Here you will learn how to get your pastry bag ready for decorating your sweet treats!
You will learn how to use a coupler, how to put on a piping tip and how to fill your decorating bag with frosting – without making a mess (wink, wink).
Couplers are amazing and a necessity for anyone that is decorating with a pastry bag. What’s a coupler you ask? A coupler allows you to switch the decorating tip on your bag of icing in seconds without making a mess.
That’s right! You do NOT need multiple bags of one color! You need a coupler!
Couplers are cheap and reusable, to date where I live, they are $2 for a pack of 4. If you are serious about decorating bakery treats with frosting or icing, you should consider investing in a few packages (I own dozens). I mainly use my couplers when I am working with buttercream frosting and royal icing for either cake or cookie decorating.
LET’S GET STARTED
All you need:
UNDERSTANDING YOUR COUPLER
Your coupler is made of 2 pieces. One piece (with external threads) goes on the inside of the pastry bag.
The other piece (the ring with the internal threads) goes on the outside of the pastry bag – it goes over the piping tip and “screws” onto the piece that’s inside the pastry bag.
LET’S DO THIS!!!
First, insert the inside piece (the bigger piece with external threads) and gently push it to the pointed tip of the bag.
Using your marker, draw a line on the outside of the pastry bag at the bottom thread of the coupler.
You want the pastry bag to cover the entire coupler that you put inside the bag– this will prevent bag rips, splits and the frosting, or even the coupler, from squishing out later.
Now move the coupler out of the way so you can cut the line you made with you scissors.
Push the internal coupler piece back all the way down.
Place your desired piping tip onto the end of the internal coupler and using your other hand, slide the other piece of the coupler, the ring, over the piping tip and twist (righty tighty) so the two pieces of the coupler tighten together.
Do not over tighten the twist. Over-tightening can ruin your coupler, rip your bag and make it very difficult to switch out your tip later.
Now your bag is ready to be filled with your frosting or icing.
HOW TO FILL YOUR DECORATING
BAG LIKE A PRO
There are two ways you can fill your bag without making a mess.
One, you can use just a thin spatula or the other, you can use a cup.
When you are decorating on a cake you want to keep your bag only filled 1/3 with frosting. If you have too much frosting your hand will tire quickly and it can be hard to control the bag as a beginner.
FILLING YOUR BAG WITH A SPATULA
When you fill your bag with a spatula, (I prefer a small angled spatula) you want your spatula to reach as far down the bag as possible. You are going to use your free hand to put pressure on the outside of the pastry bag so it squeezes the spatula.
Position your hand so your squeeze is closest to the spatula's handle.
While your hand is gently applying pressure (squeeze) onto the spatula, pull the spatula out of the bag with your other hand, the frosting will come off the spatula and stay at the bottom of the bag.
You want the spatula near the bottom of the bag because this helps keep the “frosting mess” away from the top (open-end) of the bag and helps prevent air bubbles – you DO NOT want frosting at the top when you are piping your decorations or if you plan on refilling the bag later with more frosting – or it will be VERY MESSY!!!!!
Refilling your bag is simple, just repeat the filling process.
NOTE: After filling or refilling your decorating bag, you may need to use your fingers afterwards to “knead” the frosting in the bag to try to get any air bubbles out of the frosting. Air bubbles throughout the frosting can cause “puffs” of air to release when you are decorating – this is very frustrating and can ruin your design.
FILLING YOUR BAG USING A CUP
If you are brand new to using pastry bags, cake decorating or if you’re doing this with your children then I recommend using a cup.
Start with your prepared bag with a coupler and piping tip.
Fold the decorating piping tip UP as you slide the pastry bag into a tall cup.
Fold the top of the bag down the sides of the cup, a few inches is fine. This helps keep the frosting mess away from the end of the bag (for the same reasons stated earlier).
Make sure the bag is opened up in the cup.
Now use a spatula to put your frosting in the bag by sliding the spatula on the rim of the cup.
HELLO! I'm Julie. My favorite hobby is baking; it’s relaxing and brings out my creative side. < Here I share tutorials to teach you how to cake decorate like a pro! Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter below to get my newest recipes, tutorials, and more! ENJOY.
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