Cascading Floral Cake Tutorial

cascading floral cake tutorial by Sugar and Sparrow

Before the whole world shut down, I made this colorful Cascading Floral Cake inspired by the pretty Spring flowers that were just starting to bloom. Nowadays, seeing the Spring flowers is the highlight of my daily walks and I find them just as inspiring (and totally worth celebrating!), even in this wild season. Whether you need a fun cake project in your life, have a #QuarantineBirthday to celebrate, or you just need something pretty to look at, I’m showing you how to get this look with some quick and easy floral techniques! 

spring floral cake by sugar and sparrow

Although there’s a ton of texture going on here, the design could not be simpler to create. I used a mix of simple fondant flowers, buttercream piped flowers, and sprinkles to make this cascading bouquet of blooms come to life. Incorporating all three of those elements helps to give depth to the design, but I’ve also created this cascading floral look with just buttercream and both ways look incredible! Whatever techniques you use, as long as you nail this floral placement, you really can’t lose. 

buttercream floral cake tutorial
buttercream flowers cake tutorial

If you do include the cute little fondant flowers, I do recommend making them at least a day ahead, just because they’re much easier to work with when they’re firm. I made them with this plunger cutter set and loved how quick they were to cut out in a variety of sizes and colors. Allowing them to dry in a semi-sphere mold (or even on the inside curve of a bowl!) really helped give the petals the perfect shape. Probably the easiest fondant flowers I’ve ever made!  

spring flowers cake by sugar and sparrow
cake with flowers by sugar and sparrow

And as far as the buttercream flowers go, all they really take is the right piping tips and a fun color palette. Including the Fuschia background color I used for the cake, this color palette consists of seven different buttercream colors! I do tend to get a little carried away when color mixing sometimes (it’s therapeutic!) but keep in mind that you can create this look with less colors, or really any color palette you want. With that in mind, feel free to follow the tutorial below closely or use it as inspiration for your floral cake creation. You do you! 

Here’s a quick video to show you the decorating techniques before you read all about them below:

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel to see even more cake decorating videos, tutorials, and recipes. Hit the Subscribe button while you’re there so you never miss a new video!

You Will Need 

Step 1: Make the Fondant Flowers

At least a day ahead (so the fondant flowers have time to dry), color the three 1-inch balls of fondant according to your chosen color scheme. I used Americolor Lemon Yellow, Fuschia, and Regal Purple for the colors shown below.

satin ice fondant

Coat a flat surface with a little bit of vegetable shortening, then roll the fondant out to about ⅛ inch thick.

rolling out fondant

Use the flower plungers to cut out a variety of floral shapes, gently pressing the plunge button to create the dot center on each one.

flower cutters for fondant
how to make fondant flowers

Finally, set the flowers to dry in a semi-sphere mold or the inside of a bowl so that the petals dry with some upward lift.

how to dry fondant flowers

After about 24 hours, your fondant flowers should be dry and fully ready to use on your cake.

fondant flowers tutorial

Step 2: Prepare the Buttercream 

Divide the vanilla buttercream evenly amongst separate bowls, one per color in your palette. Then color each bowl with your favorite color gels. For the color palette shown below, I used Americolor Fuschia, Lemon Yellow, Regal Purple (for both the light and dark purple), Turquoise (for both the light and dark turquoise), and Peach.

how to color buttercream

When your buttercream colors are ready to go, fit your piping bags with tips and fill each one with a different color. I fit the Fuschia and dark Regal Purple piping bags with Wilton Tip 1M, the Lemon Yellow and dark Turquoise piping bags with Wilton Tip 4B, the Peach bag with Wilton Tip 190, and the light Regal Purple and light Turquoise bags with Wilton Tip 225.

buttercream piping bags

Feel free to use any variety of floral piping tips and colors you’d like for this look! 

Step 3: Decorate the Top of the Cake 

On the top of your frosted cake, start by piping some scattered rosettes with Wilton Tip 1M in a crescent moon shape.

how to pipe buttercream rosettes

Use the piping bags fitted with Wilton Tip 4B to pipe stars that follow the same crescent moon shape, allowing plenty of space to fill in with more florals.

piping stars with wilton tip 4b

Fill in most of the space with your drop flowers using Wilton Tips 190 and 225. If you’ve never piped a drop flower before, they’re super easy! Simply hold the piping tip at a 90 degree angle (straight down) about ⅛ inch from the cake surface. Then, twist the tip in a clockwise motion while you squeeze to swirl the petals before releasing.

how to pipe buttercream flowers on cake

Next, add the fondant flowers wherever you’d like, standing them at different angles. They’re super light weight, so they should stick right onto the buttercream without shifting or falling over.

adding fondant flowers to cake

Finally, fill in the empty spaces with spherical sprinkles of varying sizes. I loved adding some of the sprinkles to the buttercream flowers to give them a pretty center!

adding sprinkles to cake

Step 4: Create the Floral Cascade 

To make these beautiful blooms look like they’re cascading down the side of the cake, repeat the above steps for piping, adding fondant flowers, and attaching sprinkles – only this time at a diagonal angle. Starting near one of the edges of the crescent moon shape you created along the top, pipe scattered rosettes diagonally down the side of the cake.

how to pipe rosettes on side of cake

Pipe more stars with Wilton Tip 4B in that same diagonal direction down the side, then fill in most of the empty space with the drop flower tips to complete the general cascading shape.

how to create a cascading floral cake with buttercream
piping buttercream flowers onto cake

Accent your cascading florals with fondant flowers and sprinkles until you are totally satisfied with all the textures going on.

how to create a buttercream floral cake

This is one of those cake designs I get totally lost in and just keep adding things until I feel like it’s time to step back and marvel. These floral textures get me every time!

floral buttercream cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow
spring floral cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

So pretty, right? I can’t wait to see your cascading floral cake creations – be sure to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me! We could all use something pretty to look at nowadays, so no matter what your reason is for making this cake design, it’s sure to bring some life to this crazy season. Hope you’re all safe, well and staying creative (or doing whatever brings you joy these days)!

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