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How To Put Icing On Cupcakes Without Piping Bag

close up of cupcakes on a display with pink piped icing garnished with pink flowers

Photo: All recipes

A sweet, fluffy frosting is the finishing decorative touch that elevates homemade cupcakes into miniature masterpieces. But you don’t have to be a sculptor to turn your baked goods into edible works of art in your kitchen. Here we’ll show you three easy ways to frost cupcakes and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about frosting, including how much to make and why frosting is different from frosting.


How to frost cupcakes

1. Dissemination

This method is quick and easy, with little or no skill or special equipment required. A small offset spatula works great for spreading the icing, but you can also use any small knife with a wide blade, like a butter knife or sandwich spreader.

Spread the icing on the cupcakes
Photo of Rustic Joyful Food.

  1. Hold the cupcake in one hand and the knife in the other. This will allow you to get a good view of the cupcake so you can spread the frosting evenly over the entire surface.
  2. Use the spatula to scoop up the icing and place it in the center of the top of the cupcake. Then, spread outwards, smoothing the surface with the edge of the knife.

2. Piping

If you’re frosting a lot of cupcakes or want to create decorative shapes and patterns, use this method. Piping squeezes the icing through a tip attached to the end of a piping bag. Depending on the type of bit you use, you could make stars, roses, scallops, and more.

Here’s how to fill a piping bag and frost your pipe without getting frosting all over your bag and your hands.

To fill the piping bag:

  1. Place the pastry tip in the bottom of the pastry bag and place the bag in a tall glass or measuring cup. Fold a cuff 3 to 4 inches above the edge of the glass.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the icing from the bowl into the bag. Fill it no more than 2/3. Sure, you can always refill the piping bag with more icing, but if it’s too full, the icing is likely to spill out of both ends of the bag.
  3. Lift the bag from the glass and twist the top to close it. You can use a zip tie to close it or hold the twisted end under the palm of your hand while playing the pipe.

To season the glaze:

  1. Place the cupcake on a flat surface. Hold the main body of the piping bag in your dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, hold it in your right hand, keeping the twisted end bent and resting your fingers on the body of the bag.
  2. Rest the drawstring end of the bag on your left index finger for better control. Then, you’ll use your right hand to squeeze the icing and your left hand to guide the piping bag.

3. Immersion

Use this method when you want to put a thin icing, like chocolate ganache, on your cupcakes.

Chocolate ganache made into icing, frosting and truffles
Stefani Pollac

  1. Make a chocolate ganache. It should be warm to the touch but not hot.
  2. Hold the cupcake upside down by the base and dip the top in the ganache, covering it evenly. Twist your wrist slightly as you lift the cupcake out of the ganache. This coaxes the excess icing back into the bowl.
  3. Place the cupcake on a lined cookie sheet to catch drips until the frosting sets.


Frosting and Icing FAQs

Q: What is the difference between frosting and icing?

A: You often hear the two words used interchangeably, but frosting is usually thick and fluffy, while frosting tends to be a thin glaze.

Q: How much frosting or frosting should I make?

A: It depends on the method you’re using to garnish your cupcakes. If you’re spreading frosting or dipping frosting, plan to use 2 to 3 tablespoons of frosting or cupcake frosting (about 1.25 ounces/42 grams). If you use a piping bag, you’ll need twice as much (70 grams per cupcake).

Q: Why is everyone saying to chill cupcakes before icing or icing them?

A: Applying icing or frosting to hot cupcakes may cause the sugar to melt and cause the frosting to slide off.

Related:

  • 7 ways to make boxed cake mix at home
  • 4 genius tricks to make homemade canned frosting taste
  • How to make floral carrot cupcakes for spring

Check out our collection of Cupcake recipes.


A sweet, fluffy frosting is the finishing decorative touch that elevates homemade cupcakes into miniature masterpieces. But you don’t have to be a sculptor to turn your baked goods into edible works of art in your kitchen. Here we’ll show you three easy ways to frost cupcakes and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about frosting, including how much to make and why frosting is different from frosting.


How to frost cupcakes

1. Dissemination

This method is quick and easy, with little or no skill or special equipment required. A small offset spatula works great for spreading the icing, but you can also use any small knife with a wide blade, like a butter knife or sandwich spreader.

Spread the icing on the cupcakes
Photo of Rustic Joyful Food.

  1. Hold the cupcake in one hand and the knife in the other. This will allow you to get a good view of the cupcake so you can spread the frosting evenly over the entire surface.
  2. Use the spatula to scoop up the icing and place it in the center of the top of the cupcake. Then, spread outwards, smoothing the surface with the edge of the knife.

2. Piping

If you’re frosting a lot of cupcakes or want to create decorative shapes and patterns, use this method. Piping squeezes the icing through a tip attached to the end of a piping bag. Depending on the type of bit you use, you could make stars, roses, scallops, and more.

Here’s how to fill a piping bag and frost your pipe without getting frosting all over your bag and your hands.

To fill the piping bag:

  1. Place the pastry tip in the bottom of the pastry bag and place the bag in a tall glass or measuring cup. Fold a cuff 3 to 4 inches above the edge of the glass.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the icing from the bowl into the bag. Fill it no more than 2/3. Sure, you can always refill the piping bag with more icing, but if it’s too full, the icing is likely to spill out of both ends of the bag.
  3. Lift the bag from the glass and twist the top to close it. You can use a zip tie to close it or hold the twisted end under the palm of your hand while playing the pipe.

To season the glaze:

  1. Place the cupcake on a flat surface. Hold the main body of the piping bag in your dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, hold it in your right hand, keeping the twisted end bent and resting your fingers on the body of the bag.
  2. Rest the drawstring end of the bag on your left index finger for better control. Then, you’ll use your right hand to squeeze the icing and your left hand to guide the piping bag.

3. Immersion

Use this method when you want to put a thin icing, like chocolate ganache, on your cupcakes.

Chocolate ganache made into icing, frosting and truffles
Stefani Pollac

  1. Make a chocolate ganache. It should be warm to the touch but not hot.
  2. Hold the cupcake upside down by the base and dip the top in the ganache, covering it evenly. Twist your wrist slightly as you lift the cupcake out of the ganache. This coaxes the excess icing back into the bowl.
  3. Place the cupcake on a lined cookie sheet to catch drips until the frosting sets.


Frosting and Icing FAQs

Q: What is the difference between frosting and icing?

A: You often hear the two words used interchangeably, but frosting is usually thick and fluffy, while frosting tends to be a thin glaze.

Q: How much frosting or frosting should I make?

A: It depends on the method you’re using to garnish your cupcakes. If you’re spreading or dipping frosting, plan to use 2 to 3 tablespoons of frosting or cupcake frosting (about 1.25 ounces/42 grams). If you use a piping bag, you’ll need twice as much (70 grams per cupcake).

Q: Why is everyone saying to chill cupcakes before icing or icing them?

A: Applying icing or frosting to hot cupcakes may cause the sugar to melt and cause the frosting to slide off.

Related:

  • 7 ways to make homemade boxed cake mix
  • 4 genius tricks to make homemade canned frosting taste
  • How to make floral carrot cupcakes for spring

Check out our collection of Cupcake recipes.


Video about How To Put Icing On Cupcakes Without Piping Bag

4 easy ways to ice cupcakes without a piping bag

No piping bag? No problem! Here’s how to use a Glad bag to make some seriously cute cupcakes.

Make sure you check out our full post to get more info on how to ice cupcakes without a piping bag https://goo.gl/vkCkZ4

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