Several weeks ago (running on a couple months, now) I was gifted a set of Russian piping tips (or “nozzles,” depending where you’re from). I wasted no time in putting them to use and made some cupcakes for a girls’ night. This was my first attempt with them so far, which pretty obviously shows that they have a bit of a learning curve to them.
Some of the things I learned in my first attempt at using them were:
- Put down a base coat of frosting and chill the cupcakes before attempting to use the tips. The frosting from the tips will stick to the cupcake better this way.
- Some of the tips will look better with a longer draw on them, resulting in a taller flower (the tulips, for example), but others want a shorter draw to look right (the roses).
- The frosting wants to be decidedly room temperature to be piped. My buttercream was still a little cool when I used it and it was stiffer than necessary (American Buttercream already being a stiffer consistency frosting, any chill makes it unwieldy.)
- Yes, use a stiff buttercream (such as American Buttercream), but find a good recipe. I’m not 100% happy with the recipe I used, so I’ll toy with it before sharing.
- Start piping the flowers with the tip almost directly against the cupcake, begin squeezing the piping bag until a small “base” of frosting forms, and draw it directly upward. When you have reached the desired height on the flower, stop squeezing and give the piping bag a gentle shake while pulling away to get the petals to let loose. Sometimes the petals didn’t want to give way (stiff frosting) and resulted in petals falling off the cupcake.
- Adding leaves covers a multitude of piping sins.
- Using multicolor icing really sells it! (I’ll do a tutorial sometime on how to make icing bullets for piping flowers with different colored centers.)
That said, on with the pictures!
I started off doing sets of cupcakes with one kind of flower each (to the right), and used up any remaining icing from any given color on the multi-flowered cupcakes (to the left).
In some places you can see the mix of shorter roses and taller tulips. You can keep this in mind if you have a preference for more or less icing on a cupcake.
The purple flowers to the left were definitely where I learned that not all Russian piping tips are meant for tall flowers. They flopped over if I let them get too tall. (One, not in this photo, looked so awkward my 3.5yo commented that it looked “like a sea plant– an anemenemene.”)
I think these were my personal favorites. I like the bright pink with the yellow as well as the soft pink with the light spring green.
Here’s another photo of my favorites, just for kicks.
There we go, there’s the “anemenemene”! So, not all of my creative/cooking efforts come out perfectly (if you ever thought they did 😉 ). Hopefully I’ll have more opportunity to practice these in the future!
Thanks for reading!