3 July 2018

Buttercream Succulent Cake

If you ever go to my Pinterest account you will find that I have pin boards dedicated to layer cakes, boards all about sheet cakes, and some about muffins and no-bake desserts. One of my favourite pin boards that I am constantly adding to is the one dedicated to piped buttercream flowers. I have always admired people's patience that goes into piping delicate petals with all the details. Piping buttercream flowers is something I have always had the intention of trying but I never knew how to get started and which piping tips to buy. As a result I stuck with simpler piping techniques like the ones used on the chocolate lilac cupcakes and the peanut butter and jelly birthday cake.

I recently picked up a few of Wilton's new DIY cake decorating kits, with one of them being a kit for piping simple flowers. The kit included all the piping tips and tools as well as an easy-to-follow, full-colour instruction book that shows you how to pipe all kinds of blooms like drop flowers, leaf tip flowers, petal tip flowers. While flipping the through the book, I came across a section on piping succulents (!!). The succulent section had a step by step guide on how to pipe a cute cactus with little white spikes and a pink flower on top. The first few cacti I piped were the ones demonstrated in the book. I then went rogue and played around with some other piping tips in the kit. You will find a little helpful diagram I made with all the piping tips I used for this cake below.

I would recommend using stiffer buttercream to pipe your flowers and succulents so they create crisper lines. I used a simple American buttercream for my flowers and adjusted the stiffness of the buttercream by adding either more icing sugar (stiffer) or adding more milk (softer). You could pipe directly onto the surface of your cake but I chose to pipe my cacti onto parchment paper squares that were included into kit so I could easily transfer them to the fridge to firm up. Once the flowers have firmed up in the fridge, I used an offset spatula and transferred them over to the cake. Since the flowers are firm, you can easily position and reposition them on the cake.

What I used:
Includes 9-inch straight spatula, twelve 12-inch disposable decorating bags, 3 standard couplers, decorating brush, 13 decorating tips (Round 2, 8; Star 18, 199; Drop Flower 1B, 1G, 2C, 2F, 109, 225; Leaf 352; Petal 104, 127), flower nail and 50 flower squares.

Thank you Wilton for sending over so many goodies so I can finally get started with learning to pipe buttercream flowers! For more how-to kits to help you get started, click here!

Devil's Food Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup (270g) brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven at 350°F. Grease three 6-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until well incorporated.

Add in the dry ingredients and start mixing on slow. Gradually add the milk and sour cream.

Divide batter evenly into three cake pans.

Bake for 26 - 29 minutes until the cake springs back when you press the top gently. Let cakes cool before removing them from pan to completely cool.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Melt chocolate and butter together on top of a double broiler. Set aside and let mixture cool.

Once chocolate mixture has cooled, transfer mixture to the bowl if a mixer and combine with sour cream, vanilla, and salt.

Gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and mix on low until incorporated. Turn mixer on high and mix until frosting is fluffy.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream (for piping)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
Food colouring of choice

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla.

Gradually add the icing sugar and mix until incorporated. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time.

Mix on high until buttercream is at desired consistency.

Separate buttercream into bowls to colour with food colouring.

Happy baking!


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