Baking Tips

3 Ways to Expertly Decorate a Pie with a Spoon

No piping bag? No problem.

Published Nov. 15, 2022.

You might be surprised by how easy some of the most impressive-looking pie decorations are to recreate at home. Some can be accomplished with few, if any, special tools.

In fact, some can be made with just a spoon. 

If you don’t have a piping bag with assorted tips, or a dedicated mini offset spatula for meringue decorating, good news! You don’t need them. 

These three tips, taken from our cookbook The Perfect Pie, use a spoon to make a professional-looking pie crust and to decorate the topping once it’s done. 

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1. Scalloped Spoon Crust Edge

A scalloped edge looks superfestive and takes little effort to complete. We prefer to use a teaspoon for this detail work. You have more control and can fit more scallops onto a thinner-edged pie crust, but you can use any size spoon—or mix and match for variety.

How to do it: Simply press an inverted spoon into the edge of the pie dough, use multiple indents to your preference, and repeat around the crust for desired effect.

2. Spoon Swoops

Get that quintessential diner-style feel with the back of a spoon. Once the meringue browns on your Key Lime Meringue Slab Pie, you can fully appreciate the brown peaks and lighter valleys. This method can also be used for topping a pie with whipped cream, showcased in our Black-Bottom Pie.

How to do it: You’ll need a rubber spatula to distribute the meringue evenly around the edge and center of the pie. (Attaching meringue to the pie crust prevents shrinking.) Then you’re free to create attractive swirls and peaks in the meringue by gently pressing the back of a spoon into the meringue before smoothing it around and lifting. (Note: Lift the spoon quickly if you’d like taller, sharper peaks.)

3. Beehive with a Spoon

This retro look shows off impressively tall meringue and beautifully browned detail.

How to do it: Again, you’ll need a rubber spatula to distribute the meringue evenly around the edge and center of the pie. Then, working quickly, smooth the meringue around the pie with a rubber spatula, spreading the meringue inward and upward to create a cone-like mound. 

Finally, using the back of a spoon, make an indented swirl starting at the bottom of the pie and working your way up to the top. Your Cape Gooseberry Elderflower Meringue Pie will look like it was purchased from a bakery—this stunner was so picture-perfect we chose it for the cover of The Perfect Pie!

180 Foolproof Techniques and Recipes

The Perfect Pie

Your ultimate guide to baking beautiful, foolproof versions of the corner bakery classics and French patisserie favorites—plus a host of whimsical, modern pies and tarts of all kinds.

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