How to make sugarpaste poppies
Make these beautifully vibrant sugarpaste poppies with this tutorial by Hannah Collison.
Image credit: Hannah Collison
Follow the simple step-by-step instructions to make sugarpaste poppies that are suitable for a Remembrance Day themed cake or autumnal spray.
Top tip! When sticking wafer paper to itself, don't use too much water as it'll simply disintegrate. If your paper is cracking, steam it gently over a kettle to rehydrate it slightly.
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You will need
- 200g (7oz) flower paste white (Squires Kitchen)
- 10g sugarpaste black
- paste colours: gooseberry, red extra (Sugarflair)
- edible blossom tints: moss green, lemon yellow, ruby, black, white, eucalyptus (Sugarflair)
- edible glue
- ground rice/semolina
- Iceland poppy petal cutter set 518 (Finecut Cutters)
- daisy 8 petal cutter DY7 20mm (Orchard Products)
- poppy petal veining mould medium (DPM)
- cutting wheel (PME)
- veining tool 12 (JEM)
- bone modelling tool 3 (JEM)
- cocktail stick
- foam frilling pad
- angled tweezers
- wire cutters
- dusting brush (flat headed)
- block of oasis
- airbrush kit
- 24, 28 and 33 gauge wire white 'A' / superior grade (Hamilworth)
- floral tape nile green half width (Stemtex)
- seed head stamens black
- kitchen towel
- pipe cleaners
Poppy flower stem (make two): take three half lengths of 24g wire, tape together using half width nile green tape. Bend a hook in one end using angled tweezers.
Poppy centre (make two): form a cone shape from a 1cm diameter sized ball of gooseberry green coloured flower paste. Moisten the hooked end of the prepared stem with edible glue and insert it into the pointed end of the cone. Pinch it closed to secure.
Press the fatter end of the cone shape down onto the surface to flatten and sharpen the edges of the shape using a finger and thumb.
Use angled tweezers to pinch eight equal length ridges into the top of the flattened cone all leading to the middle. Allow the poppy flower centres to dry.
Dust the prepared poppy centres using a mixture of moss green and lemon yellow edible blossom tints.
Pollen: mix some black edible blossom tint with a small quantity of ground rice or semolina. Paint edible glue onto the pinched ridges of the prepared centres and press them into the pollen mixture. Allow to dry.
Take six black seed headed stamens, fold the bundle in half. Thread a third length of 33 gauge wire through the fold and twist the wire tightly around itself a few times to hold the stamens in place. Keep the bundle folded and use nile green tape to tape down. Check that the stamens do not spring open. Curve each stamen bundle.
Tape eight bundles of prepared stamens tightly at the base of each poppy centre. Continue to tape all the way down the stem.
Spread the stamens evenly around the poppy centre so that there are no gaps, add more stamen bundles if necessary.
Centre for bud: tape three half lengths of 24g white wire together using nile green tape and bend in a hook. Roll a 2cm diameter sized ball of any colour paste into a cone and attach to the glued hook. Allow to dry.
Bud petals: Roll red extra coloured paste thinly. Cut out two small petals and one large petal using the Iceland poppy cutter set. Vein the shapes using the medium poppy veiner.
Place the petal shapes onto a foam pad and thin the edges using a bone modelling tool. If a cupped ridge appears around the edge of the petal, the paste has not been rolled out thin enough.
Place the petal shapes onto a non-stick board. Thin and frill the top edge using a cocktail stick. Glue each petal leaving 1cm at top edge unglued. Wrap one small petal around the prepared bud centre enclosing the cone. Wrap the second small petal over, then add the largest petal, allowing it to open a little.
Roll two 0.5cm sized balls of gooseberry green paste, flatten both to form caps. Glue the middle of each cap and attach one either side at the base of the bud, press to flatten and secure. Using the tip of the angled tweezers pinch each cap a number of times in a random way to create texture. Allow to dry.
Dust both caps using mix of moss green and lemon yellow blossom tint. Dust the bud petals using ruby blossom tint or as an alternative use carnival red in the airbrush.
Add a pipe cleaner to broaden the stem and tape all the way down the stem using nile green half width tape.
Petals (make five): roll out red extra coloured flower paste thinly creating a ridge in the centre. Cut the petal shapes using the largest poppy petal cutter. Insert a 28g, third length wire into the fattest part of the ridge, leave 1cm at the top of each petal unwired. Place the shape into a medium sized poppy veiner, sandwich and press to create the vein.
Place each petal onto a foam pad and thin the edges using a bone modelling tool.
Place each petal onto a non-stick board. Thin and frill the top edge using a cocktail stick. Curve the petals inwards using thumb and forefinger.
Dust the petals using ruby blossom tint or with an airbrush using carnival red airbrush food colour. The base of each petal can be darkened using black.
Tape each petal stem down by 1 inch using nile green tape. Tape first two petals tightly around the prepared centre facing each other. Add the remaining three petals behind, allowing them to overlap slightly.
Add in a pipe cleaner to broaden the stem and tape all the way down using nile green. Rub the taped stem with a smooth tool to help blend the wrap around markings in the tape.
For seed pod (make two): tape three x half lengths of 24g white wire together using nile green tape, hook one end. Roll a 2cm diameter sized ball of gooseberry green coloured paste into a cone, moisten the hook with edible glue and insert it into the fat end of the cone.
Flatten the narrower/top end. Using angled tweezers, pinch out a ridge all the way around the top to create a rim.
Create small holes on the inside of the rim using veining tool. This is where the seeds would come out.
Mark vertical indents around the main body of the seed pod.
Roll some gooseberry green coloured paste thinly and cut out a shape using an 8 petal daisy cutter. Paint edible glue onto the top of the seed pod and attach the shape. Use tweezers to pinch out ridges down centre of each sepal.
Colour the seed pod using a mix of moss green, eucalyptus and white edible blossom tints. Add a hint of ruby to the blossom tint mixture to make a brown and add patches of this colour for interest.
To assemble: begin by taping the two buds one slightly above the other, add in the poppy flowers and then the two seed pods. Curve the arrangement so it can sit unsupported around the base of the cake. Finish by spraying the stem with a mix of jungle green and dynamic black airbrush food colours.
Last updated one month ago
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