Friday, November 1, 2013

Fancy Buttercream Rosette Cake Tutorial

NOTE: Sara’s blog has moved to a new location: Feel free to browse around my tutorials here, then come check out my new site!

Rosettes are always so gorgeous on a cake! This style is typically reserved for Fondant, but when a customer requested it in buttercream, I couldn't resist the challenge!  Unsure how it would play out, I was delighted with the final result. Especially since, at one point during the decorating, I came SO very close to scrapping the whole design.

I haven't seen this design done much in buttercream, and as I was searching online for some direction and sign that this could be done with good results, the only tutorial I found was one you had to pay for. So, dear reader, I hope this is helpful!

To do this design, I used the basic technique of using a petal tip, piping a buttercream design on wax paper, freezing it, then quickly "glueing" it to your frosted cake with a blob of buttercream. I then piped more ruffles in the gaps.

Before beginning, have your chilled and stacked cakes prepared. Each should be frosted with a base coat in the final color that your rosettes will be, so that if there are any small gaps, it will blend.

First step: Cut out several 3" - 4" or so rounds of wax paper. I placed a scrap of carpet liner on my well-worn Wilton turntable (that I'm dying to upgrade) to hold the paper in place, as I used a small Wilton Petal Tip to pipe a rosette. I did varying sizes: 3", 1" etc. Make sure the fat end of your petal tip is down touching the board, and that the ruffles press up against each other to form one solid piece when frozen.

Wilton large Petal Tip 125

2nd Step: The flowers need to be frozen on a curve in order to fit the curve of the cake. You can find round cake dummies at Michaels, etc. Ideally, they would be cut in half so as to have a round top but flat base to sit on. Instead, I propped mine up in a strainer. Using quilting pins, I pinned the edges of the wax paper to the round, fitting about 3 on. This paper was messy, as I'd used it several times already.

Step 3: Place the rounds in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Then, using your piping bag, squirt a blob of frosting onto your cake where you want the rosette to go, quickly peel your frozen rosette off the paper, and apply to the cake, with as little handling as possible. It will begin to thaw in your fingers right away! Next time, I would use rubber gloves to give me a few more seconds.

Step 4:  Continue to do this: Pipe, Freeze, Grab frozen ones and Apply while waiting for others to freeze. I placed mine sporadically, wanting a variety of sizes and some space in between for piping ruffles to achieve larger-looking rosettes. It took a LOT of rosettes, and a good amount of time. The more rounds, the bigger your freezer, the faster this will go. I did not freeze mine in advance. 20 minutes was as long as they got in the freezer!

Step 5: Pipe rosettes directly on the top of the cake. Then, using your piping bag and same petal tip, fill in all blank areas with more ruffles. It can be hard to squeeze the tip in there, but persist! It's more forgiving than you may think.

*Note: While doing this technique, your cake may look splotchy, unattractive and doomed to be scraped clean for a fresh start. Mine did. Hence no photos. My frosting was too soft to work with easily, some rosettes slipped off; I really didn't know if it would work, and I was sure I was going to be scraping it off and piping some other design! Keep going! It will look like a dog with mange, until it's all complete. Then . . . magic.

 This lovely table and the silver 8 cake topper were created and provided by Shari Schempp, of Over the Top Events by Shari. Don't you love this table? She made my cake look even better. A party planner located in Saratoga Springs, UT, Shari is wonderful!

Buttercream Rosettes for everyone! Good luck! Let me know if you try this. :)


  1. wow very cool! I will for sure try that!

  2. Very nice tutorial, thank you..and wonderful cake! room temperature, while setting out and getting ready to cut, did the ruffles melt? I would assume they'd unthaw very quickly...

  3. Very beautiful and helpful tutorial! Love the rosettes!

  4. Brilliant! Just had a client request for buttercream rosettes, thank you so much for posting a tutorial. :-)


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