There are many ways to make flowers for a wedding cake or other decorative cake. You can begin by building the flowers on parchment paper. If you do this, make sure you allow the flowers to fully dry before attempting to transport them onto the cake.
The other option is that you can pipe the flowers directly onto the cake. Flowers that are piped directly onto a cake are known as “drop flowers,” because the frosting is “dropped” straight onto the cake’s surface. This process is quicker than pre-making the flowers, and allows for fresher frosting. However, if you make a mistake, it is much more difficult to fix it or start over.
- Fill a pastry bag with frosting. For single-color roses, choose a solid frosting color. Or, you can fill one side of the bag with one color and the other side with another to create a two-tone frosting. This creates an effect where the edges of the rose are a different color than the center.
- Attach a petal tip to your pastry bag. For large roses, use a large petal tip, and for rosettes use a smaller one.
- If you will be making a large rose, begin by building a pyramid base onto the cake, dispensing the frosting in spirals until you reach the top. For small rosettes, no base is needed.
- Put gentle pressure on your pastry bag, and make a circle directly on the cake around a center point or around the existing pyramid. This circle should not lie flat, but should stick up around the center.
- Pipe three petals around the outer edges of the initial circle. These three petals should also stick up from the surface of the cake. Pipe five petals around these three petals.
- Pipe seven petals around the previous five.
- Begin to pipe new petals around the top of the center petals, then do the same moving outward, creating more and more petals the farther you get to the edge.
- Continue in the same manner until the rose is as big as you want it to be.
- Use a plain #2 pastry tip to pipe vines onto the cake.
- Use a leaf tip #263 or #65-70 to add leaves to the vine.
Roses on a Nail
- Attach a petal tip of any size to your pastry bag, depending on the size of the rose you want to make. (The larger the rose, the larger the petal tip you need.)
- Take a flower nail in your left hand (or right hand, if you are left-handed.)
- With your other hand, squeeze the pastry bag to apply a base layer of “petal” to the very top, or head, of the nail. This will serve as the center petal.
- Turn the nail in one hand and make arcs with the petal tip in the other, using only a few smooth motions.
- Take a flower lifter and use it to carefully transport the rose from the nail to the cake.
- Use a plain tip #2 to pipe vines onto the cake, and a leaf tip #263 or #65-70 to add leaves to the vine.
- Put a small leaf tip on the end of your pastry bag. Tip #263 works well. Fill the bag with a colored frosting.
- Apply gentle pressure to make a long petal, releasing pressure on the bag and tapering off as you reach the center.
- Continue making long petals like this in a radial shape around a center point.
- If you want another row of petals, you can fill in the spaces between the petals in the first layer, layering the second row on top.
- Use a #5 plain pastry tip or #8 plain pastry tip to add a big dot in the center of the daisy.
- Allow the daisy to dry, then use a small brush to apply luster powder or pearl dust to the center of the daisy for shadowing.
Gum Paste Daisies
- Roll out gum paste in the color desired for petals until you have a thin sheet. You can use different color gum pastes to create a multi-colored flower.
- Use a daisy mold and press it onto the gum paste to cut out a daisy shape. Turn it right-side up, and use your finger to press all of the gum paste into the contours of the mold.
- Gently peel the daisy out of the mold and set it on a piece of parchment paper.
- Get a thin rolling pin, or procure an adjustable rolling pin and set it at its smallest diameter. Roll it gently on the center line of each petal to thin out the petal for a more authentic-looking flower. As you do this, the edges of the petals should begin to curl upward.
- Roll out a piece of gum paste in the desired color of the center of the daisy.
- Use a circular pastry cutter to cut out the daisy’s center. Use water or gum glue to stick it onto the center of the daisy, where all the petals meet.
- Take a small brush and color the center of the daisy with pearl dust – an edible shiny powder – to add shadowing and shine.
- Allow it about a half hour to dry before applying it to the cake.
If you want your hydrangea to stick out from the cake with a three-dimensional look, apply a circular base of fondant to the cake, using water for glue. Then you can build your hydrangea on top.
- Attach a small petal-style pastry tip to your pastry bag. A #102 or #103 pastry tip works well.
- Begin with a single petal. Apply pressure to the bag, drag for about 1/2 inch, then release. The smaller the petals, the more authentic your hydrangea will look.
- Cluster 4 tiny petals around each other to create a “bud.”
- Build around the initial bud, shaping more and more buds, until they are in the circular shape of a hydrangea.
- Grab another pastry bag and fill it with a different color frosting, either yellow or white. Use a small, #2 or #1 plain pastry tip to add pistils at the center of each visible hydrangea bud.
- How to Make a Shell, Flower or Beaded Border for a Cake
- What You Need to Make & Decorate a Wedding Cake
- Pastry Tip Sizes & Styles
- How to Make Drop Strings on a Cake
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