Disclosure: I received free tips to try from CrownBake in exchange for my honest review.
Have you ever wondered what Russian decorating tips are, and how to use them? These special tips are SO easy to use and make the prettiest frosting flowers!
Oh y'all, I am so excited to be sharing this post today! As you know, I've been decorating cakes and cupcakes for quite a bit, and I feel like I always have my core decorating tools that I always go back to. WELL, I have to introduce you to these amazing Russian Decorating Tips because they have turned into my newest favorite thing! These make the prettiest frosting flowers and they are so easy to use. I have seen these floating around the blogosphere for quite a bit, and when CrownBake asked me if I wanted to try them out and make a post for y'all, of course I said yes! Fair warning that there are LOTS of pictures ahead. Here we go!
So unfortunately, Russian decorating tips are not named/numbered like the usual decorating tips I'm used to, so there's no way to really identify these except for the shape. But I made sure to include the tips in all of the pictures so you could see what went with what! The flowers that come out of each tip are TOTALLY non-intuitive. You'd never think that a crazy tip like that would give you such pretty flowers!
Some things I found as I tried out all of these different tips is that each tip looks best at a different frosting "height." For example, these little purple tulips above looked great with a bit more frosting, but the pink flowers in the first picture would tend to get stuck to the tip and get ripped off of the cupcake if I tried to make one flower too big. It's all a learning experience! And in this case, since the flowers are so small, it's definitely quantity over quality. The beautiful effect comes from having SO MANY flowers, so don't worry about each one being perfect!
These particular flowers were some of my favorites! Though I think I'm biased just because the color combination came out so pretty 🙂 But another tip I can give you for the prettiest flower cupcakes is to NOT mix in the food coloring all the way. Leaving it a little streaky and marbled made the flowers just that little bit more realistic!
Okay, no, I lied. Maybe these little rose/peony flowers are my favorites. I can't choose. SO PRETTY. And I love aaallll the petals! Also if you're curious, check this out...
Look at how similar the tips are but how different the flowers look! The top one is the peony flower I was just talking about, and the bottom looks like tulips. But it really comes down to maybe 3 extra gaps in the Russian decorating tips. I just think it's so cool! Can you tell I'm in love with these or what?! 😉
Another quick tip I will give you is to wipe off the tip every 3-4 flowers that you pipe! This keeps it from getting gunky and helps your flowers come out nice and clean every time. Also having slightly soft frosting helps too! If it's too hard then it'll have a hard time coming out of the bag (and it's more likely to stick to the tip instead of the cake) and if it's too soft, obviously it'll come out kind of goopy with poor details. Again, there's definitely a learning curve with these russian decorating tips but they are so easy to use!
So in the effort of full disclosure, I will tell you that there were other tips in my kit that I did not feature! I decided to focus on the flower tips because I felt like these were the most unique, prettiest, and most user friendly. Some I did not feature because, as someone who already has a pretty extensive decorating tip collection, I felt like they were SO similar to the classic cupcake tips that they didn't really need to be shared. I was sent two Russian ball tips (you can Google them if you're curious, they look pretty cool!) but I did not feature them because I could not get them to work. LOL. But really! I tried several times and I just could not get anything out of them to look good, so I decided to just not feature them. There are some Youtube videos out there though, if you want to see how they work!
Altogether, my Russian decorating tip kit came with 21 tips, including the leaf tip, a large coupler, frosting bags, frosting recipes, and a box to keep everything in! The entire thing is just $24 on Amazon so it's an amazing deal! You can buy my exact kit HERE. Like I said, some tips are very similar to the ones I already own, but I think the whole thing is worth it just for the flower tips! This Russian decorating tip kit makes it SO easy to make frosting flowers, and if you are someone who's ever tried to make them with standard tips, I'm sure you know how difficult and frustrating it can be!
So, that's all I gotta say but I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about these! 🙂 I am also including the frosting recipe that came with my kit, as it's the one I used. The only comment I have about that is that the batch is pretty small and flowers take up a lot of frosting. I ended up needing two batches to frost about 18 cupcakes! Happy baking and decorating!!
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- food coloring as desired
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until creamy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, followed by the milk or cream.
