Anyone have any pointers on buttercream sunflowers?
Easy! For a smallish one, use your favorite leaf tip. For a big one, take a jumbo leaf tip (the kind that are too big to use with the standard coupler).
Pipe a ring of golden yellow petals using the leaf tip.
Then move in about a quarter to a half an inch (depending on how big a sunflower you are making) and pipe a second ring of petals, the same length as the first, such that the tips of the petals are an equal distance from the tips of the first ring as to the amount of space you moved in to start the second ring.
For the center, pipe tip 2 small dark brown (almost black) dots all packed in together, or use chocolate jimmies, or use chocolate covered sunflower seeds, as Martha does here: http://www.marthastewart.com/article/piped-buttercream-sunflower, although she pipes the leaves much too short and stubby IMHO.
has the best-executed ones of my quick Google search, especially as far as the size of the center of the flower is concerned. The leaves could be a tad bit longer (but not too much, many of the ones I saw on line had leaves that were vastly too long).
Sunflowers are tricky if you want them to be life like with lotts of dimension. I make a similare cake and find I prefer to use royal icing but i add a bit of glyserin to keep the from drying hard like candy.