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Piping Perfect Dots

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Help.. many times I've tried to pipe dots with buttercream, but somehow they always have a little point at the top of them.. Is my icing too soft? How do I get my spots completely round? Is it best to use royal icing instead? Perhaps it's just technique but i've tried a few times to get them as round as possible but always end up tear-drop shaped.??!! icon_cry.gif

Plus I seem to have trouble with the spacing of the dots around the edge, so some dots end up bigger than others because i'm having to pipe out more icing to fill in gaps.

Any tips would help.. i have a wedding cake to do with dots on in a few months time..
Thanks icon_sad.gif
post #2 of 15
For the pointy bits,it doesn't matter if you use BC or royal icing,you will still get pointy bits. Just pipe them,wait for a few seconds for the dot to harden a little,then dip your finger in cornstarch and pat down the pointy bit. If you let it dry too long b4 you pat the buttercream might crush a little and the royal icing will just stay hard. Good luck.
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post #3 of 15
Another thing is to stop squeezing before you pull the bag back. When you pulling the bag up as you stop squeezing will cause the points on top of the dot. This will help you from getting as many points on top of your dot....& definitely the cornstarch trick is a way of correcting it.
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Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:28
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post #4 of 15
In the Wilton class I was learned to pipe the dot, wait a minute then using a damp paint brush push the peak down.
post #5 of 15
OMG! "I was learned"? LOL! I really need to proof read before hitting the send button.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by solascakes

For the pointy bits,it doesn't matter if you use BC or royal icing,you will still get pointy bits. Just pipe them,wait for a few seconds for the dot to harden a little,then dip your finger in cornstarch and pat down the pointy bit.

that's what I do, too.

this is a great example of 'the little things' we learn along the way! I remember when I was just starting out and would get frustrated because I couldn't, for example, make perfect dots. Then I found out that no one else could either ... they patted them down afterward! icon_lol.gif
post #7 of 15
As for the spacing, I've tried a few times too... but seem to fail horribly. I want to try again, BUT I'm going to use a flexible ruler, and mark out the spacing. I'd rather take the time, next time, and learn to train myself with a steady hand. icon_wink.gif
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmum

Plus I seem to have trouble with the spacing of the dots around the edge, so some dots end up bigger than others because i'm having to pipe out more icing to fill in gaps.



I don't know what gaps you are referring to, but I assume you're talking about making a dot border (around the edge?). If so, if you keep the dots the same size all the way around and get back to the beginning with a space (gap?) a little too large or small, I wouldn't worry about having a dot or two that is a different size... if you plan for it to be on the back on the cake, it won't show.

If you're referring to another type of gap, please explain.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess1019

OMG! "I was learned"? LOL! I really need to proof read before hitting the send button.


LOL! FYI, there is an "edit" button that can save some embarrassment. Although, I do appreciate the chuckle. icon_smile.gif

Edited to add: Oh yeah, I tap my dots down, too. icon_smile.gif
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes I was referring to piping dots around the top of a cake to make a border..
Thanks
post #11 of 15
I pat as well.

Aside from holding your tip in place for a few seconds, I do a little flick before pulling away to try to get the pointy bit at the bottom.

I don't know if that makes sense lol. Hope so!
post #12 of 15

I'm glad I read this. I just spent a couple hours trying to get the perfect dot and thought I was just terrible at piping. Good to know it's not my bad technique!

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess1019 View Post

In the Wilton class I was learned to pipe the dot, wait a minute then using a damp paint brush push the peak down.

I agree with Jess1019 - I would always use royal icing and then use a damp brush to flatten peak and make a lovely round bead/dot. You can pipe around 10 at a time before flattening all peaks. If you pipe too many they will harden too much to push the peak down effectively.

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post #14 of 15

Couple things.

 

For a beaded border--as op wondered some time ago--she has to make bigger dots to fill in different size gaps--first of all take icing on a small spatula or even on your finger and fill in the gaps and smooth. Then snuck the side of the piping bag right up next to the cake almost touching it so the dot pipes out of the bag to the left (because your'e holding the bag sideways to the cake border) and the point will be covered by the next dot. Not held dead on at right angles.

 

 

For pearly dots interspersed on a cake--Oooh I love to do this. For this you hold the bag dead on at a right angles to the cake. Like you are pointing at it right straight ahead. Read about it in *Toba's book. Use royal icing the correct consistency and the dot will form itself with no tail at all. I think she says to (I haven't read it ina while) thin your royal until when you pipe back into the bowl and wait 3 or 10 seconds the piping dissolves back into the bowl and you see no traces of it. Just experiment with it. It's easy and way too cool. AndAnd and to take it onestep further--add some gum arabic to your royal icing for a tremendous effect. Then you will not only get a perfectly rounded pearl dot, you will get the most beautiful pearly shine--all in one little tremendously efficient piped squeeze of the bag. Perfectly empowering. I just wanna go pipe freaking dots everywhere.

 

*I don't see her book around here right now. When I look it up (I think you pipe back into the bowl and count to three or five and it disappears and it's perfect) I'll come back and update this.

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post #15 of 15

Thanks so much for this.  I think I read the same thing, but can't remember where I found it.  

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