How I Get Icing in Those Little Bottles
This is one of those posts that makes me happy! I had an email requesting I show how I get the icing into the bottles without making a mess. We let me tell you a little about my messy self. I am a neat person most of the time, but when I get into a creative zone, I just go and think about the mess later. But let’s face it, icing is expensive when you make it almost every day! So, when it comes to filling those icing bottles, I don’t want to waste a drop so I will show you how I fill them.
Here they are! Icing bottles that don’t have icing dripping down the sides. If you want to buy some little bottles you can find them at Amazon CK Products Squeeze Bottle Set. If you want the big ones you can find Sugarbelle’s here. They come with a little plastic tip, but you can change it and add a different size to fit your decorating need.
Do you see my secret weapon yet? Yes, it is the cheap sandwich bags from my friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart. That’s my big secret. Not a big deal at all and it works!
- I use my favorite coffee cup to hold the bag while I fill it with icing. Then, I take it out and zip it shut.
- Once your icing is in the bag, snip off a little on the end.
- Now, you can squeeze your way to a full bottle of icing with zero mess!
- Fill them all up and decorate some cookies!
- Now before you send me emails asking me if I reuse the bags, the answer is YES!!! I do reuse the bags. They are easy to wash, so wash then and let them dry and you can use them over and over again. I have used the same ones for months. I dispose of them when they spring a leak.
- Since I reuse my bags, you may be asking how I prevent the icing from running all over the place with the end cut off. Well, I just put a rubber band on the end of it. When you are ready to pour the icing into your bottles simply slide the rubber band off.
Well, there you have it! This is my frustration-free way to fill my icing bottles because I am not steady enough to pour the icing in without making a huge mess and missing dinner with the family to clean it all up so I don’t get ants or bears in my house to clean the counters for me although it would be nice to have a little help in the kitchen once in a while! (I have had so much coffee today! Can you tell?)
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions you want me to do a tutorial on. I will try my best! If you are looking for some tips and tricks to cookie decorating, you may enjoy the “Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating”.
Good idea! Thanks sharing!
THANK YOU for this post! I just bought my first set of bottles and haven’t used them because of that very thought. I was thinking … funnel? Spoon?? MESS! 🙂 So I will be trying this! 🙂
I am glad you are going to try this Laurie! No mess so you get to spend more time decorating! Have fun!!
You are welcome;)
This is exactly how I fill mine. At first I’d been using my disposable piping bags. WASTE OF MONEY. Husband had to suggest that I use Ziploc bags.
I think you have a smart hubby!! Lol
This is great and I will do it. Why don’t they just make bottles with wider necks?
Great idea, I go back and forth about using those tubes. Do you feel like they make your hands ache more? Or if I’m having to squeeze really hard does that mean I put too thick of icing in the bottles?
Thanks for sharing!
Suzanne, I like putting my outline icing into the piping bags and the flood icing into the bottles. Most people use one or the other but I like the control of the bags for my outlining and detail work. I like the flood icing in the bottles and it saves money on bags. This is just what works for me.
It is hard for me to know if your icing is too thick without seeing it but you might want to thin it a bit and see if that helps without making your hand ache. I will be doing icing tutorials on consistency soon so maybe that will help.
See! I would NEVER have thought of that! Thank you! And I would LOVE to see your post about all your “my icing bottle saved my life” moments! hehe
Lisa, THANK YOU for this post! I have a whole set of those little Wilton bottles in my pantry that I just cannot fill to save my life! Luckily, I don’t have many “need my life saved by plastic icing bottle” moments! 🙂 I do have ONE question. You say you reuse your bags. Well, does the hole you previously cut cause you any issues? I use really thin flood icing and it would probably just flow out in the coffee cup. Just wondering what your suggestion would be. Thanks! Perfect tip! I think I’m gonna try it on my next cookies!
Hi Jodi! You are cracking me up with the, “Luckily, I don’t have many need my life saved by plastic icing bottle moments!” LOL I have had a few of those moments before!
I updated the tutorial with a picture of how I keep the icing from getting everywhere since I reuse my bags. I just put a rubber band on the end with the hole.
