Hi all! I am new to this board and this past year just really starting taking my cake decorating skills seriously. I am currently taking an intense 12 week cake decorating course and we are in the middle of gumpaste flowers. I think it is truly an art and those who can master this skill are amazing. Being able to make a rose out of fondant or gumpaste is really neat. However, are gumpaste flowers really all that??? Call me traditional but I still love the fresh look of real flowers on a cake.
So, I would like to know your thoughts on whether or not gumpaste flowers are a big deal? Is the public now more into gumpaste flowers and are dismissing real flowers? Are there advantages to either one in the cake decorating world?
Very curious to know
One huge advantage of knowing how to make gumpaste flowers is that a lot of real flowers are poisonous and cannot be put on a cake. Some examples are hydrangea and calla lilies...both very popular wedding flowers.
May I just say, I am SO jealous! I would love, love, love to take a gumpaste course and am dying to go to that weeklong one in Texas (or somewhere, lol). Have fun!
Amia: AHH!!! I totally missed the part about some flowers being poisonous
CakeDiva: the section on gumpaste I am taking is a whole lot of fun! I am having trouble on making roses but I got through making calla lillies, orchids and wild roses pretty fine
One huge advantage of knowing how to make gumpaste flowers is that a lot of real flowers are poisonous and cannot be put on a cake.
There was a recent court case in here in Canada where the bride sued the cake decorator, the wedding coordinator, the reception venue, and the florist because the guests at her wedding got sick from the pesticides on the fresh flowers. Yep, she won because no one told her that pesticides could leach into the cake. Much safer to go with gumpaste flowers if the bride wants the realistic look - even if you order organic, you can't be 100% guaranteed that they are what they say they are.
I think the art of gp flowers is just that, an art. It makes the whole cake a work of art to me.... but fresh flowers are pretty, too. I just don't ever mix them, I think they fight each other
I'm a person who hated Gumpaste flowers until I attended Alan Dunn's workshop. That is because I thought its really hard. But ones you get the hang of it and if you keep on practising, its fantastic. Now I like doing them.
Like some above posters have mentioned, you can't put every flower on a cake, as some are poisonous.
I just did a cake for a party yesterday (75th birthday cake in my photos) and spent about 10 hours making gumpaste roses, leaves and filler flowers! I must say, I have a new appreciation for anyone who does this on a regular basis!! They truly are an art form and I had so much fun making them but this was the first person who'd ever asked specifically for gumpaste flowers. Usually people ask for fresh flowers...probably because they're more cost effective!!
I really didn't realize that many flowers were poisonous until I looked them up I still wonder then how some bakers & cake decorators still use real flowers then? They must be very very careful then not to allow the flowers to touch the cake! Is there a certain method of cleaning the flower before putting them on a cake to guarantee they won't affect anyone?
Jennifer: I agree, gp flowers are an art and take a lot of time and patience.
Cambrias: I give you all the credit in the world and to other fellow cake decorators mastering gp flowers, it really is a load of work but the results are amazing! I am sure your customer was thrilled with your work!
Bashini: Who is Alan Dunn? Does he go around teaching in other cities?
Nevermind Bashini, I just looked up Alan Dunn and realized he is based out of the UK. I have come across his books but seem too advanced for me at this point. Thank you!