Decorate Cakes Like a Pro with These Expert-Approved Piping Tips and Accessories
Decorating with a piping bag and tip is a technique worth learning, but with the endless options of sizes and materials, it's hard to know what to buy. We asked professional pastry chef Adrianna Rivera about the tools she relies on for creating edible works of art. Rivera, who honed her skills at the Culinary Institute of America, runs her own made-to-order business in Los Angeles that specializes in cakes and desserts that showcase both fresh (and frosted) florals. For those just starting out, Rivera suggests lots of practice—combined with some good old-fashioned binge-watching. "Watch videos!" she exclaims. "Pay attention to how the demonstrator is holding their bag because it's all about pressure and flow." Most importantly, she adds, "Don't be discouraged when your attempt doesn't look the same, the person giving the example has probably done it 500 times."
Lastly, before taking your new set of piping tips to that freshly baked cake, Rivera recommends starting with a low-stakes surface instead like a printable template instead. And if you don't plan on eating your work, use an affordable frosting as your practice medium, like royal icing or a basic buttercream made with shortening instead of butter. Rivera says, "Remember, you will only get better with practice, so don't be hard on yourself in the beginning."
- Best All-Purpose Set: Ateco Pastry Tip Set
- Best Upgrade Set: Ateco 55-Piece Decorating Set
- Best Giftable Set: Wilton 17-Piece Navy Blue and Gold Piping Tips
- Best Sidekick: Martha Stewart Collection Bowl Scraper
- Best Reusable Bag: Mrs. Anderson's Baking® Reusable Pastry Bag
- Best Accessory: Ateco Universal Pastry Coupler and Cap Set