Flowers and Bugs

Gum Paste Flowers

It’s February and I get a request from my eldest grand daughter. Her birthday is at the end of the month. Can I please make her a white cake with chocolate frosting, flowers and it must have her name in cursive (she must be turning eight). Alright…

Flowers!! Oh boy! The last cake I  got play with fondant, this was my chance to play with gum paste! My first stop was JoAnn’s to buy the Wilton supplies needed… a book on how to make flowers, gum paste, and tools. I was thrilled that I had a coupon and that I found almost everything I needed in a kit. I had some paste food coloring, but picked up more.

I baked the cake, wrapped it and placed it in the freezer until the day of the party.


Requests were for chocolate frosting on white cake, lillies, and her name in cursive.

The fun begins… I tend to just jump into projects assuming I can do it if I follow the directions carefully the first time. Most of the time that philosophy works. Just like a recipe, make it per the instructions the first time, so you know how it is supposed to turn out, then you can tweak it to your taste next time.

I decided to make a bouquet of different flowers to learn the most from this project. I have decided to try something new with each cake from here on out.

Making a daylily and a calla lily was a given, considering the birthday girl’s name is Lily. I spent a day learning how to work with the gum paste and trying to follow the directions, but make the flowers look realistic.

After seeing how fragile these flowers could be, I was glad that I had  started them early enough so I could make extras in case of breakage. Yes, there was breakage… a lily is very fragile, as are the daisies. For fun, I thought I’d add a butterfly, a bee and ladybugs.

I went to bed that night hoping the flowers would all dry and be in one piece when I got up the next morning.

Everything looked good!  Now it was time to put everything together… defrost, level and frost the cake. As I was arranging the flowers, I noticed that they looked a little “flat”. I wanted more color variation in the flowers. I could use a non-edible shading this time, on the day lily and butterfly, as long as I told the kids not to eat them. I’d have to research the color dust I’d heard of later.

Baking the cake, frosting, placing flowers and even the cursive writing went pretty smoothly. I did have to improvise and quickly make some fondant leaves to fill a couple of empty spots. I am discovering that “improvise” is a word I will be using a lot.

The real challenge for this cake was that I was going to have to deliver it. Not having had to deliver a cake with such delicate work on it  before, I was pretty nervous about the flowers breaking before I got the cake to the party. Somehow roads never seem so uneven and bumpy until you have a cake in the car. It did seem like a much longer 45 minute drive than it was! But I did make it safely there, into the house, and onto the table. Whew!

Guests at the party couldn’t believe that the flowers were edible (except for those 2 pieces). The kids started calling out which flower or bug they wanted to taste. I am finding that it is hard to cut into a cake that took so much work. But then it’s so nice to see people enjoying the cake!

Now, on to research petal dust and other fun stuff.



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