Rose to the Occasion: How to Pipe Buttercream Flowers

Spring has officially sprung — goodbye winter coats, hello sunshine! Flowers are blooming not only in our gardens and in the wild, but cake lovers are craving flowers too! Perfectly in season all year round, these buttercream rose topped cupcakes will prettify any dessert table, from a tea party to bridal shower to a wild rose wedding cake spread. If you’ve ever wondered how to pipe buttercream flowers, let’s start with piping a pretty petaled rose right on top of the nearest cupcake. No flower nail needed here!

Learn trade secrets for working with this beautiful AND delicious medium in the FREE Craftsy mini-class Modern Buttercream with Joshua John Russell. And when you’re ready to take your piping buttercream skills to the next level, sign up for Piping Buttercream Borders with Roland Winbeckler.

Piping Bag and Undecorated CupcakesPhotos via Lyndsay Sung // Coco Cake Land

Piping buttercream flowers tutorial

What you will need:

Start with a batch of cupcakes in any flavor (I used vanilla). I chose a light silvery gray cupcake liner because I love the color combination of pink and gray together. You’ll also need a batch of vanilla buttercream tinted pink  (I used a tiny amount of fuchsia gel color). You will also need a piping bag fitted with a rose petal piping tip  (I used #104).

Rose Petal Piping Tip

The rose petal piping tip looks like a teardrop, with a skinny end and a larger opening end.

How to Pipe Buttercream Flowers: Step 1

Step 1:

Many cake decorators start by making a cone shape for the center of their rose. Instead, I like to pipe a tightly petaled mini rosette.

Start in the center of your cupcake to make a tight mini rosette. Hold the piping bag so the larger end is touching the center of the cupcake. Squeeze the piping bag and form a rainbow-like motion with the piping bag while turning the cupcake at the same time to create a ribbon rainbow-like shape. Yes, three things at once!

This is one of those techniques where practice makes perfect — try it a few times to get the hang of it! If you don’t like the results, you can scrape off the rose from your cupcake and start again.

Step 2:

Pipe another rainbow, slightly overlapping the last one, going round until you’ve created a tight rosette.

Piping a Buttercream Flower on a Cupcake

Essentially you are piping more “rainbow” shapes and circling around the center rosette, like the petals of a rose. Pipe more petals around the rosette, creating a second row of petals.

Piped Buttercream Rose on a Cupcake

Step 3:

Continue building your rose — pipe another row of “rainbows,” building outward.

Bird's Eye View of a Piped Buttercream Cupcake

Bird’s-eye view of the cupcake thus far. Remember, each petal must overlap slightly to resemble a rose.

Completed Piped Buttercream Cupcake

Step 4:

Keep piping round and round until the entire top of the cupcake is covered in pink buttercream petals. You can also make smaller roses with less petals and finish your cupcakes with green buttercream piped leaves if you so desire.

Three Cupcakes with Piped Buttercream Roses

Continue piping the remainder of your cupcakes with the buttercream rose effect.

Pink Rose Cupcakes

So pretty! Keep on practicing to get the rose look that you like best.

Are you in love with all things flowers and cake?

Craftsy has so many great online cake decorating classes that will allow you to master several flower techniques, from the classic sugar roses to modern, beautiful edible wafer paper flowers.

Here are a few ways in which Craftsy members combine flowers and cake:

Single Tier Cake with Ping Sugar Roses

Cake via Craftsy member Modern Lovers

Whimsical sugar rose cake

There’s a grownup Alice In Wonderland feel to this pretty, unique little beauty of a cake. Ivory colored fondant dotted with pearls and monochromatic mini flowers with a spectacularly flashy triple threat of classic sugar roses in a burgundy hue and tiny purple lilies to add even more whimsy. The classic gum paste sugar rose is probably the second favorite way in which cake decorators love to create cake roses.

Hand-Painted Roses Cake - Craftsy Member Project

Photo via Craftsy member Bite Me Bakery

Hand-painted rose cake

An increasingly popular technique in cake decorating is the hand-painted cake. Vodka and petal dust or gel color combine to create a painterly medium, perfect for daintily applying to fondant covered cakes. In The Art of Painted Cakes, Kate Sullivan brings new life and breadth to this technique — it’s a really fun class for the creative cake maker.

Rolled Roses Cake - by Craftsy MemberPhoto via Craftsy member jantineoe295572

Edible wafer paper rolled roses cake

Sweetly simple and ever so delicate, the edible wafer paper rose is a current and exciting trend in the world of cake and yet another way to apply the beauty of the rose onto your cake designs. Craftsy member Jantine also used a designer paper craft punch and a sheet of edible wafer paper to create the pattern on the top cake tier.


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