Sugar flowers are that magical element that can elevate your cakes from ‘home baker’ to ‘professional caker’ in an instant. They are also a great way of including a particular flower into a cake design when the real deal is out of season, or worse, toxic and not safe to have anywhere near cake!
Creating sugar flowers can seem incredibly daunting to a beginner but with the right tools, and a decent amount of patience and practice, creating lifelike sugar flowers will not only become much easier, but it will likely become one of your favourite creative outlets.
Another initially intimidating aspect of sugar flower craft is the sheer number of products there are out there! It can often be hard to know exactly what you need to get started, and what can wait until your skill level increases.
These are the products we recommend for beginners just starting out in sugar flowers. This is also a great guide if you are wanting to gift a sugar flower making kit to a loved one.
For making sugar flowers you will want to use a special type of gum paste often called flower paste. Gum paste is similar to fondant but will set super firm once dry, making it perfect for forming sugar flowers. When buying flower gum paste you want a paste that will roll super thin without cracking, for those realistic looking petals. One of our favourite brands of flower gum paste is the By Caitlin Mitchell range. They come in stunning colours and were developed to perform well in the tough Aussie climate.
The more you use modelling tools the more you will be reaching for them every time. Depending on the shape of the head modelling tools can help add detail to your sugar flowers and shape them into lifelike petals. Balling tools are fantastic for frilling and thinning edges of petals while others will help create veining. We recommend purchasing a full set so as you progress you will always have the tool to try out your new skills!
There are a few different kinds of foam pads, a plain smooth one will give you a backing to ruffle petals and add other details using your modelling tools.
A CelBoard is a hard-plastic board that is great for rolling out flower paste, the board also has grooves along the side for creating a central vein so you can insert floral wire in more easily.
There are a few different types of paintbrushes but there are a few that are absolutely essential to sugar flower making and those would be a fine tip paintbrush like a Size 1 Sable Brush for applying sugar glue, and a medium flat tip brush, in a size 4 or 6, for applying dust colours to your petals.
Here at Lollipops we have a favourite small rolling pin, we use it in all our classes, and it sells like hot cakes. At only $8.95 our Non-Stock 15cm Rolling Pin will be your favourite tool in your entire sugar flower kit!
Whether you are creating a single rose, or a floral spray, you will want to get some good quality flower wire and tape. Flower wire comes in different thicknesses, or gauges, a lower gauge means a thicker and stronger wire.
The central wire should be a lower gauge wire, with wires for individual petals able to be a thinner, higher gauge wire. If you are assembling your sugar flower with multiple individually wired petals you will want to tape them together using food safe floral tape. This tape is also great for covering the stems of real flowers before applying them to your cake.
Edible sugar glue is a great thing to have on hand when attaching petals together or securing stamens in the centre of your flower. We love Caitlin Mitchell’s Sugar Glue as it has less chance of making colours run and can also be used as a soft glaze for sugar flowers.
Petal Cutters come in all shapes and sizes for all different species of flower. A rose is a great place for beginners to start and is one of the most requested sugar flowers. The LOYAL Rose Cutter Set will help you create all sorts of roses, from tight little buds, to big frothy garden roses.
For leaves the LOYAL Universal Leaf Cutter has four different sized leaf cutters from 2cm wide to 4.4cm wide and is a great first leaf cutter.
Adding texture to petals and leaves adds that extra touch of realism to your sugar flowers. You can add some of these details freehand using a veining tool or you can achieve a highly realistic effect with very little effort by using a double-sided silicone veiner.
LOYAL have a range of silicone veiners designed to be used in partnership with their range of sugar flower cutters. For the Rose Cutter Set and Universal Leaf Cutter Set mentioned above they have a Rose Silicone Veiner and Universal Leaf Veiner.
Of course, our favourite thing about real flowers is the colours so your sugar flowers should enjoy the same colourful beauty! By Caitlin Mitchell Gum Paste comes in a range of colours, or you can use gel colours to colour white gum paste exactly how you would like it.
Petal dusts can be applied to your sugar flowers after they have been formed and dried, adding tones of colour and realistic detail. This is where your paint brushes come in handy!
If you are looking for some inspiration and guidance on how to make sugar flowers check out our range of Sugar Flower Instructional Books. We even have one specifically written for beginners!