So, you’re at a wedding and see a stunning cake, with at least 800 tiers and a mass of gorgeous flowers cascading down the side. The bride gleefully tells you that they’re edible and everything! You examine the cake from every angle, trying to figure out how to make sugarpaste flowers yourself.
Fear not, Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft have the perfect guide for you to learn how to make sugarcraft flowers. With a guide to sugarpaste and a video showing you how to make flowers for cakes, you’ll be a foodie florist in no time!
How to make sugarpaste flowers
Know your sugarpaste
There’s a huge number of different pastes to use on cakes out there, so it’s important to know which is best for your design.
You’ll find plain sugarpaste, or fondant, is great for cake bases or chunkier modelling, however it’s not ideal for making flowers for cakes.
We would recommend (surprise surprise!) flower paste! This paste is also known as petal paste or gumpaste. Flower paste can be rolled very finely and it will hold its shape when dry, making it perfect for lifelike flowers, butterflies, leaves and so on.
You can find out more about the different decorating pastes available and what they’re best used for in our cake decoration paste guide.
Know your tools
It can be confusing trying to figure out which tools are best for which kind of decorating. While basic modelling can be done by hand, when it comes to creating intricate sugarcraft flowers, you’ll need a helping hand! Here’s our list of essential tools and equipment that every cake decorator should have when they make sugarpaste flowers.
Curved with two balls of differing sizes, one at either end of the tool. Both ends are ideal for running around the edges of petals to thin them out, depending on the size and shape of your petal.
Similar to the bone tool, a ball tool has two different-sized ends to make indentations or run along the edge of petals and ruffles.
A super handy double-ended modelling tool. The narrow end is used like a bone tool and the bulbous end is a rolling tool, ideal for creating sugarcraft flowers and leaves.
There’s a massive number of different cutters out there, so do your research to check which would be best for you. You often get special cutters for particular flowers, such as daisy plunge cutters and rose cutters. We do recommend having a small stash of circle cutters to begin with, as these can often be used to help make many different sugarpaste flowers.
Small non-stick rolling pin:
An essential tool for any modelling, it’s the perfect piece of equipment for rolling our small quantities of flower paste as well as sugarpaste and marzipan.
Small non-stick board:
A really handy piece of equipment again, it will help you be able to roll out tiny quantities of flower paste for the most delicate of petals with ease.
Know your flowers
So now you’ve got the right paste, the right tools and the right mindset… it’s time to decide which type of flowers you want to recreate using sugarpaste! We’ve got a few ideas…
Sugarpaste flowers: beginner
You will need:
- 28g white flower paste
- Petal dusts: yellow and sunset orange
- Non-stick rolling pin
- Small brush
- 3.8cm (1.5in) wide circle cutter
- Plunger cutter (or other thin cylindrical item)
1. Roll out 28g of white gum paste to 0.07cm thick. Using a 3.8cm wide circle cutter, cut out five circles and dust the backs with some cornstarch.
2. Arrange the circles on the palm of your hand as shown, so the circles overlap and all touch in the middle.
3. Take the end of a small brush and use it to push in the middle of the flower from the front.
4. Pinch the petals together from the back.
5. Use a rounded piece of fondant to top the cylinder shaped portion of a plunger cutter (or other thin cylindrical item) Use this to dry your flower overnight.
6. Once dried, dust with yellow and sunset orange petal dusts. Start with yellow dust in the centre and brush outward towards the ends of the petal about halfway. Finish by dusting with orange starting in the centre and out about a quarter way up the petal.
Sugarpaste flowers: intermediate
You will need:
- Flower paste: 60g pale pink, 100g pale green, 50g pale yellow (Squires Kitchen Sugar Florist Paste)
- Petal dusts: pumpkin, sunflower yellow, fuchsia, lemon yellow, riding hood red, deep purple, apple green, garden green (Magic Colours)
- Homemade pollen: coarse polenta mixed with sunflower and pumpkin petal dusts
- Edible glue (Magic Colours)
- Rolling pin: two sizes - small & medium
- Carnation cutter
- Small nose pliers
- Non-stick board
- Long wooden skewer
- Medium size generic calyx cutter
- Foam pad with flower making holes
- 22 gauge wires
- 5 x white seed head stamens
- PME steamer or kettle
- Curved scissors
- Assorted brushes
1. Bend the top of the 22 gauge wire with some pliers to form a hook. Then take a single stamen, thread through the hook and fold it in half. Use some white florist tape to attach the two together, wrapping continually around the hooked wire until a small elongated pea size bud forms.
2. Dust the non-stick board with a little cornflour, take the smallest carnation and using a wooden skewer, start to frill the edges of the petals. You want them as frilly as possible.
3. Brush a little edible glue around the bud and slip the bud into the frilled carnation. Fold the petals in half around the bud centre.
4. Take one side of the petal, dab a little glue and fold it back on itself. Turn the flower over and repeat with the other side so you are folding the inner petal around the bud. Hang upside down while you continue with the rest of the flower.
5. Now frill one of the larger carnations as before and slip the bud centre through, dabbing a little glue to help secure the petal around the centre. As the layers increase you won’t fold the petal, but rather squeeze it in shape around the inner petals.
6. Repeat this process with all of the petals, building up the layers. Hang upside down and leave to dry while you make the calyx.
7. Take a small amount of green flower paste, knead well and roll into a log, flattening down one of the short ends, to start to make a Mexican hat shape. Roll up one end and use a fine rolling pin or a paintbrush to roll out the flattened brim of the hat. Take a medium calyx cutter and place centrally over the Mexican hat and cut out.
