Can you put canned frosting in a piping bag?

Putting canned frosting in a piping bag is absolutely possible! While piping bags are most commonly used with homemade buttercream or whipped frosting, there’s no reason why you can’t pipe canned frosting too. With just a few tips and tricks, you can easily transfer canned frosting to a piping bag and decorate cakes, cupcakes, and more.

Why Use Canned Frosting in a Piping Bag?

There are a few key reasons why using canned frosting in a piping bag can be beneficial:

  • Convenience – Canned frosting is ready to use right out of the container. You don’t have to make a homemade frosting from scratch.
  • Consistency – Canned frosting has a nice smooth, uniform texture perfect for piping. Homemade frostings can sometimes be too soft or too stiff.
  • Stability – The stabilized nature of canned frosting means it holds its shape well when piped onto cakes or cupcakes.
  • Flavor – Canned frostings come in a huge variety of delicious flavors from creamy vanilla to chocolate fudge.
  • Decorating – Using canned frosting allows you to decorate baked goods without needing to make large batches of frosting.

Tips for Piping Canned Frosting

Follow these tips to ensure your canned frosting pipes smoothly and creates beautiful decorations:

Use a Large Piping Bag

Choose a piping bag that is large enough to hold all the frosting you need. A 14-18 inch bag with a large tip opening works best. Trying to force canned frosting into a small piping bag can cause issues.

Snip Off Bag Corner

Cut a small snip off one corner of the canned frosting container instead of trying to spoon the frosting into the piping bag. This allows you to more easily transfer all the frosting.

Use a Coupler

Attach a piping bag coupler to the piping tip before filling the bag with frosting. The coupler helps stabilize the tip and prevents frosting from leaking out.

Choose a Larger Tip

Opt for a large open star tip, leaf tip, or other decorative tip when piping canned frosting. Smaller tips can become clogged.

Refrigerate Briefly

Chilling canned frosting for 10-15 minutes helps thicken it up slightly for easier piping. Don’t over-chill or the frosting can become too firm.

Apply Pressure

Applying steady, even pressure as you pipe is key for creating nice frosting patterns. Canned frosting pipes best when slightly chilled and not overly soft.

Work Quickly

Pipe all the frosting within 30 minutes of filling the piping bag for best results. Canned frosting will eventually soften and become harder to work with the longer it sits in the bag.

Step-By-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps for piping canned frosting successfully:

  1. Select a canned frosting flavor and remove the container lid.
  2. Cut off one corner of the frosting container to create an opening.
  3. Fit a piping bag with a coupler and decorative tip, at least 14 inches big.
  4. Insert the cut corner of the frosting container into the piping bag.
  5. Squeeze the frosting container to fill the bag, removing any air pockets.
  6. Twist the top of the piping bag closed and refrigerate 10-15 mins.
  7. Retrieve bag from fridge and begin piping frosting onto cupcakes, cakes, etc.
  8. Apply steady pressure as you pipe to create desired decorations.
  9. Work quickly and refrigerate unused frosting for later use.
  10. Wash piping bag and coupler when finished decorating.

Troubleshooting Guide

Having some issues getting your canned frosting to pipe correctly? Here are some tips to troubleshoot common problems:

Frosting Too Soft

  • Chill frosting longer, 15-30 minutes.
  • Use a smaller piping tip for better control.
  • Thicken with powdered sugar if needed.

Frosting Too Firm

  • Do not over-chill or frosting can harden.
  • Bring to room temperature briefly.
  • Add small amounts of milk to soften.

Frosting Bleeding Color

  • Avoid chilling tinted frosting too long or colors may bleed.
  • Use a white base frosting instead of clear.
  • Stick to shorter piping timeframes.

Messy Pipingresults

  • Keep piping bag upright while piping.
  • Apply steady, even pressure.
  • Use a smaller tip for better control.
  • Make sure frosting is not too soft.

Storing Leftover Canned Frosting

Looking to save any extra canned frosting for later use? Here are some storage tips:

  • Transfer to an airtight container like a plasticware container or zip top bag.
  • Press plastic wrap directly on surface of frosting to prevent drying out.
  • Store in refrigerator up to 10-14 days.
  • Do not freeze frosting, as this will change the texture.
  • Stir well before reusing to reincorporate any separated liquids.

