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A collage image of 3 different round, Christmas Poinsettia Cakes, in shades of red and green.
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5 from 3 votes

Christmas Poinsettia Cakes Tutorial

Want to decorate a festive Christmas cake, not feeling artistic? This poinsettia cake tutorial covers 3 techniques - total beginner projects!
Prep Time5 mins
Work time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 1 Cake
Author: Marie Porter
Cost: $10

Equipment

1 cake, covered in fondant

Ingredients

Sketched Poinsettias

  • Edible markers

Watercolour Poinsettia Cake

  • Gel food colouring
  • Vodka or another clear liquor
  • Mini Shot cups, small bowls, etc
  • Food safe craft paint brushes

Brush Embroidery Poinsettia Cake

  • Frosting
  • Gel food colouring
  • Food safe craft paint brushes
  • Paper towels

Instructions

Sketched Cake Technique

  • - Use the thick tip of the yellow marker to draw a cluster of yellow dots somewhere on the cake. I like to start on the top, as the flat surface makes it easier to get my bearings.
    - Use the thin tip of the red marker to draw three petals coming out from the cluster of yellow dots, as shown.
    - Add 3 more petals coming from “behind” the original 3 petals, as shown.
    - Add some veining to the first 6 petals.
    - Realize that you were supposed to add another row of petal tips in between each of the original 6 petals, go ahead and add them, along with some veining.
    a 4 image collage picturing the first few steps of drawing poinsettias on a smooth white cake.
  • - Decide that the whole thing would look better if the petals had been drawn with the thick tip instead. Draw over all the outlines.
    A large round cake covered in smooth white fondant hasred poinsettias drawn all over it.
  • - Decide to just throw caution to the wind and do all the outlining in the thick red tip right off the bat.
    A hand uses a red food colouring marker to draw red poinsettias on a smooth white round cake.
  • - Repeat the last few steps to cover the cake in poinsettias.
  • - Use the thick tip of the bright green marker to draw leaves in, over the whole cake.
    A large round cake covered in smooth white fondant has red poinsettias and green leaves drawn all over it.
  • - Use the thin tip of the bright green marker to draw veining on the leaves, and a bit of outlining around the yellow dots.
    A large round cake covered in smooth white fondant has red poinsettias and green leaves drawn all over it.
  • - Use the thin tip of the dark green marker to draw “pine” greenery to fill in any excess white space.
    A hand uses a dark green marker to add greenery to a white cake that has red poinsettias drawn all over it.
  • - Stand back and Admire your work
    A large, round cake covered in smooth white fondant is covered in hand sketched poinsettias. The design is in red, 2 shades of green, and has yellow accents.

Watercolour Poinsettia Cake Tutorial

  • - Mix up some food colouring “paint” with gel colour and vodka. At minimum, you’ll want one each of yellow, red, and green.
    A small plastic cup with red foood colouring in it has a paintbrush being lifted out of it.
  • - Use the yellow paint to draw little clusters of yellow dots all over your cake. Each set will be the center of a “poinsettia”, so be sure to leave enough space between each set for the petals of each flower.
    A hand uses a paintbrush to paint small dots of yellow food colouring on a smooth white round cake.
  • - Paint three petals coming out from the cluster of yellow dots, as shown.
    - Add 3 more petals coming from “behind” the original 3 petals, as shown.
    - Add another row of petal “tips” peeking out from behind each set of petals from the first 6 painted, as shown.
    - Fill in each petal, as desired. I liked to do it in a rough “veining” style, outward from a center line up the middle of each petal. I left white spaces for visual interest.
    a 4 image collage demonstrating the first few stepps of painting poinsettias on this cake.
  • - Repeat to cover the whole cake in poinsettias.
  • - Use a more intense red (darker colour, or just thinned with less vodka) to outline all of the petals.
    A large round cake is covered in a hand painted poinsetta design, in reds with yellow accents.
  • - With green paint, add leaves and “pine” greenery to fill in the white space, as shown.
    A large round cake is covered in a hand painted poinsetta design, in reds and greens.
  • - If you’re like me, decide that you hate it and need to go back and outline the petals AGAIN, even darker this time.
    A large round cake is covered in a hand painted poinsetta design, in reds and greens.
  • - Stand back and admire your work
    A large round cake is covered in a hand painted poinsetta design, in reds and greens. The base of the cake is wrapped with a red ribbon.

