Gum paste blossoms are a great addition to a cupcake, or be a nice filler flower in a flower spray for a wedding cake. Even though the term “gum paste” is kind of gross (it is really just sugar, glucose, and some gums added to it to give it the ability to be rolled thinly and dry hard), it is essential in flower making. You can use fondant for this, but you’ll want to add some gum-tex to keep it pliable and dry quickly enough to hold your flower’s shape.
I buy my gum paste pre-made. Since I bake my own cakes, make my own icings and fondant, I allow myself this luxury. I use the Wilton brand, which, again, is available at the craft stores or online. I really like this product, because anytime I feel the need to restock my flower supply I can just pull it out and get to work.
To make small, simple blossoms, I use a five-petal blossom cutter/ejector set from Wilton. At this time, it is only available as part of the Gum Paste Flower Cutter Set, or the Course 4 Student Kit. For the flower center, you can use a dollop of icing, but I personally love to use pearl sprinkles.
You will need:
Blossom cutter and mat set
Food coloring, if you wish to tint your blossoms
Powdered sugar (PS) or cornstarch (CS) (I just use whatever is handy at the moment)
Plate to place your blossoms on to dry (it’s a good idea to dust this too with PS or CS to prevent your flowers from sticking while drying)
Flower centers (Either a piping bag with frosting or pearl sprinkles)
Small amount of water & paintbrush (if you are using sprinkles for your centers)
1. To start, I lightly dust my surface and impression mat with cornstarch or powdered sugar, then grab a small amount of gum paste and knead it until it is soft and pliable. It shouldn’t stick to your fingers. If it does, add a little powdered sugar or cornstarch. If it is too hard, rub in a bit of vegetable shortening. Use a rolling pin and roll the paste out thinly, nearly paper thin.
2. Push blossom cutter into gum paste and lift flower out while still inside the plunger (don’t press down on the plunger though). If the flower didn’t pick up, try placing it back in.
3. Place your cutter over the correct blossom size on the impression mat. Push down on the plunger to vein your flower. Release.
4. Holding flower in your hand, lightly dab a little water in the center with a paintbrush. Attach sprinkle or pipe small ball of frosting in center. Let dry on plate.
Note: If you have one, you can use a plastic paint palette. I like to use one of these to give a slight curve to my flowers, rather than them just drying flat on a plate. Just dust it with the CS or PS.
And that is it for the simple blossom. I love these flowers, I have used them in all sorts of projects (visit my Gallery to see photos of wedding/bridal cakes, cupcakes, and a Hello Kitty cake in particular). I’ve also written a how to make gum paste leaves available here.