How to Add Flowers to a Cake

Try It!
Here is a cake recipe from our collection:

Flowers are a classic cake decoration. Though they look intricate, they are actually quite
simple. Following are some tips for different
types of icing flowers.

Drop Flower (use drop flower and writing tips):
  1. Hold bag so tip is at a 90-degree angle. Position opening of drop flower tip just above cake or other flat surface and gently squeeze.

  2. Lift slightly while still squeezing. When drop flower is desired size, stop squeezing, then lift tip.

  3. Pipe dot in center of each drop flower, using writing tip.

    Pipe a dot in the center of each flower.
    Pipe a dot in the center of each flower.

TIPS:

  • When piping drop flowers for drying, glue waxed paper to flat surface with shortening so waxed paper doesn't lift during piping.

  • When piping large drop flowers, try using a two-handed grip to give you more squeezing power.

  • Frosting consistency for drop flowers should be slightly stiffer.

Leaf (use leaf tip):
  1. Hold bag so tip is at a 45-degree angle to the right. If using a #352 tip, position notch perpendicular to cake.

    Hold your bag at a 45-degree angle from the cake.
    Hold your bag at a 45-degree
    angle from the cake.
  2. If using a #67 tip, position flat part of tip parallel to cake.

     If using a #67 tip, position flat part of tip parallel to cake.
    If using a #67 tip, position flat
    part of tip parallel to cake.
  3. Position opening just above cake and gently squeeze until base of leaf builds up slightly.

  4. Continue squeezing while pulling tip out away from base. When leaf is desired length, stop squeezing, then lift tip. (For most flower designs, leaves should point up.)
Rosette Border (use open or closed star tip):
  1. Hold bag so tip is at an angle (about a 75-degree angle for bottom border and a 90-degree angle for top border). Position opening just above cake and gently squeeze.

  2. Guide tip in circular motion counterclockwise while still squeezing.

  3. When you've piped a full circle, guide tip to center of frosting circle. Stop squeezing, then lift tip.

  4. Position tip so that it is almost touching first rosette and pipe another rosette. Repeat to complete border.

    Position tip so that it is almost touching first rosette and pipe another rosette.
    Position tip so that it is almost touching
    first rosette and pipe another rosette.

Shell (use round tip, or open or closed star tip):
  1. Hold bag so tip is at a 45-degree angle to the right just above cake.

  2. Squeeze until a small mound is formed for base of shell, lifting slightly.

  3. Continue squeezing with lighter pressure while pulling tip away from base to the right until tail is desired length. Stop squeezing, then lift tip.
Shell Border (use round tip, or open or closed star tip):
  1. Position tip so that it is almost touching tail of first shell.

  2. Pipe another shell. Repeat to complete border.

    Pipe a series of shells to form a boarder.
    Pipe a series of shells to form a border.

Double Shell Border (use round tip, or open or closed star tip):
  1. Pipe shell border as directed above.

  2. Pipe a second row of shells offset of first row so the bases of these shells fill in the tails of shells in first row.
Reverse Shell Border (use round tip, or open or closed star tip):
  1. Hold bag so tip is at a 45-degree angle just above cake.

  2. Squeeze until a small mound is formed for base of shell, lifting slightly, as if making a shell, but swing tip around slightly to the left in a semicircular motion.

    Begin by making a mound and then move the tip in semi-circular motion.
    Begin by making a mound and then
    move the tip in semicircular motion.

  3. Continue squeezing with lighter pressure while pulling tip away from base to the right until tail is desired length. Stop squeezing, then lift tip.

  4. Position tip so that it is slightly above and almost touching tail of first shell.

  5. Repeat procedure, only swing tip around slightly to the right as you form tail.

    Repeat procedure, only swing tip around slightly to the right as you form tail.
    Repeat procedure, only swing tip around
    slightly to the right as you form tail.

  6. Stop squeezing, then lift tip. Repeat to complete border alternating directions.
Interlocking Shell Border (use round tip, or open or closed star tip):
  1. Hold bag so tip is at a 45-degree angle to the right just above cake.

  2. Squeeze until a small mound is formed for base of shell, lifting slightly.

  3. Continue squeezing with lighter pressure while pulling tip away from base and slightly up to the right until tail is desired length. Stop squeezing, then lift tip.

  4. Position tip tucked under tail of first shell. Squeeze until a small mound is formed for base of shell, lifting slightly.

  5. Continue squeezing with lighter pressure while pulling tip away from base and up over tail of first shell and slightly to right.

    Continue squeezing with lighter pressure while pulling tip away from base and up over tail
    Continue squeezing with lighter
    pressure while pulling tip away
    from base and up over tail of
    first shell and slightly to right.

  6. When tail is desired length, stop squeezing, then lift tip. Repeat to complete border, always tucking base of new shell under tail of previous shell.
Ruffle Accent to Shell Border (use rose tip):
  1. Hold the bag so wide end of hole in tip is between two shells and narrow end of tip is angling up at a 45-degree angle.

  2. Gently squeeze while moving tip slightly upward to form tiny ruffle. Stop squeezing, then lift tip.

Gently squeeze while moving tip slightly upward to form tiny ruffle.
Gently squeeze while moving tip
slightly upward to form tiny ruffle.

In the next section, we'll discuss decorating cakes with chocolate and nuts.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cake Recipes: Find basic cake recipes as well as ideas for types of cakes you may have never even heard of, all on our Cake Recipes page.
  • How to Bake a Cake: Find basic instructions and definitions that will help you bake a cake in this article. You'll learn about selecting the proper baking pan, cooling and frosting a finished cake, and more.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.