Viva La Buttercream

✨ For all of life's Magic ✨

    Buttercream Pumpkins – 3 ways!

    Fall is fast approaching, and nothing says Fall like Pumpkins. Well strictly speaking 9 foot piles of leaves and about 3 hours of daytime says Fall, but I digress.

    If you’ve got a Fall bake that needs a little somethin’, nothing beats Buttercream, and Buttercream shaped like pumpkins is twice as good!

    2D Pumpkins

    Perfect for Sheet Cakes, tops of cakes, and even flat cupcakes, 2D pumpkins are quick and easy.

    Stick to warm neutral tones with either a round piping tip or tipless bag for your pumpkins, and finish with some darker brown shades for your stalks and leaves.

    1. Pipe some Buttercream in the general shape of the pumpkins, and gently smooth with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. You can also gently press with paper towel on crusted buttercream, flattening and smoothing the buttercream, and depending on your towel, it can also add some fun patterns! You can learn more about Buttercream texturing in my Textured Buttercream post.
    2. Finish with a piped stalk using dark buttercream, with either a round tip or tipless bag. You can also add some little squiggles of vines to add some character.

    To give your pumpkins a little more punch, play with size and colour!

    3D Pumpkins

    3D pumpkins are great for cakes and cupcakes, but if you’re using them on cakes, use them on the top or edge between cakes in a stack, as they are heavy.

    1. Using a round tip (number 12 round is perfect for this), pipe a blob of buttercream, about the size of a grape.
    2. Starting at the bottom of the blog, pipe a smooth line from the bottom to the top. Repeat until your blog is fully piped.
    3. Finish with a piped stalk using dark buttercream, with either a round tip or tipless bag. You can also add some little squiggles of vines to add some character.

    These pumpkins can be piped straight to your cake or cupcake, or prepiped and frozen for up to 3 months before use.

    Sculpted Pumpkins

    Modelling and sculpting Buttercream is easier than its sounds. First let’s make some Modelling Buttercream!

    Now modelling Buttercream is not like fondant or gumpaste, it has a short window of usability, so only mix this up as you’re ready to use. You can paint dried sculpted Buttercream, but its easier to start with coloured Buttercream, and add any final touches later.


    Modelling Buttercream

    You will need..

    • Flower consistency Buttercream (to learn how to make my Basic Buttercream, check out my tutorial here)
    • An offset spatula
    • Cornstarch to knead into Buttercream to create Modelling Buttercream

    A quick word about Modelling Buttercream, it tastes like Buttercream, but the texture and mouthfeel is a bit gritty and powdery, so while it might not be the tastiest part of the cake, it is edible, tastes WAAAAY better than gumpaste, and uses up what you already have to hand.

    1. Add some Buttercream to some cornstarch. How much cornstarch you will need will depend on how moist your Buttercream is, and how humid the room is. Start with equal parts and go from there. This mixture should only be made right before its used, so don’t go over board making a huge batch!
    2. Gently knead the buttercream and cornstarch, until it comes together and forms a dough.
    3. When the mix holds its shape, its ready to use. Be sure to use fairly quickly, as the mixture will become brittle as it dries.

    1. Now that you have some Modelling Buttercream, form a ball by squeezing the Buttercream into shape. Modelling Buttercream has no stretch like fondant or gumpaste, so you need to apply pressure to form a shape.
    2. Once you have a ball, using a narrow but blunt edge (like a paintbrush handle or a wide butter knife), mark some grooves on the side of the ball, from bottom to top. You can gently smooth the edges of the groove to get a subtle dip instead of a deep cut.
    3. Finish your pumpkin by piping a little stalk and vines, ideally when the pumpkin is on the cake, to avoid breaking the piping. Its not advisable to freeze modelling buttercream, as its quite fragile once dry.

    Don’t wait till midnight! (pumpkin pun right there..)

    These Buttercream pumpkins are fun, and are a great way to finish a delicious fall cake (they also make a great way to involve kids that may not have strong piping skills).

    Looking for a tasty fall cake? Try my Apple Pie and Icecream Cake!

    Viva La Buttercream x