What do you do when your little sister calls you up and asks,
“How hard would it be to decorate frosting flowers on cupcakes?”
“How hard for you? Or how hard for me? Are you asking me to help you?”
My sister, Janice, was in charge of bringing cupcakes for a friend’s baby shower who was expecting her first child, a boy. When my sister came over, her top priority was to make them “cute”. Okay, I can do cute. My only requirement would be that she, herself, would have to learn how to decorate them. Not that I was opposed to helping her but I am one of those types of people who believe in the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. In this situation it was more like, “Decorate others cupcakes and you’ll be asked to do them all the time. Teach others to decorate their own cupcakes and they have no excuse to ask you ever again”. In all honesty, I believe teaching her some basic cake decorating skills will serve her well in the lives of her children. If she ever needs an assistant I’m just 5 minutes down the road.
What we ended up with were baby blue pansy-like flowers made from buttercream. My focus wasn’t to re-create a particular type of flower, just a nice looking one. We topped each one off with silver sugar sprinkles and the results were great. Beautiful cupcakes always look and taste better, don’t you agree?
I had no intentions of doing a cupcake decorating tutorial when we started piping flowers but my sister kept on asking me,
“Shouldn’t you be taking pictures of this? I think your readers would like to know how to do this.”
“No, I don’t want to take pictures right now.. let’s just get these done.”
“I know… lets videotape this!”
“No way, man… look at me! I have no makeup, grubby clothes, and I don’t want to change.”
“Okay, how about we don’t get your face in the video.”
“You promise?! No face! Or else.. I am going to smoosh all your cupcakes.”
As a result we filmed a little video using her point and shoot camera. Please forgive my messy kitchen and the quality of the video, but I think you’ll find it helpful if you ever plan on tackling buttercream flowers for cupcakes. If you still have questions after reading this post and watching the video, just ask them in the comment section and I’ll try to answer them as best as I can. Enjoy!
Directions in a nut shell: Fill pasty bag with medium firm buttercream frosting with a #61 or rose petal cake decorating tip attached. The tip will look like a slanted tear drop. Starting at the center of your cupcake and with the rounded part of the tip towards the center, squeeze and apply pressure to pasty bag in an upside down “U” rotation. On the downside of the “U”, release pressure and connect the tip to where you started. In other words, apply pressure when you go up and release pressure when you come down. Continue to do this until the cupcake is full of pedals. Easiest way to do this is to rotate the cupcake as you complete each petal. To finish it up add a little squiggle to the top of the cupcake to cover up any holes. Top off with a pinch of sprinkled decorative sugar. It’s important to note that while you’re decorating, you’re piping wrist is at a 30 degree angle in proximity to the cupcake. However, you’ll want to make sure your cake tip is at a 45 degree angle.