ellavanilla Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 6:57pm
post #1 of

I have never really gotten the hang of making good flowers, and they take forever if you're doing it right, so I think I'm going to start purchasing premade. It just seems to make more sense from a cost-time-value perspective. 

 

Anyone else do this or do you all make your own?

20 replies
BakingIrene Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 7:04pm
post #2 of

You have tried making them--how? Piped? Modelled?

ellavanilla Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 7:07pm
post #3 of

I can do a decent piped flower, rose, daisy, hydrangea, and I can create a simple, one piece cut flower, but when i get to the more elaborate wedding cake style gumpaste flower, they usually turn into more of a "fantasy" flower than an botanically correct one. 

 

At this point, I think adding more tools is not the answer, you know? 

BakingIrene Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 7:26pm
post #4 of

Adding more tools is not the first answer.

 

Gumpaste orchids are complicated NOT difficult.  Making the frilled trumpet first may help. The rest of the flower then comes from two petal shapes. Some bakeries make these as an all-in-one with the dry centre pushed in.

 

The more important factor is the painting job that makes each species "real".  See if you can borrow a few Alan Dunn books, to just look through to see how the basic petal shapes change once the dusting and painting starts. 

 

Look also at online tutorials by Jacqueline Butler (petalsweet blog) because she also shows the basic petal shapes properly.  Her tulips look tricky but her method makes them "doable".

 

The other book that may inspire you is the Wilton Way encyclopedia volume II because there are dozens and dozens of piped flowers--more than 20 varieties of rose. This is available used for no more than $25 if you look.

cai0311 Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 7:49pm
post #5 of

I do both depending on the flower.

costumeczar Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 8:16pm
post #6 of

I make my own and sell them to other people too, so just do what you think works out best for you. I'll second the Alan Dunn books, those are really easy to follow and his flowers are beautiful.

 

These days most people don't want a whole lot of flowers on their cakes anyway, so if you learn how to make the basic rose and peony kinds of flowers, plus some smaller filler flowers, that might be all you need at this point. there are lots of videos on youtube showing how to make flowers, so watching some of those might also help.

BomCakes Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 6:01am
post #7 of

It's all about your situation. I went to school to learn to make gumpaste flowers specifically. Spent alot of money flying around to classes. But I am so busy now, that I often have to buy them! If you are anything like me, you don't have employees, but do run a household along with orders coming out your ears. There is nothing wrong with purchasing gumpaste flowers.

Famous cake bakers use them. Ruth Rickey for one admits that she just gets too busy to make them and will purchase premades. It's a business after all and if you're working 27 hours a day 8 days a week...there's no harm in it! The cost is something you would have to get used to and build into your cake prices obviously. Hat's off to those who can make everything , from scratch, themselves. But there is no shame in doing what's best for your own situation. If people want to know, I tell them I make some and have someone making them for me also. thumbs_up.gif

vgcea Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 7:41am
post #8 of

If you do the math and it comes out better for you to buy them, go for it.

kikiandkyle Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 8:01am
post #9 of

I found a Nicholas Lodge book at the library last week that had a lot of really amazing flowers in it, I think he has a Craftsy class too. 

 

I saw that people are selling single gumpaste peonies on Etsy for $50+, maybe I should get in on that!

Apti Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 10:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

I have never really gotten the hang of making good flowers, and they take forever if you're doing it right, so I think I'm going to start purchasing premade. It just seems to make more sense from a cost-time-value perspective. 

 

Anyone else do this or do you all make your own?

 

There is a wonderful saying attributed to Ruth Rickey:

Will the customer notice? 2. If they notice, will they care? 3. If they care, will they pay?

 

This is a half-sheet cake I recently made for my dad's wife of 40 years.  She is in a facility for Alzheimer's and I knew the majority of the cake would go to the nursing and administrative staff at the facility.  The gum paste flowers in the center are two pre-made sprays from Deco-Pac that I had purchased on a whim about a week before.   This was the perfect opportunity to use these flowers!  It literally took 2 minutes to arrange the sprays and lay them gently on the surface of the buttercream.  My cost for these flowers (they were on sale), $4.  Faye was thrilled, Dad was thrilled, and I was happy to make them happy.  I didn't have one tiny twinge of guilt that I hadn't made these lovely, perfect, gum paste flowers and leaves.

