How to Decorate an Ombre Petal Buttercream Cake

February 12th, 2013 by Beth Veltman

I recently made an ombre petal buttercream cake to celebrate a special baby shower for a co-worker here at Wilton. I have done this “petal effect” with buttercream before and wanted to add the look of ombre coloring. Creating the petal texture is a little time consuming, but a very easy technique.

To begin, I baked a Vanilla Bean cake in two 9” round pans. Once cooled, I leveled, filled, and stacked the cakes on a cake circle and set on my turntable (I am in LOVE with my Ultimate Trim-N-Turn Caddy by Wilton).

Next, I made a double batch of Honey-Vanilla Bean buttercream icing and divided it in three portions. Using Wilton’s rose/petal pink icing color, I tinted each portion to a light pink, medium pink, and dark pink. I put each color into its own disposable decorator bag fitted with a coupler and snipped at the very tip. You could also use a bag with a 1A decorating tip inserted instead of a coupler.

Using the medium pink color, I lightly iced the cake with a thin coat of icing, making a smooth and even surface. While the icing was setting, I prepared my workspace set with a clean but damp towel, the three icing bags, a 9″ angled spatula, a small glass of warm water, and the cake on the turntable.

Cake and Icing Supplies

Beginning at the back and bottom of the cake, using the darkest pink, I piped 2 dots that were slightly larger than the width of the spatula. Using the tip of the spatula, I pressed firmly into one dot and smeared the icing to the right. After doing the same to the second dot, I piped 2 more dots near the end of the first smears and smeared the new dots. I repeated this all the way around the cake making sure to wipe my spatula clean and dip it in the warm water when needed.

Moving up the side of the cake, I repeated the process to make 2 rows of medium pink, and then 1 row of light pink top. Moving to the top of the cake I started with the lightest color and moved in a circle around the edge of the cake. After creating 2 rings of the lightest color, I made 2 rings of medium color, and finished with 1 ring of dark pink and a center dot to finish.

Icing the Cake

Connecting the Petals There is a lot that you can do with this technique to vary the results. Try putting your petals closer together or farther apart, or using a smaller tip and spatula. Maybe try going “up the cake” instead of around. Use one color or use multi colors and create a pattern. Try a square ended spatula to create a more geometric look or try the prongs on a fork for more texture.

To finish the last dot, I piped the dot and smeared it as far as I could without disturbing the next dot. It helps to pull the spatula away from the cake (so just the tip is touching). Then, using the tip of the spatula and coming from the other direction, I manipulated the frosting into the blank spaces that remain around the original dot.

Cake and Icing Supplies

The next day, I brought the cake to work in my Ultimate Trim-N-Turn Caddy (seriously LOVE this tool) and added a decorative topper and a few sugar flowers. I was thrilled with the results and received many compliments!

Beth Veltman Beth Veltman is a Demand Planner for Wilton’s Forecasting team. She attended the Illinois Institute of Art & the College of DuPage where she earned two degrees in Retail Merchandising & Marketing, and Fashion Design. Outside of work, Beth enjoys family time with her son Garrett, crafting or sewing, and baking. After taking the Wilton Method classes, Beth developed a passion for creating delicious and gorgeous cupcakes – challenging herself to experiment with flavors and decorating mediums!

48 Replies

  1. John Been says:

    Beth – this was really artistic and creative. I loved it and it really shows off your great eye for design. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to celebrate a special occasion with a treat that was done with such obvious flair. Nicely done! J. B.

  2. Geeta Been says:

    What a beautiful cake!! You are such an artist. Your co-worker must have felt very special!

  3. Nadia says:

    Looks amazing! Very on-trend and definitely unexpected!

  4. Kim Meyer-Kinn says:

    Beth,
    What an artiste you have become! I just love seeing your work- especially how you have interpreted “fashion” into delicious treats! Great job!

