Buttercream Effects with the Leaf Tip

Ah, the leaf tip. Its just such a versatile piping tip and one I’ve been using quite a bit these past months.  Most recently, I used it on this cake as part of a large dessert table for a church event.


I’ve used this technique on a few of my cakes so far and it is perfect for when the budget may be smaller or time does not allow for a full fondant ruffle technique done on an entire tier.


Its very similar to the technique used on my “Welcoming Spring” cake (below), however the angle of the tip is altered so that the tip is pulled up vertically, there was a bit more ruffling done during the piping and the rows are done a bit different to create the overall look of grass sprouting upward.

KristyFullFront View

For the Great Gatsby cakes that were created earlier this year, the “feathery” look of the buttercream was achieved with the same leaf tip.  I wanted to play off of the gum paste feathers that were painted gold and used as accents so with a quick change of the angle, the piped feathers were formed.  Instead of pulling the piping bag up and slightly ruffling each one, I pulled the tip straight out from the cake and completed the rows in that way so that the tips of the “feathers” were predominately what you saw when viewing the cake.


Clearly, the color of the buttercream plays a tremendous role in varying the look of the cake as well.


Basically the only thing I changed for this past weekend’s cake for a dessert table is the top portion.  Instead of pulling the leaf tip straight out from the sides of the next tier, I pulled them up vertically to give the cake a bit more “poofiness” (that’s a word, right?).


I used a Wilton leaf tip.

LeafTutorial2And when I got to the top of the cake after piping the feathers, I began making each leaf more vertical (sorry for the not so great photo.  My hand had quite a bit of shakiness after all that piping!).

LeafRuffleTutorial1When it was done, it gave the cake a full and textured appearance .

LeafTutorial5If you have any questions, please comment below and I’ll do my best to walk you through.


Happy caking all!





  1. I have never seen such a beautiful white, creamy, luscious looking buttercream – is yours just butter and icing sugar and milk?

    • Jodie, this is just Swiss Meringue Buttercream so egg whites and sugar cooked together, whipped into a meringue and then butter added in. Its a rich, yet not too sweet, delicious, stable and versatile buttercream that is my standard “go to” when I make cakes. I use a 1:2:3 ratio of egg whites, sugar, butter.

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