Hello, I'm Pippa and I LOVE making sugar flowers. In my personal opinion they are the only flowers you should have on your wedding cake. Who wants to risk poisoning one of your wedding guests with fresh flowers - not me! Sugar flowers are a stunning and elegant addition to any wedding cake. These edible works of art can take hours of skilful handiwork to create, but what is it that makes sugar flowers so difficult to make?
Firstly let's talk about what I use to create these beautiful blooms. Sugar flowers are typically made from a mixture of sugar paste or gum paste, which are both made from sugar, glucose syrup, and gum tragacanth or tylose powder. These ingredients are mixed together to create a pliable paste that can be rolled, shaped and moulded into intricate flower designs.
There are so many sugar flowers out there to make but I will explain the process when it comes to making a rose as these are by far the most popular flowers to have on a wedding cake. The first step is to create the basic shape of the flower, which in this case is the bud. This requires precision and attention to detail, as even the slightest mistake can ruin the entire design. A polystyrene ball is attached to a wire and it then has flower paste shaped to a point attached to it.
Once the basic shape of the flower has been created, the real work begins. Each petal (and there are a minimum of 33 per rose) must be individually cut and veined to create a lifelike appearance. This requires a great deal of skill and oh so much patience, as the texture and vein pattern must be carefully applied to each individual petal.
The next step is to add depth to the flowers colour. This can be done using a variety of petal dusts. Again, this requires a great deal of skill, as the colour must be applied evenly and with the correct shade and tone to create a realistic appearance.
Finally, the individual petals of the flower must be put together to create the final design. This requires a great deal of precision and patience, as each petal must be attached together in the correct position to create a lifelike appearance. The flower must then dry so it doesn't flop before it is put on your wedding cake.
So, why are sugar flowers so skilled to make? Well, the materials used to create sugar flowers are quite delicate and require a gentle touch, cold hands really help - hot hands and you end up in a sticky mess! Secondly, the intricate designs of sugar flowers require a great deal of patience and attention to detail, as even the slightest mistake can ruin the entire flower. Lastly, the process of creating sugar flowers is a multi-step process that requires a great deal of skill in a variety of techniques, such as shaping, veining, colouring, and assembling. I will (and I do) sit for hours making sugar flowers. I am slightly obsessed with them and I love learning how to make new and interesting flowers.
The length of time they take to make varies. Some, like the rose, take me 45 minutes and it's probably the quickest one to make. Others like the Pom Pom Dhalia or Frilly Peony take me up to two hours per flower. There is nothing I love more than matching the sugar flowers on your cake to the flowers in your bouquet. When everything ties in perfectly I have definitely done my job.
If you look after them carefully sugar flowers can last for years unlike fresh flowers that will die within a few days.
If you'd love sugar flowers that complement your wedding bouquet on your wedding cake, please feel free to reach out. I'm currently accepting orders and really look forward to collaborating on the unique design for your wedding cake.
Peace, love and buttercream