Do You Prefer Buttercream Or Royal Icing Flowers?

Decorating By cherrycakes Updated 6 Oct 2008 , 5:09am by SeriousCakes

cherrycakes Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 8:20pm
post #1 of 17

I am making a cake for Thanksgiving, much like Wilton's course 2 final cake and am wondering if I should do all the flowers with buttercream or royal icing. Does anyone have a strong preference for either? I find with the royal icing, most people pick the flowers off because they are too hard but all buttercream flowers gets to be a lot of icing too. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Thanks!

16 replies
bobwonderbuns Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 8:28pm
post #2 of 17

Royal Icing flowers will soften up if placed on a buttercream cake. I had a friend who always ordered little cakes requesting buttercream frosting and royal icing flowers (she liked the crunch) and she used to complain that they were soft by the time she ate the cake.

As far as my own preference, I've done flowers both ways but I think I like buttercream better but that's really a decorator preference. Actually I like the fondant flowers best lately but that's a whole other subject! icon_lol.gif

crisseyann Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 8:41pm
post #3 of 17

I prefer buttercream over royal, any day! Extra frosting never bothers me. icon_biggrin.gif

cherrycakes Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 8:50pm
post #4 of 17

Thanks for your responses. So if I make buttercream flowers, could I do it today and let them air dry until next weekend? Or would it be better to freeze them?

bobwonderbuns Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 9:32pm
post #5 of 17

You can freeze them or airdry them if it's a crusting buttercream. I like using a crusting buttercream and drybrushing them with lustre dust (check my pix -- I did a chocolate heart cake like that with buttercream roses drydusted with lustre dust.) Very pretty! In fact, the big monogram cake I drydusted the roses with gold lustre dust. Just to give you some options. I've found that if I freeze them they turn sticky and gooey once they come to room temp. Hope that helps! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 11:26pm
post #6 of 17

I use BC for everything ... never use RI for anything. I air dry all flowers. Easier to handle once the moisture has evaporated ... agree with BobW that they get gooey when removed from the freezer ... remember anything that is frozen will start to melt when moved to room temperature.

BC .... air dry ... no melting ... no problem.

I've made flowers 1-5 days prior to an event and they are fine. I've kept leftover flowers for a couple of weeks .... if they are covered (tupperware container), they hold up great.

DsLady614 Posted 5 Oct 2008 , 11:53pm
post #7 of 17

Definitely buttercream. I mean, there is a place for royal. I used royal morning glories on my wedding cake. But I just bought two books to really learn and expand on buttercream flowers. I LOVE buttercream!!

BCJean Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:23am
post #8 of 17

Buttercream, of course. I usually make the flowers right on the cake because they are so fast to make, I don't see a reason to make them up ahead of time.

Last spring, I was making a wedding cake for a wedding in Santa Cruz, 4 hours away. I was using fresh strawberries for the filling so didn't want to put the cake together too far ahead of time, I decorated it in the hotel room. I made roses and orchids ahead of time, from buttercream, and let them air dry so I could just place them on the cake. It worked great! They were really light in weight, crusty on the outside and still very moist on the inside.

Tona Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:35am
post #9 of 17

I like either but I like the ease of royal icing. I can do it in advance and keep them in a air tight container. But buttercream is nice also.

cherrycakes Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:48am
post #10 of 17

Wow! Thanks for all the great advice! This is why I love CC so much!! I have just one more question: I prefer to use half butter and half Crisco in my crusting buttercream. Will the flowers dry properly with the butter?

DsLady614 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:50am
post #11 of 17

I use a recipe with butter in it. I haven't intentionally tried to dry flowers yet, but did make some a while back and they crusted and dried quite nicely. I'm going to try it again just to test out how well they stand up leaving them out to dry for a while.

lutie Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:54am
post #12 of 17

I absolutely love using the Michele Foster's recipe for Fondant. They are so easy to make and dry so beautifully. They are lovely air dried after several weeks.

Does someone have a terrific, top-of-the-line dependable, tasty, fabulous crusting buttercream recipe that you use for flowers? I really have not found one that makes me happy... probably why I use fondant for flowers.

indydebi Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 1:00am
post #13 of 17

I use one recipe and one recipe only for icing ... for icing, borders, flowers, stringwork, writing, whatever needs done.

lutie Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 1:09am
post #14 of 17

Thanks so much, indydebi! I will rush out to get the Dream Whip! I will let you know how it turned out for me. (Catering a 50th wedding anniversary for 200 this week-end plus making four different cakes... will try your recipe!)

SugarFrosted Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 1:13am
post #15 of 17

Buttercream for me too.

So on that subject, if you want to expand your buttercream flower repertoire, Roland Winbeckler has a book about buttercream flowers, if you are interested:

Kitagrl Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 1:15am
post #16 of 17

I use buttercream for roses but for others like lilies or daisies I much prefer royal or fondant.

SeriousCakes Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 5:09am
post #17 of 17

I recently did a test with my buttercream flowers (lol-thanks to reading several of Indydebi's posts!) to see how long it would take to dry them enough for me to pick them up. I used waxed paper, next time I do this I'll use maybe parchement paper, but the results were great! After 24 hours I used some pearl dust without budging a petal and after 48 hours I had no problems picking them up. Me and the kiddies did a taste test and they were very tasty, lightly crusted on the outside, silky smooth on the inside. A couple flowers didn't make the cut, I tried roses, rose buds, a hydrangea, and a gerber daisy. The roses and buds did the best, but the other 2 would need to be re-configured. lol-I made a little film of it so I'll be adding that to my next youtube video!

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