Simple Buttercream Flowers - How to pipe

I made these simple buttercream flowers for my 'flowers in a pond cake' design. These are basically 5-petal flowers with tiny dot centers. 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 pretty easy to learn and make, and I am sharing on this page,  my tips and techniques on how I piped these simple buttercream flowers.

The thing I like most about buttercream flowers is that these pretty cake decoration can be put together fairly fast as compared to gum paste 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 required for gum paste flowers.

How to Pipe Simple Buttercream Flowers - Step by step guide

These were the supplies I used to make the simple 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 mixed some royal blue and a very very tiny hint of black) and the other in turquoise (I used Americolor turquoise).
  • 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 this was 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.
  • 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)

  • Continue with the 4th and the last petal.

  • And this was how the completed flower looked like. 

  • I then slowly slid the paper away from the flower nail and placed it on a flat cake board. Once I finished with all the flowers, I put them in the freezer to harden. I have tried placing the flowers in the refrigerator but it did not work well. The flowers were not hard enough to be transferred onto the cake without any damage, so I had to place them in the freezer instead. I let them sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes until they were ready to be used. 

  • To place the flowers on the cake, I peeled off the parchment squares (had to do this quickly before the buttercream became too soft) and used a spatula to lift and place them on the cake. I used a spatula to transfer the flowers because the heat from my fingers was crushing the petals before they landed on the cake!
  • In the picture below, I made the flowers in 2 different colors and placed them alternately all around the top edge of the cake. And then, I piped white flower centers with round tip #3 for each flower to complete them. 
  • And that was how I piped my simple buttercream flowers.

These flowers were not the only deco that went on my cake. I went on to add some white lilies and dot swirls to complete it. Click on the image below to learn how I decorated the rest of my 'flowers in a pond cake":

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial on simple buttercream flowers. Please leave your thoughts and comments below :)

Happy flower piping :) :)

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