My Very First Wedding Cake: Fondant Roses

On April 13, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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I was going to try and do this cake decorating tutorial in one post, but it would be 27,000, 962 miles long  :)  and load so slowly for you with all the pictures, that I am going to spread it over several days and do individual tutorials for each decorating step we tried, whether we […]

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roses for cakes

I was going to try and do this cake decorating tutorial in one post, but it would be 27,000, 962 miles long  :)  and load so slowly for you with all the pictures, that I am going to spread it over several days and do individual tutorials for each decorating step we tried, whether we used it in the final product or not.  I made many varieties of flowers, both for practice and for the actual wedding cake, in the process of learning these techniques.  Plus, the Jr. High Youth Group, from our church, recently did a fundraiser to help defray the costs of our upcoming summer mission trip.  The fundraiser was a dessert auction (Remind me to tell you about it later.  It was an absolutely fabulous and fun way to raise money for a great cause.)  My first fondant flowers were used on a couple cakes for that auction.

chocolate cakes decorated

The two cakes I baked for the dessert auction. I did calla lilies and some little lavender spring flower on one and then did leaves and what reminded me of wild roses, on the second one.

chocolate cake with fondant flowers

Another view of the cakes for the auction. The fondant flowers on them were my very first attempts. As with each new thing I tried with fondant, I learned that rolling it thinner, produced a much more realistic product.

Let it be said, from the start, that I could never have accomplished these beautiful flowers without some great tools from Wilton.  Many were included in the Ultimate Decorating Set, I recently reviewed.  Others were part of

Wilton's Ultimate Decorating Set

My final confession, before showing you the easy steps for creating beautiful fondant roses is that I switched to a  different point and shoot camera, recently, and have had terrible problems with my photo quality, in our poorly lit (flourescent) kitchen; so I have to apologize from the outset that these photos are not as clear as I would like.  I will be switching back to my Canon Rebel for still shots I share with you AND I have decided that the only realistic way for me to do useful tutorials is to put my video camera on a tripod and have both hands free to work, instead of trying to snap one-handed photos with my left hand.  :)  So, tonight I will use the photos I have to show you some of the ways I have used fondant flowers in the past few weeks and specifically how to create a fondant rose.  Then, over this coming weekend, I hope to video the simple steps to create other flower varieties and post those for you, along with the technique for creating lace on the surface of your cakes.

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Fondant Roses Tutorial

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  • Step 1:You only need a few basic tools to make pretty roses for your cakes and desserts.  The fondant rolling pin, forming cup, angled paint brush, thin foam and modeling stick were all included in the Wilton Ultimate Decorating Set.  The small, medium and large petal cutters were from my own Wilton Floral Collection Gum Paste Flower Making Set.  And of course you will need a small amount of fondant.  I added a tiny container of clear water and that’s it!

    Tools for making fondant roses.

  • Step 2:Roll the fondant until it is thin enough that the petals will resemble real flower petals.  I found that less than 1/8 inch is best.  Take care to try and make sure the fondant is rolled to a uniform thickness, so your petals will be consistent.  For a rose you will need to cut 4 small petals, 5 medium petals and 7 large petals.

    Fondant cut for making roses.

    Fondant petals cut for making a rose.

  • Step 3: Roll a small ball of fondant and then narrow one end into a rounded point, to form a cone. Set it aside for a bit while you work on petals.

    fondant base for rose

    This cone of fondant is the base of your rose.

  • Step 4: Using the side of the modeling stick, roll one half of each petal to thin and “ruffle” that side.

    Use the edge of the modeling stick and roll down one side of each petal, being careful to keep the end of the stick along the halfway point on the petal. This will create a thin ruffly edge and the other side will still be the original thickness.

    A rose petal pressed and ruffled. (I went over the halfway point on that one. It still worked fine.)

  • Step 5:To attach the petals (start with the 4 small ones) and begin forming the flower, dip the paint brush in water.  Tap off most of the excess.  You want it damp, but not dripping.  Moisten the thick (unrolled) side of each petal.

    Attach each petal to the fondant cone. Place the first petal, point side down, against the cone (which is point side up) and gently press to seal it along the edge where you brushed the water.

  • Step 6: Repeat this process with the other three small petals, until all are attached around the circumference of the cone.

    Start the second row using the medium petals.

    Step 7: Continue working around the flower, attaching each of the 5 medium petals.  I used the pointed end of the modeling stick to gently lift petals away from the bud if the were sticking down further than I wanted them and the rounded end of the modeling stick to curl the top edges of petals back a bit.

    The center bud with all 5 medium rose petals attached.

