This video link includes a tutorial I had conducted for CakeFlix TV on the Art of Sugar Flower Arrangement.
The first decision to make when you decide to use Sugar flowers in your arrangement or cake decoration is to visualize the end result. Once you have done that, there are many more sub-decisions that need to be made:
- What Flowers to make – Life-like or Fantasy?
- What Colour scheme to use – monochromatic, pastels, harmonious, contrasting?
- How many – depending on – time available, client specification, style chosen – contemporary or traditional
- How many tiers?
- How do you decorate the tiers?
- How to arrange the flowers?
What Type of Flowers to make?
Life-like | Ranunculus, Moth Orchid, Passion Flower, Rose, Gladiolus, ...
Colour Schemes to Use
What Colour scheme to use – monochromatic, pastels, harmonious, contrasting?
Usually the real colours of nature are used for flowers and leaves – however at times liberties are taken to match them with the colour scheme decided for the whole cake composition.
Sweetness of Subtlety with Monochromatic colours - Monochromatic sprays are deceptively simple yet can be very striking – to create visual interest use flowers of different sizes and textures.
Harmonious colours - Yellow, orange for warm spray and blue and greens for a cool, sophisticated spray. It is best not to use all the colours in full strength as it may look too gaudy
Pastel colours - these look very pleasing to the eye. Using pastel coloured flowers enables us to use colours together that might otherwise clash with each other.
Don’t be afraid to make a bold statement!
Contrasting complimentary colours - Contrasting flower arrangements provide a very strong visual contrast and produce interesting and eye catching schemes .Its best not to use equal colours of contrasting colours in a spray – instead let a few colours “pop” up against the contrasting ones.
Arranging Flowers - Traditional
There are various styles of arranging sugar flowers – Traditional styles include –using elaborate sprays, bouquets, cascades and spiral arrangements
Cascades and spiral arrangements: The internal structure has to be very strong – it is voluminous at the bottom and thinning as we go upwards . While planning for such arrangements we can use tooth picks as guidelines which can be removed later .
Bouquets: These are lush and thick in the middle and taper towards the ends.
An important thing to remember here is, since a lot of flowers and foliage is used for such arrangements; the internal structure of the cake should be very secure and strong so that the weight of the arrangement does not cause it to collapse.
Arranging Flowers - Contemporary
Clusters – creating two or more focal points . two or three clusters of flowers are arranged at different levels for a softer elegant feel.
Embracing Movement and Harmony
- Create movement to give a more natural look to your arrangement- right from when you make the leaves and petals to the final stage where giving a slight bend to the stem will enhance the visual appeal of your entire arrangement.
- Soften your composition by adding more movement using twisted twigs, wires, paper strings, tendrils out of floral tape etc.
Bring in Harmony - Pick a colour from your cake or embellishment and use the same colour for your flowers to bring harmony to your entire composition and to tie the whole composition together
Separators are used between tiers and the flowers are arranged on this before they are placed on the cake – these add a lot of drama elegance and oomph to the whole composition – making people wonder how the heavy cakes are floating on top of the delicate and fragile flowers.
Assembling Flowers on the Cake
- Straws can used for food safety purpose – place a little higher than the cake surface so that it can be removed easily later
- Royal icing can be used as cement for securing the flowers.
- Individual flowers can be placed and the arrangement can be built up ; or the spay can be arranged before inserting it into the cake.
- Always use a plier or tweezer to place flowers to avoid breaking the other flowers and to get into narrow areas.
- Make sure to cover the areas where the wire is showing with leaves or fillers
- Do not leave any wires exposed ! always cover with non toxic floral tape – some cover with cling wrap or even with tooth pick.
- Do not make the wire too short else it will tear the cake or fall off –especially while placing it to the side or at an angle on the cake.
- Always start with the biggest flower or the focal flower .this should be slightly above the rest .always fill the gaps so that least wires are visible .
- Do not leave the wire exposed ! so that even if the wire is visible it resembles a twig.
Variety is the Spice of life!
Embrace variety in your arrangements to create points of interest using various different textures, colours etc.