  5. Katie says:

    Wow! I am not very creative, but following the step by step that you did, I would try something like this for a special occasion. It’s amazing what creativity and the right tools can do. Lovely!

    • rubyred says:

      I am very new at decorating and I believe this icing is simple. But I did want to add this idea that just popped into my head. What about trying it out on a child size layer cake to get down the correct movement. I am in my late 60′s and still have my two little cake pans my mother would use when she had left over batter for me. I believe this might be a good place to try this new idea. I just thought you might be interested also and that is why I have posted it to you. : )

  6. Mary Lane says:

    Beth, Your instructions are easy to understand and your cake is beautiful. You’ve come a long way with creativity and baking skills. It seems your tools are mighty handy too! Mary

  7. Anns says:

    Out of anyone I can think of, Beth Ann has the talent and creative prowess to pull of a cake of this caliber. Beautifully prepared, Beth Ann! Wish I could taste it! :-)

  8. Faith says:

    My mouth is watering just thinking about this!! It not only looks incredible but also tastes crazy good- that takes talent! Thanks for sharing. its fun reading and seeing the step by steps.

  9. Dana says:

    Great job Beth! Amazing as always!

  10. Susan J. Sias, WMI says:

    Wow Beth! What a fantastic demonstration of a beautiful cake design you have created for a lovely friend! Wonderful instruction to make it easy for anyone to follow along! Thank you so much for sharing! Sweetly, Susan J. Sias, Chocolatier and Wilton Method Instructor.

  11. Beth Veltman says:

    WOW! Thank-you all for the kind comments and encouragement! The best part of creating a cake or cupcake is knowing my friends and family are enjoying my tasty creations!!
    Sweet Hugs, Beth

  12. Heidi says:

    Amazing Job Beth Ann. What an incredible gift you have. I do have a question- What consistency should the butter cream be?

    • Beth Veltman says:

      Thank-you Heidi!
      I used a medium consistency on this cake. But, you can also vary the look of this technique by using a thick consistency. With a thick consistency, the buttercream will curl more around the tip of the spatula when you smear it and create even more texture and height on each petal.
      Sweet Hugs, Beth

  13. Shayne says:

    That is so beautiful!
    I have a question….you didn’t show or address how to finish the last petals where they meet the first petal without crushing the first one. This might be obvious to many but I am just beginning and can’t think of how.

  14. farida khanum says:

    the recipies are superb and the page is very creative.

  15. Anjelee says:

    Do you have any tips for connecting the first pedal with the last petal as you come around the cake?

  16. It looks fabulous, but how did you deal with the final “smears?” Or did you just leave it blank and hide it in the back?

  17. Ann says:

    This is a gorgeous cake! I’d love to know what the Honey-Vanilla Bean Buttercream is. There’s no link to a recipe.

    • Beth Veltman says:

      Hi Ann –

      For the Honey Vanilla Bean Frosting
      2 sticks of salted butter, room temp
      ¼ cup of honey
      Beans from one Vanilla Bean Pod
      3-4 cups powder sugar (to taste & consistancy)
      1-2 tbls of milk or as needed

      In an electric mixer, cream the Butter until pale in color and scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, add 1 third of the powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape the beans from the vanilla pod and add to mixer still beating on low. Add another 1 third of the powdered sugar until combined (be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl now and then). Still with the mixer on low, drizzle in the honey anda dd the remaining third of the sugar until incorporated. Use the milk as needed for thinning the consistency of the frosting.

      Sweet Hugs, Beth

  18. Keri says:

    I have the same question as several others have asked…how did you deal with “tucking” the final petals under the first set? This is a beautiful technique and I’d love to start offering it to my customers!

  19. Beth Veltman says:

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your questions!
    For finishing the row, I laid the dot and began just as another dots. But, as I got closer to the first dot, I moved the spatula away from the cake to avoid touching the next dot. And finally, coming from the opposite direction, I used the tip to massage the frosting into the blank spaces that are left next to the original first dots. Hope this helps!
    Sweet Hugs, Beth

    • Debbie says:

      Aaah…I see you answered what most of us were wondering. Pictures would have been a great help. I’ve seen this technique on Pinterest etc quite a bit and no one shows the “back” of their cake.

