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Topic: Help with buttercream fall leaves
ocnprknatv 07/13/2009 7:00 AM
I have a cake coming up this fall where I have to make fall colored leaves...buttercream, and I need a LOT. I am not really great at these as a decorational piece. I usually can maneuver a leaf around flowers fine, but to make it where the leaves are part of the focal point, I'm nervous.

Anyone have some good ideas, suggestions, color choices, etc...for me??

Thanks in advance!~
MARIE J 07/13/2009 7:28 AM
Fall colors would be reds, browns & yellows primarily.

How large are the leaves going to be ?
ocnprknatv 07/14/2009 6:18 AM
The sent me a picture of a three tiered cake...with the leaves "cascading" down the cake, and sort of like, they just fell from a tree onto the cake. The colors are primarily reds, browns and yellows yes..and the size varies...some are smaller, some larger...smaller on top with the smaller tier...growing bigger with the largest on the bottom.
MARIE J 07/14/2009 6:59 AM
I don't know what the picture looks like, but from how you are explaining it, are you sure that the leaves are in bc?? Sounds to me like they would most likely be in fondant for the full effect of what you're needing.
MARIE J 07/14/2009 7:02 AM
Are the leaves in rolled buttercream?

I'm just thinking that even with the largest size leaf tip, the leaves aren't going to be that large, which would mean A LOT of work !!

Not sure what size cake you're going to be doing either, as you haven't said
sweetgrandma 07/14/2009 7:13 AM
I agree Marie...or they could possibly be chocolate??

ocnp..a picture would help us out if you could post one.
ocnprknatv 07/14/2009 7:21 AM
The picture they sent me has fondant or gumpaste leaves on it. They don't want either, and I don't do fondant. I only do buttercream, which is what the couple wants the leaves made from.

It's going to be a three tiered, stacked feed 85 I believe.

I've never worked with rolled buttercream either, so perhaps that's a good place to see if I can get the effect we are looking for.

The cake picture they sent me is more for reference...they'd like it to be more "real looking" and cascading with leaves.

I can't seem to paste it here, the picture, if you want to see it, go to and look at picture W48.


dottiepark 07/14/2009 7:28 AM
I don't know about you guys, but I get very irked when someone shows me a fondant cake (with tricky decos) and wants it done in buttercream. I like working with both, but there are some things that you can do in one material and not the other. Sewing patterns list recommended fabrics and unsuitable fabrics for that particular design. Oh, that there was a similar disclaimer for cakes!
ocnprknatv 07/14/2009 7:38 AM
I know dottie...and I agree...problem for me is that I don't do leaves (no pun intended) me with my famous buttercream. It's what I'm known for around my part of the world.

And usually...............I can make anything from buttercream look like it's made smooth and out of fondant.

I'm just a cake snob, and I don't like fondant, so those that know me and my work, know they will get a cake that will be made entirely of cake, and entirely of buttercream frosting...whether it be chocolate or regular won't be fondant.

The difference for me, being the cake snob that I am, is that I know my customer or family or friends, are going to be able to eat the entire cake.

I did a nice tulip cake earlier this year, and had to make those tulips out of gumpaste...and while they looked pretty.......ya'all would break a tooth eating it. That is not cake to me.

Seems though, because I am so picky about what I can and cannot do, I always get these sorts of
MARIE J 07/14/2009 11:36 AM
I just took a look at the cake they've given you to work from as inspiration.

Those leaves are definately made out of fondant or gumpaste - if you want to do them that size, there's a cookie cutter that Wilton does, that is in that shape - it could work - you would need to overlap the leaves as they cascade down the cake

I do have to agree that there's nothign very realistic about the way they are places on the cake for falling. What about doing a combo of bc & fondant - the fondant wld give the 3-d effect of the leaves
mal_gal 09/01/2009 8:43 AM
I don't know if you've already made the fall leaves cakes and I'm pretty new to decorating, but could you use a leaf cookie cutter as a template or stencil and pipe in the buttercream, let it harden, and then place the leaf on the cake? Or use a leaf cookie cutter and trace it several times onto wax paper (with a Food writer or something not harmful to eat since it's touching the cutter) so you have a whole sheet of templates. Turn over the wax paper so the traced lines are facing down (you can see them through the paper) and pipe on the buttercream, let it harden, and then apply the leaves to the cake? Sorry, I don't know if this makes sense and i'm not sure you could do it this way as I'm a rookie, but it might could work. You might could try it this way as a buttercream transfer. Just suggestions!

Here's a link to one of Wilton's oak leaf cookie cutters...They have lots of different types to choose from though. Hope this is helpful!
td6262 09/01/2009 10:26 AM
Gumpaste is definately unedible. I took at look at the picture too. (see attached) You could try to use color flow if you don't want to use fondant. With the color flow you could swirl the colors for a natural effect. Good Luck.
td6262 09/01/2009 10:42 AM
I did a little research. I found this picture, which in my opinion is more of a cascading look of leaves. It is done with fondant but, rolled buttercream would work. It would also allow you to stay true to your buttercream purist goal.
power05 09/25/2009 7:31 PM
So, does anyone have any advice on how to do buttercream oak leaves? I have seen them done and would love to know how to do it. Thanks!
Jeanne G 09/25/2009 9:07 PM
I just posted a sheetcake with some buttercream fall leaves in the Seasonal forum. Mine aren't very big, but could be done with a bigger tip.
power05 09/25/2009 9:41 PM
Thanks Jeanne!