Have a great day:)
OMG THANKYOU soooo much 🙂 I just spent an afternoon cleaning spillage from filling these bottles! 🙂 thanks for sharing the tip!
You are welcome! I hate cleaning icing spills! Maybe now you can have fun decorating instead of cleaning 🙂
Einstein watch out! There is a NEW genius on the block.
Yeah RIGHT!! LOL I have never been called that before!! LOL
Good idea but I am more of a recycle kind of girl and I worry about ALL the plastic an the environment. For me glass measuring cup for liquid works great for mixing and pouring.
What a brilliant idea! Thanks so much for sharing it with us – little tips like these make such a huge difference.
I LOVE seeing how you did this! So clever!!
Such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!! I am fairly new to cookie decorating, and I have been using funnels. The funnels take forever to let the icing all drip into the bottle and then I have to wash and thoroughly dry between each color. I am definitely going to use your idea! Brilliant!!
BRILLIANT!!!! …and so simple! Getting icing in those bottles was about to be the death of me!
Don’t die Mandi!!! This earth needs you;) Just buy yourself some cheap baggies and stay with us for a while:)
Brilliant! I think I will be using this from now on. What I do is use the Karen’s cookies method for wrapping your icing in plastic wrap, then i snip the end and let it drip into the bottle. Much like your method except I can’t reuse the plastic wrap when I am finished. Love this method, thanks for sharing!!
Using Karen’s Cookies method is a good idea! I like the baggies because I can store them all inside of one bag and reuse until they fall apart. I am not steady enough to pour it in from a measuring cup but that works well for others. I am glad you like the tip and hope you can use it:)
Thanks so much for such a great idea! I just recently got some 4 oz bottles and they were harder to fill than I thought they would be. Now I know what to do! Thanks again!
Sorry if my idea sounds crazy, but have you ever consdered using a 100cc syringe(the big ones) to fill the bottles?
It’s reusable and the syringe gets clean due to the syringe rubber plunger. That way, you don’t need to ruin any more bags. It’s cheaper and its more ecological.
Keep up with the nice work
I never thought of that.Thanks for the suggestion. I do reuse my bags over and over again. It takes them a really long time to wear out.
With the syringe it it’s easier to clean because of the type of plastic and also the rubber plunge.
I hope you try it and like it!
Keep up with the good work 🙂
xoxo from Portugal
You can get a box of plastic sandwich bags at dollar tree- I use one til it’s empty then throw it away- easy and clean- economical – where did you find the bottles that have coupling lids?
You can buy them at:
The Flour Box Bakery https://www.flourboxbakery.com/collections/decorating-bottles
Have fun baking! 😉
I’ve been looking all over for bottles like these – where did you get yours? And do you find them a lot easier to use than pastry bags? Thanks! 🙂
You can find the bottles here: http://www.karenscookies.net/2-ounce-Squeeze-Bottle-with-Coupler-2-pack_p_1165.html.
I like bottles a lot and use both bottles and bags.
Oh my gosh… When you explain filling the bottles like that, it seems so logical and simple…! And yet, there I was, stuffing icing into bottles with a spatula (and HUGE mess). Too funny! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
Hi, Where’d you bought Those Little Bottles ?
I got them at http://www.karenscookies.net. Here is the link: http://www.karenscookies.net/2-ounce-Squeeze-Bottle-with-Coupler-2-pack_p_1165.html
What type of icing do you use ?
Royal Icing and you can find the recipe here: http://thebearfootbaker.com/2011/12/antonis-royal-icing/
I am a cookie decorating rookie. I pinned one of your posts on pinterest, which took me to your website which……3 hours later, I think I have read from end to end. Of course I did stop to purchase the Cookie Craft book on my Kindle…..anyway……..THANK YOU for sharing everything you have learned! And I love your cute sense of humor! You write like you speak….I do that too. I love it!
Thanks again! Cindy
Welcome to world of cookie decorating and I hope you become as obsessed as I am! LOL
Let me know if you have any questions. I am always here to help! 🙂
What is the difference from the bottles and pipping bags?
