In today’s fall cake tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a beautiful Autumn Leaves Brush Embroidery Cake with colorful buttercream. I love this simple yet beautiful technique which can be transferred to all sorts of cake designs.
What is Buttercream Brush Embroidery?
Buttercream brush embroidery is an elegant cake decorating technique which is surprisingly simple to achieve!
Creating a brush embroidery pattern involves piping shapes with a small round piping tip and then using a small paintbrush to draw the piped buttercream or royal icing inward. You can use lots of small strokes with a fine dampened paintbrush, or you may prefer slightly broader, short strokes.
With buttercream embroidery, I like to chill the frosted cake in the freezer for at least 15-20 minutes to firm up the frosting before beginning the piping and brushing process. (This will keep your smooth base-coat of frosting intact as you work.)
With this technique, you can create all sorts of patterns for birthday cakes, wedding cakes, and more. Delicate floral patterns using shades of ivory or white will give a lovely lace effect.
However, you can also achieve a dramatic, almost marbled look within your brush embroidery as we did today- where bright, contrasting colors result in a vibrant, uniquely beautiful autumn design!
How to Make Brush Embroidery Autumn Leaves
- I frosted the 8 inch cake tier with ivory tinted buttercream and smoothed around the sides as usual with a metal bench scraper.
- Next, I chilled the cake for 20 minutes to make the base coat of frosting nice and firm.
- I then created impressions in the chilled frosting using leaf cookie cutters around the sides of the cake. (Doing this with chilled frosting will give you a cleaner impression).
- Using a buttercream-filled piping bag fitted with a small round tip 4, I outlined the leaf shapes with buttercream. Next, I piped contrasting colors next to the previously piped outline(s).
- Using a small dampened paintbrush, I pulled the piped buttercream towards the center of each leaf. I kept the outer outline mostly intact so that the marbling of the colors was more inside of the leaves but this is up to you!
- You can create a line down the center of the leaves as an optional step.
- The look of your brush embroidery will vary greatly depending on the size of brush that you use, how closely you create your strokes, and the length of the strokes you make. Have fun experimenting!
A few tips!
Remember that whenever you are working with buttercream, the freezer is your friend! If at any time your base coat of frosting becomes too soft, you can firm it in the freezer again (15-20 minutes) as needed so that you will have more control over the texture of your brush embroidery that you are layering on.
It is a good idea to practice on a sheet of wax or parchment paper before decorating your cake! You can experiment with different size brushes, the colors that you would like to use, and also get a feel for the consistency of your buttercream.
Buttercream consistency for Brush Embroidery
If you find that your buttercream is not spreading easily with the paintbrush, it may be a little too thick. Simply add a bit of milk or water to soften it to a more spreadable consistency.
If the frosting is too thin, you won’t get the nice brush strokes…but too thick will not spread as easily with the paintbrush- there is a happy medium in between ;0) .
Favorite Fall Cake Recipes
Every fall, we crave all of the fall flavors– pumpkin spice, caramel, apple, gingerbread, and more! Here are just a few of our favorite fall cake recipes from our recipes section! Make them even more festive with a little brush embroidery!
Thanks so much for stopping by! If you try our brush embroidery leaves cake design, we would love for you to leave a comment below. Enjoy the video!
- (For this cake, we used an 8 inch cake frosted with our Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting tinted ivory as well as red, orange and yellow for the leaves.
- Leaf cookie cutters (We made impressions after freezing our frosted cake tier for about 20 minutes)
- Coloring Gels: We used Americolor Ivory, Super Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow
- Piping tips: Round tip 4 (or similar size round tip)
- Small paintbrush(es) of choice
- Miscellaneous: We used disposable piping bags, a small offset spatula, small paintbrush, couplers (so that you can swap out piping tips as needed). When frosting the smooth finish on my cakes, I like to use a turntable and smooth the frosting using a bench scraper.
- After frosting the cake with the base coat of frosting, chill in the freezer for 20 minutes (or more in if refrigerating) until the frosting has firmed up.
- Create impressions in the chilled, firm frosting using leaf cookie cutters. (Doing this with chilled frosting will give you a cleaner impression).
- Using a small round piping tip, (tip 3 or 4), outline the shapes with buttercream. Next, go in and pipe your contrasting colors next to the previously piped outline(s).
- Using a small dampened paintbrush, pull the piped buttercream towards the center of each leaf. I kept the outer outline of the leaf mostly intact.
- That's it! You can experiment with the length of your brush strokes as well as thin brushes vs. flat, slightly wider brushes, etc.
- It is a good idea to practice on a sheet of wax or parchment paper!
- If at any time your base coat of frosting becomes too soft, you can firm it in the freezer again (15-20 minutes) as needed so that you will have more control over the texture of your brush embroidery that you are layering on.
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Americolor Coloring Gels Set (Check box for list of colors. Colors are sold individually also.)
Wilton Piping Tips Set (These can be purchased individually as well)
Wilton Disposable Piping Bags- 12 inch
Bench Scraper (For frosting around sides of cake- Note that this one is 6 inches.)
Magic Line Pans- 8 inch
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