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Monday, May 27, 2013

How to make a cake look beautiful when you don't know how to ice...

I love to bake. Very frequently. Which you've probably picked up on if you follow me here or on Instagram...every other photo is something I've made (and probably devoured without much help).

But I can't decorate a cake. Give me a piping bag and I'm until now I've gone with the 'rustic' look. Yep, think butterfly cakes (although that's how my Nana does her cupcakes so that will always trump any fancy icing) and generally a sprinkling of icing sugar over the top of...anything. So I feel I can stand here and reliably say that if I can make a cake look pretty, then anyone can!

I made this cake for a friend's birthday get together. I figured a birthday cake needs to be properly iced so I delved into Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth for inspiration and then took myself off to Lakeland and attached myself to found myself a very helpful sales assistant. We talked through piping tips and I went with the Wilton 2d tip, which is pictured below.

All I can say is this is so ridiculously easy that I can't believe I've only just discovered it! From now on all my cakes will have roses on :)

How to make a rose covered cake:

1) Make up a fairly stiff batch of buttercream (Mine was perfect for the roses on the top but was too soft for adhering the roses to the side of the cake, they just slipped off).

2) Cover your cake with a thin layer of buttercream

3) Fill your piping bag. For each rose, pipe clockwise in a spiral, starting in the centre and work your way out. Vary up the sizes of the roses and keep layering until all the space is filled.

Tip: If you want to use more than one colour but only have one tip: Make up a piping bag with the tip attached. Then take an additional bag for each colour you want to use and fill these with icing, snip the bottom off of these. Then place one of these bags inside the original (empty) piping bag. Then all you have to do is swap the inner bag when you want to change colours!

Have fun decorating!


  1. Wow, this looks absolutely beautiful! I'm not sure though if I am really going to believe that you don't have to be able to ice cake, it looks so perfect ;)

    1. Haha I promise all I had ever done up to know was slap butter icing over a cake!

  2. Those roses look beautiful! Such a sweet cake, hope your friend had a happy birthday!

    Away From Blue

  3. It's so pretty :) I've had to make a lot of cupcakes recently (over 70!) and I was hopeless at piping them! I tried doing a similar rose but it was awful, I had to scrape all the icing off the cupcake! I ended up enlisting the help of a friend.

    1. Wow that is a LOT of cupcakes! I'm sorry to hear you've had trouble with it before. I put my success down to the icing tip but also having fairly stiff icing so that the shape held well...hope it doesn't put you off trying again!

  4. Those roses look beautiful and super professional! I'm planning to make birthday cupcakes for a friend next week... I think I'll try out your technique. =) Thanks for posting this. xoxo

  5. Thank you Laura! I hope the cupcakes went well!

  6. By the looks of this I'd say you CAN decorate a cake! It looks fantastic! I'm not much of a baker, but I'm really wanting to get into it. There is something so special about making your own baked goods... and it makes your house smell divine too!


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