icing rose tutorial

Using the leftover icing from Nana's cupcakes, how's about Loopy and I show you how to make fancy frosting roses? I'll make them and Loopy will take pictures.

I could never master the giant-nail method but one day years ago I walked past a bakery and the pastry chef was in the window whipping up roses this way... I stood and watched her work for over an hour, memorizing every little step. She actually started miming a little so I understood and making little motions and winking... I'd nod my head when I understood. I went home straight away and made a batch of frosting and began to practice.



You will need: heavy wooden skewers with a pointed tip. I get mine at the dollar store. You know it! You will also need a large piping bag and decorating tip (I use Wilton tip #125) with a matching coupler and ring. Get your hands on an inexpensive pair of kitchen scissors and take them to the handiest person you know. In my case, this is The Secret Weapon.


Here is the trick for making these roses work: have that handy person you know make a hole or indentation in the blades of your cheap scissors. The cheaper the scissors, the softer the metal, so don't go getting out your good cutters! This time, cheap is good.

Make your frosting according to my directions at the bottom of this post and fill your piping bag. Squish it around before you twist it closed at the top and work out any air bubbles... you really don't want the bag to "burp" while you are making roses.


Holding the bag in one hand and the pointed stick upright in the other, point the tip of the bag so that the slender part of the tip is upright... sort of like a teardrop. Gently squeeze a bit of icing to the tip of the stick...


... and turn the stick. You won't be moving the bag very much, just twisting the stick. Keep an even pressure on the bag.


What you are doing at first is creating a little icing "bud" for the rose center. When it is closed over the tip of the stick, you can take the bag away. Turn the stick slightly and put the tip of the bag up again and squeeze:


... and turn the stick again. Check it out! I am now holding the bag at a bit of an angle to the stick but when I made the bud I held it at the opposite angle.



The bigger the angle as you build your rose, the more open your bloom will be.




How are we going to get that perfectly sweet rose off of the stick? We're going to decapitate it using those scissors of ours.


That's it! You may have to practice, practice, practice to get it right but generally you will be shocked at how easy it is to master this technique and soon you will be creating professional icing roses for your cakes and cupcakes.

Saucy's Never-Fail Frosting

1 cup butter at room temperature*
1 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature (ie. Crisco)
1 teaspoon white vanilla (ie. Wilton)
4 cups confectioners/icing sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream

Best made in a stand mixer. Cream together the butter and shortening thoroughly. Add the sugar, one cup at a time until blended. Beat in the vanilla as you go. When the sugar is completely beaten in, make sure the sides of the bowl are scraped down. Add the whipping cream, beating at the highest speed until super fluffy, about one minute. Use immediately. Store covered in refrigerator when not in use.

If you would like to add colouring, use the professional type sold at cake decorating supply specialty stores or Micheals. Remember: paste food colouring is stronger and more vibrant, so measure accordingly. The colour will also deepen after blending so keep your tint light.

* Sometimes, when I need very white frosting, I use "white margarine" instead of butter if I can locate it. It is simply margarine without yellow colouring added.

56 comments:

Laura said...

Great tutorial! You made it look easy, but I'm sure mine would not resemble roses when I was done!

MaryCatherine said...

whoa! That's amazing! Now I just gotta find a handy man to fiddle with my scissors!

karen said...

I would like to try this!! You don't cut with the scissors do you? You just lift the rose up off the skewer - Have I got that right?

J.G. said...

Balanced on scissors, ready to be placed on cake . . . or dropped into mouth of waiting dog? (he wishes!)

That's what I was thinking when I got to that part. :-)

Lovely!

sassy studio said...

great flower tutorial, makes me hungry for icing! My towers are your towers, letme know when you would like them cupcake queen!
ps - great pics Loopy!

Liberty Biberty said...

Well sister Saucy, that's another link we share I just love rosebuds! For Liberty's first birthday cake I had a friend who is a cake decorator come over and show me how to make rosebuds, a bit different to your way 'cos I used some roll out icing. And thanks for the frosting recipe. I'll post a pic of the cake on my blog for you to see.
Mercedes

limefreckle said...

