Browsing Tag

tutorial tuesday

8th July 2014 // 2 Comments

Tutorial: Intro to Royal Icing… Piping Pearl Borders!

After a rather hectic couple of months full of magazine work, large cake orders and a pile of admin work our Tutorial Tuesday segment is back with a vengeance! Though we still have a myriad of responsibilities plus some fabulous plans for the next few months (why not sign up to our monthy newsletter to stay in the know) we’ve streamlined our work-plan somewhat to help maintain certain aspects of the blog; including our weekly tutorials! Without further ado here is this week’s tutorial… how to pipe pearl borders with royal icing! This handy technique is perfect for finished cakes, adding detail or creating delicate edgings on cupcakes or cookies!

How to pipe pearl borders with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

When it comes to working with royal icing you can be forgiven for being a little stand offish if faced with a piping bag of that seemingly tempestuous mix, however, all it takes is one good recipe that you feel comfortable working with and whipping up. That’s why with this week’s tutorial for piping dainty pearl borders we’re sharing our simple recipe for royal icing. Before we tried this recipe we would sadly waste large amounts of icing sugar just to pipe a small pearl or shell border. We often lamented over why so many royal icing recipes listed their ingredients in large volumes and, worse yet, with measurements too odd to scale down. This recipe is possibly the most straightforward we’ve come across, creates the least amount of waste, and it has always yielded what we find the best consistency for piping.

Our royal icing recipe

  • Whites from 1 medium egg
  • 188g icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (and extra to wipe down your bowl and whisk attachment)
  • Kitchen scales
  • Stand-up mixer with whisk attachment and metal bowl
  • Small round writing piping tip
  • Disposable piping bag

Step 1: Wipe down the bowl of your stand up mixer with lemon juice along with your whisk attachment.

Step 2: Add the whites of 1 medium egg to the bowl and whisk on high speed until white and frothy.

Step 3: Add in the icing/confectioner’s sugar and mix until incorporated.

Step 4: Finally add in the lemon juice. You need your royal icing to be the consistency of runny honey so add a little more lemon juice if you find your icing too thick.

Tutorial on how to pipe with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Be aware that royal icing never lasts too long. It’s best to always make and use it fresh as the sugar soon begins to crystallize making it hard to work with. If you are, however, going back to using the icing in a few hours we’d recommend covering the icing with cling film/saran wrap directly on the icing’s surface in a bowl and then double covering over the bowl itself. If you also have some royal icing in a piping bag cling film the nozzle of your piping tip to stop the tip from getting clogged with crystallized sugar.

If you find the consistency of the royal icing too thin or thick don’t panic. It’s easy to adjust the consistency by either adding icing sugar gradually if it is too thin or adding a little bit of water if you think it is too thick.

As well as the royal icing you’ll also need a good seamless plain round piping tip (we used a 2.5 writer tip by PME for a small yet dainty pearl size and shape) and a disposable piping bag. As this is the beginner lesson we’ll save the parchment paper cornet/cone tutorial for next week and instead concentrate on the recipe and border piping method!

How to pipe Royal Icing Pearl Borders!

Piping pearl borders with royal icing looks relatively simple and straightforward… that is until you actually physically have to do them! Our top tip to get even, delicate and elegant piped pearl borders is to establish a good rhythm! Even before we begin piping directly onto a cake we have a quick practice on a clean surface to quickly check the consistency of the icing, establish the appropriate pressure we need to get certain sized pearls and to make sure we get a quick rhythm.

To get a nice even rhythm we repeat these three steps in our head until we’ve finished our border work; Squeeze. Stop. Swipe.

Squeeze. Stop. Swipe.

How to pipe with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Squeeze the royal icing out at a 45 degree angle between the cake board (or stand) and cake (for cupcakes do this at a 90 degree angle). Squeeze with a nice even pressure. Don’t squeeze too hard or you’ll have royal icing flooding out everywhere. Also, don’t squeeze too fast or you’ll never have control over your border.

Pipe with royal icing tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Stop when you’ve squeezed enough royal icing to create a lovely glistening pearl. A lot of beginners just keep going when attempting pearl or shell borders as they can look a little like cursive hand-writing and seem unbroken, but these borders are broken. You need to stop to establish a nice rounded pearl shape and not a continuous line of undefined royal icing squiggles!

Piping with royal icing how to by Juniper Cakery

Swipe the piping bag away in the direction you wish your border to continue with no pressure pushing out more royal icing. This creates a nice tapered or tear drop tail to your pearl which not only creates a good looking border, but helps mark out where your next pearl should be placed. You should then begin your next piped pearl on the tail of your last. When you squeeze once again the royal icing will fill the gap a little, but should still create a lovely defined shape!

Intro to royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Keep practising! Working with royal icing and even piping borders with buttercream takes a little practise to get just right, but you will get there if you keep at it. The brilliant thing about the ‘squeeze. swipe. stop’ method is that it can be used to make almost any border look even and professional. We use this technique to pipe out shell borders and buttercream borders too! 

Learn how to pipe with royal icing by Juniper Cakery

Next week we’ll be showing you the next step at getting used to working with royal icing; piping polka dots plus how to create a parchment paper cornet/cone to use as a piping bag! Royal icing polka dots is a fabulous way to add texture or a pretty yet subtle detail to cakes!

22nd October 2013 // 2 Comments

Halloween Tutorial: D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes!

