Buttercream Succulent Flower Cake with Gold Chevron Stenciling

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buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

My life would “succ” without you. Haha, sorry about that, I’m just a “succa” for puns. Okay, okay – all cringey jokes aside, I’m SO excited to share with you today’s new tantalizing treat: a buttercream succulent flower cake!

Yes, those cute little cacti-guys with smooth leaves, little spikes, and multi-colored petals. Succulents are very popular in the planting world, especially for those of us with a less-than-green thumb. I think they are particularly cute – and the buttercream version is cute AND tasty – AKA the best combo ever.

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

Sure, I’ve dabbled with buttercream flowers in the past (see, here and here) but I’ve been itching to try my hand at succulents! So, in this post, I’ll share with you some tips and tricks to create your very own totally edible succulent garden planter – complete with a marbled stone exterior and a sleek gold chevron stenciled pattern.

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Buttercream Succulent Flower Cake Tutorial

First, let’s talk about ingredients and tools. Here’s a list of all the items you’ll need to create this edible masterpiece. I’ve included links (affiliate) for easy shopping and reference!

succulent and flower piping tip chart

Next, to create your buttercream succulent flower planter cake, you’ll need a few round cake layers. The size doesn’t really matter (I used 3, 6-inch layers), but keep in mind the smaller the cake, the less room you have to fill it with pretty leaves, cacti, and other florals. That could be good (less piping work) or not-so-good (less space to show off your beautiful piped work.) This is one of my favorite white cake recipes, and this is one of my favorite chocolate ones.

You’ll also need a stable, crusting buttercream to create sturdy petals that hold up to a bit of handling. This is my favorite:

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla (or other) extract

Simply beat the sugar into the butter one cup at a time, and then add the extract. Mix in a few tablespoons of heavy cream until your buttercream is smooth.

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

Create The Planter

To create the base in which your bountiful succulents will rest, first stack, layer, and crumb coat your cake with a dark blue-gray buttercream. (For a more thorough explanation of these cake decorating terms, check out the written and video instructions here. Then, apply a final coat of light gray/white buttercream. To achieve a marbled look, use an offset spatula to dot in some of the darker buttercream before scraping and smoothing down the sides of the cake.

Before putting the cake in the fridge to chill the final layer, gently use a thin offset spatula to “dig” out and remove some buttercream from the top, leaving a ring around the edge to remain. It doesn’t have to be deep, just enough to give the effect that the cake is actually a planter. This “ring” and hollowed-out center will allow the buttercream succulents to sit down “in” the cake slightly, adding realism and depth to the final look.

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

Add The Gold Stenciling

Once your outer layer of buttercream is chilled, gently position your cake stencil in place. Then, use your offset spatula to smooth a layer of buttercream over the cut-outs of the stencil. Finally, smooth the buttercream over the stencil with your cake scraper. You don’t want to remove so much buttercream that you see the texture of the stencil through it. You just want to smooth it enough to ensure the stenciled pattern is nice and neat, too. Then, gently peel the stencil off of the cake and chill it again.

To paint your stenciled design with a pretty metallic sheen, mix a few drops of alcohol with a bit of the luster dust. Then, use it as paint. If buttercream starts to pill on the paintbrush, chill the cake again. And, as a bonus – you don’t need to worry about cleaning or “wasting” the remaining luster dust. Just let the “paint” sit out until the alcohol evaporates, then store it until you use it next!

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

Sculpt The Cacti

To create the tall cactus paddle and textured aloe leaves, simply color some bits of fondant in your preferred green shades. Remember to cover your fondant with plastic wrap any time you aren’t using it. Use a smooth fondant wheel to cut out a rounded shape for the large cactus paddle, and a smaller one or two to add on top. Secure the small pieces to the large one with half a toothpick, and place two toothpicks into the base of the large paddle.

Then, switch to a textured fondant wheel to cut out some wavey aloe shapes. Gently roll the “blade” on top of the leaves to add some texture.

Let all of the fondant pieces dry on a wire cooling rack overnight. The rack allows air to circulate, drying the pieces evenly and more quickly.

