This elegant yet surprisingly easy buttercream flower cake is perfect for all celebrations ! Use your favorite cake recipe and pipe buttercream roses and more in this easy tutorial with video!

buttercream flower cake with flowers around it on marble

Flower cakes are such a wonderful cake design for spring cakes! You can make a beautiful bouquet right on top of your cake, and it’s all edible. If you’re new to cake decorating, don’t fret- making a beautiful floral buttercream cake does take some practice, but it’s a lot of fun and gets easier and easier as you go!

You can use your favorite cake recipe here- I’m using my classic vegan vanilla cake, as it’s my absolute favorite cake, as well as my readers’ favorite cake recipe! However, we have over 50+ amazing vegan cakes with different flavors that you can use so be sure to check out our cake recipes index. 

There are even more cake recipes in my vegan baking cookbook, that you’ll definitely want to check out!

What type of buttercream is best for piping flowers?

Typically, the frosting you would use is a “decorator’s buttercream;” this is a frosting that forms a hard crust. Usually, an American buttercream will do this. My vegan American buttercream is my absolute favorite to use for decorating floral cakes.

You can also add different flavors to the buttercream, like floral notes, almond extract, fruity, like strawberry or raspberry, or lemon!

buttercream flower cake being decorated on marble

Which Wilton tip makes flowers?

Wilton has so many different flower tips to use! It all depends on how intricate you want your flowers to be.

There are amazing petal tips that you can use (I used Wilton tip #103 here), but there are even packets of flower design tips that you can purchase. Some other tips, like a star tip can be used so as to imply petals for the flowers; and then you can fill the flowers with dots as well!

I also recommend getting a leaf tip as well (I used Wilton tip #352)!

How do you attach buttercream flowers to a cake?

You’ll simply pipe a dot of frosting onto the back of your frozen and set flower. Then gently press the flower to the place on the cake that you would like it to be! The frosting dot will harden quickly against the cold frosting of the cake, and the flower, so your flower will stay put.

buttercream flower cake on marble cake stand with pink roses

Cake tools I recommend:

  • Cake turntable
  • Medium and large offset spatula
  • Wilton cake flower tips
  • Piping bags or pastry bags
  • Cake boards + boxes (especially if this cake is for someone!)
  • Flower nail 
  • Squares of parchment paper or pieces of wax paper
  • Bowls
  • ​Vegan food coloring (I recommend liquid- but NOT oil based- vegan food colors or powders)
  • Spoons
piped buttercream flower on flower nail

Overview: How to make a buttercream flower cake:

Here’s an overview of how you’ll assemble your floral buttercream cake:

  1. Sketch out your cake design: It’s a great idea to have an idea of what you want your layer cake to look like, along with how long it will take you, and the amount of frosting you will need. I’m giving you the recommendation for a three layer, 1 tier 8″ cake below. You should also choose your color palette!
  2. Bake the cake: Whichever cake you decide on for flavor, make sure that you give your cake at least an hour to fully cool. You want absolutely NO WARMTH in the cake layers. This will take patience, but it’s worth it.
  3. Assemble the cake: Apply a crumb coat to the cake, along with a final buttercream coating. I used regular vegan buttercream for the crumb coat, then tinted the buttercream pink with rose powder for the outside of the cake.
  4. Chill the cake: While you pipe the flowers, you can place the cake into the fridge for the frosting to set.
  5. Pipe the flowers: Next, you’ll pipe the roses (or pansies) onto pieces of parchment paper that we’ll then freeze. I find it easier to place the piped flowers onto a baking sheet that I then place into the freezer between piping each flower. Then freeze the flowers for at least 5 minutes in the freezer. This will ensure that they’re able to be handled a bit as you place them onto the cake.
  6. Remember to save some frosting! You’ll want to save some frosting for the piping of leaves and to help place the flowers onto the cake.
  7. Plan out your pattern and decorate the cake: I like to gently mark where I want to place each flower. It also helps to sketch a quick design of what you had in mind (this is helpful at the very beginning of the cake baking process). Then place the flowers onto the cake with a dot of buttercream, and fill in the rest of more petals and leaves!
how to assemble a buttercream flower cake

How do you make buttercream flowers on the side of a cake?

