Cake Decorating: Flowers and Cake Design Super Post

Wow. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last blogged (there’s that awful “b word”)! I had this crazy idea that I’d be writing about my crafty stuff at least once a week, but look how that’s turned out. I guess I took a little break! I have a rule that I must be cheerful here, so I’m not going to talk about my break very much. I’ll only say that March hasn’t been the best of months. I really want to try to be better about posting from now on though.

I’m going to start my return to blogging with a cake decorating super post! Woooo! In this post: pictures of all the flowers I’ve made in Wilton’s second cake decorating course, Flowers and Cake Design, as well as some information about and my opinion of the course. Here we go!

I started the second course on Monday, March 5. I’ve been to three classes so far and my final class is on the 26th. I thought the first course was fun, but this one is incredible. I’ll be honest… I wasn’t completely excited about learning how to make flowers. I don’t really like flowers, I’ve never cared about them, and I was more interested about making fun cakes than anything elegant and pretty. But I’ve truly had a blast learning how to make all sorts of flowers. I definitely don’t regret taking the course and I feel differently about flowery cakes now that I have. I’ve learned so much, I’m not sure I’ll be able to talk about all of it in just one post!

During the first class, I learned how to use colored fondant to color gum paste (for example: I used a bit of yellow fondant to turn white gum paste into yellow gum paste), and how to make gum glue, which is used like glue to hold separate gum paste pieces together. We talked about color schemes and how to be sure to choose colors that compliment each other. I also learned how to make two different flowers with gum paste: a pansy (which I have a picture of but can’t find right now), and another flower they call a “button flower”. These flowers hardened quickly because gum paste dries out very fast. It lasts a long time, too. The instructor said she still has gum paste flowers she made several years ago!

This is the button flower. It’s made with gum paste and a press, which is used not only to cut the shape of the flower, but to imprint it with a design as well. It’s three pieces: a big flower with stripes, a smaller flower with polka dots, and a center that looks like a button. These flowers look best (in my opinion) with two colors. If the polka-dotted flower had been a different color, it’d have been perfect!

Usually, they do teach you to make the flower with two colors, but we were running short on time so I could only press one color. I used the gum glue to stick the pieces together.

For the second class, I had to bring some icing, but not buttercream like in the first course. This time, it was royal icing, which hardens ridiculously fast. It has to be mixed with a mixer for 7-10 minutes, and because I really didn’t feel like using my hand mixer for 10 minutes straight, I went to Nate’s mom’s house and used her stand mixer. I seriously need one of those! Anyway, I used the royal icing to learn how to make three different flowers, one of which was a rosebud (and unfortunately, I was unable to take a picture of it).

The flower on the left is a primrose. On the right is an apple blossom. These flowers are simple but very pretty.

I needed more royal icing for the third class, and luckily, I still had some leftover from the week before. This class was my favorite so far. We discussed proper flower placement, design, and learned how to use piping gel mixed with icing to “draw” stems and other greenery to accent flowers on a cake. I didn’t have any difficulty with this week’s flowers. Of course I could use some practice, but I understood what to do and got the hang of the techniques very quickly.

I had to use my phone to take this picture and it’s kind of crappy, but it’s all I’ve got. The big yellow one is a daffodil and the little purple one is a violet. I like them both but I really like the violet.

This is a lily. We were supposed to use white icing but I forgot mine at home so I used yellow. I really like the way these look, even in yellow.

This rose is so fun to make. I thought it’d be really hard, but it was super easy. I could spend all day making these. The lesson book refers to it as “The Famous Wilton Rose,” so I guess it’s their special rose or something. Whatever, it’s awesome and I love it.

Next week, I’ll actually decorate a cake with these flowers. Well, not all of them. I have to make the flowers I want ahead of time and place them on the cake in the classroom. I’m really excited. I think I’m going to use the violets and the Wilton rose. The violets will be purple, of course, but the roses… I’m not sure. I borrowed a stand mixer so I can get started ASAP, so I guess I should figure out my colors.

So, there you have it. A cake super post! Yay :]

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10 thoughts on “Cake Decorating: Flowers and Cake Design Super Post

  1. This is such a great post. Your piped lily is amazing and your primrose is lovely. Does the Lily use the same petal nozzle as the other flowers or were you using a leaf tube? I go to a sugarcraft class once a week and we too were learning about piping flowers last week. I absolutely loved making them.

