These cute little buttercream rose cupcakes are just gorgeous, they taste amazing and are the perfect treat for a special occasion. (Find the vanilla sponge recipe here.) After many an afternoon experimenting with buttercream and food colouring (my kitchen looking like it had snowed due to the volume of icing sugar on the sides) I found the perfect method for making two toned buttercream roses.
Here is my step by step guide:
Firstly make your buttercream (see recipe below). Then place about a third of the icing mixture into a ceramic or glass bowl and add a few drops of food colouring and combine. Top tip: Food colourings from the supermarket are generally too pale and watery so they alter the consistency of the buttercream, making it sloppy rather than smooth. For best results use food colouring gels, or best of all food coloring pastes.
With a spoon or palette knife, top each cupcake with a thin layer of jam or leftover buttercream. This will help the piped icing stick to the cake – make sure your cakes are completely cool or the buttercream roses will melt and slide off – not good! (Top Tip: I like to use either buttercream or apricot jam because its paler colour matches the cake, so won’t show around the edges of the icing)
Attach the cake nozzle (I used a Wilton 2D Nozzle) to the icing bag, place it nozzle down inside a glass and roll the icing bag down the outside of the glass. Spoon the coloured buttercream mixture into the bag, pushing it right down towards the nozzle. You want the entire inside of the bag to be coated, except of a few inches at the top (which you will later twist to hold the bag whilst you pipe).
Open the icing bag back up, and use the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick to separate the two sides (this is a bit messy!) Place the bag nozzle down into a glass or mug and gently drop the original white buttercream mixture down the middle.
Once the bag is full (save for a few inches at the top) gently squeeze the icing down towards the nozzle. Top Tip: I learnt a key thing here – make sure the icing in the bag is all firmly pushed down into the nozzle before you start with no space for air bubbles. Otherwise you will get a mess of an iced cake when that air bubble shows itself!
Twist the top of the bag to keep the icing in the nozzle, hold with your writing hand and applying pressure from your palm pipe a test line onto a plate. The first few inches may be just white or pink until you reach the mixed section. Once you get the start of the two toned affect you are ready to pipe onto your cakes.
Top Tip: If it is a warm day or you have hot hands I would recommend putting the icing bag on a plate in the fridge for a few minutes half way through piping, or the frosting can melt to sludge…and sludge does not make the best buttercream roses!
Pipe slowly from the centre of the cake to the outside, keeping the swirls close enough together that no sponge is visible between them and you will get a gorgeous rose affect! When you reach the edge of the cake pull away sharply to finish, gently press the end tail of icing into the rose to neaten, and tah-dah you are finished!
Store the cakes in a cool dry place until it is eating/party time.
- 6oz (170g) Unsalted Butter, Cubed
- 12oz (340g) Icing Sugar
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons of Milk
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- Few drops of food colouring gel or paste
- Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add the soft butter and vanilla extract.
- Cream together until light and smooth (this will take a few minutes)
- Gradually add 2 - 3 teaspoons of milk until the mixture is no longer stiff.
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