Tag Archives: Buttercream Flowers

Buttercream Flower Cake

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I cannot believe it is April!  Since I am an accountant, April marks the start of Q2….. the second quarter of the year.  After I feverishly help close my company’s books for the quarter, I start looking forward to all things Q2 brings such as warmer weather, vacations, Easter, trips to our farm, and shaking off the winter blues.  Isn’t funny how all of a sudden you can wake a little earlier, do your usual morning routine, and then unload the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry, and pick up a few things all before work? It is like we become more productive as we come out of hibernation.  Well good thing because I am BOOKED for the month of April doing sweet treats and will need all the productivity I can get!  Apparently April also marks the start of party season and I feel like I haven’t sat down yet this month.

My first weekend in April,  I had two orders, one of which was a 80th birthday cake for a friend’s mother-in-law.   Outside of knowing that the cake was for an eighty year old woman, my friend was thinking a blue cake to go with the silver decorations.  We ended up settling on blue and violet to make it a little more feminine.  When I am not sure of the hobbies of a woman, I go with flowers.  They are classic and I am always looking for a reason to practice!

blank cake

Cake iced with buttercream

I should have taken more pictures, but with two projects going on at once, I was not quite on top of it.  This was a ten inch layered white cake with buttercream icing.  After I had my cake iced with the best buttercream icing, I worked on the flowers.

If you are just starting to think about trying buttercream flowers, I have good news.  You don’t make them straight on the cake!  You do them on a flower nail and transfer them to the cake.  Once I realized this when I started on buttercream flower cakes last year, it seemed a little less daunting to start my first cake.  There are a number of different flower nails, but they all pretty much serve the same purpose.  If you are just starting out, this inch and a half one by Wilton is pretty standard.  As for flower tips, a good starter set is the Wilton flower and leaf tip set.   I used pieces of this set to make the leaves and the little purple blossoms.  I also used a Wilton D2 tip for the hydrangeas, a Wilton M1 tip for the larger flowers,  and a Wilton 81 tip for the mums.  I put a piece of parchment on the flower nail so that I can easily remove the flower from the nail.  So you can mess up 20 flowers and it will not matter.   Just keep trying until you get some that you like.  Then pop them in the freezer to harden.  When they are hard, you can gently peel them off the parchment paper and put them on the cake. I did add the hydrangeas straight on the cake since it is easier to build them around the other flowers as a filler.

80th bday cake

Buttercream Flower Birthday Cake

Once all of your flowers are on your cake, you can add green leaves where you see fit.  I finished off the cake with a simple HAPPY BIRTHDAY and a violet boarder.  It turned out really cute and I heard that it was a hit with the birthday girl, so that is all that matters.  I have many more April posts, so keep a lookout!

Clara

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Happy 60th Birthday Momma!

Back in October, my mom celebrated her big sixtieth birthday.  We tried to keep parts of it a surprise, but my family lacks all self-control and she started to piece together that it was a little more than a close family “get-together”.  With that anticipation, she, of course, wanted to show up early.  My dad told me not to worry about it and he would make sure she arrived when she was supposed to.  There was a strong probability that she would just leave him and show up the hour and half early she wanted, but my dad held strong. Thanks Dad.  After she got over her initial irritation with him, a white lie I had told her, and the fact that I sent the grandkids away for the night, she started coming around.  As the night unfolded, I think she started to realize what was going on, the preparations it took, and the love and thought that was put into the night.

My sister and I planned for MONTHS!!!!  We poured over the menu for weeks, it took two months to get her birthday present together, bought decor and other items the whole month leading up to the party, and went to 5 grocery stores the day before the party.  More on the party details in a bit.  But the day went perfect (with exception of my moms short bout of irritation.) I made the cake two days before the party.  I could not have that stress with all the other party preparations. After my simple teal and coral baby shower cake with flowers, I wanted to continue with the flower theme for my mom.  Practice makes perfect, right?  Outside of the largest flowers, I did all the other flowers on a flower nail and placed them on the cake.  For the first time, I tried color streaking the icing to have some two tones flowers.  I couldn’t believe that it worked my first time.  It gave a little extra pop to the pink that I loved.  Maybe I will do a tutorial on this soon.

Once I had the larger flowers on the cake, I filled in with some smaller flowers and leaves. I then completed the cake with a vine and a couple more flowers on the other side.   Looking back on it, I wish I would have left the cake with just the crescent design, but my need for symmetry at the time won.  My mom loved it no less and that is all that matters.

Back to the party as a whole. We did want more than a get-together.  We planned more of a cocktail party.  High top tables, fancy hors d’oeuvre, light jazz, and a fun photo booth.  Our theme was “Cheers to 60 Years”and “Memories”.  We had about 40 people come and celebrate.  Even my dad’s family that lives in Valparaiso made the trip down and stayed in a hotel.  We had more food that we needed but it all looked amazing when put together. From an over the top charcuterie board to shrimp cocktail to mini caprese appetizers, we tried to make it look like we had it catered.  The photo booth, which was a way to help tie in our theme to make more memories, was a hit.  I got the image for the photo booth at this Etsy shop and then just sent the file to a printer.  Some funny pics are floating around somewhere.

However, my absolute favorite part was her gift and was the one thing she had absolutely no idea about.  It was not an original idea as I found it on Pinterest like everything else these days.  We gifted her 60 memories. I wrote to family and friends far and wide and asked them to write in a memory or two on my mom and was not disappointed from the response.  Letters came from Alaska, California, Florida, Texas, DC, and from all the family in Indiana.  I put each in an envelope, numbered it, and then bundled them together.  I didn’t want her to read them at the party as there were some tear jerkers in there, but I explained it all in my speech.  SHE LOVE IT!  She spent the night socializing with friends and family basking in her own glory which is what we were hoping. What else do you get a mom with everything….a party with her family and friends and a lifetime of memories. Happy Birthday Mom!

Clara

Teal and Coral Baby Shower Cake

This is another catch-up post.  Two in two days….we are off to a good start.  Back in September, one of my best and definitely oldest friends was throwing a baby shower for her little brother to help welcome her first niece.  It just so happens that the one weekend she requested in September, I was going to be gone on a girls trip with my other two besties.  Let me start by saying that I have very few close friends.  I have lots of friends, but when it comes to friends I would rearrange my life for, we are talking about five people here.   So when I am expected to go on a trip with two and a third asks me if I can make a cake, I say yes.  I am so glad I did.  This is still one of my favorite cakes, simple but pretty.

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Teal and Coral Baby Shower Cake

The color scheme came from the decor of the baby’s room and my friend was throwing a shower in the same colors.  The only direction she gave me was that she wanted a cake, some cupcakes and these colors.  So I went the cutesy route and did flowers.

At this point, I had very little experience with flowers, but I have been committed to trying a new technique with each cake.  How else will I learn?!?!  I practiced some on parchment paper until I felt confident I could transfer onto the cake.  The larger flowers I put directly on the cake using a M1 tip once I mapped out the spacing in the icing.   I piped the smaller flowers on small pieces of parchment on a flower nail and put them in the freezer until they were solid.  Once they were stiff, I was able to carefully peal them off of the parchment and place them on the cake.  They thaw very quickly, so I did have a plan on where I wanted them placed.  Once the flowers where on the cake, I filled in with leaves and added a boarder.  Here is a close up of the flowers.

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Buttercream flowers

The cake turned out better than expected and better yet, on time.  I dropped the cake off on Thursday morning before I headed to work.  I left at lunch time from work and headed with my girls on our trip.  I got a text on that Saturday that the cake had made it and looked wonderful.

Clara