I made these gum paste butterfly cake decorations for a butterfly wedding cake. I made lots of these decorations, in three different sizes, dusted them in violet food color, and combined them with gum paste hydrangea flowers to decorate a 3 tier wedding cake.
Though the decorations look like a lot of work, once you get into the process of making them, it will be pretty fast and the results absolutely gorgeous!
How to Make Gum Paste Butterfly Cake Decorations
These were the main supplies I used to make the gum paste butterflies decorations:
- Gum paste - I used Satin Ice gum paste in white. I love using Satin Ice gum paste. It can be rolled thin and dries well, making it easy to work with.
- Butterfly cutters - For this particular cake decorating project, I wanted to have lots of butterflies decorations for the cake. Since it was a 3 tier cake, I decided to make the gum paste butterflies in 3 different sizes. The largest ones for the largest and bottom tier, the medium ones for the second tier and the smallest butterflies for the top tier. I have a number of butterflies cutters, and these were the ones I used for this project:
- Cardboard - I am listing this as one of the supplies for making gum paste butterflies because indeed it is a crucial one. I used the cardboard to hold the butterflies' wings in a natural folded position until they are dried.
- Food color - This dust is used to color the butterflies. I used Squires Kitchen Violet to color the butterflies. Dark purple was the theme for the cake I was decorating. Plus, it matches the hydrangea flowers that were also used as part of the butterfly wedding cake decorations too.
And here is how you make the butterflies:
- First of all, prepare the cardboards for drying the butterflies. To do this, take a piece of rectangle cardboard and fold it into a "W" shape. I folded mine down the center and then folded both ends of the sides in the opposite direction to form the "W".
Cutting the gum paste
- Once the cardboards are ready, start on the butterflies. Roll the gum paste thin. When working with gum paste, it is always advisable to do it in batches. This will avoid the gum paste from drying out while working on it.
- Dust a little cornflour on the gum paste and placed your butterfly cutter on it. Press it firmly, and without lifting it, rub it across your work table. This is to make sure the gum paste butterfly is completely detached from the rest of the rolled paste.
- At this point, the cutout butterfly would detach automatically from the cutter (since there is cornflour). However, should that not happen as the case below, use a needle tool to gently remove the butterfly from the cutter. To do this, I normally poke the side of the cutout and pull it out gently until a small corner of the butterfly wing is detached from the cutter.
- Slide the needle tool as shown and gently remove the rest of the butterfly from the cutter.
Shaping and setting the butterflies
- Once the gum paste butterfly is completely detached, gently lift the butterfly and position it on the folded cardboard. In doing this, make sure the butterfly body is positioned right in the center of the fold. Leave the butterfly aside (overnight) for it to dry completely.
- Once the butterflies decorations are all set and firm, remove them from the cardboard for dusting.
Coloring the butterflies
- I used a medium sized brush and violet food powder.
- Since I wanted the color to be prominent in the middle and fade off as it moves towards the end of the wings, I dipped the brush into the color and started by dusting the butterflies' bodies. I then gradually moved towards the end of the wings.
- This was how one of the butterflies looked like with the center colored.
- Next is the butterflies' outline. To do this. you can use the same brush, dip it in the dust very lightly, and gently apply the dust on the sides of the wings, as shown.
- And this was how one of the butterflies looked like upon completion of the coloring process.
And here are a few close up views of one of my larger butterflies:
Completed gum paste butterfly cake decorations
- Here is how the large and medium butterflies looked like after dusting:
Since the butterflies were not wired, I attached them to the cake with some fondant glue. You can also use shortening but I prefer fondant glue as I wanted to butterflies to be totally secured to the cake.
And that was how I made gum paste butterfly cake decorations for a butterfly wedding cake.
Hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial on how to make gum paste butterfly cake decorations.
Happy cake decorating!