You’ll actually use the same method as you would placing the floral buttercream flowers on top of the cake when decorating. 

Simply pipe a dot of frosting onto the back of the frozen frosting flower. Then press the flower very gently onto the side of the cake. You can then pipe leafs onto the side of the cake, or even additional petals, where you placed the flowers.

Tips & Tricks for making a buttercream flower cake:

  • Have a few separate bowls for buttercream: Say you’re doing pink, red, and orange flowers that have a yello​​​​​w inside and then green leaves. You’ll need a total of 5 bowls of frosting just for the flowers (but depending on how big you’d like to make your flowers, about 1/2 cup-3/4 cup per color. 
  • Think about your color palette before you begin: Not all colors complement each other! Be familiar with complementary and tertiary color combinations. Here’s a a great color palette generator to help you choose your cake’s color pattern! 
  • Keep your cake cold: This is so important, especially as you’re decorating. You want your cake to always be cold so that a) the flowers can adhere to the cake and b) the cake doesn’t start to tilt!
  • Make sure you have all of the right tools! Go back to my recommended tools list to ensure you have everything.
  • Use room temperature frosting for piping the different types of buttercream flowers: This will be much easier to pipe the petals. While the cake is cold, you’ll want the flowers at first room temperature before freezing. 
  • Use these tricks for decorating a flower vegan wedding cakeThis is also great for graduation cakes, bridal shower cakes, birthday cakes, and more!

You can also use these buttercream flowers for cupcakes!

To make buttercream flower cupcakes, simply pipe your favorite frosting on top of the cupcake, then place the chilled flower on top. So easy!

Watch how to make this floral buttercream cake here!

buttercream flower cake on marble cake stand

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

buttercream flower cake Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
buttercream flower cake with flowers around it on marble

Easy Buttercream Flower Cake (How to make buttercream flowers!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 120
  • Time to bake cake flavor of choice: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Piping
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This elegant yet surprisingly easy buttercream flower cake is perfect for all celebrations ! Use your favorite cake recipe and pipe buttercream roses and more in this easy tutorial with video!


  • Your favorite cake recipe (I used my favorite vegan vanilla cake recipe)
  • 2 1/2 batches of vegan buttercream frosting (or your favorite American buttercream frosting)
  • Vegan/plant based/all natural food coloring*


  1. Bake: Bake your selected cake according to the instructions.
  2. Cool the cake:  Make sure that the cake is FULLY COOLED before assembling. This will take at least an hour.
  3. Make one batch of buttercream frosting: Prepare one batch of buttercream frosting. This will be used to make the crumb coat and outer coat of frosting.
  4. Assemble the layer cake: Assemble the layer cake by first applying a crumb coat. Then you may tint the final coat of buttercream however you’d like and apply that. You can make an additional 1/2 batch of buttercream here if you want a thick outer coating.
  5. Chill the cake: Place the cake into the fridge to chill while you make the buttercream flowers.
  6. Make the buttercream flowers: Make the additional batch of buttercream and section off the buttercream into your various colors. I use about 1/2 cup- 3/4 cup per flower color. If you’re making rose flowers, use the Petal Cake Decorating Tip 104 or 127. Place a pat of buttercream onto the top of your flower nail, along with a square of parchment paper. With the thicker side of the tip facing down and holding the tip almost 90 degrees (closer to 80), pipe a small circle of the inside of the rose tip. Then tilting the tip more at an angle (60 to 45 degrees), pipe petals around the initial inside of the rose tip. See video for visual. Continue until you’ve piped your entire rose. Take the piece of parchment paper, and place it onto a baking sheet and into the freezer to chill as you pipe the remaining flowers. Repeat the freezing process. Reserve some frosting for the dots of frosting and the leaves.
  7. Assemble the flower buttercream cake: Remove the cake from the fridge. With your selected cake design, place a dot of frosting onto the back of the frozen buttercream flower, and gently press the flower onto the cake where you’d like it to go. Repeat with the remaining flowers. Finally, pipe leaves using the leaf piping tip listed in the post to finish the cake.
  8. Store and enjoy!


For vegan food coloring: I recommend Nomeca vegan liquid food colors or Suncore foods. Whole Foods 365 also works, but you’ll need to mix the colors together to achieve your desired color.