If you're on the fence about whether or not to add sugar flowers to your cake, do it. They make a plain cake pretty, and a pretty cake spectacular.
DIY Sugar Flowers
What You Need
- Powdered sugar
- Gum paste (buy it or make it )
- Lemon extract or vodka
- A form to hold the flowers as they dry *
- Flower cutters of your choice (we'll be a three-petal cutter)
- Fondant roller
- Ball tool
- Foam mat (from craft stores or online)
* You can buy forms at craft stores, or you can get creative and look around your kitchen. For large flowers cereal bowls with nice, rounded bottoms work well.
1. Dust It
Dust your form with a light coating of powdered sugar. Otherwise, your flower will break to pieces when you try to get it out.
For extra protection for your fragile flower, cut out a circle of gum paste as a base. It should be smaller than the flower, but large enough to cover the backs of the petals. This will let you pick up the flower by lifting the gum-paste circle, not the petals.
Place your circle in the bottom of the form.
2. Roll it Out
Start rolling out your gum paste for the petals . Don't be afraid to go paper thin here: gum paste can handle it.
When you use your cutters, remember to press hard; then, while pressing down, move the cutter back and forth gently to remove the frayed edges.
3. Frill 'Em
Transfer the first petals to the foam mat. Make the petals frilly: Glide the ball tool around the edges , with half the ball on the petal and half on the mat. You can apply quite a bit of pressure, but be careful not to push too hard or push in one place for too long — this might cause rips.
4. Coat the Petals
Once all the petals have frilly edges, use a paint brush to coat the circle of gum paste in the bowl with lemon extract or vodka.
5. Place in the Bowl
Gently pick up a set of petals and place it on the gum-paste circle in the bowl. Arrange the petals any way you'd like, then repeat. Brush a small amount of lemon extract between each layer of petals.
6. Add the Center
Add a gum-paste center, then dry for at least 24 hours three days or longer. Then you can paint the flower or brush it with luster dust.
If the flower won't budge when you try to take it out of the bowl, let it dry for another day or two.
Variation: Sugar Sunflowers
You can make any style of flower with gum paste, so definitely experiment. Sunflowers are quick and easy with a special plunger cutter.
1. Roll it Out
Roll out your gum paste really thin. Then place the plunger cutter on the gum paste and press firmly. Once you've cut the flower, move the cutter back and forth just a little to remove the edges. Now plunge! Press firmly on the plunger, then release and lift the cutter.
Color your gum paste before you roll it out!
Dust your form with powdered sugar, then place your flower in it to dry.
You can do these as a single layer, or double them up for more dimension.
3. Add the Center
Add a center made out of chocolate fondant or brown gum paste.
Now you have adorable sunflowers! Who's ready for spring?