Here is our third instalment of our fang-tastically ghoulish Halloween Tutorial series for this month! This week we show you how to whip up and decorate a batch of fun D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes. These vibrant cakes are perfect for getting children involved with creating some spook-tacular Halloween party treats (they’re also great for fun-loving grown ups too). The great thing about these cupcakes is that you can sit and make a selection of different eyes, tentacles, teeth etc and mix and match them to form your own monsterous creation. We’re sure you’ll think these cupcakes are so ‘ghoul’ you’ll want to scare everyone away rather than share them!

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Halloween monster cupcakes!

What you will need…
A batch of piped cupcakes in bright colours (we used Vine green, Grape/Violet and Orange)
3 brightly coloured balls of sugarpaste / fondant
1 ball of white sugarpaste / fondant
Toothpicks (cut the sharp ends off if planning to decorate these with kids)
Fondant rolling pin
Ball tool (with a larger and smaller ball on each end)
Edible glue
Sprinkles (optional)
Edible glitter (optional)
Paint brush
Icing sugar or cornstarch to dust your surface
Candy melts
Disposable piping bags

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step one: Pipe some generous swirls atop your cupcakes in a variety of colours. We used 809 (open round tip), 868 (fine toothed pastry tip) and 828 (larger toothed pastry tip).

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step two: To make eyes roll out balls of white sugarpaste. Indent them with a large ball tool and apply some edible glue inside the impression. Roll up a smaller ball of coloured sugarpaste and gently press this into your white ball. Indent the smaller ball with a smaller ball tool. Roll up another colour in an even smaller size and press this in. Finally take a toothpick or blade tool and create indented lines to create an iris.

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step three: After making the eyeballs you need to assemble them onto toothpicks to position them into your cupcakes. To help stop them sliding down the toothpicks apply a bit of melted candy melt into your toothpick where the eyeball will fit. Before it sets slide your eyeball onto the top and leave to dry. If you’re ready you can insert the eyes into your cupcake when set!

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Monster cupcakes tutorial!

Step four: To create teeth simply play with white fondant to create sharp fangs, picket fence-style buck teeth or more human shaped dentures.

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step five: When it comes to tentacles shape some coloured sugarpaste / fondant into a variety of ‘slug’ shapes (make sure these are long enough to sit from your cupcake to your chosen surface… e.g. plate or cake stand). Add some ‘suckers’ by indenting with a small ball tool, some edible glue and small rolled up balls of coloured sugarpaste.

Step six: Try adding some extra customisation with sprinkles, cut out sugarpaste shapes or edible glitter!

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step seven: Now for the super fun part! Design and decorate your cupcakes with as many eyes, teeth, tentacles, spots etc as you wish.

D.I.Y Monster Cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

By the end of this tutorial you should be left with a batch of monsterous treats perfect for petrifying parties and spooky soirées!


3rd September 2013 // 1 Comments

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make a Sugarpaste Owl!

Yay! It’s now September which means that the lovely cosiness of Autumn (or Fall depending on where you are) is just around the corner! Autumn and winter are our favourite seasons here at Juniper Cakery and we get excited when they arrive every year. What’s not to love… lovely vibrant crisp golden leaves, cooler weather, bundling up in mis-matched knitwear, hot cocoa, spiced cakes, Halloween festivities and of course Christmas. With all this in mind this week’s tutorial is an adorable autumnal owl in fetching seasonal shades of browns and rust orange. This little creature will sit perfect on top of cupcakes and forest themed cakes!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

What you need for this tutorial…

Sugarpaste / fondant in three complimentary colours
Round piping tip (use the large bottom for cutting)
Blade modelling tool
Ball modelling tool
Scallop and comb modelling tool
Circle cutters

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step one: Use your chosen base colour to mould what we would describe as an upside down tooth shape as pictured above. Use your finger and thumb to pinch two ‘ears’ for your owl and smooth any stretches/cracks with your fingers.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step two: Using a small circle cutter and the end of a piping tip cut one small and two extra small circles out.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step three: Slice the small circle into two halves. Into one of the halves create a ‘feathered’ pattern using the scallop and comb tool.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step four: Now stick the two extra small circles in place as eyes and the half circle in place as a chest. For extra detail why not cut out smaller circles in an opposite colour and place them on top of the extra small circles, this will add extra dimension to your owl’s eyes.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step five: Using the piping tip again cut out three circles and add feathered detail using the scallop end of the scallop and comb tool.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step six: Pinch two of the circles with your finger and thumb to create a tapered ‘wing’.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step seven: Begin sticking the circles in place overlapping them as you go. Stick the tapered circle on last as this will finish your owl’s wing off nicely.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step eight: Using a contrasting colour to your owl’s body make a chunky teardrop shape. Use the blade tool to make two slits at the non-tapered end, mould with your fingers to get rid of any sharp/rough edges. Repeat this once more and you now have your owl’s feet!

Step nine: Make a similar, but smaller, shape pinching the edges to get a triangle. Stick between the eyes, poke in two small holes and your owl now has a beak!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step ten: Stick in place using edible glue by simply sitting your owl on top of them. The weight will secure them and help the glue set.

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Step eleven: Roll two small balls of fondant, make an indentation in your owl’s eyes, and press in the two small balls for pupils!

How to make a sugarpaste / gumpaste owl

Now you’ve made your very own sugarpaste owl! This can be made in any colour for any occasion and your little owl can be nestled atop a cake and cupcakes!