Keen to learn how to make gum paste poppies for cake decoration? This page will teach you how to make the flowers with step by step instructions and pictures.
Each petal in this flower is individually wired. That enables the petals to be adjusted to the right opening for the flowers.
How to Make Gum Paste Poppies
These are the main supplies required to make gum paste poppies:
- Gum paste - I used store-bought Satin Ice gum paste. It can be rolled really thin and sets well.
- Floral wire - As I mentioned earlier, each petal in these gum paste poppies is wired. The size of the wire should not be too thin either too thick. I used 24 gauge wire.
- Black thread - I used normal black thread here. This is of course not edible, but since the flower itself is wired, the entire flower is not edible. So the use of thread as part of the flower is fine.
- Round cutters in 2 sizes, the small cutter for inner petals, and the larger cutter for outer petals.
- Green petal dust & dusting brush
- Flower forming cups
- Fondant glue
- Floral tape
- Cake decorating tweezers
- Long nose pliers
And this is how I formed the gum paste poppies:
Flower centers - black thread:
- I started with the flower center. To make the centers, I looped the black thread around 2 of my fingers about 40 to 50 times.
- And then I removed it from my fingers and twisted a floral wire in the center. This left a small tip of the floral wire pointing upwards as shown.
- I then cut both sides of the loop.
- Using a pair of long nose pliers, I twisted the shorter end of the earlier floral wire to form a small loop. This loop is to secure the gum paste poppies flower center later.
- And then I adjusted the cut thread to make it evenly distributed, as shown. I am using a flower former here (which is why you don't see the floral wire at the bottom).
Gum paste poppies flower centers - green gum paste:
- Next, I took a small piece of white gum paste and shaped it into a small marble-sized ball. Using a pair of tweezers, I pinched 6 thin lines as shown.
- And then I brushed a little edible glue on the looped end of the earlier floral wire and attached the flower center to it. Once done, I left it aside to dry completely. This is the flower center.
- Once the gum paste has dried completely, I dusted it with green petal dust. The reason I waited until it has dried completely is firstly, to not leave any brush marks on the gum paste (the brush bristles can leave marks if the gum paste is still soft). Secondly, to make sure the gum paste center has securely attached to the wire.
- Brushing while it is still wet can cause the centre to move and not been perfectly centred anymore. Here was how the centre looked like after dusting. It is also important to finish the dust work before adding on any petals on the flower as this would ensure none of the green dust settles on the gum paste poppies petals.
Forming the petals
- Once the center was done, I moved on to make the gum paste poppies petals. Each flower had 5 petals and therefore, I used 5 floral wires for each flower. And each of these wires was looped on one end each with the long nose pliers. The loops help hold the wire in the gum paste more securely as compared to when it's not.
- To start making the gum paste poppies petals, I took a small piece of gum paste and shaped it into a sausage. I then dipped the looped-end of the floral wire into some edible glue and inserted it into the gum paste, as shown.
- And then I placed the gum paste onto my rolling mat and rolled it thin (not too thin at this stage as too much rolling will result in the wire coming off. And there will be more rolling in the steps below, so at this stage, the gum paste should not be too thin).
Cutting the petals
- Next, I placed my round cutter on the rolled gum paste such that the floral wire ended somewhere in the center of the circle. I then cut the circle out.
- At this stage, the wire blocked my round cutter from cutting all the way through the gum paste and when I removed the excess gum paste, I had to carefully pull the gum paste away at the wire.
- After that, I rolled the gum paste again. This time, I rolled it sideways as shown. In rolling the gum paste this time, I made sure not to roll the center of the cutout gum paste where the floral wire has been inserted. This is to make sure the gum paste does not become too thin where the wire is or else it could result in the wire cutting out through the gum paste.
Thinning and veining the gum paste poppies petals
- To make the petals more realistic, I frilled the sides by using my small rolling pin against my fingers. You can also use a ball tool to thin the edges like I did for my gum paste roses here.
- Next, I used my veining tool and rolled it lightly on the frilled petal to imprint veins onto the poppy petal.
- I repeated the same steps to create another small petal and 3 larger petals. I then left all the petals to dry completely in a flower former. All these 5 petals were for one gum paste poppy flower.
- Once the petals were completely dried and set, I assembled the poppy flower. To assemble the flower, I used floral tape to secure the 2 small petals to the flower center.
- And then I taped the remaining 3 large petals underneath the smaller petals earlier, adjusting them as I tape to make sure they are well distributed. