How to Pipe a Two-Toned Frosting Rose

Let me teach you how to pipe a beautiful two-toned frosting rose. Using my classic vanilla buttercream, stunning frosting roses are the simplest design to pipe on cakes and cupcakes. Follow my video tutorial and success tips below to create your own unique buttercream roses!

cupcakes with pink frosting roses on top on a cake stand

I always used to be scared of creating beautiful decorations with frosting– it’s extremely intimidating. Do you feel the same way? Bored with my usual swirl and knife-swiped frosting looks, I began playing around with different piping tips. Once I started, I realized how easy it was. And, as I started becoming more familiar with piping designs, my confidence shot up. (When you get a little more confident, try piping sunflower cupcakes.) Practice, practice, practice!

Today, we’re focusing on a decorating technique that looks super fancy but is secretly so unbelievably easy– two-toned frosting roses. Using my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe, I’m showing you how to create stunning frosting roses for decorating cakes and cupcakes. I love using two colors of icing for ombre style roses. A frosting rose is the simplest design to pipe and I’m excited for you to try it!

Piping a Frosting Rose is Easier Than You Think

If you haven’t tried it yet, piping roses is easier than you imagine. And adding that second color to create a two-toned appearance really adds something special. It’s a gorgeous design for weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers. These frosting roses remind me of the flowers in my bridesmaids’ bouquets! Speaking of, these buttercream roses would look absolutely stunning on a homemade wedding cake.

Each frosting rose you pipe is completely unique with lighter and darker shades of each color. This makes it really fun and your baked goods have never looked more extraordinary! *Almost* too pretty to eat.

overhead image of a cake with frosting roses on top

3 Tools You Need for Frosting Roses

These are affiliate links to products I personally use and love.

  • Piping Tip: This is the most crucial tool for creating a frosting rose. You can use a 1M frosting tip or 2D frosting tip (closed star)– either tip will give you a rose pattern. And, the 1M frosting tip is one of five tips included in my piping tips 101!
  • Food Coloring: For the two-toned look, choose any colors you like. I swear by using gel colors in frosting because liquid colors could alter the frosting’s consistency. The Americolor brand is what I typically reach for (I used the fuchsia shade in these photos). I like to keep some of the frosting white because the color + white really pops. I went with white + pink for these photos, but a purple, blue, orange, green, etc. would be equally gorgeous.
  • Piping Bag: Use a disposable or reusable piping bag in either 12 or 16 inch size.

Two-Toned Frosting Rose Video Tutorial

As you see in this video, piping roses is literally just swirling frosting on top of cupcakes or cakes. And getting two colors in the piping bag is nothing complicated either. Line the bag with one color frosting, then fill the piping bag with the other color you’re using, as shown in the video below.

The first rose you pipe may be all one color frosting but after that one, you should begin to see both colors come out. Here’s the first of the batch I piped:

overhead image of cupcake with pink frosting rose on top

See a little white starting to come out at the top?

Then after I got going, here are the rest:

cupcakes with pink frosting roses on top on a cake stand

Best Buttercream To Use for Frosting Roses

None of this would be possible without a dependable vanilla frosting recipe. I include my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe below– it’s a lot like my original vanilla buttercream recipe, but we use a higher volume of ingredients so there’s more frosting that you can use to pipe these beautiful roses! You need a strong, sturdy vanilla frosting that will hold its rose shape. This one does the trick and tastes pretty incredible too. It’s enough for a 2 layer cake with some rose detail on top or for 24 cupcakes. You can always reduce the recipe down if you need less frosting.

vanilla buttercream frosting in a glass bowl

For the cake, I used my favorite white layer cake recipe. For the cupcakes, I used my simply perfect vanilla cupcakes recipe.

2 images of frosting roses on a cake and a slice of cake on a white plate with frosting roses on top

I encourage you to try something new with these! Perhaps something that’s intimidated you in the past? I’m definitely one of those bakers who ran for the hills when it came to decorating cakes and cupcakes. But after discovering that it really isn’t that hard at all, my confidence got a little boost and now I can decorate a beautiful rose cake almost as fabulous as the professionals.