  • Step 8: You will add the last row of petals around your flower, by attaching the 7 large petals you have prepared.  A few times, if the rose was not as full as I wanted, I added one or two extra petals.  Once all petals have been attached and you have used the modeling stick to shape them as you want them to lay, allow the rose to air dry in the forming cup.  The curved bottom and sides on the cup helps the rose to hold its shape.

    A few of my finished fondant roses. I did make one fondant rose for the final wedding cake that sat in the center of the calla lilies.

My First Wedding Cake: Part 3

On April 6, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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I won’t get to post the how-to tutorial, until Thursday or Friday, but I wanted to share pictures of the finished product with you, this afternoon.  Using some fantastic tools from Wilton, I was able to make our daughter’s wedding cake.  It was a beautiful success, fairly simple to complete and helped us keep this […]

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I won’t get to post the how-to tutorial, until Thursday or Friday, but I wanted to share pictures of the finished product with you, this afternoon.  Using some fantastic tools from Wilton, I was able to make our daughter’s wedding cake.  It was a beautiful success, fairly simple to complete and helped us keep this wedding under our $2000 budget.  Yes, we managed a frugal and yet, wonderful wedding at less than 1/10 the national average for weddings.  I’ll be sharing some of our tips in a later post.  ( If you missed my first two posts with the fantastic white cake recipe and the decorating of the sheet cakes, be sure to check those out, too. )  Be watching for those,  and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these snapshots of the cake I baked for our daughter and son-in-law’s wedding celebration.  (Right click your mouse on either photo and select View Image to see the pictures full-size.)  We were very fortunate to have such a great photographer, Mary Hubbard, from Breaking the Surface Photography.  She creates exceptional photo memories at an affordable price.  I highly recommend her services.

lavender lace wedding cake

The wedding cake I baked and decorated for our daughter's wedding. Photo is published by permission and copyright © Mary Hubbard at Breaking the Surface Photography 2011.

top layer of wedding cake

A closeup of the top layer, fondant flowers and lace detail. Photo is used by permission and copyright © Mary Hubbard at Breaking the Surface Photography 2011.

My Very First Wedding Cake: Part Two (and Our Wilton Giveaway Winner)!

On April 5, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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First things first.  I know you have all been patiently waiting for the announcement of the winner in our Wilton Wedding Cake giveaway. Preparing for the wedding took me right through the deadline date without selecting the winner, so I don’t want to make you anticipate any longer.  The lucky reader who will be receiving: […]

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First things first.  I know you have all been patiently waiting for the announcement of the winner in our Wilton Wedding Cake giveaway. Preparing for the wedding took me right through the deadline date without selecting the winner, so I don’t want to make you anticipate any longer.  The lucky reader who will be receiving:

  1. Performance Pans™ Round Pan Set, 3 in. Deep
  2. Decorator Preferred® Bakeware Heating Core
  3. Wilton Wedding Cakes – A Romantic Portfolio

is #185, Susie Lee Weiner, who said in her comment,
“like Busy-at-Home on fb as susan wiener. swiener1[at]tampabay.rr.com
Congratulations, Susie!  You have been sent an email with instructions for receiving your prize!
Please reply within 48 hours, so Wilton can ship it right out to you!

Well, it’s done.  The months and weeks of practice, planning and preparation culminated in a beautiful wedding day, Saturday.  I spent most of Sunday and Monday just relaxing and soaking in the reality of this newest chapter in our family story.  Our daughter and son-in-law climbed into the moving truck, headed for California on Sunday morning, and I am slowly reclaiming those areas of my home that were overrun by powdered sugar, fondant, fresh flowers and myriad wedding prep necessities.  What a glorious weekend!  What a bittersweet send-off.  What an exciting new journey is just beginning for two of our most loved people.  God is truly good!

I have, as you can imagine, been occupied with all things wedding these past two weeks and most especially with my task as wedding cake baker and decorator — a responsibility that gave me both great excitement and exceptional fear.  :)  I am happy to say that bride, groom and guests were very pleased with the results and I will classify my first experience with wedding cakes a success.  I attribute that in no small part to the fabulous Wilton baking and decorating tools that I have been reviewing and the ones I already personally own.  I have been a Wilton fan for years and so my personal collection of their kitchen tools is fairly extensive.  Add to that the use of the Ultimate Decorating Kit, Wilton Preferred Round Cake Pans (3″ deep), the Wilton Heat Core and Wilton’s beautiful wedding cake book filled with decorating tips and instructions, all sent for our review here at Busy-at-Home, and my chances for a beautiful outcome were multiplied exponentially!