The difference between piping bag and decorating bottles in my opinion is control. I like the bottles for flooding but, I feel I have more control of the pressure when squeezing a decorating bag verses the decorating bottles. The funny thing is when I saw a decorating segment on the Martha Stewart show, the decorator used bottles which is what started my cookie decorating obsession. Now I don’t use them that much at all! LOL
I also live in a humid climate and the icing in the bottles separates very fast but when the same icing is in a piping bag, it doesn’t separate for several days.
I know decorators who love the bottles as much as I love my bags. It really is a matter of choice depending on the decorator.
Excelente explicación y muy útil para mi, la próxima vez que tenga que decorar mis galletas pondré en practica tu consejo, gracias
You are welcome Yenny. Let me know if you have any questions! 😉
Where did you get the bottles?
You can get them at Amazon here: http://amzn.to/23JxkMy
Please tell me where can i get those icing bottles?
You can get the decorating bottles here: http://amzn.to/1USbeBz.
I am relatively new to cookie decorating and I am still trying to find things that work for me. I love the idea for filling the bottles, it’s so smart and practically no mess! But I do have a question how do you clean the bottles once you are finished with your project?
It isn’t hard to clean the bottles. You need to rinse them with hot water until all of the icing is out of them. Then, wash them with hot soapy water and a baby bottle brush. It’s very simple and you can find the baby bottle brushes almost anywhere.
I have cut a little hole in the zip lock bag, fit it over the coupler, screwed on the tip, then filled the bag with icing. This eliminates the filling of the bottle.
Thanks for sharing that Steph! I know a lot of people like to decorate with plastic bags so this is a helpful tip! Thanks!
So very helpful! My spoon mess was driving me nuts! Plus I didn’t know about adding my own tips to the lids. Thanks so much
Adding your own tips is a lifesaver and can really make those little bottles even BETTER! 😉
I have been decorating cookies for three years and I make a mess every time I fill my bottles! Glad I found this, better late than never!
You should see my kitchen when I try to pour them in the bottles Kristi! What a mess! LOL
OH my goodness, sometimes the most simple method is the most often overlooked! Thank you!!! I ditched bottles and use TMP bags now. Crazy that I just now found this. But I am going to order the bottles anyway for quick jobs and to let me 3 daughters play with decorating. Really enjoyed the info on freezing cookies. I tried a new recipe tonight to change it up, and they spread horribly. Froze them, and they came out perfect. Thanks!!! I really enjoy following your blog and IG feed. I’m self-taught so I am constantly looking for new ideas.
Welcome Angie! We’re so glad your here! Let me know if you need anything!
Dear Lisa! Infinitely thank you for your very useful tips!Love to use them!
Your welcome to infinity and beyond! 😉
I’m going to decorate cookies with my nephews and niece this Christmas because that was one of my favorite Christmas activities when I was little. They love to color, so I think they’ll love this and be entertained for an afternoon. I want to prep my dough and icing ahead of time, so there’s less mess in my MIL’s kitchen.
My question is have you ever stored the frosting in the ziplock bags or in the bottles for a day or two? I’d cover the surface of the frosting with Saran Wrap. I just want to do as much ahead of time as possible. I’m also ordering the food coloring markers because I think they’ll really like them. I think it will also be easier for the younger kids to use the markers instead of the bottles and baggies. Thanks for your help!
If I ever store royal icing, I do it in a ziploc bag then transfer it to the bottles just before I begin to decorate. If the air hits the icing, it will cause it to separate so I never leave it in the bottles for very long. That is the main reason I love piping bags. It helps prevent the air from away so the icing stays fresh longer.
I want to come to your cookie decorating party next year! It sounds like so much fun! Merry Christmas!
How do you keep the piping lines from being squiggly? That’s what happens to mine. ?
Hi Lisa. I just wanted to thank you for all of the great ideas, tips, videos and inspiration you give! I discovered a love of cookie decorating in December while decorating gingerbread men and became obsessed! I took a class and began giving cookies away at work, then selling them for just enough to cover my costs. I am now getting orders for parties, showers, etc. I have learned so much from reading your tips and watching your videos. So again, Thank You for having a site that answers all of my questions and gives great ideas!