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cupcakes with pink frosting roses on top on a cake stand

Two-Toned Frosting Roses

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Learn how to pipe a two-toned frosting rose with this recipe and video tutorial. It’s easier than you think!


  • 1 and 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks; 287g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5 cups (580g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or use clear imitation vanilla extract for stark white frosting)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • gel food coloring (your choice color; I used fuchsia)
  • sprinkles for garnish


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add 2-3 more Tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, 1 more Tablespoon cream if frosting is too thick, or a pinch more salt if frosting is way too sweet.
  2. Spoon 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl. Stir in a couple drops of coloring, depending how dark you want the color. I used 2 drops fuchsia.
  3. Spread the colored frosting around the edges of a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip or Wilton 2D tip. See video above for a visual. Spoon the uncolored vanilla frosting in the center. Twist the open end shut and squeeze the frosting down to the tip.
  4. Squeeze a bit of the frosting out onto a plate until both the colored and the white frosting are coming out together– or just do this on a cupcake. It will be mostly colored frosting!
  5. Place the tip directly on top of the center of the cupcake. Using steady and medium pressure, pipe a tight spiral around the cupcake. Lessen some pressure as you come to the end. Place some sprinkles on top of the end if it turns out messy. It happens, trust me! Each of your roses will be unique, showing beautifully designed “petals.”


  1. Quantity: Yields enough for a 2 layer cake with some rose detail on top or enough for 24 cupcakes. Feel free to reduce the recipe down if you need less frosting.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Americolor Gel Food Coloring, Piping Bags, and 1M Frosting Tip
  3. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: frosting rose

overhead image of cupcakes with pink frosting roses on top with sprinkles


  1. Nila @ The Tough Cookie says:

    Wow, I LOVE this technique. The frosting roses look so pretty! Can’t wait to make a rose cake, now!
    And don’t worry about how your voice and the way you talk!  You seem like a super nice, genuine person with a completely normal voice 😉 I don’t like hearing myself on audio/video either. It’s the worst! 

    Love your baking challenges, btw. 

  2. Del's cooking twist says:

    I think I have never seen anything so beautiful. Your frosting roses are just perfection to me. And I am not kidding, they really are. I love that you make the technique look so simple in your recipe instructions as well. Thank you, Sally!

  3. Hi Sally! Would I be able to pipe roses with your milk chocolate frosting recipe?

  4. Vicki Tunell says:

    We love your monthly challenges! My kids and I have done everyone, we have so much fun watching the video and trying new tricks. The frosting roses were the first time my kids had piped, and they had so much fun trying to do it. Thanks for the great recipes, and we are looking forward to next month’s challenge already!

  5. These are so gorgeous! Sally, where do you buy your sprinkles? I’m especially interested in those little gold balls!

    1. Hi Alison! The sprinkles in these pictures are from Sweetapolita. They’re called “Sugar Fairy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley” Link is right above the recipe!

      1. I also love the sprinkles, but I found out the ones with gold (or any metallic coating) can’t be sold to California. Well, not legally… I found an Etsy shop re-selling this very blend that must not have been aware of the law because they are being delivered today!

  6. Worked beautifully. Great tutorial, thank you!

  7. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    Just gorgeous, this is such a great technique for spring baking!

  8. I loved this challenge. The buttercream was easy to make, had great flavor and was a dream to pipe.  I liked your sprinkles so I ordered some.  The roses made the cupcakes elegant for sure.

  9. These are gorgeous! I’m thinking about making a cake with two-toned roses like this for Easter this year, but I’m not the biggest fan of American Buttercream. Do you think they would turn out just as well with an Italian Meringue Buttercream? If so, do you have a recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream you would recommend?  

    1. Italian meringue would absolutely work, but I don’t have a recipe on my website for it. Have fun decorating!

  10. I made these with vanilla and caramel frosting and they are so good. I am thinking of decorating a cake with the roses.