Brush Embroidery Poinsettia Cake Tutorial

  • - Tint your buttercream. I like to aim for really vibrant colours when doing this technique on a coloured fondant base, as I did in this case... but lighter, more pastel colours also work really well when the base is white or pale.
    If your buttercream is very thick, thin it out with a bit of milk - NOT water. You’ll want it thick enough to hold its shape when piped, but soft enough for the frosting to be easily brushed.
    Spoon your tinted buttercream into pastry bags. You can use a coupler and round tip if you’d like, but I generally don’t bother for this technique. Be careful to avoid creating air pockets.
    - Cut the tip of the bag off to allow for a smallish sized hole. You don’t want it to be super fine, and you don’t want TOO much frosting to come out, either.
    A collage of images showing frosting being coloured red, mixed, put in a frosting bag, and the frosting bag being held over a cake covered in smooth green fondant.
  • - Use red frosting to start piping out a petal in a spot where you’d like a poinsettia. Unlike the other two cake techniques in this tutorial, the yellow gets piped AFTER the poinsettias are established.
    A pastry bag with red frosting in it is being used to pipe a single petal design on a cake covered with smooth green fondant.
  • - I tend to pipe 3 interior petals, a half petal between each of those, and then a smaller petal tip in between each of the original 6 petals, as shown.
    A poinsettia design has been piped in red frosting, on a background of green fondant.
  • - Using a small, flat head brush, gently drag the frosting inward and down towards the center of the poinsettia, as shown. I start at the outer peak, work my way down one side, then go back to the peak and brush the other side in the same way.
    A hand uses a small paintbrush to draw frosting inward from the red piped lines that make up the poinsetta design on a backdrop of smooth green fondant.
  • - Repeat on other petals, going around the poinsettia.
    A hand uses a small paintbrush to draw frosting inward from the red piped lines that make up the poinsetta design on a backdrop of smooth green fondant.
  • - At this point, I remembered that it was best to start at the outside and work my way inward, so employ a bit of “do as I say, not as I do” when you do these.
    Start with the 6 petal tips, then do the row of 3 half petals, and finish up with the 3 interior petals.
    Doing it in this order allows you to better distribute any extra frosting that results from pulling the outer petal frosting, and makes for a much cleaner design.
    A hand uses a small paintbrush to draw frosting inward from the red piped lines that make up the poinsetta design on a backdrop of smooth green fondant.
  • - Continue piping and brushing poinsettias all over the cake. I like to only pipe 1-2 poinsettias at a time, brushing them out before proceeding. This is because the buttercream can crust slightly, and that makes it more difficult / ugly to do the brush embroidery technique.
    A large round cake covered in green fondant has red frosting poinsettias piped all over it.
  • - Transfer some red (I had tinted mine a bit darker than the main red, this is optional) to another pastry bag. Cut a smaller tip off this one, as you’ll be doing detailing with it.
    - Pipe veining over each of the brushed petals.
    A large round cake covered in green fondant has red frosting poinsettias piped all over it.
  • - Tint some frosting yellow. This frosting does NOT need to be thinned out. Spoon into a pastry bag, being careful to avoid creating air pockets.
    - Cut a small tip off the end of the pastry bag. Alternatively, you can use a coupler and a small round tip - say a #3 or so.
    - Pipe little clusters of yellow dots in the center of each poinsettia, as shown.
    A pastry bag full of yellow frosting is being used to pipe little yellow dots in the middle of red frosting poinsettias.
  • - Tint some frosting green, thin it out if necessary. This frosting will be brushed, same as the red.
    - Carefully spoon the green frosting into a pastry bag, trying to avoid creating air holes. Cut the tip off to a similar degree that you did for the red. Not too big, not too small.
    - Pipe leaves all over the cake, as shown.
    - Clean your brush off, then brush out the leaf frosting in the same way as the red was - starting at the outer peak, going down one side, going back to the peak and working your way back towards the poinsettia.
    A collage of 4 images demonstrating the steps described above - piping green leaves onto this brush embroidery poinsettia cake.
  • - Tint some frosting darker green. This frosting does NOT need to be thinned out. Spoon into a pastry bag, being careful to avoid creating air pockets.
    - Cut a small tip off the end of the pastry bag. Alternatively, you can use a coupler and a small round tip - say a #3 or so.
    - Pipe little “pine” greens, as shown. I like to do this randomly to fill in any extra white (green!) space left around the poinsettias
    A large round cake covered in bright green fondant is covered in frosting piped to look like poinsettias. The design is mostly red and green, with accents of yellow.
  • - Stand back and admire your handiwork!
    A large round cake covered in bright green fondant is covered in frosting piped to look like poinsettias. The design is mostly red and green, with accents of yellow.