When it comes to cakes, master sugar artist and ICEs hall of famer Ruth Rickey has done it all, from home baking, to managing an award-winning supermarket bakery, to owning her own retail shop in Oklahoma City, OK. Today, as an instructor, demonstrator and competition judge, Rickey shares her passion for all things cakes with classes across the country. Here are a few tips she shares for creating gumpaste flowers that are as simple to make as they are beautiful – and profitable – for your cake business.
- Lily center: Roll a small teardrop of paste and place onto a 26, 28 or 30 gauge wire, depending on the size of the cutter. Add pre-made lily stamens (you will need one stamen per petal). Tape the stamens around the center of the lily and dust as you like.
- Cut out three larger petal pieces from white paste. Vein and soften with a ball tool. Cut out three thinner pieces and do the same. Again, dust as you see fit. Tape the three larger petals around the outside of the center. Tape the three thinner petals between other petals.
- Make a tiny elongated teardrop, curving slightly. Dust yellow. Dampen, then roll in a mixture of Knox gelatin mixed with yellow food powder for the “pollen.” The crystal-like gelatin will create a realistic texture for the pollen.
- Cut out one tiny rose petal. Widen the base of the rose petal (the curved side) slightly with your ball tool on a petal pad. With the point to the top, wrap the petal around the center, forming the calla lily. Dust as you like.
- Alternate: Use a calla lily cutter to make the outer petal. Vein with a calla lily or peace lily veiner, then follow other instructions on Step 2 above.
- Thinly roll out green paste. Pick up the piece of paste and turn over on your mat. Line up 30 or 33 gauge wires, spaced evenly, then fold over the edge of the paste so that the wires are sandwiched between the two layers of paste. Roll over the sandwich lightly with your rolling pin.
- Cut out leaves with a leaf cutter, and make sure that the wire goes most of the way up the tip of each leaf – but not completely. Pull away any excess paste. Vein each leaf and soften with a ball tool. Crease down the center; shape and allow to dry.