Recently, I went on a piped flowers cupcake decoration course and learnt how to decorate four different types of flowers using buttercream icing. The course was run by the same company who I did my 4 week Wilton course with – well worth a class if you’re interested in cake decorating. It was only a two hour course, but you do manage to pick up the techniques fairly easily.
To start with, you make a blob in the centre with the round tip, this acts as the base of the flower. Then, working outwards, with nozzle 81, you pipe lines that reach the edge of the cupcake case, all the way around. You repeat this process twice, but making the lines shorter each time and you finish by piping short spiky bits around the centre. Cover it with glitter and ta-da.
Next up – sunflowers. Ideally, you need a relatively flat cupcake to work with, otherwise the Oreo cookie ends up wonky. First, you secure the cookie with a blob of buttercream. Then, using the leaf tip (nozzle 352), you start at the base of the cookie and pipe outwards, creating a petal/leaf shape. Again, the process is repeated as you add more layers, but you keep the petals the same length – also making sure that you work upwards, so the final layer comes off the top part of the Oreo. Add a couple of leaves (these are sugarpaste) and the sunflower is complete. One thing I’d recommend – make sure the buttercream remains a stiff consistency, the second cupcake I decorated didn’t turn out as well because the buttercream had started softening whilst I’d been holding the piping bag – so the petals didn’t hold themselves up as well.
Next, we made hydrangea cupcakes. These were the easiest ones to make, all you need is a 2D nozzle. All you do is pipe a flower from the nozzle, all over the cupcake, starting at the edges and working your way in – then, you build up on the existing flowers to make it look a little bigger. The trick is to not put too much pressure on the piping bag when piping the flower because you can end up with a “long” flower, rather than the short ones that are needed.
The final cupcakes we decorated were the roses – these were my favourite, a little difficult but with enough practice it should get easier! With these roses, you can afford to be a little messy and not so neat because roses have ruffled petals in real life, so the messier you pipe, the more realistic they look (that’s what I tell myself anyway, haha!) To pipe the roses, I used a petal tip – either nozzle 103 or 104 would work, it does depend how large the cupcake is or how large you want the rose to be. I used nozzle 104 and it was just the right size for these cupcakes. You have to master the art of piping buttercream and turning the cupcake at the same time – easy at first, but it gets harder when you have to pipe longer lines, the further out you work. I think these roses would look even better if we used two-toned buttercream – it just gives it a little something extra.
I may have to start decorating my rose cupcakes with these roses – and I’ll be selling cupcakes this weekend, Saturday 11 June between 12 – 2:30pm at Linslade Lower School, so if you’re free, please come along and try a cupcake or two!