How to Choose and Use a Decorating Coupler
What is a decorating coupler? It’s basically something that connects two things. When we use them to decorate cakes, cupcakes and cookies, it allows us to easily change our piping tips without having to change decorating bags. It would be awful if we had to make different bags of the same color of icing just to use different tips. So you might say that a decorating coupler is a must have tool for most of us.
I know this tutorial may be old news to most of you, but I feel like its good information to share with our newbie decorators. Whether you make cakes, cookies or cupcakes you need to know what tools are important and why. Even if you use tipless decorating bags, you probably still have to use a coupler from time to time.
There are many different brands of couplers on the market but I prefer to use Ateco. When I first started decorating cookies I only used Wilton couplers since I could purchase them at local stores. I was happy with them at first and then they started cutting the decorating bags because the base or the ring had a sharp point that had not been smoothed when they were made. After they cut holes in about 30 of my disposable piping bags I decided to try Ateco and I’m glad I did. They work well and don’t cut my bags and the ring has a nice snug fit on the base so no icing oozes out.
When choosing a coupler, make sure the base and the ring are smooth.
I thought I should let you know that all opinions are mine and no one is paying me to say I like and use a certain product or brand. If I use something, it’s because I like it and it works. The end!
Ateco 4-Piece Set of Standard Couplers
Ateco 12-Inch Soft Disposable Pastry Bag, 50-Pack
- So as I said before, the brand of decorating couplers I use is Ateco because I like the way they fit together and don’t cut my bags.
- I know your probably thinking its a disposable bag so whats the big deal, right? The big deal is I wash and reuse my bags more than 20 times so if they get holes cut into them, it begins to take away from my profit margin. No I don’t sell cookies, but I make a lot for the blog and like to hold the cost down. Washing a few bags isn’t that big of a deal and will save some money throughout the year so I don’t want some defective coupler ripping them up before I’m ready to toss them.
- When you buy your piping bags they have a solid tip that will need to be trimmed. Once you cut the bag the decorating coupler can be placed inside the bag and pushed into the hole you cut which will make it possible to add and change decorating tips easily.
- Place the narrow end of the coupler down inside the decorating bag. Push it down into the tip as far as you can.
- Trim off the tip of the bag. There is a rule that says you should cut the bag so the first ring of the base will be on the outside of the bag. I don’t always follow this rule. As long as the end of the bag is somewhere between the first ring of the coupler base and the end of the coupler, I’m a happy camper.
- If you cut to much of the end of the bag the decorating coupler might pop out of the bag when you apply pressure. If the coupler comes out of the bag the icing will follow and you will have a giant mess on your hands. So my rule, longer is better.
- Trim the end of the bag.
- Place the coupler into the bag narrow end first and push it to the bottom of the bag.
- Place the decorating tip on the narrow end of the coupler and screw on the ring to hold it in place.
- Now you’re ready to decorate.
A decorating coupler makes decorating cookies and cakes a little easier for us. We don’t have to make multiple bags of the same color of icing just incase we want to use a different tip. All you have to do it take the coupler ring off of the base of the coupler and change the tip. Easy Peasy!
Like I said before, this may be old news to most of us, but having the right tools and knowing how to use them is important when you want to create something amazing. If your coupler pops out of your bag every time you squeeze it chances are you are going to quit and we don’t want that. I hope to share as many tips and tricks as I can so you will become the decorator you dream of becoming so I can see your creations, watch your videos and learn from you.
My story is almost identical. I started with Wilton, but frosting escaped the side. Ateco gives a snug fit and no problems. The best deal I found is William-Sonoma online. They had 5 for $4 and that day I had free shipping and an extra 20% off.
Thanks for sharing Kate! I will have to try William-Sonoma next time I need some. I love 20% off! LOL
Hey Lisa…..Once again a great tutorial not just for newbies but for us who have been decorating for only a couple of years. Have always wondered about those couplers, I too use Wilton and sometimes the thread doesn’t match up. Away on vacation at the moment but of course catching up with one of my favorite blog ladies? Off to Disney California Advaneture Park tomorrow, will need another vacation when I return to MD on Saturday, we hit 106 yesterday at Harry Potter glad I wasn’t baking!!!!! X
Disney Adventure Park!!! I want to go with you! LOL I hope you had a blast and stayed cool. I can’t imagine 106 degrees! WOW!
I’m glad were in the same boat about the couplers Claire. I like Wilton’s products most of the time but the couplers tear my bags. I like to use them as much as possible so that is the reason I switched to Ateco.
Anyway, enjoy your vacation and the second vacation as well! 😉
Do you know if there are couplers for the really big Russian tips? My big Wilton coupler isn’t big enough and I’d like to change colors with a coupler rather than having to mess with completely changing bags etc.
I don’t own any of the Russian tips so I’m not sure what size the base is. Most people I’ve seen using them just place them in a bag without a coupler. However, I did find a Piping Bag Russian Nozzle Converter Coupler but I have never used them. If you want to try them here is the link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/272186017330?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Does anyone have the set of Russian tips? If so, could you leave a comment to help Julie out about the couplers?
Some of the Russian piping tip sets include the coupler. I bought the Christmas set and it included two couplers. I love the set. You can do a Google search to find them.
Thanks so much for sharing! I had no idea how this worked, and you made it so simple!
totally new to using piping bags, tips and couplers, so it’s all a little confusing to me. I usually just cut the tip off a baggie lol. But I want to try them this year on my Christmas cookies. I’ve figured out that I need a size 2 tip, but how do I know what kind of coupler to buy? are they all the same? do they come in different sizes, so I need a size 2 coupler for my size 2 tip? I guess I just need to go to the store and spend about an hour staring at all the options lol
There are different sizes of couplers. I’ve seen the large sizes for buttercream for cakes and then the standard size that will fit your #2 tip. Here’s a link for the standard size coupler: https://www.thecookiecountess.com/products/copy-of-ateco-large-coupler-set?_pos=2&_sid=a70518880&_ss=r
You can find them at Walmart or cake supply stores.
Have you tried the tipless decorating bag? That’s what I use now almost all the time. You just trim off the tip like you do with the plastic bags and decorate. They’re amazing and here are the ones I use.
Truly Mad Plastic Tipless Decorating Bags: https://trulymadplastics.ecwid.com/Tipless-Piping-Bags-Medium-100-bags-p37667135The Cookie Countess Tipless Decorating Bags: https://www.thecookiecountess.com/products/tipless-piping-bags?_pos=1&_sid=aa6ec3464&_ss=r
Flour Box Shop Tipless Decorating Bags: https://flourbox.com/products/100-tipless-10-medium-disposable-icing-bags?_pos=2&_sid=9dc451cee&_ss=r
Hope this helps!