 

 

didavista Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 11:47am

AApti, where do you purchase your flowers? Those are very pretty.

tracyaem Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 1:27pm

I do both. If I'm being honest, I'm not that great with gumpaste flowers yet. So to get a few that I'm happy with can take hours. If I can buy it for a few bucks, it just makes sense ($10 versus 3 hours? no brainer). I keep an eye out when I'm buying supplies and if I see any flowers on the cheap I'll stash them. I saw mini roses in the exact color I needed for cupcake toppers recently (28 for $4). Um, yeah.... I bought em and when the cupcakes were topped in 2 minutes versus an hour or two I was very happy!

 

I keep practicing and making my own here and there. Hopefully I'll get good enough/quick enough to do all my own but for now I'm ok with buying them occasionally.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 9:07pm

I make my own, but I enjoy doing them, (I know, I'm a freak).

However, I pre-make most of them in large quantities in plain white, usually while I'm watching a movie. Then I just paint them to order, which only takes a couple minutes.

 

I'm one of the very few places that does sugar flowers around here, unless you go into Seattle, (2 hours away), so I get a lot of orders specifically for that. I priced it all out last year and it's quite a bit cheaper for me to make them myself in my spare time, than to buy them.

 

I have also been making them since I was about 9 or 10, my great aunt was a cake decorator, and taught me how to do sugar flowers, so I have had almost 30 years of practice.

Chellescakes Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 10:14pm

I make my own , it is what people usually come to me for and pay well for them. I also teach others to make them . 

I sell them to other decorators too. 

For me they are such a great joy to create something that mimics nature to the point where people will try to smell them thinking they are real. 

 

It does come down to what you enjoy doing and ultimately , if it is economical . 

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 10:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

I make my own, but I enjoy doing them, (I know, I'm a freak).

However, I pre-make most of them in large quantities in plain white, usually while I'm watching a movie. Then I just paint them to order, which only takes a couple minutes.

 

I'm one of the very few places that does sugar flowers around here, unless you go into Seattle, (2 hours away), so I get a lot of orders specifically for that. I priced it all out last year and it's quite a bit cheaper for me to make them myself in my spare time, than to buy them.

 

I have also been making them since I was about 9 or 10, my great aunt was a cake decorator, and taught me how to do sugar flowers, so I have had almost 30 years of practice.


Sigh, 20 years of practice, not 30. Apparently I am either terrible at math or I don't know how old I actually am!

costumeczar Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 10:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 


Sigh, 20 years of practice, not 30. Apparently I am either terrible at math or I don't know how old I actually am!

regardless, that's pretty cool for a kid to learn how to make them like that. I make them ahead of time in white, too, it's definitely the way to go.

Apti Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 4:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by didavista 

Apti, where do you purchase your flowers? Those are very pretty.


There is a nearby wholesale bakery supplier that sells to hobby bakers.  The DecoPac flowers were on steep sale, so I purchased 5 boxes ($7.50 per box), even though I had no idea when or if I'd use them.  I put two of the sprays together to create the center on the cake shown on page 1 of this thread.   I doubt I could even purchase the materials for $7.50, let alone spend the time to make them.  They are beautiful sprays, about 7-1/2" long x 4-1/2" wide x 2 or 3" high. 

 

I'd like to make 8x4" round cakes with very light pastel fondant that picks up the colors in the spray, a spray of flowers, and a bling ribbon border.  Simple, fast, pretty.

 

Here is a link to a photo of the DecoPac product I purchased:

 

http://www.decopac.com/detail_7074__8-44.html

 

This is what is written on each box of GP flower sprays: 

FDA REGISTERED

Ingredients:

Confectionary Powder Sugar

Tapioca Flour

Gelatine

Potassium Sorbate

May contain colors FD and C food colors

Caution:  Flower and bouquets are bound together with food grade safe aluminum wire and florist tape.

"Cake decoration is not edible but is safe for food contact.  Decoration contains non-edible wire material; Do not eat.  Do not remove decoration(s) from wire."

leah_s Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 4:34am

AMeh, ive been buying them for years. My time is more valuable to me. Heck I might want to take a nap.

bnbmom Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 9:39am

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

regardless, that's pretty cool for a kid to learn how to make them like that. I make them ahead of time in white, too, it's definitely the way to go.

I know this may be off topic, i was just wondering how do you color them if they want a red rose?

Do you air brush them or use dust?

Thanks for answers, this is a great idea:)

costumeczar Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 12:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnbmom 


I know this may be off topic, i was just wondering how do you color them if they want a red rose?

Do you air brush them or use dust?

Thanks for answers, this is a great idea:)

Depends on the color. Airbrushing is faster but the colors look different than dusting them. The dusts look more velvety, so if a flower needs to look waxier then the airbrushing would work. Sometimes I airbrush them them dust them after they dry to emphasize some of the tones.

bnbmom Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 4:44pm

AThank you, I will try this!

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