Royal Icing: Test for Royal Icing Consistency by Using Tiny Piping Cones

If you are following the steps in my Royal Icing tutorial series, this article relates to some of the requirements I listed in “Royal Icing: Assemble Supplies.

Because you only need a few tablespoons of Royal Icing at a time to test its consistency, use small piping cones (“bags”) for ease of use. Unfortunately, there are no ready-made small cones available to buy. You can, however, make your own small cones out of parchment paper, disposable piping bags, or sandwich bags.

Making and Using Very Small Piping Cones

For testing, I use small parchment bags exclusively, but first I had to figure out how to make them. While I’ll write an article on parchment bag use in the future, you can immediately learn how to make them from existing tutorials:

{:} Google search on “How to Make Parchment Piping Cones.”

{:} Video of Julia Usher on “How to Make Parchment Piping Cones.”

{:} Print article by Julia Usher on “How to Make Parchment Piping Cones.”

To make very small piping cones after learning how to make standard sizes:

  1. Buy pre-made parchment triangles. Search Amazon or other local and online shops for packages of “Parchment Triangles for Baking.” I use the Ateco brand. The Wilton brand comes with printed directions.
  2. Cut the triangle in half, then make a cone with each half. Instead of folding it, secure the top with a small paper clamp, or tape it shut.

Note that you can use regular piping tips on parchment bags, but you have to tape the tip at the point where it sticks out of the bag to the bag itself, as seen in the next picture, below, to the right.

You can also make small bags out of disposable plastic pastry bags. As a home baker, I prefer 12-inch sizes, but buy whatever product is least expensive. Cut it in half and throw the top away.

The benefit to using disposable plastic cones is that you can snip the tip or use a regular pastry tip with a coupler. Snipping makes an irregular hole, which is great for experimentation, quick fixes, and kids’ parties, but not so good for precision. For  precision, use a standard piping tip with a coupler.

After cutting down a cone, fill it half with Royal Icing,  secure the top with a small snack bag clip, then snip an opening at the end.

If you hate the idea of throwing away a lot of pastry cones for simple tests, cut up plastic sandwich bags, shape the remaining portions with your fingers into a pastry cone shape, fill half way, then secure with a small snack bag clip like seen above. Follow the diagram below.

Ease of Use for the Home Baker

When not testing Royal Icing consistency, I favor small parchment bags, with or without tips. They are also very easy to use by adults and kids with no prior piping experience, as you can see from the creations produced at a Royal Icing Frosting Party, below. To prepare for a party, we applied the solid-colored frosting base. Our participants decorated the tops.


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