How to Pipe Simple Buttercream Flowers

I made these simple buttercream flowers for one of my cake designs (click here to read on how I made my Flowers in Pond cake with these pretty blossoms in dark blue and turqoise). They are basically 5-petaled flowers with tiny dot centres. The flowers don't really have a specific name, but they sure do make very pretty cake decoration.

These simple buttercream flowers, just like the name suggests, are fairly easy to learn and make, and I am sharing on this page,  my tips and techniques on how to I piped these simple buttercream flowers.

There is also a short video at the bottom of the page, do watch it. And please share it with your family and friends :)

The thing I like most about buttercream flowers is that these pretty cake decoration can be put together fairly fast as compared to gumpaste or fondant flowers.  And their "freezing" time (I'll explain later why these flowers require freezing time) is not as long as the drying time for gumpaste flowers.

One thing in common though, is that both flowers need skills. And the right techniques. And therefore a good amount of practice!

How to Pipe Simple Buttercream Flowers - Step by step guide

Here are the supplies I used to make these buttercream flowers:

  • Buttercream - the best consistency for flower piping is medium to stiff. I used my buttercream recipe and though it was of medium consistency, the piping went well. If you find it difficult to pipe in this consistency, you can add more icing sugar (please add a little at a time) until you reach the desired consistency for the buttercream. Also for the flowers on this page, I made them in 2 colors, one in dark blue (to achieve this color, I used Americolor navy blue for the most part and also mixed some royal blue and a very very tiny hint of black) and the other in turquoise (I used Americolor turqoise).
  • Wilton petal piping tip #101 for the petals and round piping tip #3 for the centers
  • Piping bags and icing couplers.
  • An icing nail
  • Parchment squares - this is basically parchment paper that has been cut into squares of approximately 2 inches by 2 inches square

And here is how I piped the flowers, step by step:

Firstly, dab a little icing onto the flower nail.

Attach a parchment square onto the flower nail ( the buttercream acts to hold the paper in place while you are piping the flower)

Using petal tip #101, pipe the first petal. Hold the tip at a 45 degrees angle from the paper so that the petals do not lay flat on the paper and instead, have a natural curved petal look. Also, make sure the narrow end of the petal tip opening is on the top and the wider one at the bottom (you will be able to see this in the video).

To pipe the petals, place the bottom of the tip in the centre of the flower nail and simply rotate the top of the tip (while gently squeezing the piping bag) in a circular motion until you get the shape of a petal.  Lift the tip.  This is how the first petal should look like:

Repeat the step and pipe the second petal. In piping the petals, always rotate the flower nail such that the petal you will be piping next is always at an angle that is comfortable for you.  For easy understanding, I have marked the image below with numbers 1 & 2, 1 for the first petal, and 2 for the second petal piped. As you finish piping each petal, rotate the flower nail.

The third petal. See the numbering? I have rotated the flower nail such that the last petal is always rotated to the left to give room for the next petal to be piped at an angle that is comfortable for me to pipe (I am right handed so I rotate the flower nail in an anti clockwise motion. I suppose those who are left handed might not find this very comfortable and I am guessing that they would rotate the flower nail in a clock wise motion - please correct me if I am wrong)

Continue with the 4th and the last petal.

And here is how the completed flower would look like.

Slowly slide the paper away from the flower nail and place it on a flat surface. Once I finished with all the flowers, I put them into the freezer for the buttercream to harden. I have tried placing the flowers in refridgerator but it did not work for me. The flowers were not hard enough to be transfered onto the cake without any damage, so I had to place them in the freezer instead. Allow them to sit in the freezer until they are ready to be used. I placed mine in there for about 30 minutes.

And if the flowers turn soft while you are still decorating, put them back in. And if you are working with alot of these flowers, try to take them out if batches. This will safe you a lot of time from having to keep putting the flowers in the freezer!

And when you need to use the flowers, simply peel off the parchment squares (you need to do this quickly before the buttercream starts to soften again) and place the flowers on the cake, where you want them to be. I used a spatula to transfer the flowers because the heat on my fingers was crushing the petals before they land on the cake!

In this picture below, I made the flowers in 2 colors and placed them in an alternate order all around the top of the cake.

And then, I piped the flower centres with round tip #3.

Watch my video here:

Here is a short video I put together to demonstrate how I piped these simple buttercream flowers. Hope you enjoy watching it :)

And here is how I used these flowers for my Flowers in Pond cake design (click on the image below to learn how I decorated the cake):

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial on simple buttercream flowers and please do leave a comment below :)

Happy flower piping :) :)

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