How to Make Sugar Paste Tulips

Written by katharineb
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How to Make Sugar Paste Tulips
Including tulips on a cake will lend it an air of spring, no matter the season outside. (red and yellow tulips image by Jorge Moro from

The tulip is a flower with a storied history, from the gardens of ancient Persia, where poets praised it beauty, to the "Tulip Mania" in 17th-century Netherlands, to their American rise to popularity in the mid-19th century with the planting of more than 600 species in the Linnaean Botanic Gardens on Long Island. A tulip flower reproduced in sugar paste can add a bold dash of shape and colour to a cake for a special occasion or to impress a dinner guest. A little practice will leave you ready not only to make more tulips, but to experiment with other sugar paste creations.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sugar paste
  • Food colouring
  • Parchment paper

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  1. 1

    Mix a drop or two of food colouring into the sugar paste until it is well-distributed throughout the paste before you begin forming the flowers.

  2. 2

    Shape the bases of your tulips. Between your palms, roll a ball of sugar paste about the diameter of a nickel. Let it dry for an hour. Repeat until you have as many bases as you need tulips.

  3. 3

    Pinch off more bits of sugar paste to form flat, nickel-sized portions. Working on the parchment paper, shape them to look like petals, flat but slightly concave. Each tulip should have about six petals. Continue to form petals until you have the appropriate number.

  4. 4

    Attach three petals to the base with a bit of water so that they are equidistant from each other. Layer the next three petals over the first three to create a staggered effect, forming the cup shape of the tulip. Repeat for each tulip.

  5. 5

    Allow the flowers to dry for at least an hour. They are now ready to decorate cakes, cookies, or whatever else you have in mind.

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