So I made my little girl's birthday cake this weekend (a "Pinkalicious" cake!), which was tons of fun, but she was very specific in her design, and not all of it turned out exactly as I had hoped.
The main thing I was disappointed in were my peonies. I watched countless videos and read oodles of tutorials, and followed the instructions as well as I could, but I think I may have overdone it when flattening the petals out. I think I went a little too paper thin, causing my petals to lose some of those beautiful sharp-angled scallops at the tops, and ending up with more gradual waves ... more like a rose than a peony :/. So she ended up with weird roses. And that was that :/.
It was also my first time stenciling, though, and despite the buckets of sweat I poured out trying to get it just so and avoid my very-bright pink icing from staining my very-light fondant inappropriately, it all worked out at least semi-well. Good enough fro my first try, at any rate .
But I will gladly accept any peony pointers any of you super pros may like to offer! Everyone is so talented here, I would love to hear what I could improve upon next time. Thanks!!
Here's my cake ...
I think it looks beautiful! I think we are just too hard on ourselves because this website is so full of perfect cakes. For a first time, I think you did wonderfully. I have been avoiding stencils myself. I'll have to own up and get brave before too long.
Thanks! I did have fun!
I think your peonies look great. The only thing I would suggest is changing the curve of the outer petals. Have them curve in instead of out. But they sure look like peonies to me!
You did great on the stencil for a first go. The only thing I could say is that it a little thick in places, so just be sure to scrape off the excess a little more.
Peonies are a pain in the butt. Did you wire the outer petals? That helps to get a nice open look.
I did wire all the petals, but I think I rolled them so thin, they lost a bit of their curve. I'll trythem again, just a touch thicker, to see if I can distort the petals a alittle less and have them curve in again (no amount of drying on a round surface helped them regain their shape, unfortunately ).
I'm not even stressing out about the stenciling! It was my first try and I about had a heart attack doing it, so I'm just grateful I didn't blur the whole thing, hehe! or kill my husband in the process .
Thanks for your comments!
The cake is beautiful, I can't believe that was your first attempt at stenciling. I want to try it but have been nervous, you have inspired me! As for the peonies, I feel your pain. I tried the wiring method and could not get the outer petals to behave. What I did was combine wiring and using an apple tray. First I made the inner petals. It worked best for me to allow each layer of petals to dry for about 20 minutes or longer before adding another layer. Then I placed foil over the apple tray, brush foil very lightly with shortening to prevent sticking. Then I cut and shaped the last outer layer of petals, place on foil, overlap centers a little and glue together with water or gum glue. Make sure you have a hole in the tray to put the wired center through. Keep adding outer petals, working inward. You can slide the wired center in to check your progress. Add layers of petals until you have the look you want. You can help shape the petals with tiny scunched or rolled pieces of parchment or foil. Glue center to outer petals and let dry.
Isn't it funny how critical we are of ourselves, when others see nothing of the sort! I think your cake is beautiful! Great job! I'm willing to bet that no one at the party was as critical as you!!! PS my husband hears my complaints constantly on just about every cake!
I don't think you lost too bad on the tips as you think. You needed to curve the petals and sitting in them in an apple try will help with that curve. Also, an even a deeper curved petal cup will help to get the shape of the inner petals. I think you did a great first time job. I love peony GP flowers, they are just such a pain in the butt to wire togther!
Thanks, guys, you're so sweet! Not to mention full of great tips!
I never would have thought of starting on the outside and working inward ... fabulous tip, thank you! And as far as the apply tray, what a FABULOUS idea! I made my own "tray" by molding tin foil around my initial inner buds, but it never occurred to me to achieve the egg-crate effect with an apple tray. Thanks so much!!!
Ah, LOVE this site!