Thanks for the recipe Saucy! I am absolutely in love with the icing at Sobey's cake department -- it tastes like it has real cream in it...perhaps this is it? I googled icing recipes for hours, and never saw one that has whipping cream in it.....Limefreckle Jr. loves cupcakes, we shall test this out on him. I haven't got the patience for the roses unfortunately, but that's OK, Limefreckle Jr. might find those too girly!

MJ said...

Wow! What a time-consuming effort! I'll appreciate it more when I see the roses in a bakery! You might persuade me to be a little more creative in my icing but I don't think I'll be ready to do roses in a long time, if ever!

The Shabby Princess said...

Thanks for the lesson! I'm by no means a master baker, but, I'm trying to get into it and cake decorating. And it doesn't hurt that I lurrvveee desserts, so, there's a reason to learn!

Junie Moon said...

Perfect, Miss Saucy! A friend and I were discussing such things on Saturday and I was going to research the hows of making these. And here you've given us such a wonderful tutorial. I greatly appreciate it.

Tammy said...

Great tutorial! I love the roses. I have got to try this technique. Thank you!

Jerri-Lea said...

Hmmm, you make that look so easy... might you be preparing for the cupcake fundraiser with some of that left over icing?? Let me know if CJ & I can purchase some cuppycakes to help out with Loopy's farewell!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Saucy! I am trying to get better at making cupcakes in general, and this will be so much fun to learn...well, if I can muster up enough patience...we'll see! Dena

Missy said...

I have GOT to try that! What a perfect tutorial/

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Beautiful and so well described! I'll have to link to this in the future.

3rdEyeMuse said...

you made this look (almost) doable!!

Suzy said...

Great job on the instructions.And practice does make perfect. It's Loopy's turn now! I pre make a bunch and keep them in tupperware for future use...Have fun!

Melissa said...

Ok this looked easy, but knowing me I will mess it up!! I hope one day I get a chance to try!!

I have a whole list of things to try from your site!

E said...

YOU SO ROCK!!! And what awesome pics Loopy took! I will be trying these out very soon!!!

Angela said...

very nice, thank you both. I lurrve me some of your tutorials!

I bet you wouldn't enjoy doing those in fondant! ; )

Angela

Cassandra said...

I love how you make it all look so easy...very Martha-like!! Good job!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I want to hire you.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful...I'm scared of butter + crisco, but I guess its the price to pay for perfect frosting :P If Saucy says its never fail....then I believe it.
(Hey, I didnt realize Canadians use "colour" instead of "color". That has absolutely nothing to do with anything but I thought I'd say it out loud, anyway. :-)
Have you tried any other decorative ideas from Hello, Cupcake yet? I did NOT get the pups right. At all. Lets just say if they were dogs, they were from the planet...well..Pluto.
:p divaqueen883@yahoo.com
PS. I dream of your laundry room on a regular basis, do you know that????

Christine said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I will have to try that! It looks like fun.

SOINSPIRED said...

Amazing . . . Now to work on those scissors. I have just the pair.

Saucy said...

Karen,

No, you don't really "cut" with those scissors you basically just lift that sucker off the stick and the hole in the scissors helps it come off cleanly... and then you can just plop the flower where you want it!

And yes, butter + Crisco sounds iffy at best but the Crisco keeps the frosting from going "flat" if it gets even the slightest bit warm and also it is much smoother in texture and easier to work with.

Fleur de Bee said...

Hey Saucy Thang -

Go check out your local Target. I popped in today to grab some veggies and of course scoped out the whole store lol...they have this beautiful section of...drumroll....Dragonfly towels for the kitchen and Spring stuff with not but dragonflies...sooo beautiful I instantly thought of you!

FAB tutorial. Thanks so much, I am not the best at flowers out of icing, but now with you I will be perfection I am sure!

SWAK! xx

Fleur de Bee said...

meant to say NOTHING BUT DRAGONFLIES...it's late I get a freepass !

alittlebitofscrap said...

