How to Make a Sugarpaste Dahlia

This gorgeous exotic Dahlia requires delicate layering of petals upon petals. Tutorial by Violet Lin Tran.

Image credit: How to Make a Sugarpaste Summer Big Bloom

This gorgeous exotic Dahlia requires delicate layering of petals upon petals. Tutorial by Violet Lin Tran.

You will need:



  • flower paste: 184g pale yellow
  • sunshine colouring gel
  • petal dusts: yellow, saffron, sunset, orange, and poppy red
  • 1/4 tsp yellow nonpareils or round sprinkles
  • cutting mat
  • small rolling pin
  • small shallow dish
  • needle nose wire cutters
  • 20, 24 and 28 gauge floral wire
  • yellow hammerhead floral stamen
  • floral tape
  • thin foam pad
  • Wilton three petal floral cutter (or
  • any tear drop cutter approximately 2.5cm wide and 3.8cm long)
  • various size brushes
  • teaspoons
  • FMM petal veiner
  • ball tool
  • Dresden tool


Separate out 1/4 tsp yellow nonpareils into a shallow dish. Colour 14g gum paste to pale yellow using the slightest dab of yellow gel and pinch out and roll a small ball to 2cm (3/4in) wide. Using the needle nose wire cutter, make a hook on one end of a 20 gauge wire cut to 7.6cm (3in) long.


To create your floral centre, insert the hook end of the wire halfway into the gum paste ball; flatten the top of the ball against your work surface using your finger and thumb to simultaneously rotate and push.


Insert the wire end of your floral centre into a dummy and set aside to dry overnight.


To create the large outer petals, roll out pale yellow gum paste to 0.07cm thick and cut out a three petal shape using the floral cutter.


Using your craft knife, make slits as shown to end up with three petals from each cut out; you will need eight petals in total for one flower.


Imprint each petal with vein detailing using a petal veiner.


Using a pointed Dresden tool, score each petal with two curved details as shown.


Using the large end of the ball tool, thin not frill out the edges of each petal, going all the way around.


Make sure as you work around the outer edge that your ball tool is half on the paste and half on the foam pad.


Cut 24 gauge floral wire into 7.6cm (3in) long pieces, you will need eight for one flower. For each petal, pinch out a teeny bit of gum paste and roll into a log, then flatten with a rolling pin. Brush one side with water or edible glue and use to attach floral wire to the back of each petal.


Set aside each petal in a teaspoon or similar curved item to dry overnight, for a realistic shape.


To create the small central petals, roll out pale yellow gum paste to 0.07cm thick and cut out twenty to twenty-four cut outs using a small leaf cutter.


Imprint each small petal cut out with vein detailing using a petal veiner.


Using the small end of the ball tool, thin out the edges of each small petal. Score a line down the middle of each small petal as before using a Dresden tool.


Cut 28 gauge wire into 2.5CM (1in) long pieces, you will need twenty to twenty-four for one flower. Wrap a small petal around the end of each wire and adhere with a touch of water or edible glue then set aside to dry overnight.


Once dried overnight, add the nonpareils to the top of your floral centre. To do this, brush the top with edible glue or a mixture of corn syrup and water (2 parts corn syrup to 1 part water) and dip the moistened end into the dish of nonpareils; set aside to dry.


Prepare for dusting your flower petals. Tap out small amounts of the different coloured dusts (yellow, saffron, sunset orange and poppy red) onto a sheet of paper towel and use soft rounded brushes for dusting the petals.


Holding the petals gently, begin by dusting the entire surface of each large petal with yellow dust; work from the centre and dust outward for a more natural look.


Apply saffron or light orange dust to the centre of each petal, going outward and stopping just outside the curved detailing. Next apply some sunset or deep orange dust to each petal, concentrating in the centre of the petal, just inside the curved detailing. Add a touch to the very sides of the petal then lastly, apply poppy red dust to the very centre of each petal.


Dust the small petals all over with yellow dust.


Cut the hammerhead stamens with your wire cutter, to just under (1/4in) long; insert the stamens in a ring, around the floral centre.


If necessary, use a pin to prick the holes into the head of the semihardened floral centre. Add the small petals in a ring, just outside the ring of stamen as pictured. Use the same method as used in the previous step, with a pin first if necessary.


Bend the wire of each large petal slightly then attach each petal to the floral centre using floral tape to wrap the wires together. Position the petals next to each other, overlapping ever so slightly; you should be able to fit eight petals all the way around. This is how your finished flower should look.

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