How to Make the Absolute Easiest-Ever Buttercream Flowers

Best of all, you only need one pastry tip.

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February 08, 2021

We’ve all been there; you bake an absolutely perfect batch of cupcakes and, after decorating the first one, you realize that making them look pretty is no small task. Maybe you even watch a sad little swirl of icing slide off the side of the cupcake as you think, “I’m sure the next one will turn out better." Then, before you know it, you’ve got a big ol’ plate of very messy cupcakes that’s only good for one thing: posting on Instagram as a hilarious #bakingfail.

Get ready for that to change — at least when it comes to piping flowers. Ana Calderone’s Buttercream Flowers class on Food Network Kitchen shows you how to make two gorgeous flower-inspired cupcakes with practically no special equipment at all.

She starts by whipping up a batch of homemade frosting (so easy!) that has the perfect, soft consistency for piping flowers. When the buttercream is nice and fluffy she divides it evenly into three separate bowls, coloring some of the frosting pink and some purple.

Then she fills her piping bags. She fits her piping bag with a 2D piping tip (it’s the one in your decorating kit that looks like a star shape, but with the prongs curved in toward the center of the tip) before spreading pink frosting around the inside edge of the bag. That’s right, instead of filling the bag with pink frosting she uses an offset spatula to coat the inside edge of the bag, leaving the center hollow. Then, she adds some white frosting to the hole in the center of the piping bag. She finishes up by adding a little pink frosting to the center of the bag — on top of the white.

Worried you won’t layer the frosting into the bag the right way? Don’t be. Ana says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect because we want that blended look."

After doing the exact same thing with the purple frosting in a separate bag she’s ready to decorate her cupcakes. She tops some with pretty two-tone hydrangeas by simply piping individual star shapes around the outer edge of the cupcake, working her way into the center until she’s happy with the look of the flower.

Her pink-and-white roses come together just as easily; she simply pipes one long, continuous swirl onto the top of the cupcake, starting in the middle and moving to the outer edge. As you work your way through the bags of frosting the colors will vary, giving your finished “bouquet” a beautiful, multi-dimensional look. They’re so pretty you won’t believe that you decorated them in a matter of minutes!

This is one technique that you’ll use again and again. Bake a batch for a special occasion, send some to a friend or neighbor who needs a pick-me-up or let these cupcakes stand in for a Valentine's Day bouquet. Just don’t be surprised when your friends and family request another batch of these picture-perfect treats!

Want more baking tips and techniques? Sign up for the Food Network Kitchen app and you’ll have access to classes and recipes from all your favorite chefs — including this one!

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