  20. Monica C Smith-Kelly says:

    As you come to the end of a row, how to neatly completely the row? If you smear the last dot it will mess up the first dot in that row. Thanks!

  21. Debbie says:

    By the way…forgot to mention. I really like how you did only 1 layer of light petals on the sides and the transition to the top of the cake. Very nice!

  22. Maria Batis says:

    I also would like to get the link for the honey vanilla bean buttercream icing i can’t find it in this website

    • Beth Veltman says:

      Hi Maria –
      I replied to Ann above with my recipe for the Honey Vanilla Bean Buttercream. It is essentially a standard vanilla buttercream (using real butter) but substituting Vanilla Beans in place of vanilla extract, and adding ¼ cup of honey. Enjoy!
      Sweet Hugs, Beth

  23. Susana says:

    Hi Beth!
    Your cake looks beautiful and the vanilla bean frosting sounds like heaven, could you please help me with the frosting, I’m from London and haven’t got a clue about cups or sticks
    Thank you ever so much.

    • Beth Veltman says:

      Hi Susana –
      Here are weight conversions. Hope this helps!

      ½ lb salted butter, room temp
      2.75 oz of honey
      Beans from one Vanilla Bean Pod
      1 lb powder sugar (to taste & consistancy)
      1 oz of milk or as needed

      Sweet Hugs, Beth

  24. Norma says:

    I am completing my second Wilton class. Your directions have been the simplest and easiest I have found with exact details. I think I’ll practice this on my next cake. Can you direct me to the recipes?

  25. Kryshia says:

    This a gorgeous and I am planning on making this for my daughters first birthday. Can you please tell me how you made the ombré coloured? Dd you just add more gel to each lot?
    Thank you!

    • Beth Veltman says:

      Hi Kryshia!
      Yes, I colored the whole batch of frosting to the lightest pink. Then, removed 1/3 and added more gel the remaining 2/3 to create the medium pink. Finally, I added more gel to 1/2 of the medium pink to create the dark pink. Have fun with your frosting!

      Sweet Hugs, Beth

  26. Lyn says:

    Such a sweet cake! Thank you for the idea. I know what to make for my sister’s birthday in 2 weeks.

  27. Renee says:

    I have been looking for directions for this for awhile, I wanted to make this for my 12 year olds birthday but couldn’t find directions, so I made a star cake, your instructions make is sound pretty easy, but I will make it a few times before her birthday to perfect it, Thank you again!!! Its Beautiful!

  28. grey says:

    GRACIAS POR DARNOS TU RECETA, NO SABIA COMO DECORAR JUSTO UNA AMIGA ME DIO UNA PARECIDA PERO CON MANTEQUILLA SIN SAL Y UNA CUCHARADA DE CLARA DE HUEVO, EL RESTO ES IGUALITA, AMIGA ME REGALO UN POQUITO Y ES MUY BUENO ESPERO HACER LA TUYA Y PIENSO QUE ES MUY SABROSA AHORA YA TENDRE COMO DECORAR MIS PASTELES (KEY) GRACIAS A TI, ABRAZOS

  29. Laura says:

    Beautiful cake….I made one today and it turned out great. Thank you for your step by step instructions.

  30. lydia says:

    I like to know how many buttercream must I use for number 50 year cake using ombre petal method. Lydia

  31. Frances says:

    We have a bride that wants an inverted ruffle, ombre medium pink to pale pink on a three tiered cake with somewhere around 10 shades of pink. I’ve never done either technique. Can it be done with the spray can colors?

  32. temp says:

    Thɑnks for finally writing about >How to Decorate an Ombrе
    Petal Buttercream Cake <Liked it!

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