Piped Buttercream or Royal Icing Roses are an easy and beautiful way to decorate cakes and cupcakes. This technique takes a little practice, but if you follow the tutorial below, you will be able to create your own gorgeous flowers.
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- #12 tip for rose center
- #104 tip for rose petal (for large roses)
- #102 tip for rose petal (for small roses)
- Flower nail
- Flower scissors
- Piping bag
- Colored buttercream or royal icing
- Parchment paper squares (optional)
Making the Rose Cone:
Before piping, place a small amount of stiff, colored buttercream (get my favorite buttercream recipe here) into a piping bag fitted with a #12 tip. Fill another piping bag with a #104 or #102 tip. If you want to make different sized roses, it will be helpful to add a coupler to the petal bag so it’s easy to switch between the petal tips.
Use the bag fitted with the #12 tip. Begin piping by holding the flower nail in your non-dominant hand and use your dominant hand to pipe a small cone in the middle of the flower nail. Hold the piping bag vertically above the flower nail. Apply even pressure while lifting the bag slightly to form a cone (i.e., wider base and pointed tip). The cone should be approximately ¾“ tall for large roses and ¼“ tall for small roses.
If you want to use the rose at a later time, place a parchment paper square on the flower nail before piping the cone. I usually put a small dot of icing under the parchment paper so it doesn’t slide as I’m piping the rose. Royal icing is typically the best for this option because it will dry hard and peel off the parchment paper. Buttercream roses tend to stick and get deformed when using this method.
Other Ways to Make Edible Roses
- Royal Icing Decorated Kawaii Rose Sugar Cookie
- Gum paste Rose – “Easiest Rose Ever” Cutter
- Gum paste Rose – Individual Petals
- Rose Russian Piping Tip
Piping Rose Petals – Row 1
Switch to the rose petal piping bag (or just use a second bag with the same colored buttercream). Use the rose petal tip to make the petals. This tip is wider on the bottom and #104 rose petal tip.
Hold the flower nail and piping bag vertically. Slowly and steadily turn the flower nail clockwise while applying even pressure on piping bag. This will be the first row of petals.
Piping Rose Petals – Row 2
To start the next row, place the tip just left of the seam. Move the rose tip in a small arc motion (i.e., down, up, down) from left to right. Repeat 2 more times. The petals should cover 360° around the rosebud. While piping, the left side of the petal should overlap slightly with the previous petal. This will form the second row of petals.
Piping Rose Petals – Row 3
While holding the flower nail vertically, angle your piping bag hand outward slightly (larger end of the tip still on the bottom). Do the same petal process as the second row, but pipe 5 petals around the rose.
Piping Rose Petals – Row 4
For the third and final row of petals, keep the flower nail vertical and angle your piping bag hand a little more outward. The outward angle is creating an “open” petal look so that the rose will look fuller. The closer the pointed end of the tip is to the center of the rose, the less defined the rose will be. Pip 7 petals using the above “petal piping” process. The petals should be smaller so all 7 will fit around the circumference of the rose.
If you piped the rose on parchment paper, carefully drag the parchment paper and flower off the nail to let it crust/harden while you work on another flower.
Moving Buttercream Rose to Cake
If you want to use the flower immediately, use the flower scissors to remove the rose from the flower nail by opening the scissors, placing the scissor blades on either side of the rose’s base, closing the scissors, and gently lifting the rose off the nail.
Bring the scissors to the cake in the location you want to place the rose. Touch the base of the rose to the cake (i.e., so the buttercream can act like Velcro and help the rose stick to the cake). Then, slide the scissors out from under the rose. Sometimes, I help the rose off the scissors with a toothpick if the buttercream is super sticky.
This exact same process can be done with royal icing. The main difference is that the buttercream will crust slightly as it sits, but it will remain soft and the royal icing will dry hard. Otherwise, the piping technique is exactly the same.
Feel free to reach out with any questions. Send me a picture if you get a chance to make these piped buttercream or royal icing roses. I would love to see them!