How to make Sugar Peonies

If you crave Ascot glamour you’ll love this striking floral display. Perfect for weddings and as a competition piece. Tutorial by Lidia Iancu.

Image credit: How to make Sugar Peonies

If you crave Ascot glamour you’ll love this striking floral display. Perfect for weddings and as a competition piece. Tutorial by Lidia Iancu.

You will need:




  • burgundy flower paste (Beau)
  • white gum paste (Satin Ice) - colour according to your needs a day ahead
  • petal dusts (EdableArt)
  • vegetable fat
  • edible glue (Magic Colours)
  • cornflour bag
  • 90 percent proof alcohol to dilute dusts
  • foam pad
  • non-stick rolling pin
  • Dresden tool
  • pliers
  • scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • big metal ball tool
  • light green wire gauge 26 and 28 for the leaves
  • white wire gauge 26 and 28 for the petals
  • 3 pieces gauge 18 for each flower stems
  • green florist tape
  • wired stamens
  • petal and leaf veiners
  • different sizes flat brushes (usually one for each base color)

The carpels: cut a wire into quarters, then use the pliars in order to make a small hook at one end. Roll a little bit of pale green paste beween your fingers to make it pliable. Then insert the wire through it while pressing and rolling at the same time, in order to make a reversed drop like shape. Make at least 4 of these, each tip of it rolled outwards. Set them to dry.


If you love working in detail, cut the tip of some of the carpels in two, and insert a very thin rolled bit of bright pink colored paste in the middle of them. This stage is valid for very opened Peonies only.


Once they are dried, draw some burgundy dots on the carpels then tape them together. Attach a bunch of stamens around, tape these together as well using green tape cut in 2 lengthwise.


Mix a few drops of alcohol with Dogwood Red colour powder and do about half inch beneath the stamens tip. Set them to dry.


We are going to show a freehand technique for the calyx, or the sepals.Roll three pea size balls of green paste. Dip a cut wire into some edible glue then insert it through the paste. Secure the paste at the base, thin the bottom half down leaving the tip rounded. Take the ball tool and press the upper half with circling movements, then slightly go down in a line along the wire. Make sure to thin the edges. Make 3 pieces. Color them with Spring green dust color and set them aside.


Repeat this step three more times, but make them thin and elongated this time. If your sugar peony is a very opened one, add some Dogwwod Red spots on the edges.


Roll a big pea size ball of white paste between your fingers. Insert the wire through it, then roll the paste up keeping the end rounded. Using the big metal ball go down once about ¼ inch in order to thin it. Then enlarge it, frill it and roll it.


Another way of doing it is to use the smallest of the cutters in the Sunflower Sugar Art pack. And follow the same steps as above.


Attach a minimum of 8 to 10 pieces around the central one on the wire. Make as many wire as you wish, then tape them together. This will be the center of your open Peony. Set it then to dry before dusting it.


A way of dusting it is using a little bit of Honeysuckle colour dust at the base of your carpels, plus a little bit of Dogwood Red or Peony colour here and there on the frilling edge.


For the outer petals make one round of 5 followed by another 5 of a bigger size.


Cut them, secure a 26 gauge wire in each petal. Thin the edges and enlarge them as shown in the picture.


Pass each petal through the silicone veiner, emboss them and set them to dry for at least one hour.


Start attaching the petals around the frilled ones following the next scheme: 3-2-3-2. 


Attach the sepals, interlacing a short, round one followed by a long one. Set the flower to dry.


Another type of Peony, another approach for the carpels (frilled center). I have used a polistyren bulb. Roll some pink gumpaste around it and let it get some air for about 1 hour (or overnight).


Roll some pink gumpaste very thinly. Take the smallest petal cutter in the set, cut between 25-50 pieces.


Roll each one then attach them on the bulb starting from the middle out.


While the center is drying cut between 5-7 petals with every cutter shown (Framar Cutters). The biggest size on the outside. 


Dust some of the petals with Pink Peony dust, pass them through the veiner and then set them to dry. In order to do so, try to keep the “cupped” shape of the petals, especially for those flowers that are not completely open.


Attach the lightly dried petals around the frilled carpel following at least the next pattern of petals: 3-2-3-2. Another way is 4-3-4-3 and so on.


Dust some lighter or darker colour onto the edges of the petals in order to give them a more natural look. You can add some darker dots or splashes of color to the frilled middle following an irregular pattern. 


Roll about an almond size green paste then cut it with the leaf cutter. Pass it through the leaf veiner. Insert a wire into a little bit of sugar glue then into the cut leaf shape. Secure the end of the leaf then set it into the silicone mold. Press lightly, take it out. Pass the metal ball around the edge of the leaf in order to thin it. Make as many as you consider you need.


Using some Spring Green color start dusting the young leaves. Use Rainforest for bigger, older leaves. Add some Burgundy or Rich Burgundy color on the edges, shape them and set them to dry.

Top Tip!

Refer to images of real life flowers to assist with your colour dusting.

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