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Leopard Print Buttercream Cake

A quick scroll or spin through the fall offerings of any clothing or home goods retailer this year will have you seeing spots, literally. Leopard print is back in a big way! For some of us it never left (eh, hem).

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

As most of you know, trends that pop up in clothing and home goods almost always make their way onto cakes. When deciding how to tackle this idea, I knew I wanted to go untraditional with colors. Pink leopard print speaks to my 90’s teenage soul in a way that little else does. By all means go with standard browns and tans if that’s your jam. I also decided to use the buttercream transfer method when making my spots to give the finished cake a little added texture and because it’s easier to fix or hide any mistakes along the way. If a spot goes wonky on you, just slide the cake back into the fridge, pop the errant spot off with the tip of a knife, and try again. Just don’t get too fussy with your design. This is one of those times when the more random, the better.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

LEOPARD BUTTERCREAM CAKE
a tutorial by Erin Gardner

Supplies:

PREP YOUR SUPPLIES

Cut tiny 1 to 2-inch squares of waxed paper. Tint about a cup each of buttercream with the soft pink, fuchsia, and burgundy gel colors. Using piping tips is entirely optional, but I feel they make the job a little easier. Fill bags with small round tips (or just cut small openings) with the burgundy and soft pink. Fill a bag with a slightly larger round tip (or just cut it) with fuchsia. Tint 2 to 3 cups of buttercream dark gray and fill a bag fitted with a large star tip.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

MAKE THE LEOPARD PRINT BUTTERCREAM TRANSFERS

You can make your leopard spots as large or as small as you like depending on the size of your project. I made mine .5 to 1-inch in diameter. Draw circles on the back of your waxed paper squares if you need a guide, or just freehand it like I did. Use the burgundy buttercream to pipe small lines or dots that roughly outline a small circle. Fill in the center of the circle with the fuchsia buttercream.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Set the square on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other paper squares. I made about 60 leopard spots total to cover a tall 6-inch round. Mix up the patterns you pipe with the burgundy buttercream to vary the look of the spots. Pop the tray of spots into the fridge to chill just until they’re firm to the touch, about 10 minutes.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

 

COMPLETE THE LEOPARD PRINT CAKE

Pipe a layer of pale pink buttercream on the backs of each spot so that they’ll sit slightly elevated and level on the sides of the cake.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Press the spots randomly onto the sides of the chilled buttercream cake. Gently smooth your finger over each spot to ensure it’s fully making contact with the cake.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Pop the cake back into the fridge until the spots are firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Peel off the paper backings and repeat the process to fill in any spaces with more spots.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Top the cake with piped swirls of dark gray buttercream.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Fill in spots between dots with gray pearl sprinkles and garnish the buttercream swirls with assorted sprinkles in complementing shades of pink.

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

Leopard Print Buttercream Cake - how to make a pink leopard print cake using buttercream frosting | by Erin Gardner for TheCakeBlog.com

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Piped Hearts Valentine’s Cake

When it comes to Valentine’s Day cake decorating, hearts and pink color palettes are tradition. Today I’m going to show you how to put a modern spin on these classic Valentine’s Day cake decorations with one of my new favorite piping techniques, wholly inspired by one of my favorite Instagram cakers @frostedfujicakes! Whether you want to make a cake for your honey (or Galentine!) or simply want to get creative with a Valentine’s Day themed cake, this one is so easy to whip up and totally eye-catching.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

This technique involves imprinting shapes on your cake (in this case, hearts!) and using buttercream piping to fill them in, then accenting with pretty sprinkles to give it even more texture. I went with a rose gold color palette on this one, from the buttercream to the sprinkles, and really love how these pink tones turned out. If you’re not into pink or just want to do something different, you can use any color palette your heart desires! Feel free to think outside the traditional Valentine’s Day color palette on this one.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

As far as frosting goes, this technique works with any kind of buttercream that’s tintable and pipeable. I’m an American buttercream gal myself, so that’s what you’re seeing in this tutorial. Whatever kind of frosting, color palette, or sprinkle mix you go with, I think this design perfect for any Valentine’s Day celebration! It’s the ideal centerpiece for a party or a fun treat to whip up and impress your date. So versatile!

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

PIPED HEARTS VALENTINE’S CAKE
a tutorial by Whitney DePaoli

SUPPLIES:

  • A cake that’s been frosted and chilled (mine is a 6 inch round)
  • 2-3 cups of vanilla buttercream
  • Pink food color gels of your choice
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter (mine is 1.5 inches, but you can use any size)
  • Piping bags
  • Piping tip 1M (x2)
  • Piping tip 199
  • Piping tip 21
  • 4 ounces of assorted sprinkles
COLOR AND PREP THE BUTTERCREAM

Divide the buttercream into two separate bowls and tint them with the food color gels of your choice. Since I wanted to match the buttercream with the color palette of the sprinkle mix, I used Americolor Dusty Rose for both of these pinks. I think the colors turned out so perfect!

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Once you’re happy with your buttercream color scheme, prepare four piping bags by fitting two of them with piping tip 1M, one with tip 199, and one with tip 21. Place half of the first color into the piping bag fitted with the 1M tip and the other half into the piping bag fitted with the 199 tip. Divide the remaining buttercream color amongst the remaining two piping bags.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Keep in mind that you can use any color palette you want with this design, and can even use a monotone color scheme if that’s what your heart desires. If you do go with all one color, you’ll need one less piping bag fitted with the 1M tip.

IMPRINT THE HEARTS

On your frosted and chilled cake, use the heart-shaped cookie cutter to imprint hearts all around the cake in a random pattern.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

You’ll want to space the hearts at least two inches apart so that they don’t look too crowded.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

FILL HEARTS WITH PIPING

Next, use your piping bags to create tiny rosettes and stars within each heart imprint.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Fill in as much of the heart as possible, and don’t get too discouraged if it looks a little less like a heart shape right now. The sprinkles will make everything come together, I promise!

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

ADD SPRINKLES

One by one, add sprinkles to each heart to fill in any gaps and add even more texture. I love how the sprinkles enhance the buttercream colors and piping!

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

When you’re finished adding sprinkles to the hearts, continue adding sprinkles in the spaces around them. My only tip with this process is: keep a damp paper towel handy. Pressing your finger to a damp paper towel before touching it to a sprinkle can help with quick placement because the sprinkles won’t fall off your finger as easily. If you’re not into placing the sprinkles with your fingertips, you can use tweezers as an alternative. Either way will be a little tedious, but totally worth it for this look!

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

NOTE: gold and silver dragées are considered safe for cake decoration but have not been approved by the FDA for consumption. To play it safe, instruct your guests not to eat the long gold rods.

 

CREATE THE ROSETTE ROPE BORDER

Once you’re finished adding all the sprinkles, it’s time to finish off the cake with a beautiful rosette rope border! To get the look, use the piping bag fitted with the 1M tip. Place the piping tip about an inch inwards from the edge of the cake, holding the piping tip at about a 45 degree angle towards you. Then, pipe rosettes counter clockwise in alternating colors.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Repeat the process of piping rosettes, alternating colors each time until you’ve got a pretty rosette border around the top of the cake.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

Add more sprinkles to the rope border to tie the whole cake together.

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com

And voila – a total stunner for Valentine’s Day!

Piped Hearts Valentine's Cake | by Whitney DePaoli for TheCakeBlog.com