How to Put Icing on Cupcakes with a Ziplock Bag

Who said you needed fancy tools to place the icing on top of cupcakes? You can create gorgeous-looking cupcakes using a Ziplock bag. It’s cheap, effective, and turns out great every time. This article is here to teach you how to frost a cupcake with a Ziplock bag.

Hi, there! I’m Michelle, and I love to bake. I’ve been honing my skill for the past ten years, and I can honestly say that baking is 100% my passion. I’ve tried many creative contraptions throughout my journey to get things done, and using a Ziplock bag for icing is undeniably a favorite.

If you just baked a fresh batch of cupcakes and want them to be frosted like the ones in the bakery shop window, you’ve come to the right place. This handy how-to guide will show you how to get it done. The best part is it’s super easy (and budget-friendly, gotta love that!).

Are you ready to create Instagram-worthy cupcakes?

How to Put Icing on Cupcakes with a Ziplock Bag (4 Easy Steps)

“Wowing” your friends at the next birthday bash with perfectly-decorated cupcakes doesn’t have to be expensive or challenging. To enchant your miniature cakes with frosting, all you need is a Ziplock bag, a pair of scissors, and your favorite kind of frosting.

Then, follow these simple steps for success:

Step 1: Add Frosting to the Bag

You can use any product you want, such as a small silicone spatula or ice cream scooper. Scoop the frosting and place it inside the Ziplock bag. The goal is to push the frosting to a single side of the bag as best as possible.

If you’re having trouble doing this, some bakers suggest placing the baggie inside a cup and folding the top over the edges. This will allow you to concentrate the frosting in a single area, which is far less messy and challenging.

Tip: Don’t overfill the bag! If you add too much frosting, you will not be able to successfully release excess air and seal the bag, rendering your DIY piping bag useless. Does that mean you might have to fill another bag to frost all of your cupcakes? Yes, but that’s not a big deal!

Step 2: Let the Air Out and Close the Bag

Once you have successfully added your frosting to the Ziplock bag, ensure all the air is let out before closing and sealing. Make sure that the seal is closed entirely. The last thing you want to do is have frosting come back and hit you in the face while decorating!

Some people will add tape on top of the zipper to create a foolproof seal they’re confident in, or they’ll tie off the end with a rubber band. You can also simply twist the end of the bag generously until it’s nice and tight. 

Step 3: Snip the Tip of the Bag

Use your scissors to cut a hole in the tip of the Ziplock bag where the frosting is most concentrated. Be careful not to cut the hole too big or too small. Otherwise, you won’t get the results you’re after. 

Not sure which size is right? The most important thing to consider is your desired result. If you want to craft intricate designs, you will stay on the smaller side. If you’re going to “plop” frosting on top somewhat carelessly, a bigger hole will work wonders.

Step 4: Frost the Cupcakes

That’s it! You’re finally prepared to get those cupcakes ready for the big bash. Obviously, you will want to squeeze the frosting onto your cupcake using a swirling motion. Make sure to apply consistent pressure, so your cupcakes come out looking the same.


See? It’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to put the icing on cupcakes using a Ziplock bag. (Although now I’m craving a batch of lemon cupcakes with vanilla frosting). If you want to learn more about this topic, check out these commonly asked questions below.

How do you attach a frosting tip to a Ziplock bag?

Did you know you can use frosting tips with Ziplock bags? Simply cut off one tip of a bag (make sure it’s not too big for your frosting tip). Insert the tip inside the bag and push it into the hole slightly to stick, but not so much that it falls out. 

How do you Frost cupcakes with store-bought icing?

It’s not much different from homemade frostings. Make sure the store-bought icing is at room temperature and mixed. Then, place it in your piping bag or DIY Ziplock bag and frost it as usual.

How can you ice a cupcake without a bag?

No piping bag or regular Ziplock bags? No worries. Scoop a bit of frosting on top of the cupcake and swirl it around with a knife. It might not look “professional,” but it will still look (and taste) amazing. 

Should frosting be cold before piping?

No, you don’t need to chill the frosting before piping. Room temperature is acceptable. However, don’t try to frost on warm cupcakes. Cupcakes should be entirely cooled (or cold) before applying the icing.

Final Words

You don’t need professional supplies to make cupcakes that look great. A Ziplock bag and pair of scissors are all you need to impress your party guests. The biggest issue is creating the correct size hole for your desired final look. Don’t go too big or too small and enjoy your lovely tiny cakes!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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