  11. Hi Sally, do you think these would work with stiff consistency royal icing? 🙂

    1. I can’t see why not

  12. I tried this today in preparation for doing them on a birthday cake. It was so easy! I kinda want to put roses on everything! Thank you so much for this challenge. I never would have tried to do something like this in a million  years! 

    1. YAY! That’s what it’s all about! So happy you tried something new! Be sure to upload a picture of the birthday cake to Facebook or IG so I can see it 🙂

  13. C.C. Hernandez says:

    Hi Sally! I actually just started my own blog and I used this in my first ever post! I’ve never made a cake so beautiful!!!

    1. Your’s looks beautiful!! Love that the entire cake is GF!

  14. How far ahead can I make the frosting and frost the cupcakes, also can you freeze the frosted cupcakes.  My granddaughter is 12 and wants to make them for her aunties bridal shower.

    1. You can freeze the frosted cupcakes, depending which cupcake recipe you are using. If you are making the simply perfect vanilla cupcakes, the make-ahead instructions are in the recipe. Have fun baking!

  15. Do you have a recommendation for how to do this with 3 colors? Have you tried the technique where you put the different colored frosting into plastic wrap rolled up and put the 3 rolls into a piping bag?

    1. Hi Bre! I actually don’t usually use that plastic wrap technique, though I’m sure it works wonderfully. If I want to swirl more than 2 colors, I just alternate the colors I’m spooning into the piping bag.

  16. How long can this frosting sit out without refridgeration? I want to make the Rose cupcakes for my daughters class valentine party, but they will have to sit on the counter till the end of the school day. Was planning to use my favorite Martha Stewart buttercream recipe (3 sticks of butter, 2 lbs of p. sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla), but am afraid it won’t be stiff enough to hold the flower shape. Contemplated Swiss meringue buttercream, but feared it won’t be stiff enough either.

    1. This is my favorite buttercream recipe and it holds it’s shape beautifully. They will be fine sitting at room temperature for one day!

  17. Hi There! Do you have a link to the cute sprinkle cake plate? Have searched and cannot find…thanks!

    1. Hi Teri, My sister-in-law actually made it for me in a ceramics class!

  18. Where is the link to the video? I’ve looked up and down the post, but I sure can’t find it.

    1. If you see the heading “Here are the tools you’ll need” there is a long paragraph and then a sentence that says “This video explains everything” the video is right after that. Make sure any ad blockers are temporarily paused because they will block out the video display.

  19. I searched the page using the search feature built into my browser for both the heading and sentence you mention, and I found neither. I looked all over and cannot find the link to the video or a video screen. I don’t have any ads on the page either. I assume it’s on YouTube, so I’ll go there and try to find it. Maybe you could put the URL in the comments so folks having trouble can find the video. I love, love, love your blog. Your recipes are great and I really appreciate your generous step by step tutorials. They are phenomenal learning tools. Thanks.

    1. Hi Savannagal! Sorry you’re having trouble viewing the video in this post. Give it a few seconds to load right below this text. It’s a faded horizontal image of the cupcakes. Click on the play button in the center to play it. It is located under the heading Two-Toned Frosting Rose Video Tutorial. Here is the FB link to when I last shared it:

      1. Can you share where you purchased the sprinkles? I can’t find anything quite like it. Thank you!

      2. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Michelle! The sprinkles in these pictures are from Sweetapolita. They’re called “Sugar Fairy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley.”

  20. Hi Sally!
    These roses look so beautiful! I tried making them just now, using the tip you recommended, but unfortunately they didn’t work out. Any special tips for making them?

    1. Hi Grace, What exactly went wrong with them? My best tip is to make sure you are working with a strong, sturdy frosting that will hold its rose shape. If your frosting is too thin you can add more sugar to it to thicken it up. Be sure to watch the video tutorial above for more help!

  21. Hi Sally,
    The frosting defiantly had a great consistency, but when I piped, the roses wouldn’t form- or rather, they just looked like circles. I made sure I used the right tip, and I also watched your video.

  22. Do you think I could try using a 30 tips instead, since the one you suggested didn’t seem to work for me? 30 has a similar shape.
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, it should!

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