Sunday, July 28, 2013

How to Make Easy Sugarpaste Floral Sprays

Another ruffled cake! These two were for a wedding renewal ceremony I made recently. I wanted to add some floral details without going overboard.  I actually really do like making sugar flowers but the more realistic, more elaborate each flower is means the more time each flower takes.
 Since I'm still on the maternity leave schedule of Abby waking up a few times a night I haven't had the, mmm, "mental clarity" to wake up early and spend a few hours on flowers, plus even if I did, my flower skills are a work in progress so it would probably be a very frustrating early few hours.  

Which leads me to these delicate but easy sugar flowers. According to the Wilton flower book I use this flower is somewhere between an apple blossom and an impatient. I've also used this flower in large bunches for hydrangeas. If you don't have specific flower cutters you can use any small flower petal type cookie cutter you can find.  I like them because they are petite and did I mention easy yet? And very customizable for any cake. They are also great to add to larger flower bouquets as filler flowers. 
Alright here's how I did it! Hope it helps!

Enjoy life with cake!

Btw... Have a question about this cake or any 
other?? Leave me a comment and I'll help you out, if I can!

Quick and Easy Sugarpaste Floral Spray

Start by rolling out a small amount of gumpaste (sugarpaste) about 1/8" thick.  Using a small flower cutter cut about 20-30 flowers out, depending on how large you would like your spray to be. 
Each flower will take two layers to make.

Once cut cover the cut-outs with plastic wrap 
to prevent the gumpaste from drying out.

Place one cut-out at a time onto a small 'thinning mat'. A thinning mat is a thin piece of foam that is dusted with cornstarch to prevent the thin gumpaste from sticking to a work surface. The mat allows you to gently pull the petals of your flowers to a very thin and delicate look. I used a gumpaste shaping tool to pull the petals thinner. Most craft stores sell gumpaste kits that will have all the shaping tools seen here to make these flowers. I found the Wilton "Beautiful Gumpaste Flowers" Book and kit to be very helpful in learning the basics of flower making.  

To pull the petals thinner, stroke each petal with the tip of your gumpaste tool gently but with enough pressure to stretch the gumpaste.  I pulled each petal a few times until it was a good thin length, the pulling also leaves indents on the petals which resemble the texture of real flower petals adding a little more realistic touch to these flowers.

The stretching/pulling takes a little practice but you've got at least 
20 layers to go so you'll be a master in no time!

I use a wire cooling rack with small holes to dry my flowers.  
The holes are a perfect size for these little petals. Using the back of the 
gumpaste ball tool press each petal layer into the small wire holes 
to give the layer a slightly closed flower shape. 
If you don't have a cooling rack 
similar this, any rack with holes or grates smaller than the flower will do. 
You can also buy flower drying racks that are shaped 
to fit most standard sized petals.
Let the layers dry like this for a few minutes.  
Work slowly with the first few flowers until you have the timing down. 
The gumpaste should be dry enough that the petals will
 hold their upward shape but still a little pliable that you can
 press two layers together and attach them with floral wire.

Using floral wire, found at any craft store, cut a 4" length for each flower.
For smaller flowers, like these, I use thinner more pliable floral wire. To attach these to a cake you'll need to wrap each individual flower around a stiffer wire then insert the stiff wire into the cake.
Hook the end of the wire over just enough so it won't pull out from the flower. Dip the hooked end in water, and thread the opposite end into two layers of petals. The bottom layer of petals should also have a small dot of water in the center to glue the top petal to it.  Here's where you can play around with the design a little. For a fuller looking flower with lots of petals glue a few more layers together before threading the wire through.  I like using two layers and bunching the flowers together once they are dried.

Pull the wire through just until the hooked end is just sticking out. 
Try not too pull too hard or the soft gumpaste will crack and break.
 Once the wire is threaded through place the flowers back on the wire rack to dry.

Dry overnight or for several hours to ensure the gumpaste is dried throughout.  Once dried wrap the extra floral wire from each flower around a stiffer wire then attach to your cake!  I made a few different shades for each spray, also a few of the flowers I attached two different shades of purple for each flower to give some contrast.  These little flowers are quick and easy and  hopefully you'll find yourself returning to add these to many cakes in the future! 

Have you tried out any of LaLa Cakes methods
 or recipes and still have questions?!? 
Leave your questions as comments here for more tips and tricks!

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