Quick Buttercream Icing

This past weekend we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. Being a pastry chef and general foodie, I always feel the pressure to do something really amazing when it comes to the food at a party. I felt like I wanted her cake to be something special but also delicious to eat, after all this would be her first taste of cake!

I love a challenge, so I searched Pinterest for days looking for something unique. A few years ago I made my brother’s wedding cake and my sister-in-law asked me to make a ruffle buttercream piped effect on the outside. I remember thinkingĀ I love a challenge and by the grace of God, pulled it off working late into the night, even missing the pre-wedding drinks!

So, this time I decided to use the same icing technique and give it another try, after all, practice makes perfect! I’m not one to follow recipes too closely, so I whipped up this buttercream very quickly and then adjusted it with some more icing sugar when it seemed to soft to hold the weight of the ruffle. But I thought I’d share the basic ratios anyway and share some pictures of the gorgeous cake of course!


Some tips for creating the perfect ruffle cake:

Make sure you have a very good crumb cover/layer. I did one layer, allowed it to set in the fridge and just before piping added another ‘layer’ so that the surface was moist and the ruffles bonded well.

Ice the cake the day before! It sets beautifully in the fridge and will make the transportation of the cake a breeze!

Flavour your buttercream! Use orange essence, vanilla extract or another flavouring of your choice.

Use a syrup to moisten your sponge cake when preparing the cake for icing. This will ensure its extra moist and delicious.

Watch a tutorial on YouTube. There are great step-by-step tutorial on-line. They will give you the confidence you need to take it slowly, one step at a time.


Basic Buttercream

250g butter

500g icing sugar

1-2 tbsp milk


food colouring



The butter must be soft, but still cold and not melted.

Whip the butter until creamy and soft.

Add the flavouring and colouring to the butter.

Slowly whip in the sifted icing sugar.

Add the milk and test the consistency.


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