Sugar flowers for beginners

Written by aileen clarkson
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Sugar flowers for beginners
Confectionery art originated in England in the 19th century. (Chocolat image by Patrick.Lenoble from

Sculpted by hand, sugar flowers are used to decorate cakes, cupcakes or cookies. Very realistic sugar flowers take practice and special tools, but even the basic variety add a personal touch to your baked goods.

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Sugar flowers are made of gum paste, an edible (though not necessarily tasty) dough. Gum paste consists of confectioner's sugar, egg whites, shortening, food colouring and tylose, a thickening agent sold at cake shops or online.

How They Are Made

The ingredients are combined and allowed to rest overnight. The dough has a long shelf life, up to several weeks. After the rest period, the dough is kneaded and rolled out thin. Flower stamps or cutters can be used to trim out the shapes, or they can be cut out freehand. Leaves to adorn the flowers can be designed in the same way.

Final Touches

After the flowers have thoroughly dried, a coloured chalk called petal dust is used to add additional colour and variations. The non-toxic petal dust is combined with water or vodka, then painted on the petals or leaves with a fine paintbrush.

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