Outline Zoom


Characters or designs are often outlined first, then piped in with stars or zigzags. Outlines can also be used for facial features.
Skill Level:

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Additional Information

Step 1

Fit decorating bag with decorating tip and fill 1/4 full or less with thin consistency icing.

Step 2

Hold the decorating bag at a 45° angle at 3:00 (9:00 for left-handed decorators) with tip slightly above the surface.

Step 3
Step 3

Touch tip to surface and squeeze so that icing attaches to surface. Continue squeezing with even pressure and raise tip slightly above surface, guiding icing into desired shape.

Step 4
Step 4

To end, stop squeezing, touch tip to surface and pull tip away.

Step 5


When outlining, thinning the icing with piping gel or light corn syrup adds elasticity.

Can be done with round or star tips, depending on whether perfectly round or ridged outlines are desired.

Bag position and angle may need to be adjusted for different shapes.

It?s best to start outlining at the top of a pattern working down to the bottom. This keeps your arm from covering the pattern.

A toothpick is helpful for removing mistakes while outlining.

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Buttercream icing (thin consistency)

Desired icing color

Desired icing color




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Disposable Decorating Bags

Disposable Decorating Bags

Standard Coupler

Standard Coupler

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Outline is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 20.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is a fun technique to use. When I'm teaching a class I have my students use cookie cutters to make an outline in their icing, then they use the outline technique and fill it with stars. When I'm freehanding a symetrical design I always look at the first half with my periphery vision to ensure that the second half is the same.
Date published: 2010-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outlining gives your design that extra pop. I outline the shape I am going for with a tip 3 and then fill in with stars or zigzags or whatever goes with my design for that project. I do use other sizes to poutline it just depends on the size and appearance. I find that tip 3 or 5 works best for almost any size design you will have.
Date published: 2010-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I used this on my boyfriend's birthday cake I recently made to outline the design I had created. I customized a character from a video game we played to fit the birthday theme, then used the Wilton transfer method to put it on parchment paper using piping gel, then re-outlined it in colored Wilton buttercream icing. Very easy!
Date published: 2010-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I had done several cakes before I learned this little trick, but it adds so much! I think it makes things look so much more finished or complete on my cakes! I think tip 5 is my favorite so I can use my medium consistency icing rather than thin.
Date published: 2010-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I find it depends on the project, but sometimes you have to go over the original outline again. For star filled in cakes I outline my features first, do the stars then outline them again so the lines dont get lost in the stars and are promoinent
Date published: 2010-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really easy technique to utilize when frosting cakes. Helps to maintain cake pan details for frosting with stars, etc. Usually after frosting with crumb layer, details can get lost. Also used when doing color flow icing too.
Date published: 2010-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I did these hearts and just filled them in! They looked really cute! I Love Wiltons Cake decorating tips and icing! I used Wiltons ready to use icing for all the decorating I did on my cake!
Date published: 2010-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I find outlining everything makes it much easier to fill in. It gives you a border. It's like coloring when I was a kid. I always outlined everything and it looked neater when I was done.
Date published: 2010-12-04
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