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I need to frost a ton of cupcakes (hundreds) for an event in a few months and I'm looking for something to help me do this. Has anyone ever seen a manual multi-nozzle (like 3 or 4-nozzle) piping gun, or something like that? (Imagine 3 or 4 caulking guns side-by-side.)

This project is too big for a home kitchen and yet too small for large-scale commercial production. I only need this a couple times a year, so it's not worth buying a professional automatic frosting machine. Would it be possible to rent one or run some batches in a commercial production-line bakery? How could I find one? (I must not be searching for the right keywords b/c I couldn't find any online near LA/Orange County).

I'm even willing to make a DIY project out of this but don't know where to start - wood, PVC, duct tape + baling wire?

Any suggestions? Thanks!

UPDATE: The objective is to decorate 3-4 cupcakes at a time while keeping the piping tips handheld in order to allow for the finesse of hand piping. By multi-nozzle, I mean more like this or this rather than this. Only one frosting, no conveyor belt, and not this EZfrost gizmo. Almost thinking a 1:1 pantograph, but to output 3 or 4 finished products at a time. The nozzles could even be hoses coming from a single tube/tank to a bracket with 3-4 tips, remotely kinda sorta like this.

The mechanism could use piping bags or these fillable caulking tubes, just need to make sure they're food safe. And for the nozzle tips, it would need to accept either a standard large decorating tip coupler, or allow me to put the decorating tip on and secure it somehow.

OH, and I have access to a 3D printer! (I just don't know how to create the models.)

For a commercial kitchen, I'm willing to buy ingredients and do all the production there to preserve sanitation. For additional human labor, I had friends and family help me last year, and 26 hours later they all pretty much said they never want to see or hear about another cupcake again in their life... not sure I want to do that to them again.

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    Hi, if I get this right you want this contraption to be multi 'nozzled' in order to get through as many cakes in as quick a time as possible. Is there any particular style of nozzle that you are looking for, if so, a pic of what your end product should look like would help. I do have an idea, but it is a bit Heath Robinson, so before posting I will refine it. Great question! – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 19 '17 at 4:50
  • Are you looking to do an assembly line, first using one nozzle on all, then going over them with the next nozzle, or are you looking to do one cupcake at a time? – GdD Apr 19 '17 at 7:56
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    Not sure about the US, but I'd expect issues with food safety regulations if you want to bring outside products into a commercial kitchen. Have you thought about human help? Making batches of frosting and refilling piping bags in parallel to the actual piping could significantly speed up the process. – Stephie Apr 19 '17 at 10:54
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    I'm going to be honest... considering how I frost cupcakes, I think that a triple froster like this would actually slow me down. I'm with Stephie... just get some help. If they can bake and frost 1000 cupcakes every week on Cupcake Wars in two hours with six people, without a device like this, I think you can figure it out. – Catija Apr 19 '17 at 23:16
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    Either hire some help, or don't agree to make hundreds of cupcakes. If you have an event, trying to rig something up risks total failure if it doesn't work. I've done a gross of cupcakes myself, and I really don't see the big deal. You're still going to want extra hands with putting in muffin liners, removing them from the trays, keeping an eye on things baking, boxing things up for transport, etc. It's not just icing. Learn to use a larger pastry bag, so you're not refilling as often (and don't overfill -- that will majorly slow you down), and rotate tasks to avoid fatigue – Joe Apr 20 '17 at 10:38
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Food safe zip ties do exist. A thin rolling pin or knife steel could make a handle crossbar for a couple of piping guns, and palette knives or narrow cutting boards could be useful as structural elements to cross-tie the piping guns too. Everything made out of food safe parts :)

  • This is where I was going with this, but you need to ensure the same pressure for each bag. – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 20 '17 at 3:46
  • You'll need to fill them very evenly and connect the plungers with something very stiff, maybe also drink something very stiff before operating... – rackandboneman Apr 20 '17 at 8:03
  • Before, during and afterwards! However, even with something very stiff you are going to get a drop off of pressure on the outer plungers, unless you can create a frame for the top bar (from top of plunger casing to nozzle) and then maybe a 2/1 system on the outer edges of the bar, using the frame as a guide. I still think that the best solution is the OP pays us all in large G&T's and we all chip in! – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 20 '17 at 8:49
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I can't think of a single bag option that gives you multiple nozzles at once, however there are interchangeable nozzles out there. Some are screw on, screw off directly: screw on piping nozzles

Others are held on with a retainer ring, you unscrew the ring and replace the nozzle. The nozzles in this picture are not particularly good but you can get them that fit any kind of piping nozzle. retainer ring

One approach would be to use the interchangeable nozzles and simply switch them, use the first nozzle on all of the cupcakes, then the next, then the next in an assembly line.

If you want all your nozzles available at all times then you could simply fill as many bags as you need. Disposable piping bags come in a roll and are pretty cheap.

  • Thanks, but I'm actually in need of a multi-bag/tube multi-nozzle setup. As if I had six arms and could decorate three cupcakes side-by-side in one swoop. – MJA Apr 19 '17 at 19:59

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