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Cake decorating basics for pretty cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats

How to pipe a buttercream rose. 4 easy steps

Buttercream rose cupcakes for Mother's Day 2013. Photo by Jennifer Melo

Buttercream rose cupcakes for Mother’s Day 2013. Photo by Jennifer Melo

Happy Mother’s Day! Maybe your mom wants a bouquet of buttercream roses for Mother’s Day. If so, here’s a little helper.

It starts with a tall blob and ends with some C’s.

I’ve read many descriptions on how to pipe a buttercream rose and after trying the technique several times myself, I’ve come up with my own simplified way to describe it.

4 easy steps to piping a buttercream rose

1. Make a tall blob.

2. Using a petal tip, skinny end to the sky, wrap a ribbon of icing around that blob.

3. Make 3 C’s around that blob.

4. Make five C’s around the three C’s. Continue piping C’s in odd numbers and increments of two (3, 5, 7, 9, 11) until you’re satisfied with the rose’s size.

Ta da! You have a rose.

You need:

-a flower nail
-a petal/rose tip
-buttercream
-a piping bag
-a parchment paper square
-to watch this video that shows what the heck I’m talking about. It’s all about the blob and C’s I tell ya.

More advice to pipe a rose right
A rose tip has a narrow end and a wide end. Place the tip so the narrow end is up and the wide end is at the base of your flower nail or work surface. To remember the correct position of the rose tip, think: Fat to floor, skinny to sky.

Always pipe an odd number of petals. The results are offset petals that look more natural.

Once your rose is piped, refrigerate it to make it easier to handle before placing in on cakes or cupcakes.

To remove the flower from the parchment square, use a pair of sterile scissors to snip and slide the flower off the paper and into position. A small offset spatula works too.

I prefer a stiff consistency icing that holds the petal shape best. Mix some more icing sugar into your buttercream if it’s too soft. And/or refrigerate your icing. When icing’s too soft, your rose slips and slides when you pipe and it’s tricky to detach each petal. You see that happening in the video clip.

Angle your tip vertically to create close, tight petals. Angle your tip horizontally for open petals, particularly when you get to the outermost row of petals.

Practise, practise, practise.

So now you know how to pipe a rose. Do you think you’ll give it a try?

Petal tip close up. Photo by Jennifer Melo

Petal tip close up. Photo by Jennifer Melo

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