Tasty Flavor Combinations

Canned frosting flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and cream cheese are classics. But you can get creative with complementary flavor combinations too! Try piping these yummy frostings together:

Flavor 1 Flavor 2
Vanilla Chocolate
Cream cheese Strawberry
Peanut butter Chocolate
Lemon Raspberry
Chocolate Mint
White chocolate Almond
Caramel Pecan
Cream cheese Caramel
Peanut butter Banana

Canned vs. Homemade Frosting

While canned frosting is certainly convenient, homemade frosting can’t be beat in terms of customizing flavors and textures. Here’s a quick comparison:

Canned Frosting

  • Convenient, ready to use
  • Consistent texture
  • Limited on flavor options
  • Contains preservatives
  • Lower cost

Homemade Frosting

  • Full control over flavor
  • Adjustable texture
  • Fun to customize
  • No preservatives
  • Higher cost of ingredients

Most Popular Canned Frosting Brands

When purchasing canned frosting to use in piping bags, stick with reputable brands offering high quality products. Here are some top picks:

  • Pillsbury – An old standby, with classic flavors and smooth texture.
  • Duncan Hines – Rich, decadent frostings perfect for piping.
  • Betty Crocker – Diverse flavors and coordinating gel food colors.
  • Wilton – Trusted brand specifically for baking and decorating.
  • Cake Mate – Specialty flavors like cookie dough and salted caramel.
  • Clasen – Quality frostings ideal for decorating cakes.

Inspiring Cake Decorating Ideas

Using canned frosting in a piping bag opens up a whole world of cake decorating possibilities! Here are some gorgeous ways to decorate cakes and cupcakes with piped frosting:

Rosette Cupcakes

Pipe swirls of frosting onto cupcakes to create lovely rosettes. Vary colors and textures for stunning results. Add candies, sprinkles or cookies in the center!

Ombre Cakes

Create an ombre effect by layering colors of frosting using piping bags. Start with darker shades on bottom and transition to lighter shades on top.

Watercolor Cakes

Use multiple piping bags with soft pinks, blues, yellows and greens. Gently squeeze frostings onto cake and blend colors together with a spatula for a watercolor look.

Patterned Cupcakes

Pipe stripes, zigzags, polka dots, criss-crosses and other designs onto cupcake tops using contrasting colored frostings.

Textured Geode Cakes

Mix textures by pairing smooth piped frosting with candy rocks and crystals for a geode cake effect. Add edible glitter for sparkle!

Seasonal Themes

Match piping bag frosting colors to seasonal holidays like red and green for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween or pastels for Easter.

Piping Troubleshooting FAQs

Still having trouble getting your canned frosting to cooperate in the piping bag? Check out answers to some frequently asked questions below:

Why does my frosting keep getting clogged in the piping tip?

The most common reasons for clogged piping tips with canned frosting are: tip is too small, frosting is too cold and firm, applying inconsistent pressure, or piping angle is too low. Choose a large tip, avoid over-chilling frosting, apply steady pressure, and hold bag at a 45 degree angle.

How can I get a smoother piped frosting surface?

Using a frosting that is slightly chilled but not too firm will result in the smoothest piped texture. Holding the piping bag steady and upright while applying even pressure also prevents bumps and ridges. Choose the right consistency frosting and maintain proper piping technique.

Why does my piped frosting “melt” and lose shape?

Canned frosting that is too warm and soft will not hold its piped shape well and may melt/bleed. Refrigerate frosting 10-15 minutes before piping to firm it up. Work quickly and do not leave frosting sitting in piping bags too long. If room is warm, consider chilling baked goods first.

How can I get thin uniform frosting lines for writing?

Use a small round tip and chill the frosting so it’s just firm enough to hold its shape. Hold piping bag at a 45 degree angle and pipe with steady, even pressure. Practice your lettering on a sheet of parchment first to get the hang of it.


Canned frosting may not be as versatile as homemade, but with the right techniques, it can absolutely create beautiful piped cake and cupcake decorations. Follow the tips in this guide for transferring canned frosting into a piping bag, troubleshooting any issues, and decorating baked goods in inspired ways. With convenient canned frosting and a piping bag, you can decorate like a pro!

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