How to Pipe a Two-Toned Frosting Rose

Learn more about frosting cakes and cupcakes in my piping tips 101 post.

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on

I’ve been dying to chat with you about frosting designs/piping tips for ages and today, we’ll be covering a lot of that ground. We’re focusing on a decorating technique that looks super fancy and beautiful but is secretly SO UNBELIEVABLY EASY. I’m actually shouting that because this is the easiest way to pipe frosting on cupcakes! We’ll be working on two-toned frosting roses using my basic vanilla frosting recipe.

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on

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. They remind me of the roses in my bridesmaids’ bouquets! (1st picture right here) 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 stunning! *Almost* too pretty to eat.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

The piping tip is obviously the most crucial and either listed above work for this design. For the two-toned look, you can choose any colors you like. I swear by using gel colors in frosting as liquid colors could alter the texture. The Americolor brand, linked above, is what I typically reach for. 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, whatever… would be equally as gorgeous. I’m going to explain things a little more in a second, but want you to watch this video first so you know exactly what I’m doing/talking about.

This video explains everything!

The tip I show is labeled 1M, but I believe it to be an older model. It must be 10 years old at this point. It’s a closed star, like the 2D piping tip, but these days the 1M is an open star tip. Like I listed above, either tip will give you a rose pattern. 🙂

Also, do you like my trick for hiding the ugly spots? Swear by it!! Piping roses is literally just swirling the frosting on top. It takes zero special talent, I promise. And getting two colors in the piping bag is nothing complicated either. Line the bag with your color, then fill the rest with your white frosting like I showed in the video above. The first rose you pipe may have all colored frosting, but after that one– you should begin to see the white frosting come out. Here’s the first of the batch I piped:

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on

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

Then after I got going, here are the rest:

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on

Of course none of this would be possible without a dependable vanilla frosting recipe. I include my favorite vanilla frosting recipe with the tutorial instructions below. 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. Feel free to reduce the recipe down if you need less frosting.

vanilla buttercream

For the cake, I used my favorite white layer cake recipe.

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on

For the cupcakes, I used my simply perfect vanilla cupcakes recipe.

Vanilla cupcakes on

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 HEY it really isn’t that hard at all, my confidence got a lil’ boost and now I can decorate a beautiful rose cake almost as fab as the pros.

Use your favorite cake/cupcake recipe, any color frosting you like (a pink + blue together maybe?), decorate part of a cake, a whole cake, mini cupcakes, 100 cupcakes (can I come over?), whatever.

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on

If you’re curious, the sprinkles in these pictures are from Sweetapolita. They’re called “Sugar Fairy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley” 🙂


Two-Toned Frosting Roses

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups
  • Category: Frosting
  • 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 ColoringPiping Bags1M Frosting Tip
  3. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: cupcakes, frosting

How to pipe beautifully unique frosting roses the easy way! Recipe and tutorial on


  1. 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. 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. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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!!!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

    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.

1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love



Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally