What's The Best Way To Pipe Swags Out Of Buttercream?

Decorating By Melan Updated 25 Oct 2007 , 12:54am by madgeowens

Melan Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:52pm
post #1 of 42

What is the best way and best tips to use when teaching yourself to pipe swags out of buttercream onto buttercream? I could really use some help! Thanks! icon_redface.gif

41 replies
crazy4sugar Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:11pm
post #2 of 42

I'm going to watch this topic too because I'd love to learn this.

Anyone....anyone?

icon_biggrin.gif

korensmommy Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:23pm
post #3 of 42

Just had the same question when I did my last cake.
There has to be someone out there to help us!!

indydebi Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:47pm
post #4 of 42

I use a star tip with a slight jiggling motion. less pressure at the front and end ... more pressure in the middle.

If you want a ribbon swag, use the rose tip.

Any wilton yearbook has some great step by step pics in their how-to section.

This is what KErri Vincent meant when she said we must not let the art of buttercream die.

Keep it going!

khoudek Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 3:04pm
post #5 of 42

What indydebi said but in addition....To make sure the swags are even distance measure and mark the points of starting and ending first, using either a toothpick or with a dot of icing or with a toothpick. To make sure they are even in depth measure the half way point b/t the above distance and from there measure down to your desired depth, so that this becomes the deepest point of the swag.

vrmcc1 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 3:05pm
post #6 of 42

check out http://www.wilton.com/decorating/basic/index.cfm
there are a lot of step-by-step instructions on here.

Val

korensmommy Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 3:21pm
post #7 of 42

Thanks everyone!
I find that I really enjoy using buttercream for decorating and try to do everything with it.
I have to admit, my husband is a clay artist and I recently discovered he can do wonders with MMF!

Teekakes Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 3:24pm
post #8 of 42

My favorite tip to use for swag making is the all inclusive #86. It creates the completed swag without needing two separate tips. I have recently used #86 on a Barbie cake and a white w/red accents bday cake if you want to view them in my photos.
The larger swag is made by using tip 104 and 16. You first put the 104 ruffle on then use the 16 to put the "finished" edge on the top of the ruffle. When piping 104 ruffle put the wide end of tip UP and slightly touching surface of your cake, the narrow end of tip facing down about 1/4" away from the surface of your cake. I work left to right because I am right handed.
When piping ruffles you must move the tip up and down as you go. If y ou are doing a curved swag, like the ones in my album, you must keep the tip facing the cake in the same position as you make the curve up on the swag. Use your wrist action to accomplish this. With a bit of practice you will find it is rather easy to do.

HTH's thumbs_up.gif

Melan Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 6:42pm
post #9 of 42

Thanks everyone! You guys are the best! Teekakes, I may PM you if you don't mind, I may have more questions!

Has anyone ever used the Wilton set that has a flexible ruler and another tool that will mark where the swags go? It was at Michaels for less that $4 so I thought about buying that as a guide.

wgoat5 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 6:40pm
post #10 of 42

You can do it even cheaper.....Use lids of things....if you cut a canned icing lid to where it is half moon shaped that works....smaller ones for smaller tiers bigger ones for bigger tiers....

HTH's

Christi

auntmamie Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 6:49pm
post #11 of 42

Melan

Wilton makes two kits that have that tool. You can buy it alone, or they make a cake dividing kit, which is a large, round circle that is the same vinyl that is used for their fondant mat, and this kit includes the garland marker. I think it's actually a better deal, since you get the mat too.

HTH, Amy

grannys3angels Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 7:44pm
post #12 of 42

IndyDebi, I agree with Kerri Vincent 200% about not letting the art of buttercream die thumbs_up.gif I just got Sugarshack's new dvd "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream" it is amazing and I love it!

Because no one in this area cares for fondant. You make a lot of buttercream cakes, so the more I can learn about buttercream the better icon_biggrin.gif So I will do my best to keep it going.

Christi, love your idea about the cutting the can lid thumbs_up.gif

WOW! Teekakes, great info about how to do the swag and about the #86 tip...Thanks for sharing

God Bless,
Sharon

Teekakes Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 8:04pm
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melan

Thanks everyone! You guys are the best! Teekakes, I may PM you if you don't mind, I may have more questions!

Has anyone ever used the Wilton set that has a flexible ruler and another tool that will mark where the swags go? It was at Michaels for less that $4 so I thought about buying that as a guide.




Melan, I am happy to help you out any way I can. PM anytime you need to! icon_smile.gif
I use markers but can't remember who they are made by.......hmmmmm, they are pink but I'll have to pull them out to see the maker. Will let you know later this evening/tonight. Am heading out the door for some shopping. icon_smile.gif

bostonterrierlady Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:09am
post #14 of 42

I agree. I wish fondant had never gained the popularity it has. I jut do not believe chewing your icing is that great. It is truly for looks. Buttercream is it for me.
My dvd is on it's way too.

Cakepro Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:15am
post #15 of 42

Try to keep the end of your bag pointing in the direction in which you are traveling...downward while piping the first downward half of the swag and upward while piping the second half of the swag.

If you don't keep the back of the bag pointing in the direction in which you are traveling, the second upward half of your swag is not going to be full.

Sherri

indydebi Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:33am
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonterrierlady

I agree. I wish fondant had never gained the popularity it has. I jut do not believe chewing your icing is that great. It is truly for looks. Buttercream is it for me.
My dvd is on it's way too.




I'm not sure how 'popular' it really is .... Is it "brides wanting it" popular or is it "bakers are pushing it" popular? I mean, when I read that some of the famous decorators do fondant only, is it because that's all their customers are asking for .... or is it because they refuse to do anything but fondant? Don't confuse "popular" with "preference". You can't say "that's all people are ordering" if the reason is because "that's all people are selling."

I know there are a number of bakers who do fondant-only, but there are also a number of bakers (like me) who are BC only. I also learned of a number of commercial bakeries in our area who will not do fondant. I will admit that surprised me because of all the PR fondant is getting (I stopped buying wilton yearbooks forever ago ..... can you even find a BC cake in a wilton yearbook anymore?)

Brides who approach me wanting fondant I find are interested in the smooth look ..... when I show them that I can get the smooth look with BC, they are fine with it. I will happily help a bride find a cake decorator who does fondant if they absolutely want fondant, but so far I've never had to do that.

Do not take this as an anti-fondant post. I respect the time and talent (and the time!) it takes to do many of the fondant creations I see on this site. Each medium takes a talent to work with it, and we can't let the talents of either go by the wayside.

grannys3angels Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:38am
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IndyDebi, would you believe latest Wilton yearbook I have is from 1986 icon_lol.gif , it use to belong to my mother in law. I put it up and now I don't remember where I put it.

God Bless,
Sharon

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 2:10pm
post #18 of 42

Indydebi...........From all I have learned so far I have to agree with you completely here on all you have said. For most of us newer decorators Fondant seems so much easier to work with and to make look perfect than BC. Wilton is pushing it in all of its books and a student will learn a good bit about working with fondant in the classroom, I believe because it is so "hot" in the pro world we see on tv. Although I very much enjoy, actually love, working with fondant I much prefer bc and will continue to focus my energy to perfecting it first. If a decorator can WOW me with a bc cake first I'll then be wow'd by their fondant cakes because for me bc is much more the challenge, as you are well aware! icon_smile.gif

Lordie I hope all this made sense! icon_lol.gif

wgoat5 Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 2:33pm
post #19 of 42

I kind of like a mix of bc and fondant myself...I love the fondant and gp looking decorations....now I haven't delve (wd??? LOL) into figures really but I would much rather have a bc cake to eat with some decorations that can come off or be eaten if they want. I to love the work done with BC and I think if you can perfect a total BC cake then you can wow someone with fondant also icon_smile.gif


Just my 2 cents icon_biggrin.gif

Christi

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 2:52pm
post #20 of 42

I'm with you Christi! Love love love working with fondant and love the way it looks on bc or all fondant cakes. Personally, I like the taste of my homemade fondant, Toba's recipe, and really like it's looks and taste when combined with sugarshacks bc! icon_lol.gif

wgoat5 Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 2:59pm
post #21 of 42

I haven't tried SugarShacks bc yet is it good Lea? icon_biggrin.gif

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:03pm
post #22 of 42

Yep, personally, I think it is the best out there and it smooths like a dream. Pipes beautifully too! Sometimes I sub 1/2 of the hi ratio for butter and it works just as well as the all hi ratio version. Give it a try next time and be sure to use the Wedding Bouquet flavoring she uses too. Man is it ever good!

wgoat5 Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:05pm
post #23 of 42

Man I was sooo stupid...I didn't order the special flavoring like I thought I would icon_sad.gif wonder if you can sub a different flavoring?

