How To Pipe Buttercream or Meringue: The Video

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Last week we showed you a video that illustrated how to whip egg whites and make meringue. Today we’re going to do something with that meringue — pipe it into pretty star cookies. This method of piping using a pastry bag and tip is standard, however, for any kind of icing. So come and watch this video and see how easy it can be to create pretty designs with a simple decorating bag and tip.

This is a very basic intro to those of you who usually prefer to stay away from the pastry side of things. Don’t be afraid of the decorating bag! It’s such a fun tool for making shaped cookies and decorations.

We do plan to bring you more elaborate piping and icing techniques in video soon as well.

What You Need

Thick icing such as buttercream, or meringue

Pastry bag — either a plastic disposable one or a reusable one
Pastry tip — these come in many sizes and shapes. We use a large one here.
Tip coupler (optional – this lets you easily swap out tips in the middle of a session.)


1. If using a disposable bag, cut off the pointed tip, leaving just enough space for the top 1/2-inch or so of the pastry tip. Drop in the tip. If using a reusable bag, simply drop the tip straight into the bag. (Or, if using the coupler, drop the bottom half of the coupler into the bag, then affix the tip and top half of the coupler outside the bag.)

2. Fold about half the bag in a cuff over your hand. Use a spatula to fill the bag up half to three-quarters full. There should be plenty of free space to twist the bag shut.

3. Hold the bag upright and use your fingers or a bench scraper to press the meringue or icing down towards the tip, squeezing out any air bubbles.

4. Twist the top shut, and hold with your right (or dominant) hand. Use your left (or non-dominant) hand to guide the bag.

5. Hold the bag and tip perpendicular to the surface you are decorating or filling with cookies. Place the tip nearly on the surface. Using gentle, even pressure, squeeze out a dollop of icing or meringue, lifting the bag as you do so.

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(Images: Faith Durand)