Gumpaste Peony Tutorial

For my wedding cake I knew I wanted to make some gumpaste flowers, I just didn’t know what kind. I came across these amazing looking gumpaste peonies from Cakerator and I knew these were the flowers.  They are dramatic and elegant, exactly what I wanted. I used the tutorial from Cakerator to guide me in making these, but I had to embellish a little since I didn’t have the same fondant cutters and materials as Cakerator did. The photo below is from our wedding photographer…

Check out the Cakerator tutorial for details, but this is the general steps for how I made mine.

Gumpaste Peony Directions:  

1.  I didn’t have a styrofoam ball as my base, so I just rolled up a one inch ball using gumpaste and stuck it on a wire and let it dry. You can see it’s the purple ball in the photos below.

2.  Now for the petals, I used the “sweet pea” cutter from my Wilton’s gumpaste flower tool kit. It was the only one that looked similar to the peony cutters in the tutorial. Roll the gumpaste out to about a 1/8″ thick. Cut the shapes of the petals out using your cutter – you really don’t need to have the exact cutters here. As long as you make the ridging on the outside of the petal frilly like the peony (you will see what I mean below).

3.  Make sure to store the petals in a sandwich bag or something similar so they don’t dry out as you roll out the other petals.

4.  I had a textured mat from my gumpaste flower kit, so I rolled the petals out on the ridged texture. Use a little cornstarch on the mat so the gumpaste doesn’t stick.

5.  After you’ve rolled the petal you will be able to see the texture.

6.  Then you want to thin out the edges so it looks like a real flower. This is where you can create more ridges on the edge than what’s really there from the flower cutter. I only have 3 ridges, but I created more with the thinning technique. Here you want to use the tool with a ball on the end, I used the one in the photo – it worked best for me, but you could use anything. I pressed harder in some areas to create the ridges.

7. In a little bowl, mix together a little bit of gumpaste in some warm water until the gumpaste dissolves. This is your “glue”. Use a small brush and brush the petal that you will glue to your base ball. Below is my first petal.

8. Then place the second petal. You are creating that bud in the middle as your base that you will build layers and layers of petals on. This is the general number:  2 petals for base, 3 petals for 2nd layer, 5 petals for 3rd layer, 5 petals for 4th layer,and 7 petals for 5th layer (if you choose). I don’t think this is the normal amount of petals for each layer, but this worked for me. I wanted a fuller flower and I made the second layer of 5 petals larger so they took up more space.

9.  Keep layering…this is my 3 petal layer. Each layer I did, I let it dry a little too. You don’t want a soggy flower! The gumpaste will just dissolve. I made three flowers, so I just worked on the next one as this one dried and so forth. I punched holes in this cardboard box and stuck the flower on top as it dried.

10. Keep layering…5 petal for 3rd layer

11. For the next 5 layer I used a larger petal size. I only used 2 different cutters for this whole flower – so you don’t always need all the materials suggested. You can improvise and make it work.

12. For the final 7 petal layer, this is when you have to attach your petal to a wire since the flower is pretty big at this point. The Cakerator has great directions for this on their site at Tutorial Part II. You can see the wire on the petal below.

13.  I rested the petals on the wire in the same used egg carton so it would pick up the curve shape. I let these petals dry completely until they were hard. I even had to hot glue some of the wires on the petals since they broke. Luckily, no one really eats these flowers (I find gumpaste disgusting, but so great to work with for decorations). Below is a photo still without the 7 petal layer. This is because I painted the edges of this flower before attaching the next layer.

14. How did I paint the edges? Well, I used purple pearl dust and vanilla extract. Mix pearl dust with the extract (not water because water will dissolve your flower (eek!) and brush it on the edges. The extract is mostly made of alcohol, so it evaporates quickly and dries, leaving your flower with a beautiful painted edge.  This created a really nice dark purple.

15.  Then you can use the dry pearl dust to create some more effects. I left one white with purple painted edges and the other two peonies I dusted with the pearl dust so they would be more purple. This is my finished purple flower below with 7 petals. I also didn’t steam my flowers and they seemed fine.

This is all three!!

I  had also made some orange roses for a cake I never ended up making. And a yellow carnation. Oh well, I will have some extra gum paste flowers on hand then!

6 thoughts on “Gumpaste Peony Tutorial

  1. Pingback: My Wedding Cake – Vanilla Cake with Apricot Filling and Amaretto Buttercream | Cupcake Artist

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