Tutorial: How To Make Color-Striped Frosting

7 Mar


Two-toned frosting stripes are easier than you think.


I nearly choked when I saw how much Wilton is charging for pre-packaged striped frosting at local hobby stores.

A skinny little tube that will frost *maybe* three or four cupcakes is running about $2.50 — so you can imagine how many tubes it would take to actually get any job done.


Save your money!


$10 to frost a dozen cupcakes is pretty steep — especially when homemade striped frosting takes about two minutes to set up, tastes infinitely better, and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. Read on!

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • (2) 1-gallon-sized Ziplock-style plastic bags
  • (1) batch of your favorite decorator frosting
  • a pair of scissors
  • (1) decorator’s piping tip (star and rose petal varieties work well with striped frosting)
  • (1) piping tip coupler
  • a small, dry paintbrush
  • food coloring gel or paste (NOT LIQUID)
  • a wide-mouthed tumbler/highball-style drinking glass to hold icing bag upright


Only use paste or gel food coloring. Liquid food coloring is pretty useless.


For the sake of clarity, I chose a bright orangey-red food coloring and white cream cheese frosting, so you’d be able to easily see from photos what I was doing, but the truth is you can mix all sorts of colors.

Do be aware that if you tint the whole batch of frosting one color to begin with, the rules of the color wheel will apply, so applying a stripe of contrasting food coloring to part of that can possibly blend with the existing shade. (So don’t mix red food coloring with a dark green stripe unless you want a brown stripe to show on the finished product. You get the point.)

Begin by cutting the zippers away from your two plastic freezer bags. I usually just cut mine straight across diagonally, to make a triangular pouch for the frosting to sit in.

Fan open the triangular pouch and place the bag about 2/3 of the way down into a wide-mouthed tumbler or similar drinking glass. This will make it easier to fill. Fold the top 1/3 of the plastic bag opening down over the rim of the glass to keep it out of the way. This method will keep goopy frosting out of the portion of bag you’ll be twisting closed when piping. Much less of a mess.

Use a spoon or butterknife to fill the first bag 2/3 of the way full and set the first bag aside.

Cut the second bag into an identical triangle as the first, but cut the tip away so you can place your frosting coupler down into the bag.


I used a giant coupler and tip so you can see what I’m doing here.


Secure the piping tip on the outside of the bag with the coupler ring. Remove the full bag of icing from the glass and place the second bag, tip/coupler pointing downward into the bottom of the cup. Fold bag sides over the rim as you did the first.

Using a dry, small paintbrush and a container of food coloring paste (NOT LIQUID FOOD COLORING), begin painting a thin (1/2″-3/4″) stripe up one side of the coupler/bag. Make the total length of the stripe about 4 inches — it doesn’t need to come all the way up the bag, and you’ll have less mess and crisper-looking stripes if you quit while you’re ahead.


Paint colored stripe up the bag while it’s standing upright in the drinking glass.


Cut a good-sized tip off of the point of the already-full icing bag to expose the frosting, and place it partially down into the striped bag. Begin squeezing to transfer the frosting into the striped bag, stopping when 2/3 of the way full. The reason for using one bag to transition into the other is to keep spoons/knives from possibly smearing the stripe you painted in the second bag. This makes for an easy, clean fill, which is exactly what you need.


Transfer the frosting from Bag#1 into Bag #2.


When striped bag is filled, flip up the edges of the bag, remove from drinking glass, and twist bag shut. You’re ready to start piping. Use a napkin or other scrap to do a few practice squeezes on first, so that any wet blobs of excess food coloring will not land on the cake, and also so you know exactly how it’s going to look coming out and where your stripe will be positioned.


I used a clean coffee filter to do a few practice strokes on.


Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’re ready to begin decorating your cake. Easy peasy!


Two-toned star border.Easy!Easy!




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