Free tutorial - fabulous flamingo!

Flap your decorating wings with this fabulous flamingo tutorial!

Beginner friendly, we're giving you this fabulous flamingo project (the cover star from August 2018's issue of Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft!) absolutely free!

fabulous flamingo front cover

Everyone will want a version of Natalie Porter's super-trendy celebration cake and it is a must-make for your social media...

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Download your template here

Fabulous flamingo tutorial

Top Tip! Add the petal dust a little at a time as it's easy to accidentally overdo it - once it's on it won't come off!

You will need


  • 15cm (6in) sponge cake approximately
  • 1kg buttercream, coloured pale pink (tutorial uses Colour Splash raspberry)
  • 30g teal/green flower paste (tutorial uses Rainbow Dust leaf and sea greens)
  • 20g white flower paste
  • brush and water or edible glue
  • 30g bright pink modelling paste mixed with 10g sugarpaste (Colour Splash raspberry)
  • 15g black flower paste or sugarpaste
  • petal dust: raspberry pink (PME), holly and ivy (Squires), sunflower (EdableArt), tangerine (EdableArt)


  • piping bags
  • star piping tip
  • small cranked spatula
  • tall metal side scraper
  • 20cm (8in) board covered with approximately 200g bright pink sugarpaste (Colour Splash raspberry)
  • cutting wheel and knife
  • modelling and ball tools
  • 6cm five-petal rose cutter
  • square of tin foil
  • dusting brushes


Torte and fill your cake with buttercream (and jam if you want!). I have used five layers of cake, each approximately 1¼in high to make a cake around 6in tall. Cover the top of the cake with buttercream - I find this easiest to do with a small cranked spatula.
Coat the sides of the cake, don't worry about being neat at this stage, just get plenty on there so the whole cake is covered!
Take a tall scraper and remove any excess buttercream. As we're going for a 'nearly naked' look, scrape close to the cake itself, so that some of the sponge shows through the buttercream - you can be fairly rough with it as we're going for a rustic look. Use the small cranked spatula to remove the excess built up on the top by smoothing it inwards towards the centre of the cake. NOTE: Don't throw the leftover buttercream away! We're going to use it later on...
Roll out the flower paste thicker than normal (1 to 2mm) and use a cutting wheel or knife to freehand cut a fat leaf shape. Place the leaf onto the firm foam pad and use a bone or ball tool to soften the edge a little - you don't want to make it frilly, just a little softer...
Use a Dresden tool/veiner to mark a central vein on the leaf, be careful not to press too hard or you run the risk of cutting it in half. Use the knife to cut out triangles from each side of the leaf, as shown.
Fold a piece of card to make a drying rack for the leaf, placing it on so it dries with a slightly folded up shape. Make five or so leaves, ranging from 5 to 8cm in length.
Hold one hand in a loose fist and place the foil over the top. Use the knuckles on the other hand to press the foil into your fist, thus making a basic former for the flower.
Roll out the white flower paste fairly thin (thinner than the leaves!) and cut a flower using the five petal cutter. Use a knife to separate the petals. Place them onto the foam pad and use a ball tool to soften and slightly frill the edges.
Lay the petals all facing the same way and then use your fingers to gently curl in the left-hand edge - this should be fairly easy to do as you are accentuating the shape already made by the ball tool; the petal will want to curl inwards.
Brush a little water or glue onto the right-hand side of each petal. Attach them together, placing the curled edge up on the wet right-hand edge of the previous petal. When you reach the final petal, wrap the flower round attaching the last one to the first one, so that the petals become 3D and form the flower.
Place it into your homemade former to dry.
Print or trace the flamingo template onto a piece of paper. Roll out the pink paste and place the template on top. Use a pencil to trace over the flamingo - this will leave a faint outline on the paste.
Using the cutting wheel and knife, cut the flamingo out following the line traced in the previous step. Be careful around the neck and head as there are some tight bends and corners - it can be helpful if you remove the excess being cut away as you go along.
Roll out the remainder of the pink paste and cut out enough for two petals using the five-petal cutter, using the knife to cut them loose from one another. Mark three little lines as shown - these will be the wings. Use water to stick the wings on the body, one atop the other. Take a dry brush with a little dust and add shading around the wings and outline of the flamingo.
Roll out the remaining white and black paste, cut a small triangle from white and a smaller one from black to make the beak, attaching them to the flamingo with a little water. Roll a teeny ball of black for the eye, again attaching it with a spot of water.
Fill a piping bag with some of the leftover buttercream and cut a very small hole in the end. Flip the flamingo over, pipe some blobs of buttercream and then attach it to the cake. Don't worry if it stands out from the side of the cake a bit - it'll look more 3D and you can fill the gap behind with a bit more buttercream...
Roll a very thin sausage of black paste to make the first leg - the straight one. Use a little water to stick it onto the cake under the flamingo, adding a tiny extra sausage to form the foot. Repeat but attach this one with the bend in it, laying onto of the first leg.
Use the deep green petal dust to darken the edges of the leaves and add a little bit to the central vein.
Dust the centre of the flower with the bright yellow dust, drawing the colour up the curled edges of the petals a little. Darken the centre with a little touch of orange dust to finish the flower.
Transfer your cake onto the covered board - by now the buttercream will have crusted over so this shouldn't be too difficult! Attach the leaves and flower onto the cake with blobs of buttercream. If you want the leaves to sit forward, simply pipe a bigger blob and fill in the back.
To finish, add a little more pink food colouring to the remaining buttercream and fit the star nozzle onto a new piping bag. Pipe little swirls around the top edge of the cake to finish the top and hold the candles.

Adapt to make cupcakes

Cut out two wings and just the head/neck of the flamingo, following steps 12 to 14 in the main tutorial. Place aside to dry...
Use a small angled palette knife to fill the top of the cupcake with buttercream.
Use a large star piping tip to pipe a swirl of buttercream.
Stick the neck into the swirl of buttercream and the wings on either side.
Last updated one year ago

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