cakes made right from your own kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Decorate a Cake With a Bag?

Decorating a cake with a bag is a common technique that involves using a pastry bag or even a simple plastic ziplock bag. To start, fill the bag with your choice of frosting or icing and twist the top to push the frosting down to one corner.

Then, snip off a small piece of the corner with scissors to create a small hole for piping. You can use the bag to pipe designs, borders, or even write words onto the cake.

How Do You Frost a Cake With a Plastic Bag?

Frosting a cake with a plastic bag is a convenient method when you don’t have a pastry bag on hand. Start by spooning your desired frosting into the plastic bag and then squeezing it down towards one corner.

After that, snip off the tip of that corner to create an opening for piping. Carefully pipe the frosting onto the cake in any design or pattern you’d like.

How Do You Use a Ziploc Bag as a Frosting Bag?

Using a Ziploc bag as a frosting bag is an easy alternative to buying specific baking tools. Simply spoon your frosting into the Ziploc bag and carefully press it towards one corner of the bag.

Then, cut off a tiny piece of that corner to create an opening for piping. With this makeshift piping bag, you can easily frost and decorate cakes or pastries without needing any specialized equipment.

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