Finally, once the pieces are dry, use a tiny bit of green/brown food coloring gel straight as paint to add some color depth to the edges of the cacti. I like to use my finger to buff out the color to make it look more natural. Be wary not to use too much food coloring on the fondant, as moisture can turn it soft and gummy. But – a little is fine. 🙂

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cakebuttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

How To Pipe Buttercream Succulents and Flowers

To get started piping your buttercream succulents and flowers, attach a piece of parchment paper to the flower nail with some extra buttercream. Fit your piping bags with couplers and the desired tips by sliding them in the bag and snipping off the extra plastic. While the couplers aren’t absolutely necessary, they enable you to switch out the tips without first having to empty the bag of buttercream.

Then, pipe your desired design onto the paper (instructions below). Finally – and very carefully – slide the parchment paper off of the nail and onto a baking sheet. Once your baking sheet is full, place it in the freezer until solid.

succulent and flower piping tip chart

A: Tip 352. Create a base by adding petals in an outer circle. Then, add more petals, moving towards the center, angling them more upwards, until full.

B: Tip 104. With the thick end of the tip facing up, pipe a tight rainbow shape to form a petal. Continue while rotating the flower nail until you reach the end. Repeat again on the inside, creating smaller petals, if you choose.

C & D: Tip 104. With the thick end of the tip facing up, make a tiny cone of buttercream in the center of your flower nail. Pipe three, overlapping rainbow-shaped petals tilting in around the bud. Then, continue piping rainbow-shaped petals around, increasing size and amount until your rose reaches the size you like. Towards the outside, angle your piping tip out rather than in for a more blossomed look.

E: Tip 81. Hold the curved end of the tip down. Use the same method instructions as flower “A.”

F: Tip 16. Follow the same instructions as flowers “E” and “A.”

I’ll be posting reels on Instagram soon showing how to pipe these succulents! If you’re more of a visual learner, be sure to follow me there so you don’t miss out!

Adding Buttercream Succulents and Flowers To Your Cake

Once the succulents and flowers are thoroughly frozen, you can gently peel them, one at a time, from the parchment paper. Use a bit of extra buttercream to secure the flowers in place on top of the cake. To give your planter the illusion of more fullness, mound some buttercream on top of the cake first, before placing the succulents and flowers over the top of it. Work quickly, and gently, adding your largest, most important pieces first. If – and when – the succulents begin to warm, pop them back in the freezer again. It helps to work in small batches, only pulling out a few at a time

Finishing Touches – Small Flowers, Cacti Spikes, String of Pearls, and More

Once your main buttercream pieces are in place, you can use the following tips to pipe some finishing touches directly on the cake, succulents, and flowers. (Reference the photo above for label indicators.)

G: Tip 32/4B and 3. Simply pipe the buttercream onto the cake, pulling the bag away at an upward angle. Use tip 3 to add tiny dots to resemble “spikes.”

H: Tip 224. Simply pipe and lift up while turning slightly to release these “drop flowers.”

I: Tip 5. Pipe a wavey line to create your vine. Then, add small dots.

J: Tip 101/104. Hold the piping bag with the pointed part of the tip facing up and down. Pipe and pull away to create leaves.

I’ll be posting reels on Instagram soon showing how to pipe these succulents! If you’re more of a visual learner, be sure to follow me there so you don’t miss out!

Enjoy Your Buttercream Succulent Flower Cake

My American buttercream recipe provided above is stable at room temperature for 2-3 days. Plus, fondant doesn’t do well in the refrigerator. So, as long as you don’t layer your cake with any fruit or cream cheese-based fillings, this cake can sit out at room temperature for a few days. After that, place any remains in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to eat it – that is, if you have any cake leftover that long. 🙂

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

I hope you love this cake design as much as I do! It’s definitely a showstopper – and, even though delicious, a cake this pretty is tough to cut into. Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch, and be sure to tag me in any photos you post of your cake designs! I love to see your works of culinary art.

For more buttercream flower ideas, be sure to check out my posts here: Winter Florals and Fall Florals.

And, if you liked this post, please feel free to enter your email below to receive notification of my next one like this. I send quick tips, exclusive to email, that you won’t find published anywhere else! You don’t want to miss it!

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Take care guys! Until next time…

XOXO

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P.P.S

Addicted to Pinterest, like me? Pin one of the images below to save this recipe for later or show it to your friends. After all, sharing is caring. 😉

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

buttercream succulent flower cake with gold chevron stenciling cake

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