I made another whole cake just so I could show you. (I know, the sacrifices we food bloggers make.) I used Sweetapolita’s fluffy vanilla cake, which made 3 6-inch layers and used about 3 batches of my vanilla buttercream frosting.
It’s really not that hard to do – once you get the swirl technique down you can make frosting roses on anything. All you’ll need is disposable piping bags or reusable piping bags, Wilton 1M tips (or another open star tip), and, of course, a cake and some frosting. The technique is really easy to fix – if you mess up a rose, you just wipe it off and frost it again.
Divide your frosting into 3 bowls, saving a little for the crumb layer and putting a little extra in for the lightest color. Frost the entire cake with a thin crumb layer, then if it’s warm in your house you can place it in the fridge or freezer while you prep the rest of the frosting. Using food coloring (or a natural food coloring like beet juice), add a little to each bowl and mix thoroughly until you have 3 shades that are progressively darker.
This gif shows how to frost a rose on a cupcake. The same technique applies to a cake.
Load up 3 pastry bags with each color of frosting, fit with your open star tip, and start at the top of the cake. To pipe a rose, hold the piping bag perpendicular to the surface and start in the center of where you want your rose. Gently squeeze the bag and pipe frosting around in a spiral until you reach the outer edge, then let go.
Cover the entire top of the cake and the upper 1/3 of the sides with roses in the lightest color. Move to the next row, using your medium color to pipe roses all around. Finish the bottom 1/3 of the cake with roses in the darkest color. I found the hardest part to be the top edge of the cake, but don’t worry – if you mess one up, just wipe it off and try again.
I’ve been told this frosting tastes like marshmallows and vanilla ice cream. It’s my go-to vanilla frosting recipe. I usually use vanilla bean paste in place of vanilla extract, but that puts black flecks in the frosting, which I didn’t want for this cake.
You’ll need 3-4 batches to frost a 3 layer 6-inch cake with roses.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract )
- Beet juice for coloring (optional)
- Beat the butter for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for several minutes, until the frosting becomes smooth and creamy. Add vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated.
- If using, add beet juice and mix until you reach your desired pink color.