Friday, October 15, 2010

How to Make a Frosting Rose

frosting roses on cake top view
Even cakes want to look snazzy.
Frosting roses quickly upgrade a humble cake from "standard" to "yeah, that's pretty awesome." They can also add a special element to cupcakes, brownies, and other desserts. Not recommended on stakes, mashed potatoes, or meatloaf. But you could make plain butter roses for those. . . 

The good news is that they aren't hard to make! The frosting roses pictured above are my first attempt at making flowers out of frosting, and I had a lot of fun in the process and did a passably tasty job of it. Below, I provide a rough outline of how to make a frosting rose, along with some tips.

frosting roses on cake
Close up of frosting roses

How to Make a Frosting Rose

So, you want to learn how to make icing roses? First, you'll need to whip up a buttercream frosting. It might sound intimidating, but it's quite straightforward. Any basic buttercream frosting that calls for butter and sugar will work. Be sure to use an electric mixer, though, unless you have Schwarzenegger arms.

To make your basic buttercream frosting a little more special, you can add a small amount of flavoring extract, such as vanilla extract, almond extract, or lemon flavoring. For the icing roses pictured above, I added about 1 teaspoon of almond extract and a small amount of pink food coloring gel
Now that your frosting is ready, get your equipment lined up. You'll need a rose petal decorating tip appropriate to the size of icing roses you'd like to make (A small size is 101, medium sizes are 103 and 104. There are large sizes as well). You'll also need a pastry bag and a device called a flower nail. It serves as a rotating base for the icing rose-in-progress.

Stick a little wax paper on the flower nail, fill the pastry bag, and build the base of your icing rose: start with a bud in the middle, and build inner sets of petals first, working outward. As you get used to using the pastry bag and petal tip, the icing roses will become easier to make. As you finish each icing rose, stick it in the freezer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet until you're ready to decorate the cake. For the cake above, I made my icing roses a day in advance.

 Let me know if you make any frosting roses yourself and how they turn out!

Good luck and have fun!