This Buttercream Autumn Wreath Cake is the perfect design for your fall-themed cake. Read below for all the tips on how I decorated this autumn beauty.
Now that I have a baby–I mean, toddler (that sure came fast) I don’t bake cakes as often as I’d like to. And I especially don’t bake cakes just for fun anymore. Those days are over. Maybe just temporarily on hold. I was asked to bake a cake for a local fundraiser auction in my small town and this was the perfect occasion for me to go all-out.
I was given no direction or requests. I could literally decorate it however I wanted to! Having so much freedom can either make one really glad and excited about the challenge, or it can make one stressed out because there’s just too many ideas. I’m always the latter. I love direction and guidelines. Give me a box and I’m happy to make myself a home inside of it.
I kid you not, I woke up the morning of with zero clue as to how I was going to decorate it. I just took it one step at a time. Stacked and filled the 3 layers of marble cake with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting, crumb coated, and smoothed out the final layer of frosting until I had a clean slate of a cake. Then, the creativity started flowing.
I knew I wanted to keep it with the season, so a fall colour palette. And I knew I wanted it to actually look like something that I did, that Flour & Floral did. So…not Halloween-themed covered in spiders, or zombie brains. 😛
So, of COURSE I decided to do a Buttercream Autumn Wreath Cake. You guys, I’m in love with wreath cakes! If you don’t believe me, just look below at some of my previous cakes, floral WREATHS galore!
Which one is your fave?? Let me know in the comments below! I think I love my purple hydrangea buttercream wreath cake the best. If you love the middle left one and need a wreath cake for the Christmas season, I’ve written a tutorial on the Cranberry Orange Christmas Cake! (Go check it out after!)
Step One: Buttercream
Every single one of my cakes has been decorated with American buttercream, except for ONE cake which you can see above. (The top left cake was created with Swiss Meringue Buttercream–super silky and luscious.)
I choose to go with an American Buttercream because I just find it the easiest and it’s simply what I grew up with. Perhaps one day I’ll venture out more, but right now I’m content. 🙂
You can find my buttercream recipe at the bottom of this blog post, but in short I always use:
- Salted Butter
- Confectioners Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Cream or Milk
Keep the consistency stiff:
Here’s a pro tip about buttercream: when you know that your buttercream frosting is going to be divided and coloured into bold colours (so, not faded pastels), then you want to make sure that you keep the consistency stiff.
Add a little less milk/water than the recipe calls for because the gel food colouring along with the mixing, and the warmth from your hands in the piping bag will soften that frosting right up–which is not ideal for piping buttercream flowers!
Divide & Conquer/Colour
Mixing colours is my LEAST favourite part of cake decorating, but I suck it up because it’s gotta get done. For my Buttercream Autumn Wreath Cake I divided the buttercream into 5 bowls for 5 different colours:
- White (uncoloured)
- Chocolate Brown by Americolor
- Orange by Americolor (to give the orange a more burnt-orange look, I mixed in a few drops of chocolate brown)
- Juniper Green by Wilton
- Cornflower Blue by Wilton
I’m so pleased with how the colours turned out! Always keep in mind, that colours deepen over time.
Step Two: Piping
I highly recommend putting couplers on your piping bags. Couplers make it so that you can switch the piping tips between different colours without having to remove the tip and put it into a new bag. AKA-Best invention ever!
Piping The Brown Wreath
So the very first thing I did was put Tip Wilton 6 in a piping bag with the brown frosting. I started on the left side piping wavy strands around the perimeter of the top of the cake. One long wavy strand at a time and not connecting the two ends. Did 4 strands.
Piping the Flowers
I never pipe the large flowers directly onto the cake. I cut out a bunch of small parchment paper squares that are the size of the flower nail. I pipe a dab of buttercream onto the flower nail, stick a square onto it, and then I pipe the flower. Then I carefully slide the parchment paper/flower onto a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer. I always pipe more flowers than I need, in case one breaks and also I can choose the best ones!
The 4 large flowers are the only designs that I used a flower nail for. I used tip 104 for the top flower, and then tip 102 for the rest.
Placing Flowers on the Wreath Cake:
The reason you put the flowers in the freezer (for 10 min) is so that they’ll be solid enough for you to place onto the cake without them smushing! It’s genius. But still, always be gentle!
Pipe a nice blob of buttercream on the cake where you want to place the flower. Not only does it act like glue to stick the flower to the cake, it elevates the flower so it looks bigger and stands out more. I like to place the flowers at different slants too for some subtle variety.
Once you have your large flowers placed, it’s time to fill in all the gaps!
Piping Tips Used:
This is my absolute FAVOURITE part of cake decorating: the filling in/perfecting the imperfections, piping leaves, and just making it look full! I always start from big to small. So first I started with placing the large flowers onto the cake, then I piped the swirl designs, then the round “pumpkin” shapes, then the leaves, and then all the cute little star shapes.
Here is a list of all the piping tips I used for this cake:
- Brown Wreath: Tip 6
- Brown stems on pumpkins: Tip 6
- Blue Large Flower: Tip 104
- Orange & Blue Flowers (Smaller): Tip 102
- Swirls: Tip 32
- Pumpkins: Tip 4B
- Green Leaves: Tip 352
- White Stars: Tip 27
- Orange Stars: Tip 14
- Blue Stars: Tip 16
All of the piping tips can be found in this Master Decorating Kit pictured above, which I highly recommend! I use these all the time! The larger 4B Piping Tip I bought separately. Also pictured above are:
- Piping Bags
- Flower Nail
- My trusty Ateco Revolving Cake Stand. This thing is STURDY. It has a cast iron bottom, and a metal plate on top, and spins so smoothly. I 100% recommend!
Do you feel inspired to recreate this Buttercream Autumn Wreath Cake for your fall dessert table? If you make this, be sure to tag me/DM me on Instagram or let me know in the comments below. If you have any questions at all, please ask!! I’m so happy to help. 🙂 Happy decorating!
The perfect buttercream recipe for piping beautiful buttercream flowers
- 1 Cup Salted Butter softened to room temp
- 4-5 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 4 Tbsp Cream/Milk
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Beat butter in bowl of a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, on medium speed until smooth, fluffy, and turns lighter in colour.
Scrape down sides of bowl. Add in confectioners sugar, cream, and vanilla.
Mix on low until all powdered sugar is incorporated, then mix on high for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
You'll want a stiffer consistency. If it's too stiff, add more cream. If it's too thin, add more sugar.