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The Ultimate Guide to Piping Nozzles

So you've got your sponge cooled and crumb coated, and the buttercream ready to go, but what next?

When it comes to deciding on piping nozzles, there's a whole world of different shapes, sizes and styles out there; all created from a swirl here and a shape there when it comes to designing these little metal tools. With a set of piping nozzles, you can create just about anything - all you need to know is the basics.

One of the literal stars of the piping world, this almost crown-shaped nozzle is the culprit for the majority of those delicious swirls you find on top of cupcakes or the plump shapes of ridged buttercream that make the perfect border to any sponge cake. The size of the ridges and smoothness of the shape of the buttercream deposited depends on the number of 'teeth' the open star nozzle has, and how far apart they are.

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If frilly, frothy almost floral shaped buttercream is your idea of the perfect way to finish off your cake, then a closed star nozzle is what you want. Perfect for a more defined shape on the top of a cupcake or a seriously attractive border, a closed star can also be used to create those perfect swirls you see that cover a whole cake. Just move the nozzle in a spiral motion for the perfect finish.

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The most basic of piping nozzles, and well known for their use with royal icing as well as buttercream, for the simplest of designs or the trickiest of details, a round piping nozzle is
your best friend. A very small hole produces the right width of icing that's ideal for creating real detail or even text, and a wide hole can provide a simple dot shape that would look perfect on a polka-dot themed cake, or even as the simplest of borders.

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With a squashed shape and almost letterbox opening, just looking at a petal shape nozzle gives you very little idea of the beautiful things you can produce with this tip. For
incredibly defined or tight ruffles, these petal and leaf nozzles are ideal, but they come into their own when you use them for their intended function. Using one of the large nozzles, you can create buttercream floral toppers for cupcakes or even a whole bouquet on a cake - that's up to your imagination.

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A fairly obvious nozzle, if you're a fan of a classic Easter cake or even cupcake, the basket nozzle can help you produce the perfect texture to create a basket, or even add texture to buttercream clothing and fabrics. Multi-purpose and easy to master, all you have to do is fill your bag and create straight, even lines that create a weave as they go.

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This one may make you think of playdough more than baking - but we assure you that multi-hole nozzles can be far more than playthings when it comes to adding texture and dimension to a cake or bake. Available in a variety of different forms, from multiple open star tips to round and plain, these nozzles can provide the finishing touch to any buttercream piece.

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