Gum paste cherry blossoms add beauty and simplicity to a birthday, wedding or anniversary cake in the spring and summer.
Make Simple Blossoms
Making a cherry blossom out of gum paste is not something a beginner should attempt. Gum paste, which is somewhat similar to fondant, will harden quickly. When working with gum paste, keep your hands greased with shortening to keep it pliable.
Follow these directions to make simple blossoms using gum paste:
- Make your favorite gum paste recipe or use a premade gum paste.
- Tint it light pink with a liquid or paste food color.
- Roll the gum paste out to approximately 1/8 to 1/16 inch thickness, depending on your needs.
- Use a gum paste cutter in the shape of a wild rose or blossom, cut out a blossom with five petals.
- Stretch the ends of the petals using a ball tool and modeling foam.
- Add any dust or powders to make the color more realistic.
- Using edible egg whites or a little water, add hand formed stamen to the center of the flowers.
- Place in flower former until the cherry blossom is hard.
Practicing is imperative when it comes to making gum paste flowers like the cherry blossom. Some decorators place their blossoms on wires so that they can form a spray. If you do this, remember to remove the decoration before serving the cake.
Books with tips on professional decorating often have sections on gum paste and gum paste flowers. If you find it difficult to make flowers freehand, try purchasing a gum paste flower making kit or watching an instructional DVD. Look for them on cake decorating websites that offer products and tools for decorators. You can also take classes at bakeries, craft stores and culinary schools, to learn how to make professional looking cherry blossoms using gum paste.
Decorate with Gum Paste Cherry Blossoms
Once you have mastered making gum paste cherry blossoms, you can now make a decorated cake that features the delicate flowers.
Blossom Sheet Cake
A simple way to decorate a sheet cake for a wedding or graduation is to divide into into pieces using a piped border that serves as a cutting guide. Place a single blossom in the center of each cake piece. You can also top cupcakes with individual cherry blossoms made of gum paste for a more finished look.
Blossom Spray Topper
Those who know how to make gum paste flower blossoms might want to create a bouquet or spray of blossoms to use as a cake topper. Make a spray using floral wires to connect each piece together. Remember to add small leaves for contrast. Do not worry if each blossom is slightly different, as variations occur naturally. Add to the top of a tiered or single layer cake.
Blossom and Branch Cake
Try decorating with your gum paste cherry blossoms following these cake decorating instructions:
- Cover a two or three tiered cake in buttercream frosting or fondant. Smooth the frosting and stack the cakes, using supports if necessary.
- Make cherry blossom branches for the cake. Do this one of two ways: either cut out branch pieces from brown fondant and affix to the cake or pipe brown or chocolate buttercream onto the cake in the shape of branches.
- Add the blossoms to the cake one at a time, spacing them randomly along the branches. Use royal icing or edible egg whites to affix them.
- Finish the tiered cake with a simple border along the bottom of each tier.
Purchase Gum Paste Blossoms
If you cannot perfect a cherry blossom technique using gum paste, check to see if you can purchase them locally from a bakery. Otherwise, you can order them online from these retailers:
- Wholesale Sugar Flowers sells four different kinds of cherry blossoms, including one featuring the whole branch of a tree.
- Gum Paste Flower Store offers sprays of cherry blossoms with either white or pink; they are not edible due to wires.
- Sweet Edibles, and Etsy store, makes beautifully detailed cherry blossoms that are ready to add to cakes and cupcakes.