- Stir in the salt and vanilla, and add food coloring as desired.
- Use immediately!
These are gorgeous! Thanks for always making so many beautiful creations. Keep up the good work!
Bummer. I bought mine off Facebook I think for about $35. No instructions and no coupler. Your post was very helpful. Plus waited 2 mos wish I would have waited.
I'm sorry you didn't get a great deal, Susan! I'm glad you found my post helpful. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! 🙂
Melodie Otteson says
When I tried these my icing ws soft but the icing still did not separate from the tip and it would pull away from the cupcakes what could i hve done wrong
Hi Melodie! Thanks for the question. I am not exactly sure, but I would think either the icing was too soft and therefore sticking to the tip, or maybe you were squeezing the piping bag too softly? It could have also been that if the cupcake was too cold, maybe the icing didn't stick to the cupcake when you were trying to decorate it. Either way, I'm sorry they weren't working out! They really do work well with a little practice. Once the issue is figured out, I promise these are so easy to use and you'll love them!
I found that putting a crumb coat on first made it way easier. My flowers came right off and stuck to the frosting way better than the cake.
Thanks for sharing, Lisa! That is something I had not tried yet. 🙂
Pam Davidson says
Put a little frosting on the top of the cupcake. The flower will adhere much better.
I would like to get your help promote my Russian piping tips by Pleazant Creations that I have started selling on Amazon. Can you please contact me? Thank you so much.
Can you refrigerate the buttercream icing for a day ahead of baking ? Or does it change the taste and consistency?
Hi Margaret! You can absolutely make it ahead of time, just be sure it's highly wrapped or it will form a hard "crust" on top. And also make sure you let it sit a little bit at room temperature before using so it's not too cold and stiff 🙂
Ryan Bridges says
Wow those look amazing! these are such great tips and just love all the photos! I will have to try these, thanks for sharing this!
Off topic - I'm just curious why so many are leaving a margin of uncovered cake on the tops of cupcakes these days. I can understand the idea of not wanting too much frosting at the edge if it gets messy, but to me the large margin of blank cake looks odd, and I'd think it would dry out more quickly as well. I don't mean this to be negative; it's simply that I've noticed this trend and it puzzles me. Any light you can shed would be welcome. Thanks. And your flowers are very pretty, I must add! I haven't done a lot of decorating recently but was in my local shop and saw Russian tips and immediately thought they were cool, so I've been looking at various websites and pictures about them. 🙂
Hi Bakerbug! So to be honest... I've just never thought about it! I feel like cupcakes with a little border of cake left around the edge are easier to box and transport without them sticking to each other and ruining the adjacent frosting. But most of the time I just make them for home consumption and I've never really given it a thought. 😉 But thank you for the comment, Russian tips are super fun to use and very user friendly!
Hi, first thing thank you for putting a pic with the nozzle. I tried to do that with can bought frosting just to see what each nozzle looks like. I had a mess! I was wondering does cold buttercream work better or should it not matter. and does it being that store bought is not good for these nozzles. Thanks for the pics again.
Hi Juliann! Thank you for your comment, I'm glad you found this post helpful 🙂 I will say in general store-bought frosting does not work well for decorating as it tends to be way too runny! Cold buttercream helps to an extent as long as it's not so cold that it becomes hard. I would say to give it another try with homemade frosting and see what you think!! 🙂
You're in Texas right? I'm wondering how this icing recipe holds up in our humidity? Wondering if they'll hold throughout the day and transport? (Wanting to make them for a baby shower) I'll try it out this week but any insight would be great!
Hi Lauren! Yes I'm in Texas! So this buttercream recipe is what I would call a "crusting" buttercream - once it sets, the sugar makes the outside pretty hard and sturdy so you should not have any issues with it melting. I have used this for many cakes and cupcakes orders without a problem. I definitely recommend refrigerating the cupcakes overnight beforehand and trying to keep the car cool during transport, but they should be just fine sitting out for a few hours during the party.
Hi Valentina, I love your posts ! What food colorings (brand and type) do you use? I’m baking a lot this year and want to get these Russian tips but I want the soft colors you show. Wilton? Gels? What do you recommend please. Thank you!
