Duck shapes are relatively easy to create with frosting. They’re simple enough to make in any size, so they work for everything from large sheet cakes to mini cupcakes. The quickest way to create a duck shape is to pipe the frosting onto the baked good. Piping involves pressing the frosting through a nozzle to create a steady stream with which you can draw. Any type of stiff frosting, such as buttercream or royal icing, works for piping the ducks. As long as the frosting tastes good and holds its shape, it’s suitable.
Things You'll Need
Prepare the piping bag, also known as a pastry bag, as directed by the packaging. Attach a small, round nozzle to the bag, using a coupler as needed. Spoon the frosting into the bag, filling it about halfway. Twist the bag closed and press it gently until the frosting comes out.
Pipe a half-circle, with the flat-side facing up, onto a baked good to create each duck’s body. Wipe the tip of the nozzle clean with a paper towel between each piped shape to avoid smearing the decoration with any excess frosting that sticks to the nozzle tip.
Pipe a small circle at the front of the body to create each duck’s head. Wipe the tip clean with a paper towel. Pipe a small triangle on the front of each duck’s head to create each duck’s beak. Wipe the tip clean with a paper towel.
Fill in each duck shape with piped frosting for a bold design. Alternatively, leave the shapes empty for a simple design and pipe a small dot in each circle to serve as the duck’s eye.
Piping involves two or three basic supplies. You need a bag to contain the frosting, a nozzle to press the frosting through and sometimes you need a coupler to attach the nozzle to the bag. Nozzles come in a variety of sizes and shapes, although you only need a small round tip for making ducks.
Mix butter, milk and powdered sugar to create a basic buttercream frosting. Alternately, mix powdered sugar, meringue powder and milk to create a basic royal icing. Meringue powder is made with pasteurized egg whites and is a safer alternative than using raw egg whites. Use food coloring to color the buttercream or royal icing as desired.
Purchase frosting in a ready-to-pipe tube if you’re not interested in purchasing your own piping equipment. Tubes of frosting are available at supermarkets and craft stores.
References and ResourcesDelish: How to Pipe Cake Frosting
Wilton: Filling the Decorating Bag
The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
Baking Bites: What is Meringue Powder