Let it Snow!

Tis the season for snowmen!! :0) —  Cute snowmen, dancing snowmen, snowmen cookie jars and pajamas….every year, I adopt one or two more.  At my house, the snowman migration from attic to…every room in the house…has begun! — Naturally, this spills over into my cake designs too!

I had a few requests for a video tutorial of a tilted, tiered cake.  These cakes are the cousin to the topsy turvy cake, and in lots of ways they are simpler to assemble.  Here is my winter themed tilted cake, complete with a happy snowman!

Snowmen aren’t the only decorations that make me smile this time of year—I absolutely LOVE snowflakes on cakes and cupcakes.  I love real snowflakes too— :0)

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make snowflakes—

As you can see, I start with some sort of template—you can either draw some templates of your own, or print off some snowflake clip art.  If you are feeling really adventurous, you can freehand them  :0) —

Once you have made your template, just slide it under a piece of parchment paper.  Parchment really is better than waxed paper for royal icing decorations.  It breathes better.

Next….we trace!  Make a batch of royal icing and thicken it with powdered sugar until you have reached a medium consistency (it needs to be able to hold it’s shape, but not so thick that it is difficult to pipe with)–  I like to use a Wilton small round tip 3 or 4.

Word to the wise—Trace over your snow flakes a couple of times.  This will make them stronger.

Aren’t they pretty?  I like piping dots onto the snowflakes for added texture and cuteness :0)

After about 24 hours or so, your royal icing snowflakes will be nice and dry.   Once dry, they will not stick to the parchment at all.  Simply  (carefully) pick them up!  My favorite part of the snowflakes is pearlizing them and adding a little sparkle.  This is an optional step–they are pretty as they are..but I love to dress them up a bit!   If you don’t own an airbrush, the next best thing is using the PME pearl spray.  I bought mine at globalsugarart.com.  If you don’t have this, the next best thing is brushing on some CK Super Pearl pearl dust with a dry brush.  Instantly beautiful!  I like to sparkle my snowflakes with pixie dust also.  (I buy mine from cakesbysam.com)–

(*In a rush?  You can also create snowflakes using white candy coating/bark coating.  Chill for a few minutes before applying to the cake so that they will be less fragile and easier to handle. “Glue ” them onto buttercream cakes with a dot of butterdcream, or fondant cakes with a little melted candy coating.)

I recommend using royal icing decorations on fondant or a crusting buttercream.  Royal icing and moisture don’t get along so well, so don’t use with a whipped cream or non-crusting icing unless you are serving right away.  I attached the snowflakes to my tilted cake using just a little bit of royal icing as my glue.  It adheres almost immediately.

I frosted these cupcakes and then let them sit for just a few minutes in order for them to crust.  Then, I added our sweet snowflakes!  Love them!

That’s all for now, I hope you’ll make some snowflakes for your sweets very soon! 

Category: Blog Tutorials, Seasonal & Holiday, Winter


  1. Jocelyn Brown says: #1

    Where were you for my wedding last year!? GORGEOUS!

  2. cakedarla says: #2

    Pearl dust comes in a spray form now? How awesome! These look gorgeous!

  3. Melissa Diamond says: #3

    Thank you!!

  4. Adorable cake! Thanks for the snowflake tutorial, these look like fun to make!

  5. jfolzman says: #5

    LOVE this!!!! I have lots of Holiday cupcake orders, PERFECT!!

  6. Chloe McKillop says: #6

    Can you please tell me how you made the snowman?

  7. Catherine Lambert says: #7

    I am kkgoing to make snowflakes today to get ready for my Christmas baking.

  8. Tonya Findley says: #8

    I love your tutorials they are really helpful and these snowflakes are beautiful, im going to use them on my christmas cakes this year. Thanks

  9. paula says: #9

    love the cakes & snowflakes. . . .how far b4 and event can i do the snowflakes, would the royal icing crack or anything like that if done say up to a week or 10 days b4?? and. . . your suggestion was not to use with a non-crusting icing, could i possibly use them with a cream cheese frosting if i added some butter to the icing??

  10. Melissa Diamond says: #10

    Thanks! The royal icing snowflakes would be fine to do that far in advance. Lots of cream cheese frosting recipes call for butter also– (or shortening) — and often are pretty soft. I know that there are some crusting cream cheese frosting recipes out there–I know that there is one floating around on Cake Central. I would do a test run (just spread the icing in question on some parchment paper and place a snowflake or two on top). Ideally, the royal icing accents would be placed on the cake within a few hours of the party to be on the safe side.

  11. BakingIsChemistry says: #11

    Just to be picky, but I notice you have some 8-sided snowflakes and some other odd geometry. Snowflakes form as a result of the polarity of the water molecule, which is shaped rather like Mickey Mouse with the oxygen atom being the head (which has a slightly negative charge) and the two hydrogen atoms as the ears (which are slightly positive). Because opposites attract, water crystals form in such a way as to pack the positive ears around the negative heads of other water molecules, and the most space-efficient way to do this is a hexagonal arrangement. Branching in the snowflake occurs with changes in temperature as they’re made in clouds, and since the base structure is hexagonal, all the branch points will emanate from a hexagonal base. Since snowflakes are hexagonal all the way down to a few Angstroms’ scale, the six points will be perfectly spaced around a circle. Therefore, all snowflakes have hexagonal structures with secondary branches 60 degrees (1/6th of a circle) off the primary branches.

  12. weasel says: #12

    Fantastic! well done.

    Ohh just a quick note to BakingIsChemistry regarding their comment –
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz get a life.

  13. Annette Hesting says: #13

    I am making my daughters wedding cake which will include snow flakes, I would like to have some of them standing from the bottom of the cake to the top, can you please tell me if this is possible? I have a picture of the cake that she loves but am unable to add it to this.

  14. ria gray says: #14

    Could you make these out of chochcolate

  15. ria gray says: #15

    Is their a video Lao on the cake. For tops turvey

  16. Caddie says: #16

    Oh how absolutely gorgeous!

  17. newbie says: #17

    hello! Im planning on making a cake for christmas and stumbled onto your blog. Those snowflakes look amazing! I was wondering if they would survive when paired with boiled frosting if placed an hour or two before presentation?

  18. Cate says: #18

    Do you have a recipe for crusting buttercream

  19. BeBe says: #19

    Hi Cate, We most often use the Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream, High Ratio, and Classic Vanilla Buttercream. All of the recipes in the Recipe Section that have Buttercream in the title will be crusting buttercreams, with the exception of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Also, we only use the Peanut Butter Buttercream as a filling.

  20. Just curious, would you not recommend using a swiss meringue buttercream for crusting? I was planning on using a white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream along with a white chocolate marshmallow fondant (read it somewhere). However, if there’s a good reason not use it, I’m all ears.

  21. Melissa Diamond says: #21

    Hi ButterObsessedBaker~

    Many people do use Swiss Meringue Buttercream for all of their cakes, including cakes that will be covered with fondant. SMBC is non-crusting, so you will just chill it very briefly (just until firm) before applying your fondant.

    We use crusting buttercreams most often, but it’s just a matter of preference & convenience. Many people use SMBC exclusively.

    The only time that I would be hesitant to use a non-crusting frosting would be when applying gum paste, royal or fondant pieces (modeled figures, flowers, etc.) directly to the frosting. I would do these things close to the time of the event, as the moisture from a non-crusting frosting seems more likely to be absorbed by your pieces which can cause softening. I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any more questions!

  22. Nerida Scard says: #22

    What is a good recipe for royal icing for these snowflakes As I have seen a few different options. They are beautiful!

  23. christin says: #23

    Hi. I’m making some snowflakes for a birthday party cake and they either brake or loose they’re shape and turn into weird looking blobs…any advice? I’ve been trying for 2 days now…I’m almost wondering if I need to thicken up my royal icing

  24. BeBe says: #24

    Hi Christin, yes, I agree that you need to thicken the royal icing.

  25. Sharin says: #25

    Hi would these be stiff enough to stand on a cupcake thanks

  26. foodiesoul says: #26

    will try this! thanks!

  27. BeBe says: #27

    Hi Sharin, yes the snowflakes would stand on a cupcake. If you are planning to insert them into buttercream, the royal icing will soften so I would not put them on until just before serving.

  28. Bonnie says: #28

    I use melting chocolates to make my snowflakes and they turn out beautifully every time. Just another idea.

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