    • Bean says:

      Thank you very much! I used the Wilton large leaf tip 366 for the lily. If you’d like to try it, the technique is explained here: though mine is different in a couple different ways. First, I used a different tip, so my petals are a little different. Second, there was no piping gel in the royal icing I used to make it, so that’s not necessary. You can see in the picture on the Wilton page that the green center doesn’t look like a piped star. For some reason, the directions don’t say that once you pipe the green star in the center of the flower, you use a small, slightly damp brush to brush the green color slightly up the petals.

      You dry the flower while it’s still in the foil. Egg cartons are really good for drying lilies because they fit in each little egg-spot perfectly. My instructor said they take a few days to harden because there’s so much icing in the middle. Each day, you pull the foil back a little more to expose more of the icing to air.

      What kind of flowers did you make last week? If you try the lilies, come back with a picture! :]

  2. Thank you so much for all your advice on piping the lily. I’ve got a sugar filled day planned tomorrow so I might have to give it a try if I discover I’ve got the right nozzle. I’ve found the Wilton website amazingly helpful in the past but it’s always fantastic to get advice from someone too.

    We were doing blossoms, pansies, daffodils, roses and daisies at our class last week. My flowers come out completely differently as I’m left handed so all my petals end up upside down. For example, my rose petals all point inwards rather than the beautiful outwards pointing ones on your lovely rose. Although the flowers I do don’t quite turn out as they are meant to, I think piping flowers is fantastic. I’m going to try piping them right handed next time around just to see what happens and I will try to post to let you know how it all goes. Any idea what your learning in your next class?

    Fiona x

    • Bean says:

      You learned how to pipe pansies? I think I’m going to look into that because I didn’t really like the gum paste pansies we made in the first class. It’s a shame your flowers aren’t coming out just right. Does your teacher have any special instructions that might help you? One of the other ladies in my class is left handed and the instructor teaches her to do things by telling her to do the opposite of what she’s doing. So the rest of us turn the flower nail counter-clockwise, but the left handed woman goes clockwise. If we’re holding our bags in the 3 o’clock position, she holds hers at 9 o’clock. Wilton makes some tips for left handed people too! It might be easier if you could just use your right hand, but it’s totally possible for lefties to do it too. The left handed woman in my class has made some beautiful flowers :]

      My next class is the last class of this course. We’re going to learn how to do the backwards shell border, basket weave, and how to make a bow with petal tip 104. We have to bring a cake and a bunch of pre-made flowers with us so we can decorate our final cake in the classroom, so I’ll be making flowers all this week. The third course starts the week after next, and we’ll be working mostly with gum paste and fondant.

      • Piping a pansy is similar to piping a primose, but instead of piping the each petal one after another, you slightly change around order. Pipe the first two petals as you did for the primose, then pipe the third petal to the left of the first, then pipe the forth petal in front and just to the right of the second. For the fifth petal, which is a little wider than the rest, you start halfway over petal four and pipe a semicircle to finish half way over the third petal. You can then add the colours using a brush dipped into some colour. Hopefully that makes some sense as I can’t seem to find a proper explaination on the Wilton website. I’ll try and do a step by step post about it if I can and if you’re struggling

        Have you done any stenciling in your class? We also did some in ours and it works quite well for things like flowers so I used it at home to make a two dimentional pansy which I posted on my blog. You ought to take a look for alternative pansy ideas.
        My instructor told me about the left handed nozzle from wilton and explained that I should be doing everything backwards but I think the most sensible option for me will be to use my right hand and see how that goes.

  3. Bean says:

    Awesome, thanks! I’ll definitely be trying the pansies! Unfortunately, we haven’t done any stenciling. The Wilton classes stick to a pretty strict set of subjects. The first course is the most basic – how to frost a cake, how to pipe the most simple flowers and borders. Second course talks a bit about designing a cake (making sure it doesn’t look too busy or have mismatched colors and whatnot) and how to pipe more complicated flowers. Third course is gum paste and fondant – only a few flowers, how to make a big bow, how to cover a cake in fondant. The fourth class is advanced gum paste flowers.

    I know there’s no way I’ll learn everything I want to learn in the Wilton classes, so I figure after I’m done with those, I’ll look online for the rest of what I want to know. The stenciling looks really cool. I actually saw that post you mentioned on your blog. I’ve never seen something like that before… at least not that I can remember! I think I might skip the 4th Wilton course and use the money I would have spent on materials for things I find online and want to try.

  4. Aww well sorry you’ve had a bit of a blah time and glad you’re back, especially with those stunning flowers, they look really hard to make. I’d probably drop them on the way home too!

  5. […] this will just be a quick post with a couple pictures since I already wrote about the class in my super-post last week. This is a basketweave, made with buttercream icing. It can be used to make a cake look […]

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