You make it look all too easy! and so yummy! :)

Coco said...

I am impressed.

bluemuf said...

WoW Saucy, this is a fantastic tutorial. I will be giving this a try.

thank you,

Karen

Saucy said...

Oh so sad! No Target here in Canada but there is still a very tiny teeny chance we might go to Arizona at the end of the month... I hope so because I lurrve me some dragonfly kitchen things!

Rosa said...

Fun!!! I'll try this the next time I decorate a cake. Tehe. Mine are always disasters!

k. borcz said...

Gaah! I was struggling to make fake roses for a fake cake all weekend! This would have helped.

junko said...

this is such a cool tutorial! I've never seen a flower made on a wooden dowel before only one of those flat metal flower nails. Thanks for all the pics!

annifranni said...

I used your butter cream frosting recipe last night to frost cupcakes for my son's Birthday party at school.

It turned out perfect. :)

I was so thankful for your great recipe, I've never gotten butter cream frosting quite right, and I can't stand the canned stuff.

I also used Loopy's idea for the multi-colored sprinkles - they turned out so cute!

Amanda said...

Oh, so pretty. I used to make them with the 'giant nail' a trillion years ago, but I haven't tried lately. Makes me want to start again! Thanks!
sabkhowell@msn.com

amandasmom said...

I have never been able to make good icing. I'll try this next time. Thanks
amandasmom
allustoms@shaw.ca

michelleb. said...

Oaky, this looks so much easier than the way my daughter just learned at her Wilton Cake Decorating class. Now, I just need to find someone who can srill a hole in a pair of scissors.

michelleb. said...

Ok...I'm a little slow to catch on. Blogger does not show my email and I never left it in my comment from 4/25
mblaise29@yahoo.com

cgarcia0x said...

that is amazing! where did you get all your baking tools?

cgarcia0x@hotmail.com
i <3 JB!

mblaise3 said...

I have taken a decorating class and they taught me how to make the rose, it was really hard buut i kept practicing and mine almost look as good as yours.

mblaise3@yahoo.com

Christine said...

That's amazing! My mom was trying to learn how to do that and I guess I will show her now. Those scissors are ingenius! I never would have thought of doing that. Even when I saw the picture before I read what they were for I was like 'Uhhhh....ok? Someone broke their scissors' haha.

Christine Bruce
crispy_crunch05@hotmail.com

hd said...

You don't need to alter the scissors- just use a cheap pair of rounded tip kids scissors. I learned this technique years ago and have made thousands of roses this way. One big advantage is they are flat on their backside, so you can lay them on the cake slightly on their sides, to give more dimension.

Another tip for when your making the petals is keep moving down the skewer, so your rose almost looks more like a pine cone. When you slide it off with the scissor tip, it will meld together into a beautiful rose.

Saucy said...

Good point, I guess I could have described it to be like a pine cone... I said "make it tall" but the pine cone is an EXCELLENT analogy...

I'm going to try some little kid scissors, I've always had the drill hole type (thanks to The Secret Weapon) but wondered if regular scissor blades would work. Didn't it squish the flatness of the bottom??

AnickH said...

Thankyou for sharing this! I cant wait to make it

Rebecca said...

I can't wait to try this!! And the frosting sounds yummy!

skylarkz05 said...

Wow. thanx for the tutorial. I cant wait to do it myself. I'm doing my own engagement cupcakes. ^_^ thanx a lot! ^_^

t said...

What brand of piping bag do you use?

Saucy said...

That bag is quite old now... the name has long since faded off of it. I think it was a Wilton bag from the 90's but not the plastic-y kind they have now it is more like fabric infused with plastic. I would just die if something happened to it!

I have lots of backups (Wilton 18") but that is my go-to bag!

Angela said...

Saucy, what a fantastic recipe! I'm experimenting with cupcakes to come up with something fun for my neice's first birthday this weekend. This was the 4th frosting recipe I tried and it's definitely the winner. I even added 2 tablespoons of raspberry jelly to half a batch along with just a drop of Wilton pink icing color. I love it! Thank you!

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