In this post, I’m sharing 30 different ways to pipe with star tips for beautiful cakes and desserts. Use the piping techniques for buttercream, whipped cream, or any other stiff frosting you like.
Hope they'll give you some inspiration for your next project. !
📌 The Star Tips I Used
Before we get started, let me share the piping tips I used today.
I used open-star tips: 21, 1M, and 6B.
They are mainly two types of star tips:
- Closed star tips: The tips are curved.
- Open star tips: The tips are not curved. 21 is one of the popular small star tips. 1M is the most commonly used medium-size star tip. And 6B is also popular: The jagged pattern is very fine and those tips are called French star tips. Some people categorize French star tips separately from open star tips but I categorize them as open star tips simply because they are not curved.
You can enjoy all the patterns I'm introducing today with both open-star tips and closed-star tips. Just use your favorite star tips!
📌 The Buttercream I Used
Today, I used my Swiss buttercream recipe for this tutorial. It is very stable, fluffy, smooth, and shiny, and is one of my favorites. Check out this post to see how to make it. I'm explaining all the crucial steps in detail and also sharing 10 tips to make it successful at home.
📌 Frequently Asked Questions
About Piping Tips:
It depends on the countries or areas you live in. But I would say here in the states, 1M and 2D are the most common star tips oftentimes.
I love any French star tips just like the 6B I used today. It creates such fine detailed looks. I suggest you use any of your favorites!
YES! You can pipe them with round tips as well. Enjoy the different looks. (I hope to show that version too sometime.)
1. Swiss buttercream: Swiss meringue + Butter
2. Italian buttercream: Italian meringue + Butter
3. French buttercream: Pate au bombe + Butter
4. American buttercream: Sugar + Butter
5. German buttercream: Pastry cream + Butter
6. Russian buttercream: Condensed milk + Butter
7. English buttercream: Anglaise sauce + Butter
.... and so on!
In addition, you can add extracts or any other ingredients to them but they are the main components!
Any types of buttercream are stiff enough to pipe the patterns I shared in this post but if I have to pick one, I recommend Swiss buttercream. Let me explain in detail:
It depends on the recipes but the very stiff ones are Swiss, Italian, and American buttercream in my opinion. For Italian and Swiss buttercream, the meringues are the key to making them stiff. And Swiss meringue is more stable than Italian meringue since it's cooked with higher heat. Therefore, the buttercream stays more stable even hours after it was made. American buttercream is also very stiff. But it is very very sweet. And it is slightly more sensitive to heat since it's a mixture of just butter and sugar.
So! To sum up, I think Swiss buttercream is most suitable to pipe, especially for more fine, detailed decorations.
It is solely from my experience but hopes you can take it as one opinion!
I recommend gel or paste food coloring. They color better and do not affect the consistency much compared to liquid colorings. My favorite brand is Ameri.
📌 30 Ways To Pipe With Star Tips
The top runner is one of the most basic and beloved patterns. It looks simple yet beautiful.
This is also one of the most commonly used piping techniques. It looks very different depending on what star tip you use.
3. Basic swirl
I use it very often for cake decorating. I like how elegant it looks especially with French tips.
This is the one I recently came up with. (I'm sure someone in the world is using it already though!) First, set your tip very low and add small pressure to create a flat base. And next, pipe a drop on top!
Keep going up and down as you continue adding the same pressure to create the ruffles.
As a small tip, touch the ground each time you pipe so that the end sticks to it and comes off easily!
This piping technique is often used as a decoration for classic cakes such as traditional-style wedding cakes. Use small tips for a more detailed look!
Go right and left as you pipe and it creates a very cool texture. It's a type of ruffle!
9. 3 petals
Pipe 3 shells like petals. It looks very classy piping them as a line.
Continue rotating as you move your tip to create the spirals. It looks extra beautiful when all the circles are the same size.
It's similar to drops - just pipe the drops longer. By piping a lot of them, you can create spikes!
12. Triple spirals
Pipe 3 spirals each time to create a different look from the basic spiral pattern.
And the very basic! When you pipe a line, the tip is not touching the ground but lifted instead. You can pipe easier that way.
It's similar to the basic swirl but instead of curling the tip to the center, fades out like the photo.
15. Dramatic decor
It is a combination of a longer swirl and a big swirl. It creates a kind of traditional look!
16. Wiggly ruffles
Go right and left very fast as you move the tip to create wiggly ruffles. It's very easy but looks festive!
17. Drops 45 degrees
Pipe at 45 degrees to make the line. Although they are drops, it creates a different look.
This time, go up and down fast as you go up. It looks like a whip from a spray bottle, don't you think? Love it.
19. Low waves
Go a little bit up and pull it back to create the wave. You can make the wave as long as you'd like!
20. Triple shells
It's a combination of a shell and a ruffle piping technique. It kind of looks like 3 shells are laid close like fallen dominoes.
21. Drop + Shell
Pipe a drop and a shell to create the pattern. You can try swirl and drop or any other combination you like!
First, set a piping top very close to the table. And next, add pressure to create a flat star shape. It's easy and creates a very good accent!
23. Ammonites, 2 sided
Pipe the "Ammonites" from different sides each time to create a unique and elegant pattern.
24. Dramatic Waves
Pipe the 3 long swirls closely together to create the wave. You can do 2, 4, or more in a row as you like!
25. Shell + Spoon
First, pipe a basic drop. And next, scrape down half with a spoon. I love the mixture of smooth and sharp textures!
Using the shell piping technique, you can also create flowers like this. I did 5 petals today but you can do more or fewer petals as you like!
27. Double swirls
And this is an advanced version of the basic swirl. Go up this time as you draw spirals upward.
First, draw straight lines. After that, pipe short lines vertically with the same intervals to create the weave. Check the photos below to see the steps:
29. Triple swirls
I showed the double swirls earlier and this is the triple version! Well, you can go as high as gravity works. I almost named it "Ice cream".
Lastly, this is rosette which is a very popular way to pipe buttercream, especially as a cake decoration. Draw a swirl flat to create the rose look. Try many types of tips and you can enjoy different looks!
📌 Combine The Piping Techniques!
There are so many other ways to pipe! The best part though is when you combine a variety of piping techniques I introduced today, you will create a fun texture like the heart shown below!
Just like I mentioned at the beginning, you can use piping techniques not just for buttercream but also for whipped cream or other stiff frostings such as royal icings for cakes, plated desserts, cookies, etc.
📌 VIDEO: 30 Ways To Pipe With Star Tips
To see all the steps visually check out the video tutorial:
By the way, I showed a little surprise at the end of the video! With all 30 patterns, I wrote a message to my viewers. I finished it up with some fruit decorations before the reveal. I hope you'll check it out!
Lastly, please share your feedback in the comment section under the video if the tutorial was helpful for you. I also appreciate it if you can leave a comment on this post and share it with your friends and family!
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