March 20, 2015

How to: Rosette Smash Cake...For Dummies (Like Me)

So my little nugget Halle turns one in about a week from today. It's so bittersweet!! One of the ways I wanted to celebrate her birthday was by getting pictures of her done for her birthday party, and also just for keepsake purposes. With Noelle, we had lots of pictures done at her first birthday party, but didn't do the traditional one year photos. I wanted to make sure to do them with Halle this time around. I had envisioned pink and gold, and a beautiful rosette cake as part of her surroundings. So, I decided to do the rosette cake myself. OH MAN. I sure learned a thing or two!!

My two layer strawberry cake with strawberry jelly filling in progress.

I should start by saying that the rosettes themselves are not what's hard. They are super easy to do with a star frosting tip and a steady hand that can make swirls counter-clockwise. Those weren't the issue. Everything else was! LOL. The cake itself tasted great, but it sure was a trial and error cake in terms of appearance! I had used whipped frosting instead of making my own, and the consistency was way too soft! My flowers were sliding off! Not to mention the MESS. I had frosting EVERYWHERE. So I ended up just frosting the two layer cake with the whipped topping. I ran out to Target and got myself some thicker buttercream frosting that came in a tube to make frosting easier and those worked fine. My problem was that Target only had two tubes of the pink left, and I bought them both. I had no idea how much frosting the top of the cake was going to take, so I ran out! Of course, this would all happen the night before the photo shoot, right!? So there I went, running to Cub at 9 pm in search of more tubed pink buttercream frosting! Alas, I found some, but surprise! It wasn't the right shade! LOL. And like that, I declared the cake was ombre.

Strawberry on strawberry on strawberry.

Just frosted. Could have saved a lot of drama if I had kept it this way, lol.

My goodness did I learn a few things! Here are my rosette cake tips:

1. DO not try this out on a whim the night before the shoot. Practice sooner before later!
2. If you are not going to make your own frosting, get the canned version. It's the easiest for the task. The tube Wilton version is fine, but it's harder to squeeze it out. Your roses will not come out uniform. The canned version comes out uniform at a perfect consistency.
3. For an average 8-9" round cake you will need 2 cans of the frosting.
4. Start the rosettes on the bottom of the cake. Not the top like I did. It looks much worse when you need to overlap the roses from the bottom on top of the ones on top of the cake.
5. Unless you know what you are doing, do not try to make varied sizes of roses. I did this. it's not cute and creates more opportunity for gaps to appear.
6. If you have a small round cookie cutter, you may want to outline where all your roses will be first so that all the roses are the same size.

This is not an impressive cake by any means, but hey it will get the job done right?! They turned out decent for the pictures anyways! You can see all the pictures by clicking here.

The actual recipe I use (because I'm lazy and not talented in the kitchen):
  • Pillsbury moist Strawberry box cake mix. (You could use any brand.)
  • Instead of the 3 eggs, I add an egg, making it 4. It makes the cake rise higher to create a taller, less dense cake.
  • I also substitute the water with milk to make it a little more moist and give it a little more flavor.
  • For the filling, I just use any strawberry jelly, jam, or preserves. It always tastes yummy and makes the cake more moist and fun to eat.
  • Follow the directions on the box! 

After this experience I feel that if I had to make another rosette cake, I could totally do it. Now that I've had the fun of trial and error, I know how to correct those errors. I don't know if I will though! It may just be that much easier to have someone else make the cake! LOL! Check out the rest of Halle's cake smash pictures - they are adorable.

Also, here's a few great video tutorials that I should have taken more seriously, haha. Good luck and have fun!


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