Learn how to make the center of a tulip sugar paste flower from cake designer Amy Noelle in this Howcast cake decorating tutorial, part 1 of a 4-part series.
Tulips are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring and I want to show you how to create them in sugar. They’re made of a center and six petals that go all the way around. Let’s start with the center first.
The center is made up of one round piece of gum paste that I’ve rolled into a ball. I want to then roll it into a sausage shape, just maybe about an inch in length, maybe a little bit less.
I have a wire that I’ve hooked and I want to insert into the center of my sausage shape. In order to make sure that it sticks, I’ll dip it into a tiny bit of glue and brush off the extra. Insert it into my sausage shape and then I’ll roll down, leaving a bunch of gum paste in a ball at the very top.
Then I can go ahead and pinch around to form the lobes that we see at the top of the tulip center. I’m using a curved set of tweezers, but I pinch around three times to create some lobes. Roll that in between my hands and push down the gum paste and make sure that it adheres itself to the wire. Now leave this to rest overnight to dry.
Once it’s dried overnight, I’m ready to add the stamens. I can buy these stamens; they come in paper form from a craft store or a baking supply store. They start as white and I usually like to color them. When I want to paint my stamens, I make a mixture of a little bit of petal dust with some vodka in order to make almost like a water color.
Now, I use vodka because it evaporates quickly. So I can just take my paint brush and brush on the color. It evaporates quickly so I know that it will dry super-fast and I can go ahead and use it right away.
After I’ve painted them I’m ready to attach everything together. To do so, I need to have three of my paper stamens and my dry center. I fold my stamens in half because I really need six little pieces all the way around and I can insert my center in between, in the middle of all my stamens.
I want to secure them with floral tape. Now, when I’m using floral tape, I need to make sure to stretch it so that it gets sticky.
I take my piece, and using a little tab on one side, I’m going to fold that over and squish down the tape. Floral tape, pretty much, just sticks to itself so you want to rotate the wires and squish the tape; rotate the wires and squish the tape at the same time.
I can pinch off any extra that I have. And then go around and pull out my stamens, just to make sure that they form a nice circle all the way around the center of my flower. Now this can rest and I need to create some petals to add to it.