How to Write on a Cake Without a Piping Bag

The easiest way to write beautifully and decoratively on a cake is with a piping bag. But what happens when you don’t have one? Don’t panic. With a pair of scissors and a plastic bag, you can create a DIY piping bag to write on your cake.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I love cakes! Whether I’m eating, baking, or just looking at a cake, I enjoy every second of it. That said, I have spent many years writing on cakes with and without piping bags. Needless to say, I consider myself an expert in this field.

Piping bags are going to make your life infinitely easier, especially if you write on cakes often. In the meantime, you can do without. There are numerous ways to write/decorate a cake without a piping bag, and this article will teach you how.

Who’s ready to decorate their cake with some charming words?

How to Write on a Cake Without a Piping Bag

Before we dive into how to write on a cake without a piping bag, consider buying a piping bag with accessories to help you through future cake writing endeavors. Seriously, these kits are super affordable and much easier to work with. 

For now, feel free to try out one of these piping bag alternatives.

Plastic Bag

The absolute best and most popular substitute for piping bags is a simple plastic sandwich bag. They mimic actual piping bags, so it’s no wonder why they’re used so often as a replacement. Not only that, but most people carry these bags in their homes, making them a viable pick.

All you have to do is place the frosting into the bag and push it to a single corner. Then, twist the top of the bag, so it is secured. While holding the twisted end, use a pair of scissors to cut off the corner. If you need to, you can always make the hole bigger, so start small.

You can also cut in different ways to create designs, just like a professional piping kit offers. If you have metal pipers on hand, you can use these, too.

Parchment Paper

No plastic bags? No problem. Parchment paper to the rescue. (You can also opt for wax paper if that’s all you have). To use parchment paper, do the following:

  • Fold parchment paper into a triangle
  • Roll it into a cone shape and tape securely
  • Add the frosting
  • Add a metal tip, if using
  • Fold the top of the parchment paper bag down and start writing.

The good thing about using parchment paper is it is super glossy, just like plastic bags and regular piping bags. Therefore, the frosting will be able to slide out with ease. Yes, it requires a bit more work, but when you’re in a pinch, it definitely works!

Candy Letters

Trying to create a makeshift piping bag can be a bit of a hassle, I get it. If you want to ditch the actual “writing” yet still create “words,” you can also opt for candy letters instead! These are super easy to use, especially if you don’t consider yourself super “artistic” or creative.

Another great option using candy is to simply spell out the words using candy. For example, a super sweet cake could have words spelled with adorable gummy bears, while a decadent chocolate cake can benefit from delicious mini M&Ms.

Wax Paper Stencils

Are you feeling super crafty? If you have wax paper on hand, you can create your own stencils! This is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for something that looks like it is engrained on the cake rather than sticking out (which is the case for frosting and candies).

Making a wax paper stencil is easy. Just do the following:

  • Write the message (larger letters will work better)
  • Cut out the letters carefully
  • Place the words on your cake
  • Fill in the letters using sprinkles, powdered sugar, or another similar alternative.
  • Remove and enjoy!

Squeeze Bottle

Step up to the plate, and squeeze bottles. You are no longer reserved for ketchup and mustard! Did you know that you can use a squeeze bottle to write on your cake? It’s super easy and produces excellent results.

The biggest problem with squeeze bottles is the tips might be a bit small. That is why it’s recommended to use thin frosting or melted chocolate with this method. Of course, you can always cut off a bit of the tip to make it larger for piping.

Cutouts and Toothpicks

If you don’t have any other option, you can always skip writing directly on the cake and opt for a printed message instead. Create your own banner using Word or another similar application. Then, print it out. Use toothpicks to hold the message into the cake. 

It’s not exactly the best way to go about things, but it works when you don’t have any other options. Plus, you won’t have to worry about messing up any of the letters. This is a major benefit!


There are plenty of ways to write on a cake without a piping bag, and now you know all of them. But if you still have some prying questions about how to write on a cake without a piping bag, keep reading these questions and answers below.

How can I decorate a cake without a piping bag and nozzle?

There are so many options! You can create a DIY piping bag with one of the methods above. Cover the cake in candies and sprinkles. You can even add items that aren’t edible but on the theme. For example, add some nautical toys to a sea-themed cake.

How do you decorate a cake with a piping bag?

There are many great ways to decorate a cake with a piping bag. For one, you can write a message or someone’s name. You can also do some fancy detailing, such as petals and flowers, that looks way more difficult than they really are.

How do you make a piping nozzle at home?

With a pair of scissors and some soda cans, you can make your very own piping nozzles at home. To do this, cut the top off the soda, wash, and dry. Cut the bottom into a rectangle. Roll the right corner and tape. Cut the tip into desired shapes and trim sharp edges. Viola! 

What is a frosting bag called?

A frosting bag is the same thing as a piping bag. It can also be referred to as a pastry bag.  

What can I write on a cake instead of happy birthday?

There are plenty of choices, including: “Congrats on making it another year,” “Happy Birthday, I love you,” “Enjoy your day Big Boy/Girl, Happy Birthday,” or “Happy Birthday to the best apple on the family tree.”

Final Words

Writing on a cake can change the entire look of the cake, and in a good way, too. But you don’t need a piping bag to do it. You can create a DIY piping bag using a plastic bag or parchment. Or, ditch the bags and use candy letters, wax paper stencils, squeeze bottles or cutouts.

How do you like to write on your 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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