Petal Tips 101
What's a petal tip? How do I use it? Which one do I need? Should I buy all of them? AHHH!!!
100 Series Petal Tips
If you have watched a tutorial on making Buttercream Roses, you have probably seen a 100 series petal tip. This series includes 101, 102, 103, 104, 124, 125 and the huge 127D.
All of these tips have a wedge shape tip, with one end wider than the other. They are used in a variety of ways, from piping Roses, to Blossoms, Hydrangeas and Pansies, to piping ribbon borders and ruffled cakes.
A 103 is by far the most useful size, if you had to pick just one. Its big enough for Roses, but still small enough for small petalled flowers.
When using a petal tip, always pipe your buttercream with the thick end towards the flower nail/cake/cupcake. Let's see that in action!
Less Common Petal Tips
97 (small) and 116 (Large)
No, you aren't looking at a funhouse mirror, these petal tips have a curved wedge, that allows for a frilled edge.
They create a delicate, scalloped edge, without the need for any particular technique. One caveat though, if you don't have a lot of experience piping flowers, they can be hard manage, as they curl as you pipe.
Due to the shaped nature of this tip, they actually DO come in left and right handed tips! Now, sit down because this will make to no sense...
I am Right handed, however, I pipe in the opposite direction that Wilton (the makers of this tip) teach people to pipe in, so TECHNICALLY as far as this tip is concerned, I pipe LEFT HANDED. If you wanna buy a vowel, just let me know!
What this means is, if you pipe like me, away from yourself, you will need the LEFT HANDED tip. Here's the corker, if you pipe like me and you ARE left handed, you'll need the right handed tip. Phew.
The small tips are number 97, and the larger tips (perfect for flowers on cupcakes, like my Vintage Rose) are 116.
They can be hard to find in left handed, so you may need to order them online if you want them. They are really cool, but with practice, you can recreate the look with regular piping tips, although they make the best Rose buds ever!
This little chestnut is perfect for scalloped simple petals, like Poppy's, and can also be really good for bulbous flowers like closed Ranunculus.
I haven't had a lot of success with this tip for Ranunculus, I think it just works against my grain (maybe they need to make a left handed one??), but I do like it for blossoms.
If you find yourself cursed with flat, lifeless simple petals, this could be the tip you are looking for! It adds dimension and movement, no matter what you do. That can also be a problem if you are after flat and lifeless, so use with caution!
I am REALLY excited to tell you about this next tip!
You'll notice that unlike regular petal tips, they don't have a wedge shape, that's because these tips are modelled after Korean Buttercream style tips, which don't require the heavy base that western buttercream flowers normally use.
As far as I know, they are only made by Loyal Bakeware here in Australia.
Ruffles and Ribbons
Petal tips can be great for decorating the side of your cake too. Using a a petal tip, you can build a tower of ribbons up the side of your cake, giving a simple, but very effective, decorative finish.
These are just a few examples of what you can do with 100 series petal tips. There are so many flowers and decorations possible, just practice and have fun with it (remember you can always eat the evidence!)
Viva la Buttercream!