Buttercream Ribbon Rose Cake

how to pipe a ribbon rose

ribbon rose cake - coco cake land

SPRING! In my neck of the woods, this means cherry blossoms blooming, lil green leaves sprouting up everywhere and sanity-saving sunny days of playing outside. Perhaps it means taking up running again and getting some fitness up in this muffin top??

ribbon rose cake - cococakeland.com

pink ribbon rose cake

It definitely means busting out the piping bags for some extra pretty Spring-in-your-step cakes. I love the look of the buttercream ribbon rose cake – the ribbon rose is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a tight little ribbon of buttercream that forms an adorable mini rosette. This whole mint green/peachy rose look is giving me a serious 1990s Laura Ashley vibe/Cabbage Patch Kids/Anne Geddes mega vibe which of course I’m very into…

mother's day cake ideas

slice of cake

I was just telling Teddy about what it means to make someone that you love feel good. He was telling me that for Easter, he would give me the Easter eggs which he didn’t like the look of… so I said what would really be special is if you gave me the one that was actually the one you really liked. Then I started telling him about the time when my sisters and I were kids, and Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage in 1982, those rock-hard-faced dolls were the most coveted toy of Christmas that year, each with a signature scrawl on their butt. My sister Shelley wanted a brown-haired one, that was her big wish – I wanted a brown haired one too… but when we tore into those wrapped tell-tale boxes, my sister ended up with a red-haired one and I got the brown-haired one. HUGE TEARS erupted from my sister as she was so sad she didn’t get her brown-haired one… I immediately went over to her and told her she could have mine (even though I really wanted the brown haired one too!) and I ended up with little ginger Arianna with the carrot-orange braids. This is probably my first memory of being empathetic and compassionate, at 6 years old. NOT TOO SHABBY, LITTLE ME!

ribbon rose cake slice

A few weeks ago Teddy and I made strawberry ice cream from scratch, and the frigging waffle cones too. Other things we’ve made together include pancakes, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, banana chocolate chip muffins… he loves cracking eggs, even though I’m holding my breath every time he does it (entirely non-gracefully, with large shards of shell embedded in yolk and whites). I want to give him these baking experiences, and to show him that things don’t have to come from a store, and to spend time with him in the kitchen (also so he thinks my job is cool, hehe). I’m guessing 20 years from now he will look back and appreciate baking with mom… :P

cuisinart stand mixer

Yellow Vanilla Cake with Pink Buttercream Ribbon Roses

12 slices

For The Yellow Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk

For The Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Buttercream recipe from Layered by Tessa Huff/Style Sweet Ca
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Special Equipment

Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 7×2 inch round cake pans by spritzing with vegetable oil (or rubbing with unsalted butter) and parchment paper lining, trimmed to size. 

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until combined. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the flour, until combined and a batter forms, about 30-60 seconds. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans; bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
  6. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Make The Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add the egg whites and granulated sugar.  Whisk them together by hand, just until they are combined so that the egg whites don’t begin cooking by themselves.
  2. Fill a sauce pan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer.  Place the mixer bowl with the egg white mixture on top to create a double-boiler. The water should be kept at a simmer but should not touch the bottom of the bowl.  The double-boiler acts as indirect heat for the egg white mixture.
  3. Occasionally stirring, heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 155 to 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  The mixture should be very hot to the touch and the sugar should have dissolved.
  4. Once the egg white mixture is hot, carefully return the bowl to the stand mixer.  Fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for about 8-10 minutes.  When done, the meringue should hold shiny, medium-stiff peaks and be cooled to room temperature.  Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
  5. Swap out to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, begin adding in the room temperature butter a couple tablespoons at a time. I pretty much just “cube as I go” with a sharp paring knife, cutting little pieces into the meringue bit by bit.
  6. Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract.
  7. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until silky smooth, creamy and shiny.
  8. Remove 1/2 cup of buttercream for tinting a peachy pink shade; I used maybe 1/8 teaspoon total of pink mixed with peach gel food colouring.
  9. Add about 1/8 teaspoon total of leaf green and sky blue gel food colouring to the rest of the buttercream and mix for another minute on medium speed to incorporate colour.

