*sigh*...i Pipe Like An Inebriated Orangutan.

Decorating By Kyriosity Updated 2 Jun 2014 , 4:20pm by Spacemumps

Kyriosity Posted 25 May 2014 , 3:36am
post #1 of 17

See evidence below. Any tips (pun intended) for improving?




16 replies
Norasmom Posted 25 May 2014 , 3:40am
post #2 of 17

So funny!  It's still a pretty cake.  Maybe lighter colors might be more forgiving.  Every flaw shows up with dark piping on cakes, whereas it seems lighter shades in piping seem to show fewer flaws.   I don't pipe much yet, so I can't give more advice on the how to.

AZCouture Posted 25 May 2014 , 4:08am
post #3 of 17

AOh me to....that's why I paint! Looks to me like you're going too slow and you hesitate and stop. Might be the icing is not a good piping consistency too.

winniemog Posted 25 May 2014 , 6:08am
post #4 of 17

Try looking ahead of the line you are trying to pipe - it's a little hard to explain, but imagine you're driving down the road in your car, and you are looking only immediately ahead of your vehicle, and every little bump etc you see in the road, you make a tiny correction to get around it. That's how you're piping now.


Then think about how you actually drive (I hope! although you're probably on a different continent to me, so it doesn't matter much to me!) - you look ahead of the car a way and make more gentle smaller corrections to make sure you are driving a straight line. Now pipe the way you drive! Get some speed up as AZ suggests and have confidence. Just practise a lot on a board and in no time you'll have it!


And there's no speeding tickets when it comes to cake.....

Good luck.

cazza1 Posted 25 May 2014 , 6:34am
post #5 of 17

....and practice, practice practice.  And once you are there keep practicing because the old adage 'use it or lose it' really applies to piping.

Evoir Posted 25 May 2014 , 6:39am
post #6 of 17

Valerie, one thing you can try is instead of trying to pipe single-line big shapes, like the two concentric circles on the top tier, is to do a beaded/pearl effect in a circle using a #1 tip. Also, get your cake surface as flat as possible before piping - tilt it away from you in other words.


Other than the circles, your work is not that bad! I like winniemog's advice too :-)

MBalaska Posted 25 May 2014 , 6:57am
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by Kyriosity 

See evidence below. Any tips (pun intended) for improving?



It is a very attractive design, and I love the colors. Your fondant looks perfectly smooth.:)


what were you piping on it? What size tip were you using? What type of a bag did you have your icing in? How much icing did you have in the bag as you piped?  Did you Premark your design on the cake and then try to follow the lines or did you free style.  There are many factors that can be modified to try to get a better piped line.


(ps: my first reaction to your post was "Join the club we have jackets."  as piping is not easy.)

Nadiaa Posted 25 May 2014 , 8:40am
post #8 of 17

APiping is so hard! I suck at it. Cupcake swirl - no problem. Anything delicate - no good. I think you just have to practice a lot!

JWinslow Posted 25 May 2014 , 2:49pm
post #9 of 17

Kyriosity,  you made laugh!  I can't pipe to save my life. I have yet to pipe a pretty swirl consistently - 1 out of 25 doesn't count.  I embraced my clay gun instead. :lol:

Pastrybaglady Posted 25 May 2014 , 4:05pm
post #10 of 17

AHa ha! I think you are head and shoulders above any orangutan, inebriated OR sober! But clearly you are not alone in feeling otherwise! It is so hard to pipe on the vertical surface! Everyone's advice makes me want to practice today. I was just wondering if tilting the cake away from you would help. I love thin piping but I can't do it. I believe icing consistency, speed and confidence are key and of course practice practice practice!

-K8memphis Posted 25 May 2014 , 4:29pm
post #11 of 17

all good stuff you've gotten here--also, one of my most essential tools is a hat pin-- you could use it like a surgeon uses a scalpel to trim those piping lines into submission too--first cut the excess off with the tip of it then remove/slice'/flick that off with the edge of it --


and when you practice piping-- your goal is to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the icing-- 


also i pipe from my shoulder not from my wrist --


piping thoughts for you

mzteaze Posted 25 May 2014 , 6:49pm
post #12 of 17

AReal art takes practice. I really like that you went for it and produced something that my current skills could not.

But, that being said, your work is no where near the disasters I see on Cake Wrecks. I'm sure the client was happy which is what matters the most.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 May 2014 , 4:36am
post #13 of 17

AYour piping is already way above my pay grade. I'd consider it an achievement to pipe that well. And I'd also consider it a matter of course to use edible printing, rather than piping, for anything like that logo on the side of the upper tier.

Kyriosity Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 6:09am
post #14 of 17

Thanks, everybody, for laughing with/at me!


Evoir -- In hindsight, a dotted line would have been a great solution!


MBalaska -- Are they straitjackets? 'Cuz every time I make a wedding cake, I'm pretty sure I've earned one!


Any recommendations for the best recipe for piping buttercream? I just used what I'd used on the cake...plus coloring, of course.



Spacemumps Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 12:13pm
post #15 of 17


Lovely design.  When I look at your piping, I see that the line width is inconsistent along with line wobble.


When you pipe lines/letters, first you start the piping to anchor it to the surface and then you need to lift the tip 2 to 3 cms above the cake. This gives you control over the icing. The higher the lift, the more control you have. You can move it in all directions or bend it before you lay it on the cake. This one thing transformed by piping skills. You still need to practise but it will give you control you wouldn't believe existed!


Other points would be :


Make sure the icing is soft/half peak (pull a knife upwards from icing and it forms a peak with the top flopped over and holds this shape). This is easier to push it through the tube.


Keep the tube point on a moist sponge when you're not piping with it, to stop the icing setting and blocking the tube.


Use a small piping bag so your hands don't warm up the icing setting it and making it harder to pipe.

And the small bag is easier to pipe with. More control again.


Have a small damp paint brush handy. Use this to remove bad bits, to dab at wonky bits. Also good for getting rid of points on your pearls/dots.


I have assumed that you are using Royal icing for the piping. Not sure how these instructions will work with butter cream!


Hope this helps you.



hbquikcomjamesl Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 4:08pm
post #16 of 17


Original message sent by Spacemumps

. . .Use a small piping bag so your hands don't warm up the icing setting it and making it harder to pipe. And the small bag is easier to pipe with. More control again. . . . I have assumed that you are using Royal icing for the piping. Not sure how these instructions will work with butter cream!

Hmm. With its high egg content, I suppose Royal would be somewhat thermosetting, but would it really go off from the heat of your hand? And wouldn't a smaller bag make it heat up that much faster?

At any rate, based on my own VERY LIMITED experience with a dense, non-whipped, American BC (the recipe that's been on the back of the C&H powdered sugar box since before I was born, hand-blended with a dinner fork), cold makes loose frosting stiffer, heat makes stiff frosting looser, the stiffer it is, the harder it is to pipe (and the more likely it is to have trouble sticking to the cake), and the looser it is, the more likely it is to sag and/or spread.

Spacemumps Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 4:20pm
post #17 of 17

My instructions are about Royal Icing not butter cream which is what you are talking about. 


My instructions are what is taught in baking school. Any professional would use a small bag for RI piping small details. The heat of your hand will affect the icing in any bag held for a long time.

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