Multi-dimensional Sugarwork Cake Tutorial

Learn the techniques used by two-time cover cakemaker Anna Craig on her multi-dimensional sugarwork ranunculus cake, as seen on the cover of Volume 4, Issue 7 of Cake Central Magazine. Check out Anna’s gumpaste ranunculus flower tutorial here.

Photos by Barnett Photography

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Coffee stir stick

Corsage pins

Drinking straw

Gel color, violet, yellow, pink, moss green, electric green, white, leaf green

Paint brushes in various sizes

Paint palette


Wilton flower spikes


1. To start, plan the layout of flowers on the cake; place corsage pins where you would like the gumpaste flowers to go.

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2. Put gel colors into a palette, leaving empty spots to mix custom colors and shades. You may need to add a drop or two of vodka to thin them out.

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3. Start painting the first flower. Do the outline first, one petal at a time. It is ok if some of your painted flowers end up hiding a little bit behind the gumpaste flowers.

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4. Using a different shade start the next layer of petals, work your way towards the center. You can blend colors as you go. Use different sizes of brushes; thinner brushes give petals more definition.

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5. For a daisy, use a medium width brush and make each petal by dragging the brush from the outside towards the center.

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6. Once all of the petals are done you can use white on the inside of the flower near the center.


7. Continue to paint flowers on the cake, different sizes and views (straight on or side views) add interest.


8. Now you can paint stems, leaves and centers onto the flowers. Use different shades of green and white to make it look more realistic. A thin brush works best.

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9. Apply a simple border if you choose.


10. Gumpaste flowers can now be added. Flower wires should never be put directly into the cake. Use spikes, drinking straws or coffee stir sticks. If the flower is loose within the spike add a little royal icing to help “glue” it in.

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11. Place the flowers where you had pre-planned with the pins.

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12. If you aren’t happy with the flower layout at this point, it isn’t too late to paint more on. Repeat steps 3 to 9.

Congratulations on creating a multi-dimensional sugarwork cake!

Comments (7)


What type of gel paint do you use when painting? I have used Americolor gels with vodka to thin it out and it always seems to leave a sticky appearance instead of a painted, smooth look. Do you have any pointers?



I haven't tried this but someone said you can use airbrush colors to paint with a brush.  Maybe try it on a little sample before you use it on your cake.  Good  luck.