Assemble The Cake

  1. Once cake layers are completely cooled, level your layers with a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion to remove any cake domes.
  2. Place a dab of buttercream on a cake board or cake plate and place the first layer, cut side up, in the center, pressing down to adhere gently.
  3. Using an offset spatula, frost the layer with an even layer of buttercream.
  4. Place the next cake layer on top, cut-side-down, pressing gently down to adhere.
  5. Frost the next layer as you did the first layer.
  6. Place the final cake layer on top, cut-side-down, pressing down gently to adhere. Make sure all your cake layers are in an even stack.
  7. Begin frosting a crumb coat of buttercream starting from the top of the cake and working your way down and around the sides. Use a cake bench scraper to smooth as you go.
  8. Chill the cake for 20 minutes in fridge or freezer to set the crumb coat.
  9. Remove cake from fridge and do a final coat of buttercream, using your cake bench scraper to smooth.
  10. Place the remaining green buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a small leaf tip and set aside.
  11. Place the peachy-pink tinted buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a petal tip (such as Wilton #104).
  12. Using the flower nail, pipe a dab of buttercream on top, then place a parchment paper square on top to adhere to nail. Using the petal tip, hold the piping bag with the tip’s wide side down. Squeeze out buttercream at the same time as you turn the flower nail to create a tight little ribbon rose; you can make them smaller by doing less rotations or larger by continuing to pipe more rotations.
  13. Remove the rose and parchment paper and place on a tray; once you’ve done all your roses, chill the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes to set the roses.
  14. The roses will now be pretty much frozen and easy to handle – gently place the roses on your cake in a border-like pattern, spacing them evenly.
  15. Using the piping bag fitted with the leaf tip, pipe leaves all around the ribbon roses (or in any pattern which you like!)


slice of buttercream rose cake

red cuisinart stand mixer

This post is sponsored by the new Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer! When Cuisinart Canada invited me to create my favourite baking memories, I made this bunny cake, and now this childhood Cabbage Patch Kids inspired cake. In the run up to Mother’s Day on May 14, Cuisinart Canada is celebrating time spent and shared in the kitchen – they’re encouraging people to share their favourite baking memories and to bake new memories too. You can enter to WIN your very own stand mixer in Cuisinart’s Bake New Memories contest. They’re giving away SIX of ‘em. Submit a short story of a baking memory or a recipe photo including the hashtag #bakenewmemories and you will be entered into a random draw for a Cuisinart Precision Master™ Stand Mixer and the Grand Prize of a “Cuisinart Kitchen”! Full contest rules and HOW TO ENTER here! Thank you Cuisinart for sponsoring this post!

15 Responses to “Buttercream Ribbon Rose Cake”

  1. steph

    cabbage patch kids! aww, lynds, you were a sweet kid and a sweeter adult. such a cute memory.

    i love those little buttercream roses. i’m thinking i need to get into decorating with buttercream, i’m loving all those buttercream garden scenes i’m seeing lately!

  2. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

    Hehe thanks Steph! Um, buttercream floral factory party at my house … ^__^

  3. Ayngelina

    I was just talking to a friend this afternoon about who else makes great stand mixers other than Kitchen Aid – it’s like you knew we were wondering!

    Also butter cream roses…sound so good!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Ayngelina! Yes, Kitchen Aid has quite the hold on the market but I was pleasantly surprised with the efficiency of the Cuisinart! Happy baking, thanks for stopping by!

  4. DrDJ

    Beautiful cake!! I like the cuisinart contest idea too. I wonder what I’ll make for it…

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Thanks DJ!!!!

  5. Denise @UrbnSpice

    Lovely cake, Lyndsay – such pretty colours! Thanks for letting us all know about the contest, too.

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Thanks so much Denise for stopping by – I’m usually a vibrant-coloured-cake gal but love the pastel 90s vibe of this one, hehe.

  6. Melissa

    Aww Lyndsay, I loved your cabbage patch kids story – so sweet. Also, this cake is so Laura Ashley and it made me think of my aunt who was an amazing cake decorator (we all tried to coax her for years to start her own cake business) and who use to wear Laura Ashley all the time. She would love this cake!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Haha yes!! Laura Ashley!! Kinda love that your Aunt wore Laura Ashley all the time … I was never too flowery as a kid (more of a crazy tomboy) but I can deep-appreciate those floral fabrics! Thanks for stopping by, Melissa! xo

  7. Melissa @ Insider The Kitchen

    I love this cake so much, colors you used are so dreamy and soft, perfect for the roses. Beautiful cake Lyndsay.
    Thank you for the great collab. Lyndsay.

  8. Bernice

    This is an absolutely adorable little cake…very Laura Ashley!
    I need to up my piping skills to include some flowers.
    You dredged up some old memories there, I never did get a Cabbage Patch doll though I wanted one for quite a few years.

  9. Taylor from OnTheGas

    Amazing, the color of the cake looks salivating. Actually, my friend asked me to look for a cake in relates to their motif and I just found yours. But my niece found me browsing your website and asked me if I can bake her a cake. Well, I must try out your recipe. My niece will be happy.

  10. Angèle @ A Cup of Sprinkles

    This cake is so pretty, I love the color combo!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Thank you Angèle! xo

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