Hi Keri! Thank you so much for your comment! For these pictures, I used AmeriColors gel colors. I also have some of the Hobby Lobby brand (Sunny Side Up Bakery) gel colors and they are very similar! I cannot promise I didn't also use a few of the classic grocery store liquid vials in here as well. 😉 Haha! But across the board, I really prefer the gels over the liquid colors. I do also have the Wilton pots of colors and to be honest, I find myself rarely ever using them. I recommend gel colors overall! Just start slow and add a small bit at a time and you'll find your perfect color. 🙂 Hope this helps!
Mary Colson says
I DON'T CARE FOR THE BUTTERCREAM ICING CAN i USE OTHER ICIN
Hi Mary! You can use whatever frosting you would like, I would just make sure it is just not too runny as the flowers won't hold their shape otherwise 🙂
Angela Bratcher says
If my icing is coming out of the Icing tip, and falling over, what is the best way to firm up the icing? Put it in the fridge for a bit of time or add in more powdered sugar? Thanks!
Hi Angela! Thank you for your question. I think the first thing to try would definitely be to chill the frosting until nice and cold! If its still giving you trouble then I would try to add more powdered sugar. But I have found as I hold the piping bag and the heat from my hand melts the frosting, I definitely have a harder time working with it.
Teri Smith says
I purchased mine over a year ago off Amazon. Got a good deal, but came with no instructions for the buttercream thickness.
I just finished a cupcake order for a local church, I used my tips only because of your article on the icing.
Wish I could post a pic of how they turned out!
Gloria Patrie says
Valentina, thank you so much for your posts. I just received my box of tips and cannot wait to try them out. You info is extremely helpful and ca't wait to try out the buttercream recipe on my first batch. I am an avid fan of chocolate, is there a flavoring available for chocolate that doesn't have any color...like the clear vanilla? Thanks in advance. A new fan! Gloria
Hi Gloria! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I hope that you find these photos helpful 🙂 As for the chocolate flavoring, Rodelle does make a chocolate extract that is quite good! It isn't clear, but no darker than "regular" vanilla extract. It might be worth a try! https://amzn.to/2wkHPvu
Margaret Wakley says
Hi Valentina, like many other ladies I was intrigued by these tips, bought them, and now reading up how to use them. I have to make a quantity of cup cakes and I have some dairy free amongst them. I know butter is going to taste best for the frosting to make the flowers but what difference will it make if I use Pure dairy free sunflower oil spread? Would it work? I would be grateful for your comments. I am in the U.K.
Hi Margaret! I have added a lot more vegan recipes to the blog since posting this, and I make dairy-free frosting quite often! I am not familiar with Pure spread but I am guessing it is much like the vegan/dairy-free spreads here in the US. Here is my go-to vegan frosting formula... you can add flavorings and food coloring as needed to make whatever flavor you want!
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup vegan butter (this would be the sunflower oil spread)
1.5 - 2 cups powdered sugar (see how much you need to get the right consistency)
2-3 tbsp dairy free milk (as needed to get the right consistency)
Beat the shortening and butter together until smooth, then add in the powdered sugar a bit at a time until the frosting is the right thickness. I encourage you to add a bit of the nondairy milk to make it more smooth and easier to pipe. You can then add the flavoring extracts and colors that you want.
Hope this helps! 🙂
I keep reading that the buttercream has to be very stiff to work with these piping tips. Is that true?
Hi Rachel! So your buttercream has to be a medium-firm consistency. If it is too hard then it will not come out of the tip. If it’s too soft then the flowers won’t have any definition. You’ll have to play around with it a bit and add a little extra powdered sugar or milk until it looks right!
Hi, I live in Puerto Rico, is hot, the is not good to use. Can I substitude with shortening
I live in Texas so it is also very hot here! I wouldn't do all shortening as that will affect the taste. I would recommend half shortening & half butter!
CATHY HEBEL says
love the reciipe but i only got about 9 frosted cupcakes from 2 batches what am i doing wrong
Hey Cathy! I don't think you're doing anything wrong... these decorating tips take a lot of frosting! You can definitely double or triple the batch to make it easier so you don't have to remake the frosting every 5 minutes 🙂