Bettys Cake Decorating Guide

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Using Cake Dowels and Pillars
in techniques and handy tips
Top 10 Pieces of Cake Decorating Equipment
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Top 10 Flower & Leaf Sugarpaste Cutters
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Child's Play: Simple Cake Decorating Ideas for Kids
in decorating ideas and designs
How to Create Beautiful Edible Roses
in techniques and handy tips
Beginners Guide to Cake Toppers
in techniques and handy tips
50 Easy Party Cakes by Debbie Brown

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  Home :: techniques & tips :: How to Create Beautiful Edible Roses

How to Create Beautiful Edible Roses

Creating stunning edible roses can be the holly grail of cake decorating and sugarcraft.  Edible roses really have the wow factor and give any cake the professional touch.

Beautiful and delicate, there’s no denying that making hand-made roses requires some skill, but perfecting the art of making edible roses is largely down to knowing the right techniques, practice and a bit of experimentation of your own.

This type of rose can even last up to six months stored in an airtight container with a bit of bubble wrap for protection.

Hand moulded roses are best made with gum paste and there are a few essential tools you’ll need too: 

  • A set of rose cutters in two corresponding sizes (PME do a great range)
  • A calyx cutter
  • A rose leaf cutter
  • A rose leaf veiner
  • A ball tool
  • A foam mat
  • A small sugarcraft rolling pin
  • Edible glue
  • A fine paint brush

You’ll also need cornflour, any edible colouring, cocktail sticks and something you can stick the cocktail sticks into (like polystyrene – cake dummies actually work really well) so your roses can dry without touching a surface.

Start by working your gum paste in your hands to warm it up a bit and improve elasticity, then add colour if you’d like to.  Next you need to make a central cone on which to build your rose.  Roll some gum paste into a cone shape a little smaller than your chosen petal cutter, then stick the base of the cone onto a toothpick and jab it into your polystyrene to dry overnight.  For larger roses we recommend using wires.

Not you need to make the rest of the petals.  Roll out a small piece of gum paste until it’s as thin as possible (it should start to go a little see through) and then cut out three petals with your cutter.  Then place your petals onto your foam mat and take your ball tool and run it firmly around all the sides of your petal.  Your petal will curl up a little at the edges, just like a real life rose petal.  Brush glue all around your gum paste cone and stick one of your petals to it.  The point should be at the base of the cone.  Wrap the gum paste petal around the cone, leaving just a tiny flap of gum paste not glued flat and bending back on itself a little.  You’ve just made a closed rose bud.

If you want to continue, glue your other two rose petals from the tip of the point to half way, then stick them onto the cone with the unglued areas of the petals flowing backwards on themselves.  Just manipulate and squeeze them into place.  Now you’ve made an open rose bud.

Repeat this with three more petals to form the next layer, with each petal overlapping the other slightly, working your way around the rose.  Now you’ve made a small rose.

If you’d like to make a large rose, take the next size up rose cutter and cut out five petals and use your ball tool in exactly the same way.  Some sugarcraft experts recommend drying the petals by placing them onto the inside of a teaspoon for 20 minutes or so, with the tips of the petals hanging over the top.  Others prefer to manipulate and mould them by hand or with a cocktail stick.  The aim is to get either side of the ends of the rose petals to curl back on themselves – just like a real rose.

To get the finished look you could also make a calyx and leaves for your rose.  Leave your rose to dry overnight first, then dye and roll out some green gum paste and cut out a calyx.  Paint your calyx with edible glue then push it over your cocktail stick and up onto your rose, sticking it firmly onto the bottom of your rose.  Use the same paste for your leaves and press your cut out leaf into your leaf veiner.  Leaves can be arranged alongside your rose on your cake or cupcakes using a small amount of royal icing.