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Cake Decorating: Buttercream Basics

Lesson 3 of 6

Buttercream Decorating Techniques

Lucinda Larson

Cake Decorating: Buttercream Basics

Lucinda Larson

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Lesson Info

3. Buttercream Decorating Techniques

Lesson Info

Buttercream Decorating Techniques

Let's start with let's start with making some leaves and flowers on filler flowers okay and that means we're going to color some icing I'm going to use a little plastic tub kind of like to tidy up my area little bit here to this is a little out of control don't you wish you could tidy everything just by bending down and putting it in the shelf done all the dirty dishes air now in the shelf okay, so I put some colors out for you ladies I'm using america color paste colors you can use airbrush colors but it will thin your icing down and because I work with a fairly soft I seem to start with thinning my icing downs not necessarily a great idea um I have deep pink electric pink I have gold I have orange electric green let's go with the little yellow so our paste or our jail colors are very strong it does not take much as you can see um a spatulas nice okay, so adjusting a little drop a little dab that yellow not orange let's get it stirred now yesterday you got to watch me need which was l...

ike watching paint dry to do you're gonna watch stirring and if there's one thing you can do for yourself when you're decorating with buttercream is make sure everything is stirred you guys need some containers to mix colors in I'm gonna walk him over to these ladies let you share you're welcome as I'm stirring I'm thinking they have nothing to stir and just stir in mid air let's let's go with some pink I'm going to use a deep pink your pinks will get vibrant nice but your colors like your reds your royal blues your navy blues black those all take a lot of color and if you could make them up ahead of time so say like if I know I'm going to be doing something I actually have a red bull and a black bull and blue bull and butter cream I seen all the time and then when I'm done decorating for the day or the week or whatever that's a very soft pink that is not going to cut it in my book um so when I'm done at the end of the day and I've got this container of pink some pink lift I just added to my red bold butter cream and the longer it sits the more intense it gets so if you're working at getting your colors really perfect for say like a wedding or something you will want to have let him sit for a few days before you use him otherwise they're going to change on you the warmth of your hand while you're working with it can also make him change so you need to be aware of that if you're working on something that's a little high end if you're doing a birthday cake for your very favorite niece it may not be that bigger deal whips almost dropped that then you know I was really a decorator because I'd have a big glob of icing on my foot okay and I have had some green this is a mossy green and I already have that made up now why did I plan ahead on having that because I just did a cake order that had the cake iced and mossy green so but notice has been sitting it needs be stirred just like our fund it needs to be needed our buttercream needs to be stirred green pink what other color should go a little orange helps if I put icing in the bull first that's an awesome idea thanks, ladies. I was going to say that's a great idea look at that orange snap fun it's a good color okay, I am going to be ready to move forward here okay? I'm gonna talk about parchment paper the's air partial paper triangles they said they were the vegetable base paper right? These are a commercial size so they're fairly large. You can also buy them in a retail stores not quite as big, but almost so the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to cut mine in half because I don't need full size bag they're just that large this over here and one of the ways is is I can fold it I can fold it in half and then give it a nice crease men just tear it okay or you can use a knife and cut it I wouldn't use scissors one of the things that I used to have my boys do for me is that he's coming tax of like a thousand sheets about this thick is I would have my boys punch holes in one end of him and then I would hang him on a hook in my bakery and when I needed them I just reach up and tear one down but like I said, my boys are now in their mid twenties they're not interested in punching holes for mom anymore you want me to come over and do what are you kidding? Yeah, I'm not doing that you gotta go to work mom have a granddaughter, maybe I'll get hurt a punch holes ok, so I'm just rapidly did that, but let me do it slow motion for you, okay? Because apparently people don't know how to roll parchment papers anymore please I was like, ok, if you think in terms of a b and c we're going to put a corner a and corner see down to corner bey and if the best way I found to do this is if you put a corner a down to be and then it's going to flip over okay and you guys want terriers and half you're not gonna want that huge big otherwise