Wilton sheet cake pan

Wilton Decorator Preferred Sheet Pan

I baked and decorated nine, 12 x 18 sheet cakes, in addition to the wedding cake.  I baked the sheet cakes in Wilton’s  Decorator Preferred Sheet Cake Pans. I love, love, love these extra thick aluminum baking pans.  They distribute heat more evenly, meaning your finished products will bake and brown more evenly.  Beautiful!!!  The extra thick aluminum means no warping in the oven and the hand-formed edges make lifting and carrying the pans a breeze!  They are 2″ deep and are covered by a Lifetime Warranty.  I cut 24 extremely generous pieces from each pan and most people were shocked at the size of the servings, so you could easily get  28-30, if you cut them slightly smaller.  Ours was a simple cake and punch reception, so I opted for larger servings of cake.

Wilton Ready-to-Use Fondant

Wilton Ready-to-Use Rolled Fondant

To decorate the sheet cakes, I tinted Wilton Ready-to-Use Rolled Fondant, purchased at our local Wal-Mart.  Our daughter had a spring colors theme for her wedding and so we tinted some of the fondant lavender, some peach, and left some white.   I’m sure I used less than one pound in total to create the leaves and flowers for all nine sheet cakes.   It required very small amounts of Wilton Orange and Violet Icing Colors to achieve the pastel tints I wanted.  Once the fondant was colored, by kneading the color into the fondant, I sprinkled a light coating of cornstarch on the counter and rolled each color into a very thin sheet (less than 1/8 inch).  I was fortunate to have the fondant roller included in Wilton’s Ultimate Decorating Set.  It comes with bands that allow you to roll any dough or fondant to a uniform thickness.  Since I wanted the flowers to be even less than 1/8 inch I removed the bands and rolled it by “feel”.

Wilton Ultimate Decorating Set

Fabulous Wilton Ultimate Decorating Set we have been so excited to test and review.

Once the fondant was rolled, I used the smallest pink flower cutter, also included in the Ultimate Decorating Set and cut 220 of each flower color.  I did each color separately, as I didn’t want the first ones cut to dry before I had a chance to shape them.  To shape these simple posies, I used the rounded end of the thin modeling stick and the foam block, both included with the Ultimate Decorating Set.  I placed each fondant flower onto the foam and using the modeling stick, pressed an indentation into the center, which automatically turned up the petals, to give the flowers a dimensional shape.

cutting out fondant flowers

Cutting the peach fondant into tiny flowers for the sheet cakes.

shaping fondant flowers

Pressing centers and shaping fondant flowers on Wilton's Thick Foam block with their Thin Modeling Stick.

fondant posies

Freshly shaped fondant flowers.

peach fondant flowers drying

I allowed the fondant posies to dry on the two Wave Flower Formers included in the Ultimate Decorating Set. These formers were critically important when drying larger flowers for the actual wedding cake.

I simply repeated this process for both the lavender and white flowers.  The leaves were formed using a small petal cutter that I owned previously.  It’s part of Wilton’s Floral Collection Flower Making Set.  I rolled and cut the leaves in the same way as the flowers.  Then I used the “shell-shaped” end of the green ball tool to imprint “veins” into the leaves and allowed them to dry as well.

The sheet cakes were baked using the same Perfect White Wedding Cake recipe that I shared with you in the first wedding cake post.  One recipe filled one 12 x 18 pan.  When the cakes were cooled I used Wilton’s simple Butter Cream Icing recipe.  I won’t repost the recipe for you here, since you can get it easily at their site and the only variation I made was to use Bourbon Vanilla in place of the clear Vanilla.  The flavor is outrageously delicious!

After icing the sheet cakes, I lightly scored the frosting to show where I wanted the cake cuts to be made, which created the framework for laying out the flower decorations.  The cakes were moist and delicious with extreme vanilla flavor.  The icing was rich and vanilla-ey and the perfect canvas for the fondant decorations.  Guests raved about the taste and loved the decorations.  What do you think?

decorated sheet cake

One of the finished sheet cakes. Pretend you don't see that thumb-print I had to smooth back out, after moving it. :)

decorated sheetcake closeup

Closeup of finished sheet cake. I filled a decorator bag from the Ultimate Decorating Set with butter cream icing and used the second smallest round tip, tip #2, to pipe in little dot centers in each of the flowers.

A yummy slice of moist, dense, intensely vanilla sheet cake ready to be served at the wedding.

There’s one more wedding cake post coming.  It’s going to have tons of larger, more intricate flowers, a cool “lace” decorating technique and lots of pictures.  This next picture is just a teaser and to let you have a peek at the finished product we took to the wedding reception.

cake topper

A quick "teaser" peek of the wedding cake top.

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