BCJean Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:19pm
post #24 of 42

I am a buttercream decorator all the way. I think the satisfaction you get from the finished cake is tremendous. I use it for everything, all of my flowers, drawings and piped on figures.
When making the swags, you have to be careful using markers to go by because then it gives a drawn on look and you want it to hang natural. The real way to mark them off, you make a tiny mark where it will start and where it will end, then you use a #3 tip and do a drop string from one dot to the next. You let it drop down as far as you want the swag to go then attach the end of the string to the next marker. This gives you a perfect guide to go by. I agree, make sure your bag is held in the right position, you don't want the swag to go outward, only down and back up.

Keep buttercream decorating alive!

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:21pm
post #25 of 42

icon_lol.gif You are not stupid!! You can use any flavoring you would like to use. It is just that the WB makes it truly sugarshacks recipe and it is truly divine! Do you have Creme Bouquet? That is do die for in this recipe as well. Vanilla, almond, cherry, strawberry or any other flavor works well with her recipe.

Now why haven't you ordered the WB yet???? I am icon_eek.gif that you haven't!!! icon_lol.gif

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:36pm
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCJean

I am a buttercream decorator all the way. I think the satisfaction you get from the finished cake is tremendous. The real way to mark them off, you make a tiny mark where it will start and where it will end, then you use a #3 tip and do a drop string from one dot to the next. You let it drop down as far as you want the swag to go then attach the end of the string to the next marker. This gives you a perfect guide to go by.

Keep buttercream decorating alive!




We learned this technique in class, Course 3 I think, and yes it does work very well and makes beautiful swags when all finished.

I don't think buttercream decorating is going anywhere because people LOVE the taste of it so much more than any other cake covering! It's the kid in all of us! icon_lol.gif

BCJean Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 3:57pm
post #27 of 42

Thank you Teekakes, I feel so much better (I am not being sarcastic either). I have to go off to work now but will feel better all day with the reassurance that buttercream is here to stay.

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 4:51pm
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCJean

Thank you Teekakes, I feel so much better (I am not being sarcastic either). I have to go off to work now but will feel better all day with the reassurance that buttercream is here to stay.




icon_smile.gif I know you are not being sarcastic. It is a scary thought walking into bakeries and seeing few or zero bc cakes to choose from. Can you imagine; "Buttercream cakes special order only, inquiries by appt only with head baker (because she is the only one that knows how to frost a cake in buttercream) from 9 to 10 AM only" icon_lol.gif NOT!

Long live buttercream!

grannys3angels Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 5:19pm
post #29 of 42

I am like you Teekakes...I also use Sugarshack's icing and I just got her new dvd (love it). You are right it does smooth like a dream, the only bc icing I will use.

Guess my age has a lot to do with why I keep to bc, besides loving to take big bite of bc cake icon_biggrin.gif , well also my bunch told me they wouldn't eat a fondant cake....but I do enjoy making decorations from fondant/gumpaste and putting on a bc cake.

I love the look of bc cakes & fondant cakes, I haven't got to try a fondant cake yet...would like to... just to get to try it. I have to say the thought of making a fondant cake does scare me a little, but I guess they are some who may be just as scare of doing a bc cake. Maybe some day I'll get to try it, but for now I will keep doing bc cake with fondant/gumpaste decorations icon_smile.gif .

I would like to say thanks for all the tips on making the swags everyone, it will come in handy for me....now that my hands shake like that they do and my eye sight isn't as good anymore.

Christi, I agree with Teekakes no you are not stupid and she is right, you can use any flavoring with Sugarshacks recipe and the WB flavor is great also. If you enjoy doing bc, you might want to check out her new dvd. Here is a link. http://www.sugaredproductions.com/

I agree with IndyDebi's post also, and yes Teekakes you made sense in your reply thumbs_up.gif

God Bless,
Sharon

Teekakes Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 6:03pm
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by grannys3angels

I am like you Teekakes...I also use Sugarshack's icing and I just got her new dvd (love it). You are right it

....now that my hands shake like that they do and my eye sight isn't as good anymore.


God Bless,
Sharon




I need to get that dvd ordered but I want her cutters too. I love that set of cutters!

icon_surprised.gif And I thought I was the only one that has the shaky hand syndrom!! Sometimes they shake so bad I have to put down the icing bag and walk away for a while. It is maddening to say the least and there is nothing NOTHING I can do about it! icon_sad.gif
Sorry to hear you have this too Sharon! icon_sad.gif

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