Hi JoAnn! Welcome to the incredible world of no SLEEP! LOL
I hope you get all the orders you want and still find time for a good nights sleep! SMOOCH!!!!
XLNT! Ingenious, so simple and obvious once you see it in person.
Pour not poor
Can you save icing? How long? It seems a waste when you need a color like black but only uses a little of it. I have only made cookies once using one color but am very excited to make more with multiple colors.
You can make a Half a Batch of Royal Icing Recipe: https://thebearfootbaker.com/2013/03/half-a-batch-of-royal-icing-recipe/ or you can use the leftover icing to make some royal icing candy you can use later when you decorate: https://thebearfootbaker.com/royal-icing-transfers/. Having flowers on hand and candy eyes really helps when you decorate.
I would love to know how to keep additional tips on the plastic bottles.
What kind of tips Debbie?
I think you need to know that you are a kind, sharing, giving person and you are admired and appreciated by your peers. You give advice and hand out your tips and tricks freely. Often we see “Sharing is caring” here and you are what that is all about. Teaching and helping other women to make their homes a place of joy and beautiful memories is a wonderful gift. Stand a take a bow because you a standing ovation! Thank you for your kindness.
How do you get the icing out??? I tried bottles last year and after a few minutes, couldn’t squeeze the icing out. The tip was NOT stuck with dried icing, I pushed a pin inside to make sure. It’s like there was an airlock or something in the bottle??
How thick was your icing? It may have needed to be a little thinner. Also, when your piping you can place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a cup and place the bottle tip side down in the cup. This will push the icing down to the tip for you. Hope this helps!
Hi Lisa. I have been doing cookies and cakes for a few months now. I was just reading some of your tips. I really appreciate them. We will be trying (my grandson and I) these on our Christmas cookies. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Lisa! I hope you and your grandson have fun!
Will you share or tag me in your pictures? I’d love to see your creations!
So do you use the same consistency for outlining and flooding then? Or do you make two different bottles?
OH my gosh Lisa Thank you so much for the awesome tip! Think I Love you .LOL
I noticed a bottle of icing in black. WhT is your formula? The grandkids wanted black for Santa’s boots. I want to be prepared next year.
I make my icing in a large bowl then pour into one cup measuring cups then add my food gel. That way I know how many drops of food gel to how much icing (usually 3/4 cup).
Then just pour into the bottles. Super easy! Cover measuring cup with wet paper towel then foil to keep extra icing from drying out. No need for baggies!
Thank you for all your great ideas, they really help i have a question. How do you get your bubbles out of your icing when its in the bottles. I look at all of everyone’s videos and all of ya’s icing always look so perfect. I have trouble getting mines the right consistency and then I have the trouble with air bubbles. And when I use my scribe it always leaves a tip if that makes any sense.
This is so wasteful. You can warm the icing a little and it should pour better and use a funnel and spatula if necessary but to scoop in a bag and then squeeze out from a bag into a bottle is utterly ridiculous and not only wastes the bag, but also whatever icing is stuck to the bowl and bag when transferring.
Thank you for your comment. I don’t use the bottles anymore. I use disposable piping bags and I really like them.
Have a great day!
I am having a party for my students to decorate cookies with and wanted to make the icing up ahead of time in kept in little bottles. I am hoping I can do this the day before. Is this possible with royal icing? I was hoping to make it up in several different colours. Any suggestions? and how if I could store the coloured icing in the bottles a day ahead? thanks!
You can make the icing the day before. However, I suggest you not add the icing to the bottles until the kids are ready to decorate. If air hits the icing it will cause it to form a crust so I would add the icing to a Ziploc bag, trip the bottom corner, and fill the bags right before class. Using a Ziploc bag is a quick simple way to add the royal icing to a bottle.
Have fun decorating with the kids! I’d love to see the cookies they make!!
The link to the larger bottles isn’t working
Here are a few of my Amazon affiliate links:
The large bottle in this set won’t allow you to change the tip on the end.
Here is a link to Sugarbelle’s Decorating bottles with coupler and it will allow you to change the size of the decorating tips: