Pretty Petal Cake~ Tutorial

Hi everybody!  Today we had so much fun making this cake.  I used a technique that was simple but elegant.  I hope that you like it too— I’m not sure what to call it, so I’m calling it the petal effect….  :0) —

I started with Vanilla Buttercream, a smallish angled spatula with a rounded edge,  and a piping bag fitted with a medium sized round tip (I used a Wilton Tip 12).

Now that you know how, grab a cake & beautify it!  :0) — I crumb coated my tiers, stacked them, and then started piping and spreading.  It takes a little while to make it all the way around, but the results are so worth it!

I topped off mine with a gum paste flower—but really, it would have been fine without anything at all.  We taped a video tutorial today as I decorated the cake–I’ll post it soon!    I would love to do cupcakes sometime using this same technique.  I’ll show you when I do!  :0) —

Have a great weekend!

Category: Blog Tutorials, Bridal Showers, Buttercream Techniques, Wedding & Elegant


  1. Erin says: #1

    I LOVE it! One question….how do you do the last row and have the “swipe” go under the first row? I hope that makes sense!

  2. Joanie says: #2

    Wow, that looks beautiful. Same question as above…how to you finish the last row.

  3. Norma says: #3

    Sooo pretty :)

  4. mokhalatte says: #4

    Melissa you rock for real!!!!! I’m doing it on an anniversary cake for today!!!! Thank you!!!

  5. Melissa Diamond says: #5

    Thanks everybody! Mokhalatte–yes, this one was for you! :0) —

    Erin & Joanie–I should have included a shot of the back. You do have to fudge it a little bit where the first and last lines meet up—but it is a pretty forgiving design and most would not notice a difference. Still, I decide in advance what the back of my cake will be (if I have a preference), and that’s where I begin & end my piping for all of my tiers.

    If you pipe your first row of vertical dots, and flatten all the way across (rather than leaving the left side of the dot elevated as in all of the other rows), you’ll find it easier to pipe and spread your last row of dots in a way that disguises the beginning and ending point. Hope that makes sense! Also, if you are using a crusting buttercream, you’ll find that it’s easier to manipulate the icing once it crusts if you need to.

  6. Joanie says: #6

    Thanks for explaining how to work the final row. I am definitely going to be doing this asap. I love your school….I am having so much fun! You have so many wonderful ideas! Take care.

  7. lesavaughn says: #7

    I can’t wait to try this. How long did it take to do a single tier?

  8. Melissa Diamond says: #8

    Thanks Joanie–

    Lesavaughn— it really went pretty quickly. The larger tier probably took me 15 minutes or less (not including the crumb coat).

  9. anna says: #9

    I love this design. I did it on some cupcakes – just went circular. It was adorable :)

  10. Melissa Diamond says: #10

    Anna–I bet that they were so pretty!

  11. Oh my this is one gorgeous cake! What an awesome technique, and it looks pretty simple too! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  12. graziella says: #12

    Hey… Good idea… I haven’t started yet (lack of time…) but my mind is still working..hey hey… lol I like both tutorial and video: tutorial and writings are really really useful to me (mainly when I miss some words when you speak), my english is not so perfect… TK U for all… graziella

  13. Lei Lei says: #13

    WoW! I love this! You come up with the cutest things and I love it that you share it!

  14. Melissa Diamond says: #14

    Thank you Lauren, Graziella, and Lei Lei!!

  15. etta says: #15

    Nice! Thank you for this!!!

  16. Sabrina says: #16

    How do you finish your last row? Show that in a picture please.

  17. Melissa Diamond says: #17

    Hi Sabrina–I have an explanation a few comments up, but if I were you, I would take a look at the video for an explanation. You’ll find the video in the “Piping Techniques” section.

    The short answer is that you are probably always going to have one vertical row in the back that is not quite like the others…but it is easy to make it blend in enough that nobody would notice until they were really looking for the end point.

  18. Lauren says: #18

    This is so cute :) Looks like it would make great fish scales if you did the alternating rows….

  19. ButterYum says: #19

    Awesome – I love when clever minds come up with new ideas like this one. I’m going to remember this neat technique for sure!


  20. Darlita says: #20

    This is so pretty! Your work is amazing! While I love to bake…I can definately use more help and techniques in the decorating department. I’m defintely going to become a member:) Stunning!

  21. K says: #21

    I just found your blog via pinterest and I am so charmed! I love the name and your creativity. This is so simple yet such an effective look, thank you so much for sharing!

  22. Tonya Munoz says: #22

    I am new to the “school” and just love all the great ideas and techniques. Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. Stephanie says: #23

    HI, I love this and am planning to do this for a 90th birthday! Was wondering if I have to use a “crusting” buttercream? I always use a swiss meringue because I prefer the taste. Do you know if this will work with that? Thanks!!

  24. BeBe says: #24

    Hi Stephanie, yes, it should work great for you.

  25. shirley elkin says: #25

    I’m still having a problem in printing just your recipes. Is there a simple solution to this?

    Thank you,


  26. Melissa Diamond says: #26

    Hi Shirley— You can just highlight exactly the words (recipe) that you want to print and then when you click print, choose the option to “print selection”. That should do it! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  27. Jeanne Winslow says: #27

    Love this technique. I had a little 5 inch tier from another cake and I needed to do something for the little thing. This was perfect! Added a couple of white chocolate roses and a sprinkle of cocoa and Voila – So pretty.
    Thank you so much.


  28. Miss Tori says: #28

    I’ve done this too, but instead of using the offset spatula, I drag out the dot with just my round tip. Saves so much time and looks just as good!

  29. Tara says: #29

    Can this be done with non-crusting buttercream as well? I tried with RLB’s white chocolate cream cheese buttercream and that was a no-go; ended up piping large rosettes instead. Thanks!

  30. BeBe says: #30

    Hi Tara, it works fine with the non-crusting Swiss meringue buttercream .

    Hi Miss Tori, that is good to know, I’ll be trying that

  31. Beth says: #31

    I love this cake! My mom and I are having our birthday dinner (her bday was the 13th and mine is the 18th) this coming sunday and I am going to do this cake for sure! thank you so much for the tutorial I really appreciate it you are really good at this!

  32. Melissa Diamond says: #32

    Thanks Beth– Happy Birthday to you both!!! I hope that you have a great time! ;0)

  33. Jamie says: #33

    So pretty! Please tell me what the consistency of the frosting is? I would like to give it a try! Thanks!

  34. Melissa Diamond says: #34

    Hi Jamie– medium consistency is what I use ;0)

  35. Joan says: #35

    I am new to this school but I love the look of the cake and I will surely try that technique. Thank you Melissa.

  36. I make more cupcakes than cakes but this one is at the top of my list to try in January. Thanks!

  37. Christy S. says: #37

    Love, love, love this! I will definitely be trying this soon!

  38. Kari G says: #38

    Did you do the whole top tier and then put it on the cake? Or did you finish the rows once it’s assembled?

  39. Sorina says: #39

    Jesus!!!! Marvelous!!!! LIKE!!!!!!!!

  40. Josie says: #40

    This technique is so simple, elegant and beautiful!!! Can it be done using cream cheese icing? Thanks.

  41. Melissa Diamond says: #41

    Hi Josie–I think that most cream cheese frostings are a little too soft. If you really want cream cheese flavor, I would mix a little cream cheese frosting that you are using for your filling into regular vanilla buttercream. Either that, or you could check out’s crusting cream cheese frosting (which contains shortening). —

  42. Mandi says: #42

    I did this on my son’s cake yesterday using a cream cheese/buttercream mix and it turned out beautifully. The only small bit of trouble I had was that the circles wanted to run down the cake if I worked too slowly in smearing them. It helped when the frosting was chilled.

    Thanks for this! It’s awesome!

  43. Melissa Diamond says: #43

    Hi Mandi– Good thinking to chill the frosting a bit! I’m glad that it worked well for you :0)

  44. Vaishnavi Reddy says: #44

    Hi Melissa,
    I absolutely lovvveeeeee your site…could you do a video tutorial on how to do tiered cakes….I’m going to try the petal effect on my cake today:))) will let you know how it turned out!

  45. Louise Hache says: #45

    Help!! I want to make a cake like this one for my twin girls in pinks and purples that fade towards the top but I only have one size 12 tip. Can you do this without a tip just by snipping the end of the pastry bag??

  46. Melissa Diamond says: #46

    Hi Louise– This sounds pretty! I think that you should be fine to just snip the ends of the bags. I’ve never tried it without a piping tip, but as long as your snip is nice and straight (and the same size from bag to bag) I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just do a practice run on some waxed paper first to make sure that you are happy with it.

  47. Eirene says: #47


    This is great! I just want to ask if I could use whipped cream frosting for this?

    Thanks so much!

  48. BeBe says: #48

    Hi Eirene, I haven’t tried it with whipped cream so I am not sure, maybe it if was stabilized. Let is know if you decide to give it a try.

  49. Monica says: #49

    I do this technique with the tip itself . I make lots of cupcakes for the bakery every morning. I started making daisies and always managed to drag the tip too deep and the effect comes out like this. Since I have to make a lot, it started as a mistake but I liked the effect it gave the daisies. You don’t need to go back with a spatula. Just bubble it and drag it fast.

  50. LittleApronBaker says: #50

    Would this technique work with whipped chocolate ganache? I want to try it on a chocolate cake but much prefer the taste of the whipped ganache to a chocolate buttercream. Thanks! Shannon

  51. BeBe says: #51

    Hi Shannon, if your whipped ganache is thick enough to hold its shape it should work fine. However, we have never tried the “petal effect” with whipped ganache.

  52. francisca says: #52

    Hola, quiero saber la receta para la crema de vainilla, muchas gracias me gusto mucho la idea y quisiera hacer para mi cumpleaños.

  53. kate says: #53

    i feel like a total bonehead after reading this. i tried this technique, but did horizontal rows, not vertical. at least i have this sunday to redeem myself! thank you for this clear tutorial!

  54. BeBe says: #54

    Hi Kate, it will be perfect this time!

  55. Claire From NY says: #55

    WOW! Thank you so much! I love love love this. I will definitely be doing this for Valentines :-)

  56. cake it is says: #56

    I am so glad I found this tutorial. It pays to peruse your website. I just made your giant rose swirl and I’m going to be doing it again tomorrow for a birthday cake for a little girl. I think I want to spice it up a bit by using this technique on the sides of the cake. Thanks for the tutorial.

  57. Melissa Diamond says: #57

    Thanks Claire!

    @Cake it is– So happy to hear it! ;0) –Have fun! Sounds like a great idea for a design.

  58. Luz Helena Molinares says: #58

    Very delicate

  59. BeBe says: #59

    Hi Sonia, I think you could, just don’t know how long it would hold.

  60. Katie says: #60

    Hi! I wanted to try this technique for my daughter’s cake I have to make this Friday, but I’m not a buttercream fan. Can I use regular cake frosting?

  61. Melissa Diamond says: #61

    Hi Katie– You can use this method with any type of frosting . The only exception would be a frosting that is so soft that it cannot hold it’s shape well when piped (for instance, whipped cream would be difficult.) — Have fun! ;0)

  62. Niki says: #62

    Thank you soooo much!!!!!

  63. Detalles Zori says: #63

    It´s so beautiful and easy!!! Thank you for sharing 😉

  64. Rubycoolz says: #64

    Thank you!!! I’m going to use this for dino ‘scales’ for the 3D cake for my son Wolfgang’s first birthday!!! Have a trial cake this week to practice on so YAY!

  65. BeBe says: #65

    That will be so cute!

  66. Sherri says: #66

    I just did tis technique for my nieces’s wedding shower this week-end, and I got RAVE reviews! Everyone loved it. My only tip to watch is to make sure to keep your dots level as you go around the cake. At one point mine had gradually started to run down hill, so I gradually brought it back up. But few noticed it but me. We are often our own worse critic…

  67. Melissa Diamond says: #67

    Sherri, so glad that you made the cake and it was a hit!

    Good tip about keeping straight, & so funny, because I had the same issue. It wasn’t until after I finished my cake above & took photos that I realized I switched from 5 petals deep to 4 petals deep on my top tier, lol. (Of course, front and center!) — Haha, oh well…you are right–I’m sure that your guests did not notice one bit that yours dipped a little. Thanks for the feedback ;0)

  68. Hope says: #68

    Can you use regular buttercream icing? Medium consistency?

  69. Melissa Diamond says: #69

    Hi Hope, yes- medium consistency buttercream frosting is great.

  70. Neha tahlani says: #70

    Hii just wanted to knw cn we use whipped cream instead of butter cream…will the same effect comi in whipped cream

  71. Natalie says: #71

    Can you use this technique with cream cheese frosting?

  72. BeBe says: #72

    Hi Natalie, Yes, you can as long as the cream cheese is piping consistency.

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