otherwise you're going to have a handful of paper you're trying to deal with okay so now I've got it like this now I've got corner see we're going to wrap corner see around to the back a corner be you should be able to just tear it okay so once I have that I've got the nice cone now here's what we're gonna worry about details I want the tip to be sharp is appoint as sharp as a pin so in pastry school when you go to pastry school you have to roll a parchment paper and the chef pours water into the parchment paper if it drips you do it again it should be able to hold water so wrap it up back to corner wrap it around to the back of corner see to the back I'm sorry I got a laugh e I'll do it I'll do it I'll do it again okay you guys watching a b c eight comes over here down to see flip it over so we have our cone shaped see wraps around the back of the ok so now we have our cone hey I want to pull down on the inside as I pulled down on that outside portion to make sure I've got one lou I don't wanna have one loop bigger on the inside one a bigger on the outside I don't want to have one like this can you guys see all that you don't want to have it jumping up it's gotta be one loop you really wanna have excuse me hands air drying out here you really want to have just a slight overlap a department paper so that you have a scene that's reinforced and you want this point to be tight and again in pastry school they're going to pour water in this to see if it holds so once I haven't to this point once I have it completed here don't staple don't paperclip don't tape just give it two or three folds crease it with a little pinch some people like to give a little tear that's too much work for me I am sorry too lazy ok so now we have this nice little perfect decorating parchment comes you pulled that inner out I fold it in now here's the advantage to using the partial papers one if you have warm hands your heat does not transfer mitt through the parchment papers as readily as it does the plastic disposables your plastic disposable bags were created and developed for using with whipping cream and soft things they were not developed to be used for butter cream we've all used him for better cream because they're so easy they're affordable once they're done we throw him away okay your parchment papers don't transmit the heat and I have better pressure control with the parchment papers now for what we're doing today it's not going to be the end of the world if I don't have the outrageous pressure control but the bottom line is this if you're going to advance and you're going to some nice stuff in voter cream your pressure control is very important ranks right up there with the consistency of your icing your pressure control and the angle of your bags those air your three things that are going to matter when you're doing buttercream work you gotta get those under control okay you're doing all right you're doing all right take a deep breath now folder craze it and pulled it and don't feel bad guys this is tough this is the hardest part of this and we have culinary students we have culinary students in france right now trying to figure out how to roll these partial person their role in thousands of them before a chef will say ok and there are people who are sitting there rolling their partial papers and putting him into a little can so that they're all ready to go they don't have to miss with it and eventually if you're going to do this you'll just roll it not even think twice doing good good looks great now do fifteen more okay everybody almost ok it's the hardest part no stress I got so much cake and ice in here, ok, so the first thing I'm going to do aa lot of times and very basic cake decorating they have you weigh out the stems first of whatever your floral design is and when you do that it's kind of like making a road map of what you're going to do ok? So because we're doing very basic buttercream let's do that and I'm going to start with this is what happens to your equipment when you travel airlines do lovely things to your stuff so my nice my nice box, your p m e chips, which are awesome and great they're a little taller than the average tips made by other companies, so you have to have a special box form and then my boxes all broken up because airlines are not kind I'm going to use a tip number two for my stems and I'm going to use a little bit of the green icing and I'm going to show you a trick right off the bat here I'm going to have orange and pink and some yellow flowers on my cake, so I'm going to add if I hold it right here, can you guys okay, right? There is where we want to see, so I've got the tip in the bag without a couple er and then I'm going to put in a little bit of orange and a little bit of the yellow and a little bit of the pink and just a little bit conflict deal. Okay, let's, see how done that this is called striping the bag and one of the things that can make our buttercream look really awesome and cool is we don't use just a flat plane color, we mix our colors in the bag and it makes it look realistic and awesome, and I'll put some more green in on top of that, and then I'm going to fold my bag kind of like a diaper. I hate saying that because it's food, but I'm gonna pinch it shut. We're on my folded her roll down edge, I'm going to fold in each corner, so that doesn't squish out while I'm doing it and then that folded edge I'm turning it in and I'm rolling it and this is applying pressure so I don't have to squeeze is hard when I hold the decorating big, I'm going to hold that edge so it's in my that ruled portion is in my hand, I'm gonna hold that tight with my thumb so that I hold big than all the pressure is done with my whole hand if you hold the bag like this, you do not have the pressure control and your fingers are going to hurt. When you're done, I'll have to go to everybody's house and unlock your car doors so you can get into your car if you squeeze like this, your hands will hurt you want to squeeze with your whole hand, use all your muscles okay? We're going to do that and I still had that tip there you notice I haven't done anything with that yet at this point I'm looking and usually khun see it through the big pretty well, so my tip is about right here and it goes up to here right in there and I want to cut about a third of the way back I want to cut so that enough of the end of the tooth is showing but enough of the papers here reinforcing it. My icing is very soft, so it's usually not an issue, but if you're working with a good stiff, I seen so if you're creating some really high end flowers like roses or something, you're icing has to be much different. Um we're using just a nice soft, so I'm just going to kind of push that tipped back a little bit with my finger, you can even do it with just your scissors I'm just going to cut that straight across notice how that straight probably over the white surface isn't going to show it it's just straight across can you see and now I'm going to take that big squeeze it that tip moves right into place I'm going to squeeze the excess into here and notice how I seem comes out on the side that just means my tip is in place I'm gonna wipe off that icing and we're ready to go yes to cut again you want I'm gonna fill another big okay for sure. So the next big I'm feeling is I'm using a tip number three fifty two this is a tip number three fifty two this is what we call the new leaf tip it's been new for thirty years I wonder what you have to do to be old. I'm dropping the tip into the bag and I'm going to do essentially the same thing that I did for the the number to tip for the stems put in some green at little orange little pink I've got yellow on my pink so I might count that too okay, just add some color in there so that it all blends together when it comes out it looks like it belongs together okay, fold that bag either corner hold it flat put in either corner roll this in a little pressure hold it like this now then at this point you can see where the tip is can you see that? Does it show probably not met scene let me can you guys see that little better that there's a right there is where the two pistes you see that? Okay so then if we take our scissors I want to cut about one tip the end of the tip is here and the other end is right there that's where the typist I want to cut about one third of the way back maybe a quarter but about the third and all I'm going to do is take my scissors cut straight across that tip is going to move out of the way or I'm gonna break my scissors okay and then we'll squeeze it and they'll come right into place and it always does a little bit of good con the side wipe it off move on ok you guys have an idea now doing well and as I squeeze that tips going to go more and more into place okay are we good? Okay, now let's bring the cake back and let's do our stems and again the stems are the road map to where we're going to lay things out this is a quarter sheet that I have we almost always do a crescent or an l shape for a quarter sheet and I want to establish my point nice steady pressure pull it up and drag it out and I want to do about three center one's longer this one shorter this one's a little taller so it has that triangular shape and they're not in balance does that make sense? I saw a look that said what? And I'm going to go ahead on the other side, I do nice pressure if they're not perfect see how that came out? I don't care if you don't, I'll cover it. If I got one of these things a little too short or a little too long and I need to build it up a little bit, come in, add a little stem it's just a little idea of where we're going to be working, ok, and see how the color is starting to come out and notice my stems grow with they grow and they flow, I don't have it coming out, and I purposely put it there because this is my center of focus, and I will have flowers there, so you can't see it. We're going to hide that, but you're you're stems. You want them to curve with the stem, anything that you add, you don't want another stamp, duck just poke out okay, guys, we're doing good. Awesome all right, now, then personally, when I'm doing cakes, I don't do stands anymore. I don't have to, I know where they're going, but I've been doing this a long time, and I got up at five a m this morning and practiced right and I stayed up until midnight