How to Make Buttercream Roses


“Hey those don’t look like roses!”

Go on, get it out of your system!

I know my buttercream roses don’t look like the traditional “Bakery Rose”

7.27-Avenue-4 I guess it all comes down to preference and just like in nature, no two people make the same rose!

I always liked to combine all the different styles that each pastry chef would bring to the rose making table, and create a big beautiful bouquet of assorted flowers on each specialty cake!

I always use my Swiss Buttercream recipe for rose making and have never had a problem.

But many folks have had some trouble with getting their buttercream really stable and pipe-able.

Be sure to read the entire blog post for the Swiss buttercream recipe, but also feel free to use the Wilton Decorators Icing in place of mine.

Once you get really good you can graduate to the Swiss Buttercream or my new American Buttercream recipe!

OR for those just wanting to get some practice, use straight up shortening!

You can use  it over and again and get as much practice as you need, no waste!

However whenever I needed to make a large quantity of roses I would make the batch of buttercream specifically with all shortening for more stability and it is more affordable too!

As I explain in the video I freeze them on sheet pans and pop them onto cakes at the point of decorating them!

They will thaw out in minutes so no worry about frozen roses on your cakes!

I always found it to be more efficient and so much faster to spend a slow Tuesday afternoon making buttercream roses and freezing them for the weekend cake orders, rather than add another couple hours onto that already too long Saturday or Sunday!

Follow along in the video tutorial and I bet that your roses will come out even better than mine!

So please forgive my inferior looking roses!

It is quite difficult  (I have learned) to make roses slowly!

Have fun with it! Don’t get too frustrated! Practice makes perfect!

For those interested in the highest quality pastry bags and the tools I used, you will find everything in the Gretchen’s Bakery Essentials Cake Decorating Kit

Be sure to check out my latest creation using all of these techniques to make a Basketweave Cake with a Bouquet of Flowers for BEGINNERS!

basketweave-cake    basketweave-cake CLICK HERE

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  1. I think your “roses” are gorgeous! I’m not sure who the snob (oops, didn’t mean to say that out loud) person who said these didn’t look like roses was, but they are so wrong! Roses come in all different shapes, forms and sizes! Your tutorial was clear and very easy to follow… Even for a lefty!

    Thank you for sharing your roses with us!


  2. Wow…amazing. watched many videos bt this is d best video on making roses. I always thot dat making roses is very difficult task bt u made it very easy gretchen. Love u nd ur videos

  3. I wish I could sit with you like they did in that “Ghost” movie (of course you have to be Patrick Swayze here) and teach me how to make these darn Rose Petals…Mine look more like a mutant cactus by the time I’m done with them. Oh and of course we’d have to have like Ozzy or Pink Floyd playing in the background instead of that other song….Thx from California for the tips though !!! Bake-on

  4. I loved your video on piping roses! I have tried to follow the wilton rose many times and they looked terrible. After watching your video I managed to make one of your basket weave cakes! Thanks so much! I can now expand my cake decorating skills. 🙂

    1. yes, this way you can handle them for placing on cakes, they thaw out in minutes back to normal soft buttercream consistency

  5. I wish I saw this video before I already attempted to do my flowers! You make them so effortlessly!

    This is my first time working with SMBC flowers and I was wondering if I can put the flowers out to air dry or to chill them in the fridge overnight instead? I made a lot of flowers and all of them can’t fit my little freezer. (As we speak they are in the fridge but I have this worried-conscious telling me to take them out and let the them air out instead. I’m worried that being in the fridge overnight will cause condensation or something.

  6. Hi Gretchen, I just love your Italian meringue buttercream recipe. It’s my go to buttercream since the day I started to make it. I was wondering, can I pipe buttercream flowers with Italian meringue buttercream?

  7. have you ever used organic palm shortening for your buttercream frostings instead of sweetex? and if so your reviews??

    1. I have used Spectrum non hydrogenated shortening, it is OK… but I do prefer the Hi Ratio shortening (Sweetex Brand) for stability and lightness

  8. Hi Gretchen can I use your italian meringue buttercream as this is more stable than the swiss meringue do you think that will create niceflower using the russian piping tips??? thanks in advance.

  9. Hi
    How can I reuse the buttercream after taking it out of the fridge or freezer? So I need to beat it again?with paddle attachement?

    Thank you

  10. Hi Gretchen! Beautiful roses! I was just wondering, if you use the only-shortening recipe to pipe flowers instead of the butter-shortening combo, does it still taste okay? Also, is Crisco okay to use?


    1. Hmm, I don’t have an “only” shortening recipe, (do I? LOL) Perhaps I may have said “only shortening” when PRACTICING roses for the first time to get the hang of it without ruining a batch of buttercream? I always use a combo of butter and shortening and yes to me it takes great!
      But as for the crisco, many (including me) feel it will leave a heavy greasy mouth feel which is why we prefer Hi Ratio shortening, but some people do use it as they cannot get anything else, so I would say it is “passable” at best

      1. Thanks for your reply!! I meant the recipe where you substitute the shortening entirely for the butter and don’t have butter in it (I think you mentioned one like that??)

        1. One, Im not sure since I always use a blend of butter and shortening, but you can adjust the ratio of butter and shortening to suit you

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