Summer Orchids Wedding Cake

A beautiful wedding cake with a trail of brightly coloured orchids.

Image credit: Tropical Wedding Cake

A beautiful wedding cake with a trail of brightly coloured orchids. The white icing really makes the orchids ‘pop’ and the pretty piped pearls add a touch of elegance to this cake. Tutorial by Charlotte Watson.

You will need:



  • round cakes 15cm (6in), 20cm (8in), 25cm (10 in)
  • sugarpaste 3kg (6.6lb) white
  • gum paste/flower paste white, orange
  • royal icing white
  • edible glue
  • blossom tints tangerine, ruby, spring green
  • white vegetable fat
  • cornflour
  • round cake cards 15, 20, 25cm (6, 8, 10in)
  • round cake drum 33cm (13in)
  • plastic dowels
  • press-ice drape pattern 3 (FMM)
  • non-stick rolling pin
  • multi-ribbon tool (FMM)
  • cymbidium orchid cutter set (FMM)
  • leaf veining mats 5-8 (FMM)
  • grooved flower board
  • foam flower former
  • paint brush and dusting brush
  • foam pad (FMM)
  • ball tool (FMM)
  • bone tool (FMM)
  • knife and scriber tool (FMM)
  • green florist tape
  • florists wire 26 gauge
  • flower picks
  • ribbon ivory


PREPARATION: Secure each cake to the corresponding cake card. Fill the cakes and coat with a layer of chocolate ganache or buttercream. Cover the cakes and the cake drum with the white sugarpaste. Set the cakes and drum aside to dry overnight. Dowel the 20cm (8in) and 25cm (10in) cakes. Secure the 25cm (10in) cake centrally on the cake drum with royal icing.


Apply a small amount of white royal icing to the centre of the 25cm (10in) cake and carefully position the 20cm (8in) cake on top. Use a cake card to help lift the cake into position.


Place an acrylic work board (or similar) on top of the 20cm (8in) cake (this acts as a guide to ensure the press-ice tool is in line with the top of the cake). Line up the top of the tool with the work board and use even pressure along the tool to press the pins into the sugarpaste, remove cleanly without dragging. Align the tool for the next section by inserting the first column of pins into the last row of holes, and press evenly. Continue around the cake finishing off as neatly as possible at the back.


Add some more white royal icing to the top of the 20cm (8in) cake and add the 15cm (6in) cake. Mark this cake with the press-ice pattern as per the previous tier.


Roll out some white sugarpaste to 2mm thick. Using the multi-ribbon tool (use one large spacer between the two plain cutting wheels) to cut long strips from the paste.


Using a sharp knife, cut the strips of paste into smaller lengths the same height as the 25cm (10in) cake. You will need several of these to go around the cake.


Lightly brush the 25cm (10in) cake with edible glue or water. Attach the strips of white paste one at a time. If necessary, trim the excess paste at the top of the cake with a sharp knife. Continue around the cake until the whole tier is covered.


Fill a small piping bag, fitted with a No. 2 round nozzle, with white royal icing. Work around the top two tiers piping a small pearl over each indentation made with the press-ice tool.


Use a damp paintbrush to flatten any ‘peaks’ which may appear on the iced pearls before the icing crusts. Any irregular pearls can be removed by using a fine paintbrush and piped over again.


Cut 26 gauge florists wire into quarter lengths and make a small hook at the end using needle nose pliers. Roll a small ball of white flower paste into a cone shape. Dip the hooked end of the wire into edible glue and insert into the bottom of the cone. Gently pinch the paste at the bottom to secure to the wire.


Use the knife tool to make four indentations around the bud (you will need three of these) and set aside to dry.


To make the throat roll a pea sized ball of orange flower paste into a cone shape and attach to a hooked wire with edible glue. Pinch the paste at the bottom to secure to the wire.


Place onto the foam pad and use the small end of the bone tool to carefully hollow out the paste as shown (you will need several of these). Set aside to dry.


Roll out orange flower paste thinly and cut out several of the throat pieces. Place onto the foam pad and vein using the corn veining mat.


With the throat pieces still on the foam pad use the ball tool to soften and thin the edges of each.


Lightly brush the bottom of the throat with edible glue and carefully wrap the throat petal around as shown. Set aside to dry.


To make the petals, roll out orange flower paste fairly thinly over a grooved board lightly greased with white vegetable fat.


Remove the paste from the board and cut out the orchid petals. You will need three of the narrower petals and two of the rounder ones.


Dip the end of a third length 26 gauge wire into a little edible glue and insert about two thirds into the ridge in each petal.


Transfer the petals, groove side down, to the foam pad and vein each using the corn veining mat.


With the petals on the foam pad, thin and soften the edges of each using the large ball tool.


Place the petals on a foam former to dry. The two wider petals and two of the narrower petals need to be dried veined side down. The third narrower petal should be dried vein side up.


Take the one narrower petal that was dried vein side up and attach to the throat as shown using half width green florist tape.


Add the two wider petals to the flower, securing in place with the florists tape as shown. Try to keep the petals as close to the throat as possible.


Finish the flower by adding the final two narrower petals. Once secure, tape down the whole stem with the florists tape.


Using a soft brush and tangerine blossom tint, carefully dust the whole flower, front and back and inside the throat.


Dust the edges of each petal and the edges of the throat with ruby blossom tint. Steam the flowers to seal the dusts in place.


Using spring green blossom tint, dust the bottom of each of the buds. Start at the base and carefully sweep the dust up towards the top.


Using half width green florists tape, individually tape each bud and then tape the three buds together as shown.


Take one of the orchids and carefully tape the three buds towards the top of the flower a shown./p>


Add a further two orchids as shown. You will need three separate arrangements of 3-4 orchids./p>


Insert a flower pick into the top tier as shown and insert the stem of the first orchid and bud arrangement into the pick./p>


Add a second arrangement of orchids to the 20cm (8in) cake and a final arrangement to the 25cm (10in) cake. If necessary, use a small pair of needle nose pliers to adjust the flowers into place. Finish by adding a 5mm ivory satin ribbon to the top two tiers and a 13mm ivory satin ribbon around the cake drum./p>


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