last night practicing no, I didn't ok, so now I'm going to take my leave tip and your leave tip this is the shape of it but we're going to hold it this way okay now here's the cool thing about the three fifty two leaf tip as opposed to the sixty seven leaf tips so if any of you have boughton a cake decorating kit it came with probably a one o four a number three and a sixty seven and a sixteen started yes, rachel on alternative leaf tip we can use so we've got like the number sixty seven, sixty seven I don't we alternate leave okay now here's the difference between three fifty two in the sixty seven the three fifty two is going to give you a little point on the end of your leaf every time you're sixty seven leave tip is going to give you a little tear at the end just about every time once in a while it doesn't now wilton who used to be in the end all to be all with butter cream and cake decorating their not so much anymore they're great for starting but they're not the end all be all anymore there they always include those in the kids thank you sir I got a little runny nose I'll just put that my pocket washed my hands if I had a sink it would be soap in hot water so if you have the three fifty excuse me if you have a sixty seven you can use it it's fine the sixty seven's work great for creating ruffles and dragon spikes and dinosaur spikes in that kind of stuff as faras a leaf they're not so good I can show you another way to make a leaf tip without having a three fifty two if you can't find one or don't have one we'll cut it I'll show you how to do that later ok did you have another question? You're good ok so now I'm gonna hold this bag so it's like this and I'm going to start let's start right here this is the end of the leaf and I'm going apply pressure and pull it out pressure pull it out pressure pull it out stop pressure now I'm like adding leaves that have some movement to them and give the flow of direction of where my designs air going and here we're getting some color the's air just a standard leaf if I want to do more like a rose leaf or ruffled leaf as we call it I'm going to do it this way pressure zig zig zig zig zig stop pressure pressure zig zig zig stop pressure so you can see how that looks more like a rose leaf I can also take this same rose leaf at christmas time why do I not have a toothpick or skewer ok no that's a paint brush here we go I found a secure so at christmas time or in the winter time when we're doing holly I can take the same ruffled leave take my secure and pull out a little point and make this into a holly looking leaf and you see how that's happening um and it looks more like ali when it's a dark green as opposed to avocado so for a ruffle rose leaf it's pressure zig zig zig zig stop pressure pull it out okay for standard lee for just doing pressure stop pressure poll you see this my students were so quiet isn't working miracles and we got a little bit of that color which is ok now notice how as I go out my leave start larger and then they get smaller that's all part of making it look like it's flowing and has some life I've got a lot of the color coming out over here so let's add some of that down here and these air just kind of our base leaves to get us going get something flowing here okay we might end up covering most of them but it's at least got something going at a little flow now because I have this tip with the writing tip in it you know what else we can do? We can add vines that that buy it's. So, too, do vines. Nice, steady pressure. I'm gonna bring it out, I'm in a circle three times and then pull it. One, two, three poll, let's, add one here, just have a little fun with it, okay, let's, do another little curly one in here, okay.

Class Description

Buttercream is the baker’s best friend, but it can be fussy in both pastry bags and bad weather. Learn buttercream basics from the Buttercream Queen, Lucinda Larson and keep things friendly in the kitchen.

In this course Lucinda will take you through the steps of frosting a cake with buttercream so it is primed for decoration. She’ll offer tried and true troubleshooting tips for working with temperature changes and uncooperative climates and help you keep the cake and all of its embellishments together. You’ll also learn how to prep and use pastry bags using a variety of different tips. Lucinda will teach you techniques for writing, creating borders, adding drop flowers, and shaping leaves.

If you want to add a professional touch to the cakes you bake for your family and friends, join CreativeLive and Lucinda Larson and learn buttercream basics.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lucinda Larson - Buttercream Recipes.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Lucinda Larson - Buttercream Supplies List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

I enjoyed the classes themselves, but the lack of close ups of what Lucinda was doing so I could actually see what she was doing or the differences between the before & afters deters me from spending money on the videos. Thanks for the many hours of fun, Lucinda!


Yes, I did like it. Is simple and short. straight forward. Will try it. thanks.