Leaves and foliage can make or break your Floral Cake.
There has been many a time where I have chosen my flowers, placed them on a cake and thought “this isn’t going to work..”, then Boom!
Leaves and foliage add realism, depth and colour to your cake, and choosing the right tip to use is the first step.
I use two leaf tips primarily; the small 349 tip (for delicate foliage, and Royal Icing work), and the 352 tip. The 352 tip is hugely versatile, and while not always botanically accurate, it pipes really beautiful leaves, suitable for most flowers.
Choosing your tip
Piping a leaf is much the same as piping petals, in that it requires steady pressure.
The type of leaf you are piping will determine how much pressure, and how you need to move your tip. For your reference, I have piped some sample leaves using 5 common Leaf Tips; the 349, 352, 66, 67, and 70, as pictured below.
Pictured here, you will see I have piped a small flat leaf, a small rose leaf, a Fern leaf, and a ruffle border.
As you can see, the 349 tip (and the 354) are rubbish for borders, owing to the large point that runs in the middle of the tip, which gives this tip its signature leaves, that sadly digs a hole in your ruffle.
The 349 and 352 Tips
The 349 is perfect for tiny roses, especially for biscuits, and its also great for adding a lighter colour, or “new growth” leaf for extra dimension (as featured on my Roses For My Sweetheart Wedding Cake).
The 352 is my favourite leaf tip. I use this tip for the majority of my piped foliage, as well as Hydrangeas, Sunflowers, Forget-Me-Nots, Bluebells, Ferns, Poinsettias, Violets, and so many more!
The broadleaf tips (66, 67, and 70)
Used mainly for large flat leaves, and especially useful for tropical flower leaves. As you can see too, they pipe an awesome ruffle border. This technique can also be used vertically, to create a ruffle effect for lace. Personally, these tips aren’t my go to tip for leaves (I prefer the 352), but they do make a really interesting leaf.Piping leaves, not unlike Flowers, just takes a little practice.
Remember that the speed and pressure of your piping will determine the look of the leaf, so pipe with confidence, as hesitation is the worst thing that can happen to piping. If you have any questions, or would like to share what you have created, come and visit your Buttercream Family!
Viva La Buttercream xx