Normally I try to post (mostly) new or original ideas; things like a recipe I’ve developed or a different take on a decorating technique. Stuff like that. This post isn’t anything new or original, but it is something that I had a really hard time finding information on. Maybe that just means that everyone else already knows how to do this and I’m just behind, but seriously, this was so eye-opening. A real “light bulb” moment, if you know what I mean. It all started when I started following the amazing Liz over at Eat Cake, Be Merry. From the very first time I saw one of her jaw-dropping gorgeous all buttercream decorated cakes, I knew I had to learn how to do that. Buttercream flowers I can do, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how cake decorators got those flowers so close together. Seriously guys, how?! I knew there was a secret (or really obviously solution I was overlooking) to do it, and I finally found it. So pull out your piping bags, strap on that apron, and let’s get decorating!
Buttercream Flower Cake
Makes one cake
What you’ll need:
One cake (I used this recipe to make three layers of 6″ cake)
Food gel coloring
A flower nail (or a meat thermometer)
Wilton tips #102, 104, and 352
A cookie sheet (or two)
To start, you’re going to want to frost and assemble your cake. Any cake and any frosting will do, and you can frost it however you like. Personally, I used a modified American buttercream with half butter and half vegetable shortening to get a whiter frosting. Before you start making your flowers, you’ll want to cut up your parchment paper into small squares. This is what you’re going to be piping your flowers onto. Tint your frosting whatever color(s) you’re going to be using for your flowers, and load it into your bags with your frosting tips in place. Tape a piece of parchment to your flower nail (a round, broad-faced meat thermometer works well too), and start piping those flowers! For my cake, I used a 102 tip to create the white and yellow flowers, 104 for the pink, and 352 for the succulents. Here are a couple of links for making buttercream roses, primroses, poppies, and ranunculus if you’re new to buttercream flowers.
So here’s the awesome trick! Pipe out all your flowers onto your little pieces of parchment, load them up on a cookie sheet or two, and freeze them for about 15 minutes. When you’re ready to decorate your cake, simply peel them off and place them where you want! If they start to soften up while you’re working with them, simply put them back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until they’re hard again.
Super awesome pro tip: freeze any extra flowers you have leftover until they’re nice and hard, then put them in a plastic bag and store in the freezer for last minute decorating.
Decorating technique adapted from Coco Cake Land