Gum paste is made of sugar, gelatin and starch. Cake decorators use the paste to create realistic flowers and fruits. You can make gum paste yourself, or buy it packaged at your local craft store. Gardenia flowers represent love and purity, which is why decorators use them on wedding cakes. Making gum paste gardenias will require time and effort, but the results are rewarding.
Add your desired colour to the gum paste with dye. Apply icing paste to dye the gardenias. Gardenias generally are white or pale yellow. You will need to add the colour slowly, and knead the paste gently with your hands until it is well blended.
Ensure that you mix all the colour into the gum paste evenly. The paste will feel like modelling clay when kneaded properly.
Use a rolling pin to flatten the gum paste on a clean counter. Roll the gum paste to 1/4 of an inch thick.
Cut the gum paste with a pizza cutter or sharp knife to form the flower petals. You will need 5 to 12 petals for each gardenia that are no larger than 2 to 4 1/2 inches in diameter to make your flower appear realistic.
Use a picture of a gardenia flower to help you shape the flower petals. The gardenia petals slant to one side and resemble a spinning pinwheel. The edges of the flower appear jagged with 2 to 3 points or bumps on each end. Try using your hands to finish shaping the petals.
Place the flower petals together to create the gardenia. Pinch the bottom of the petals together to attach the petals securely.
Create the centre of the gardenia. If the petals are white, remove a small section of the gum paste and dye it yellow. Roll the gum paste into a ball and slightly roll it between your hands to create a cylinder-shape for the stamen. Make several smaller versions of the petals to place around the stamen to create the flower's centre.
Let the flowers dry before attaching them to a cake. Consider placing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them for decorating.
Gum paste dries quickly. If it begins to crack while making the gardenia flowers, simply add a drop of water to the paste to keep it moist.