Pastry Tips, Sizes & Styles

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Pastry tips fit on a pastry bag and are used to decorate cakes and cookies with frosting. These tips come in so many different shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to decide which ones you need. Popular styles and shapes include round tips, star tips, petal tips and basket-weave tips. They are generally titled according to their style and size with letters or numbers.

The smaller the number of the tip, the smaller the size of the opening. For tips with both letters and numbers, the letter usually refers to the size, although in some cases it can also refer to the style of tip. Generally, though, the closer to the beginning of the alphabet, the smaller the tip. The number after the letter can also designate size, or it can refer to the number of points in a star pastry tip.

Unfortunately, titling conventions for pastry tips are anything but self-explanatory. Here is a pastry tip chart and guide that will help you understand how to use pastry tips for the best results:

Style or ShapePopular SizesCommon Uses
Round pastry tips
  • Beads
  • Dots
  • Vines
  • Filling in
  • Piping Borders
  • Outlining
  • Lettering
  • Cornelli Lace
  • Drop strings
  • Lattice Work
Open star pastry tips
  • Rosettes
  • Stars
  • Ruffles
  • Ropes
  • Zigzags
  • Borders
  • Fleur-de-lis
Closed star pastry tips
  • 23-31
  • 33
  • 35
  • 101
  • 232
  • 233
  • 840-858
  • Rosettes
  • Drop flowers
  • Shells
  • Swirl flowers
  • Roses
Petit four pastry tips

Also known as a French star
  • 32
  • 199
  • 363
  • 172
  • Rosettes
  • Drop flowers
  • Outlining
  • Borders
  • Shells
Basketweave tips
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • Ribbons
  • Basketweaves
  • Stripes
  • Lattice weaves
  • Icing large surfaces of cakes
Petal tips
  • 104
  • 126
  • 127
  • 180
  • 264
  • Roses
  • Carnations
  • Pansies
  • Daisies
  • Hyndrangeas
  • Ribbons
  • Bows
  • Garlands
  • Icing a surface
Specialty pastry tips
Great for making specialty shapes, or for experimenting with different forms
  • Hair
  • Grass
  • St. Honor Cake
  • Filling éclairs
  • Christmas trees
  • Hearts
  • Frilly borders
  • Ruffles

If you are not quite sure what size or style of tips you need, purchasing an assorted pastry tip set is probably a good idea. Experiment with different sizes and shapes. Over time, you will come up with a number of creative ways to create unique shapes and designs on your cakes, pastries or cookies.

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