Easy Gum Paste Sugar Roses [Tutorial]

Alrighty!  It’s taken me long enough to get back on here with a tutorial… BUT FINALLY, I am here!

I’ve been wanting to post a tutorial for making sugar roses for a while, but there are a bunch of different ways to do them… And I wasn’t sure which one to post first.  After some debate, I decided on this one, to start:  An easy, whimsical rose for pretty girly cakes.

This is an ideal rose to make if you are wanting something faster than regular gum paste roses, and/or if you don’t have the proper cutters for making them.  This just uses a simple, round cookie cutter – so not too fancy, or expensive.  Also, typically gum paste roses are made in several phases, making and wiring a center, letting it dry, then moving on to petals, one at a time… Whereas these roses are made of 2-6 petals total (rather than 18-25), and there is no center to make ahead of time.  So the finished roses are much, much quicker to make.  The final product, granted, does not look like a real rose, as traditional gum paste roses do… But they are cute and have a unique charm all their own!

This tutorial is dedicated to my Austrian friend, Bettina Graf, who once asked me if I would teach her how to make sugar roses.  Without her request, I might not be posting this.  So thank you Bettina!

Here’s what you’ll need to make them!

 – Gum paste, tinted to the colour of your choice (depending on how many you want to make – I used a ball of gum paste, a little larger than the size of a golf ball, to make about 12 roses, various sizes)
 – 1″-1.5″ diameter round cookie cutter
 – Small spatula or sharp knife
 – Cell stick
 – Frill tool (you can also use a ball tool, or the edge of a cell stick)
 – Small rolling pin
 – Cornstarch/icing sugar, for dusting (either/or, or a mixture of the two)
 – Foam mat
 – Shortening 

First, knead the gum paste until smooth and pliable; then using a toothpick, add bits of colour, and knead until well combined and smooth.  
Tip: Keep gum paste covered with plastic at all times that you are not using it – it will dry quickly when exposed to the air!
Roll the gum paste out on a surface greased with a bit of shortening, until it’s quite thin (about 1/8″ or so).  Then, cut out circles, and remove the trimmings from around them.  Wrap up the trimmings in plastic, and cover the circles in plastic as well, careful to keep them sealed from air exposure.  

One at a time, remove the circles from underneath the plastic to make the roses.  Dust the surface of your foam with cornstarch, pat your frill tool on the cornstarch as well, and begin frilling the edge of the circle, moving the frill tool back and forth along the edge until it is very thin.

Next, using the small spatula or knife, cut the circle in half and stretch it out with your fingers a bit until it is the shape of a snow pea.
Tip:  When making roses, especially the outside petals of the larger ones, bending and shaping the cut pieces of gum paste into a crescent shape will help the petals frill and stand out a little better than if they remain in a long, snow pea shape, as pictured below.  Be careful when you do this, though!  Be gentle, or the gum paste will tear.
Begin making your rose by curling a piece of gum paste, frilled side up, into a spiral, as in the picture below.  Wrap this into a neat rose bud, and leaving a little bit of the first petal loose, tuck the next petal inside the edge and seal it, continuing wrapping the rose into a spiral.  
Tip:  If you lightly moisten the edge of the petal with water, the rose will stick together better.  DO NOT MAKE IT WET – Just damp will do the trick nicely.

Continue wrapping petals around until the rose is your desired size.

Different sizes of roses:

Rose Bud:  2 petals (1 circle)
Medium Rose:  4 petals (2 circles)
Large Rose: 6 petals (3 circles)

Tip:  As you are getting to the outside petals, tucking the base of the petal in, or creasing it slightly, will make a wider, more open rose on the top, and give it a bit of a ruffle.  See the pictures below for an example of how you can crease the petal at the base to give it more of a ruffled look on top.  Make sure to crease it every 1/4″ or so, all the way around – Not just in once place.

Again, for larger roses, bending the ruffled strips of gum paste into a crescent shape will make the petals stand out better, as will tucking and creasing the petals at the base as you go.  You can also use a cell stick, while creating the rose, as well as at the end of the process, to separate and bend the petals into the shape you’d like them to be.

Here’s another example of a rose with that I made, tucking and creasing the base of the petals to create the ruffled, open look.

When your roses are done, gently press the base onto a flat surface, and allow them to rest overnight to dry.

Every rose will, and should, look different!  So pretty…

Use your homemade sugar roses to decorate cakes, cupcakes, or whatever you can think of to make your desserts extra sweet and pretty.

I hope this tutorial was easy to follow and helpful!  Feel free to leave questions in the comments, or if you make them… I’d love to hear how they turn out!  You can also share photos on my Facebook page; I’d LOVE to see what you create!
Back soon,

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