Learn how to pipe a beautiful two-toned frosting rose the easy way. Using my classic vanilla buttercream recipe, 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!
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.
3 Tools You Need for Frosting Roses
- 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 as liquid colors could alter the texture. The Americolor brand is what I typically reach for (I used the fuchsia shade). 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, red, 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’ll see in this video, piping roses is literally just swirling frosting on top of cupcakes or cakes– it takes zero special talent. 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:
See a little white starting to come out at the top?
Then after I got going, here are the rest:
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.
For the cake, I used my favorite white layer cake recipe.
For the cupcakes, I used my simply perfect vanilla cupcakes recipe.
I encourage you to get in the kitchen and try something new. 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.
Use your favorite cake/cupcake recipe, any color frosting you like– and decorate part of a cake, a whole cake, mini cupcakes, 100 cupcakes (can I come over?), and more.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.”
- 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.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Americolor Gel Food Coloring, Piping Bags, and 1M Frosting Tip
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: frosting rose