Crave Cookies and Cupcakes began in Calgary when two sisters, Carolyne and Jodi, put their mother and grandmother's cake recipes to work for them. Nearly ten years later, Crave has added five more locations across the prairies but every cupcake sold is still made fresh from scratch each morning and every baker they employ is a cupcake expert. So when I wanted to learn how to make a beautiful icing flower, I thought who better to ask than a Crave cupcake baker! Melannie Liew, manager of the Saskatoon location at 802A Broadway Ave., introduced me to her lovely baker Amanda Phipps who was sweet enough to show us HOW TO make a buttercream rose.
Amanda had made an example cupcake for me, and seeing it on the pedestal really put me in the mood to learn. Look how cute it is! And now look how great Amanda is as she shows us the step-by-step.
The first thing you need to do is fill your icing bag and push that icing down toward the tip, twisting the bag at the top so you can guide the icing bag with your fingers and squeeze it with your hand. I should note that Crave uses real buttercream icing with butter sourced from Calgary's Foothills creamery. After it's filled, make sure there aren't any air pockets by squeezing some icing out. This is called burping.
You'll need the aptly-named "petal" tip because as you can see, it has a skinny end and a fat end which together make the right thickness for a rose petal. Place the fat tip against the cupcake and let the skinny tip stick up at a a 45 degree angle or higher. Then, squeeze the icing into half-moons around the cupcake, intersecting each midway.
When you finish the first circle of intersecting moons, it's time to add another. Place these so that the rounded middle covers each previous intersection. So far, it will not be looking a lot like a flower. But oh, trust that it will!
Next, make a little O in the middle of your cupcake with the fat end of your tip touching the cupcake and the thin end sticking as straight up as you can.
Now, make little rainbows around the O, arcing the skinny tip a little at the top of each rainbow. When you complete one round of rainbows, begin the next concentric row from the middle of one of those first rainbows. This part goes fast.
Just keep adding those rainbows row by row…
…And soon you'll have a pretty rose. You can fill in any gaps with a little bit of icing. Ta-da!!
I gave it a whirl…
And I did an okay job, even though my petals ended up being kinda floppy. When I gave my icing bag back to Amanda, she was like, "Oh my goodness, this is so melty. Your hands must be warm!" And I confessed that I was nervous
And just in case you somehow haven't ducked into Crave a zillion times, lemme give you a little pictorial tour of the Saskatoon location:
If I lived near Broadway and 10th, I'd exist on a constant sugar high.
There are lots of flavours. For a whole listing, click here.
My hands would be too warm for this job, I think.
But whatever, my icing flower tasted just as delicious as the ones Amanda made And speaking of Amanda, a big thanks to her, Melannie, and Crave for the hospitality and the tutorial! Hope you're all filling your icing bags this instant.