Buttercream Ruffles Tutorial

Buttercream Ruffles

Piping buttercream ruffles is easy once you get the hang of it. Ruffles are very popular in fashion today and cakes often mimic the styles in fashion.

You will need: 

  • 1 batch of buttercream icing 
  • Rose petal tip  
  • Piping bag 
  • Pallete knife 
  • 6 inch Cake/Cake dummy 
  • Turntable/Cake stand
Step one – First you need to crumb coat the cake with buttercream. This will serve as a base for the piped ruffles. (This technique involves covering the entire cake with ruffles, so the finish of your initial buttercream coat will not matter). Place your cake in the middle of the turntable and begin to smooth a thin coat of buttercream over the cake with a pallete knife. The end result should look similar to the picture. frosted cake
Step Two – After you’ve crumb coated the cake, take the piping bag with the rose petal nozzle fitted and fill it with the remaining buttercream.
Step Three – Take the piping bag and position the nozzle so that the narrow end is facing towards you.(The wider end goes up against the cake).  Place the nozzle at the base of the cake and begin to pipe a small line from left to right. Then, continuously keeping pressure on the piping bag, move the nozzle from the left back to the right again. This should create a ruffle effect, as demonstrated in the picture. Repeat this step until you have covered the sides of the cake with piped ruffles. piping buttercream ruffles

Step Four - Once the sides of the cake are completely covered, you need to start on the top of the cake. Place the piping bag around half an inch above the edge of the cake with the thicker part of the nozzle facing away from you. Gently squeezing the piping bag, begin to pipe a small line and then, continuously applying pressure, slightly overlap that line with another line. This is demonstrated in the picture. Continue this sequence until the top of the cake is covered in overlapping ruffles.


This same technique can be modified to create different looks on the cake. The ruffles can be piped horizontally instead of vertically. In this case, you would begin piping the buttercream ruffles from the bottom of the cake and turn the cake as you go until you reach the starting point. The next layer would be done the same way, directly above the first. This procedure would continue all the way to the top. However, it can be done just part of the way up the cake to create a “skirt” to the cake. You will see this technique done on many wedding cakes. If you decide to implement the ruffling technique on only a portion of the cake, then the cake should be smoothly covered in buttercream following the crumb coat.

Should you decide to add ruffles in an arched pattern, i.e. starting at one point, coming down and then coming back up creating a wide letter “u”, then you would want to mark the cake so you have the ruffled arches evenly piped on the whole cake. Measure up from the bottom of the cake to the highest point of the arch and just make a mark with a toothpick. You can create a template to mark your cake from parchment paper that has been cut to the diameter of the cake. Then fold it to have as many sections as you want. Cut out an arch in the parchment when it’s folded. When you open it up, you will have a guide to follow. Mark the cake accordingly and your ruffles will all come out the same width and at the same height on the cake.


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