Buttercream babes put your hands up! Whilst I adore fondant and its malleable possibilities, I have a very soft spot for buttercream. American Crusting, Swiss Meringue, Ermine… They all have a place and they all have their own strengths and personalities.
In this blog post, I’m unveiling 5 of the quickest ways to decorated a cake with buttercream to produce a gorgeous finish. I subscribe to the belief that Cake Decorating shouldn’t be tedious, hard or complicated. So I hope these 5 decorating ideas help you add some pizzazz to your buttercream cakes minus the long hours and stress!
Creating a flurry of beautiful colours, this finish can hold it’s own, or act as the perfect backdrop for toppers, sprinkles,
meringue kisses and drips galore. There are different methods for creating this watercolour buttercream effect and the results
can vary. Depending on the pressure, application and smoothing technique, you can produce either a smooth, sleek watercolour finish (as pictured) or a more textured, chunky effect. Both have its place and look fantastic.
Creating this look is easy peasy lemon squeezy. I personally like to start with a cold, pre-covered buttercream cake, and layer on different coloured buttercream splodges (that’s gotta be an actual term, right?) directly onto the cake surface using a small offset spatula. With the cake being cold and hard, this would make it easy to press and smooth down the different hues of buttercream. I often like to finish this off with a final smooth using a warm spatula or warm flat scraper as it further enhances the “watercolour effect”.
Okay… I’ll have to admit. I have favourites…. And when it comes to decorating with buttercream, creating texture through painting with buttercream has got to be my no.1 favourite way to decorate buttercream cakes. I love it for the fact that (with a little bit of practice) it is surprisingly QUICK and FAST, and there are literally a gazillion possibilities once you’ve nailed a few basic techniques.
This texture painting effect is created using palette knives and pastry brushes and if you’ve never tried it before, I can tell you it’ll quickly become your go-to buttercream method once you learn the foundational methods. And if you’re curious about my exact techniques to create this buttercream finish, I’m running a FREE *limited-time-only* Buttercream Texture Online Workshop on the 31 July & 1 August 2022 and you can sign up for it Here!
I’m sharing my juicy secrets from my buttercream texture painting toolbox in this 2-Part Video Workshop, so this is your Invitation to come along for the sweet buttercream ride! >> REGISTER FOR FREE
Stencils have been a mainstay in cake decorating for yonks. Go back a decade and everyone was stencilling royal icing on
to fondant cakes. Fast forward to today, and stencilling on buttercream is quickly gaining dominance. When done right, a gorgeous stencilled pattern can pull and hold one’s attention with it’s intricate elegance. This stunning beauty by Debra Gonzago of Brown Sugared Love (one of our amazing ‘Cake Insider Academy’ members) is the perfect example of that.
To create a stencilled buttercream effect, wrap or attach your stencil onto a very COLD buttercream cake and fasten with toothpicks (or tape if your stencil ends are long enough to meet at the ends). Using an offset spatula, palette on a small amount of soft-textured buttercream (I would recommend Swiss, Italian or Ermine buttercream) and straightaway use a smooth scraper to scrape away any access. Remove your stencil and voila! Stencilled sensation!
This has gotta be by far the eaaasiest but impressive things you can do to elevate a cake. Better yet, it is just so dang fun to do!
To create this look, I used a clean painters brush, Sweetsticks Edible Art Paints and a few drop of decorators alcohol. To thin down the paints, I added a few drops of decorators alcohol then loaded up my brush with a generous amount of paint. Using some swift “ninja chopping” swipes, I flicked the paint off the brush in the direction of the cake and allowed the thin paint to splatter onto the cake.
Oh, and side note, don’t forward to cover your area in newspaper! It’ll save you on cleanup time afterwards *wink*
When I say piping, one might instantly think of Lambeth masterpieces or fine detailing. Those techniques are heart-meltingly lovely, but remember this blog post is all about “quick yet stunning”. So here I’m referring to quick piping. Dots, rosettes and simple flourishes to make a cake *pop*. I love this technique as it requires very little technical ability, and can be done with some coloured, leftover buttercream (Sidenote: I always freeze or chill whatever leftover buttercream I have as it’s PERFECT for adding buttercream decorations whenever you need it).
So thereeee ya have it! 5 quick ways to add some WOW to your buttercream cakes. I’d love to know, what are your favourite ways to decorate with buttercream? Tell me in the comm
ents below? And if you have any struggles with buttercream, let me know too and I’ll be happy to help!