8. Pop the calyx into a foam pad with a hole and use the skewer to frill the leaves. Take it out of the hole, turn it upside down and roll the skewer along the length of the leaf to give movement.
9. Hold the calyx in between your fingers and use the end of the brush to form a hollow down the centre of the calyx. Press out toward each leaf to flute the top slightly.
10. Dab a little glue in the centre of the calyx and insert the carnation into the hollowed calyx.
11. Shape the calyx with your fingers around the base of the carnation, twisting to secure it tightly on the wire.
12. Take a small pair of curved scissors and snip three little indentations around the calyx to form tiny leaves. At this stage also cut off the seed heads of the stamen, leaving only two protruding stalks. Leave the flower to dry upside down, and repeat the entire process to make four more flowers.
13. On a piece of waxed paper, tip out a little fuschia, red, deep purple and apple green petal dusts.
14. Use a soft wide brush to generously dust the carnation in a mixture of red and fuschia dusts. Now, using the flat side of your brush, apply a little purple to the tips and edges of the petals.
15. Clean your brush and then dust the calyx in apple green dust. Steam the whole flower over a kettle or steamer to set the colour. Leave to dry and repeat the process with the other flowers.
Sugarpaste flowers: difficult
You will need:
- Dusting colours: foliage green, yellow autumn, pink, plum, forest green, aubergine, African violet, azalea, cornflower, white (Sugar flair)
- 500g white gum paste
- Rolling pin
- Japanese maple veiner (Italian Sugar Art)
- Sakura flowers and leaves cutters
- Asiatic Lily veiner (FlowerCutterSet)
- Lily leaves cutters (Roberta Serafini Sugar Flowers)
- Sweet pea calyx cutter (FlowerCutterSet)
- Paint brushes (PME)
- Dresden tool
- Ball tool
- Cutter tool
- Friller tool
- Non slip mat
- 28, 26, 24 and 20 gauge floral wires (Culpitt)
- Floral tape: pale green, brown and burgundy (Hamilworth)
1. Mould the lily’s style, stigma and ovary, inserting a 24 gauge floral wire and bending it a little. Pinch the ovary with the tweezers. Dust the ovary foliage green, the style with mixed plum and white and the stigma yellow autumn.
2. Make a T- shape at the edge of your 26 gauge floral wire to make the filament.
3. Mould the filament's anther, using pictures for reference.
4. Twist a very small amount of gum paste around the floral wire and attach the anther. Mix some semolina with aubergine dust, spread a little bit of edible glue on the anther and dip it in the coloured semolina.
5. Dust the filament with foliage green.
6. Fix six filaments around the lily's ovary with pale green flower tape.
7. Make a sausage with white gum paste and roll over with a small rolling pin on a Celboard. Cut the lily petals following the shape of the veiner and insert a moistened 24 gauge floral wire. Place on a CelPad and roll edges with a ball tool. Press petal in veiner and prepare five petals this way.
8. Make a sausage with white gum paste and roll over with a small rolling pin on a Celboard. Cut the lily leaves with three cutter sizes. Insert a moistened 26 gauge floral wire, place on CelPad and roll edges with a ball tool. Press leaves in the veiner. Prepare three leaves and dry on a piece of tinfoil.
9. Dust the leaves foliage green, then forest green and the foliage green again. Spray with glaze.
10. Dust the lily petals base and edges lemon yellow. Colour the centres mixing African violet and white. Give colour depth with a little azalea and shade a cornflower coloured line through the petal. Dilute a touch of aubergine dust in a few drops of alcohol. Add little spots with a small paintbrush at the base of each petal. Fix the petals to the style and filaments with pale green floral tape. Tape the leaves to the flower.
11. Twist a very small amount of gum paste around a 30 gauge floral wire. Dip in a little edible glue and attach a very small ball of gum paste. Roll a very small amount of gumpaste on a non-slip mat to get five thin pistils. Fix the pistils to the stamen.
12. Roll out a small amount of pale pink coloured gum paste very thin and cut several sakura flowers of different sizes. Cut their calyx with a sweat pea calyx cutter.
13. Roll out a small amount of gum paste and cut the sakura leaves, impressing them in a Japanese maple veiner. Insert a 30 gauge floral wire and once dried, dust mixing foliage green and yellow autumn.
14. Take the stamens and pistils prepared in step 11 and insert them through the centre of the sakura flowers. Dust half pistils and the base of flowers mixing azalea and white and the stamen edges yellow autumn. Dip the pistils in edible glue and then in some semolina coloured yellow autumn. Cover wire with pale green floral tape. Fix the calyx to sakura flowers and colour base with a bit of plum dust. Cover the wire with pale green floral tape.
15. Twist some strips of absorbent paper around a 20 gauge floral wire and then cover with brown floral tape. Add the sakura flowers and the small leaves prepared in steps 13-14 to the branch. You will need several flowers and leaves to have a beautiful sakura branch.
16. Make a sausage shape with white gum paste. Roll over with a small rolling pin on a Celboard. Cut the Japanese maple leaves following the shape of veiner and the cutter to get different sizes. Insert a moistened 26 gauge floral wire and roll edges with the ball tool. Press the leaves in the veiner. Let them dry on the tinfoil.
17. Dust the leaves mixing foliage green and yellow autumn. Give colour depth dusting forest green on the edges and through the centre. Dust their edges with a bit of aubergine. Cover the wire with burgundy floral tape and spray some glaze on the leaves.