Learn more about frosting cakes and cupcakes in my piping tips 101 post.
Welcome back to the Monthly Baking Challenge. And thanks for checking in on a weekend! I didn’t want to break from posting the challenge recipes on the 1st of every month. And no April fools jokes today, but I certainly laugh every time I hear my voice on a recording or video. Can you listen/watch yourself talk? It’s definitely a weird torture unlike any other. (Video is below!)
We’re not exactly focusing on a recipe for the challenge this month. Rather, 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.
I’ve been dying to chat with you about frosting designs/piping tips for ages and this month, we’ll be covering a lot of that ground.
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:
- Food coloring (I used the fuchsia shade)
- Piping bag (disposable or washable— 12 or 16 inch)
- 1M frosting tip or 2D frosting tip
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:
See a little white starting to come out at the top?
Then after I got going, here are the rest:
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.
For the cake, I used my favorite white layer cake recipe.
For the cupcakes, I used my simply perfect vanilla cupcakes recipe.
I chose to share something like this for the challenge in April because I want 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.
I also chose this as the challenge this month because I want you to be the creator. 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.
If you’re not into today’s recipe, here is the alternate April Baking Challenge:
After you made the baking challenge recipe or alternative, share your photos throughout this month using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page.
I’m excited to see all of your unique colored roses and decorated frosting masterpieces! Let me know if you have any questions. And if you’re curious, the sprinkles in these pictures are from Sweetapolita. They’re called “Sugar Fairy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley” 🙂
Two-Toned Frosting Roses
- 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."
*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.
Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
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