Piping Royal on Buttercream?

Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Hi All, more and more of my brides are requesting buttercream cakes instead of fondant. I am not as well versed in buttercream’s capabilities. I always use swiss meringue on my buttercream cakes – can you pipe royal icing on that? And will the royal icing dry enough to paint it? My bride is Indian and she wants an ornate gold Mendhi design piped on a buttercream cake. Is this possible and can it be stored in the fridge until delivery, without breaking down? And experienced advise would be a tremendous help! thank you.

Tags: royal icing buttercream painting royal icing wedding mendhi

Maria @ http://www.facebook.com/rooneygirlbakeshop or http://www.rooneygirlbakeshop.com


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sumbi ...

iv never u used marangue on my cake but i know if you use normal buttercream on your cakes then you can pipe royal icing on to it not strait away just leave the buttercream to set for a bit. what i do is mix a bit of the royal icing powder in to my buttercream just to get a bit of a firmer finish on the cake this allows the royal icing piping on a better surface to sit on. hope that was helpful.

GoodieGoddessJennB ...

My experience has been less than stellar. Granted I don’t do a lot of big cakes either.

Last summer I did a royal icing over a buttercream (Wilton recipe) and it looked amazing. Left it sitting overnight and when I moved the cake in the morning to take pictures and to box it up for delivery, every single one of my piped lines fell off the cake. Every. Single. One. This cake was being transported over 3 hours away so I knew that redoing the piping wouldn’t be an option.

This is what it looked like the first time I moved it:


Every time I moved it more fell off.

I’m not sure adding meringue powder to the buttercream would have prevented this or not.

Good luck!

MsGF ...

Royal icing will not hold up well at all on buttercream. Buttercream remains a bit “flexible” for lack of a better word. Royal Icing dries hard and ridgid. So when you try to move the cake the royal icing will break and fall off, just like goodiegoddessjennb said. I would pipe buttercream on buttercream. I would pipe American buttercream details on top of your swiss meringue, let the details crust up and then gently brush colour on them. I think that may work out better. I have piped American Buttercream on top of Italian Meringue Buttercream with no problems.

Good Luck

Calli Creations ...

piping for me, but would sure like to experiment with buttercream more… great forum question!!! :)

Happy ...

I don’t think the royal would hold up well on top of any kind of bc. I had a similar situation, but I ended up making a really stiff bc that I used for piping onto the cake. I let it crust overnight and then painted it the next day with lemon extract and luster dusts. Worked flawlessly!

Bakermama ...

Actually, I pipe royal icing on Swiss Meringue Buttercream all the time, and have NEVER had any problems!! SMBC sets up so much harder when refrigerated than traditional American buttercream, which probably helps… that, and I always put my cakes on stiff stiff boards, so there’s no chance of the buttercream shifting.

I’ll attach a few photos here ~

The top tier was piped with royal,and I used the brushed embroidery technique on the flowers.

The bottom tier’s swag was royal icing.

The elephants were royal icing.

Good luck!

3DSweets ...

I’ve successfully piped RI onto buttercream, BUT… It didn’t harden enough to paint it. At least I don’t think it would have been paintable; I did not try.

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

Thank you all for the advise! I worked out another design with my bride and we are going to use stencils on buttercream and I’m going to stencil with gold dust. I didn’t think this was possible in a swiss buttercream but I saw SweetPea Bakery do it and tried it out and it worked great. I’ll share the cake in a few weeeks when the wedding takes place.
Thanks again!

Maria @ RooneyGirl BakeShop ...

Hi, So I just posted my cake and wanted to share with you how I ended up applying the stencil to swiss meringue buttercream. Rather than dusting the luster dust directly on to the cake – it was getting everywhere, I mixed it with clear piping gel just until it was spreadable. Then I slathered a lot of crisco onto the stencil and placed it on my cake (that was in the freezer for 10 minutes to really harden up), quickly slathered on the piping gel/gold dust mixture and scraped it off, and peeled away the stencil. I did this all within a minute, but the buttercream would still come off a little in bits, so I just scraped off the stencil and redid it until I got it as good as I can get it. I would freeze the cake in between each application because the only way for the buttercream not to tear right off was to keep it as cold as possible. My biggest fear was that as the cake sat at room temperature at the venue then the piping gel would slide right off the swiss meringue – but to my luck, it stayed perfectly on. So I think I discovered a new method? Here is the cake:
Thanks again!