Actual roses wither and die, but rose-topped cupcakes last for ... a solid two to three minutes. That's roughly the time you'll need to Instagram them, adjust the saturation, keep your hashtag game strong (#onlybouquetineed #willyouacceptthisrose #treatyoself), and devour the whole thing. As stunning as it is, there's no time for it to get stale - because when that rose is made out of buttercream, it's too good not to eat immediately.
That's the thing about buttercream roses: They're so gorgeous that you immediately assume you have to be a Cupcake Wars veteran to master them. Not true, says the team at Magnolia Bakery. The New York shop's known for its cupcakes - particularly its signature swoosh of frosting, so coveted it's trademarked - but it frosts them in all kinds of designs, and the bakers there insist the rose is a lot easier to make than you'd think. You just have to know the right steps.
1. Shed A Tear.
You'll need a piping bag and a petal piping tip to master this look. Magnolia Bakery swears by an Ateco No. 104 tip, which you can buy for about $1 at any crafts or baking supply store.
It looks like a teardrop, and once it's slipped into the piping bag (with the end snipped off, of course, so the frosting can be squeezed out), hold the bag with the pointed end of the tip facing up, toward the sky.
2. Bud-dy Up.
Holding the bag almost vertically, pipe three heart shapes in the center of the cupcake, forming a loop where the heart dips in the middle. This is the bud of the rose.
3. Follow The Rainbow.
Create a rainbow-like arch over one-third of the bud. Twist the cupcake, and form another arch, and another, forming a triangle of arches on top of the bud. Boom! That's three petals, even though they might not look like it just yet.
From there, keep turning the cupcake and piping more rainbows, staggering them out so the arches overlap a little. Keep doing this until you reach the edge of the cupcake.
4. Circle Your Pick.
Once your petals have reached the edge of the cupcake, pipe a circle around the edge of the entire flower. That smoothes it out, giving the rose a polished, "finished" look.
It'll take a few tries to master - just like Magnolia's piping-bag-free swirl - but once you've learned it, you'll own every bake sale, bridal brunch, and baby shower in your area code. Trust.