Hi, there! Today I’m going to share with you how to decorate beautiful buttercream flower cupcakes. There are many ways to make decorative cake flowers, but this is one of my favorites. And, it just happens to be one of the more simple techniques, too! That means you can get started with little or no decorating experience, and still have beautiful cupcake bouquets.
This tutorial is extra fun because you can use any flavor of cupcake and buttercream that you like! Feel free to have fun with it. Plus, because of the cute floral design, these cupcakes make great gifts. Just save some extra for yourself – you’ll definitely want leftovers. 🙂
I’m so excited to share this tutorial, and I know you’ll love it. A few days ago, on my Instagram stories, I polled my audience to see what treat I should bake this week. The majority voted cupcakes! So enjoy tutorial #1 of 2 coming at you for, what I am unofficially dubbing “cupcake week.”
First things first, review the materials list below to make sure you have everything you need handy. Then, watch my 4-minute tutorial video to better understand the written instructions below. Feel free to leave me a comment with any questions you may have – I am happy to help you out!
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Buttercream Flower Cupcakes – Materials
To get started, bake your favorite cupcake recipe and let them cool fully – this step is important to avoid a melty buttercream disaster. If you’re looking for inspiration, use the cupcake portion of my Key Lime Pie Cupcakes.
You’ll also need to prepare some American-style buttercream frosting. Feel free to use the Key Lime buttercream in my aforementioned blog post. You can use any flavor of buttercream, but beware that some flavors (like chocolate) will result in brown flowers. If you want vivid, beautifully colored buttercream flowers, I suggest sticking with any flavor of white buttercream.
Next, you’ll need food coloring gels and toothpicks for mixing in small amounts of color. I only use gel, as opposed to water-based food coloring, because the pigment is more potent. That way, you require less of the food coloring, resulting in a better-textured buttercream and brilliantly beautiful shades.
The next material on the list is 2″x2″ parchment paper squares. You can buy pre-cut squares or simply cut them out yourself from a roll of parchment paper.
Then, make sure you have the proper piping equipment. This includes piping bags, a coupler, and assorted tips. I used a Wilton petal tip (#104), leaf tip (#352), open star (#21 or #4B), and small round tip (#3, #5, #6 or #8). You can purchase all of these items in a handy, beginner’s piping kit like this one.
Finally, you’ll need a flower nail. This sometimes comes in piping kits, but not always. This is the nail I use.
Buttercream Flower Cupcakes – Video Tutorial
To get started creating your beautiful buttercream flowers, take a look at my video. I explain all of the steps in the written instructions below, but I find it helps to understand those instructions after having watched the method.
Now that you’ve watched my video, you’re almost ready to decorate! Feel free to move on to the written instructions below for a further explanation of the buttercream flower creation method.
Step-By-Step Decorating Instructions
- Attach the coupler and petal tip to your piping bag, and fill it with your colored buttercream. For the best color variations, start out with a solid color, then refill your bag with a different color to create realistic, two-toned flower petals.
- Put a dab of buttercream on the flower nail, and then affix a parchment paper square to it. The buttercream acts like glue, securing the paper to the nail.
- With the pointed end of the petal tip facing up, form a tiny, round, circle of frosting by applying pressure on the bag and gently spinning the nail with your other hand. This will create the center of your flower.
- Next, pipe a layer of frosting halfway around the first circle, enclosing where the first circle’s ends met. Congrats, you just made your first petal!
- Then, in the same manner, add another flower petal, starting on top of the petal you just added, going about a third of the way around the center. Make sure to hold the petal tip straight up, not letting the inner petals curve outward too much just yet. As the flower gets larger, it will be harder to add new petals if your center ones push too far out.
- Continue adding new petals over the previous ones. As a rule of thumb, and, according to the rule of threes, try to make each petal about a third of the circumference of your flower. Of course, each time you add more petals, the flower’s circumference grows, and so will the length of the petals.
- However, feel free to break the rules if you feel like it. As with nature, all flowers are unique. If you feel yours needs more petals, go for it! Additionally, you can angle the petal tip to make the flower more closed or open. In this manner, you can create smaller, un-blossomed blooms, as well as fully-blossomed, beautiful buttercream flowers.
- When you are happy with the number of petals on your flower, carefully slide the parchment paper off the nail and transfer it to a baking sheet or tray. Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t fret if your first few flowers aren’t exactly how you’d like.
- Next, to make the second type of flower, start with the petal tip on the outside edge of the parchment paper. In one continuous motion, pipe as if you were writing the letter “m” connected, over and over, turning the flower nail until you reach the center.
- When your first rotation of “connected M’s” is complete, continue the motion to fill in the next layer, slightly overlapping the first layer with the second. Then, complete a third rotation, if you have room.
- When you are done piping flowers, place the full baking sheet or tray in your freezer until they are solid to the touch, about 30 minutes.
- Once the buttercream is solid, you are ready to transfer the flowers to the cupcakes. Work quickly, or in batches, as the buttercream will start to soften rapidly.
- Use a spoon or spatula to smooth some extra buttercream on the cupcake where you will place your flowers. This acts as a glue to secure the hardened flower to the cupcake. Gently place your flowers on the buttercream and press them down.
- Finally, use your leaf, open star, and round tips to add the finishing touches. The leaf tip, as its name indicates, makes beautiful leaves. Position the tip with one of the pointy edges facing up, and pull the tip slightly in and out as you pipe to make a textured leaf design. Then, I like to use the star and round tips to add some extra foliage details, like filling in the center of the flatter flowers and creating extra texture and dimension in between some open spaces on the cupcake.
Traditionally, American-style buttercream is shelf-stable, so feel free to leave these buttercream flower cupcakes at room temperature for a few days, unless, of course, your cupcake/buttercream recipes indicates otherwise. However, do remember that, as the buttercream comes to room temperature, it will be fragile again!
Voila! So Beautiful, So Simple!
And, with that, you have stunningly gorgeous buttercream flower cupcakes. Once you’ve learned this buttercream flower method, though, feel free to add them to other baked goods besides cupcakes! They make great garnish on regular cakes and even cookies, too.
Feel free to find me on Instagram so you don’t miss out on cupcake week! Plus, I post some other fun food things, too. Oh, and don’t forget to tag me if you try out buttercream flowers! I love to see what you create! 🙂
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And, if you’re interested in another fun cupcake idea, be sure to check out my Key Lime Pie Cupcakes! They transport you to the beach from the first bite. Everyone has loved these, and I know you will too!
Bye! Have a great week!
I LOVE Pinterest, and, if you’re the same, you can Pin one of these photos below! That way, you’ll never lose the recipe again! 🙂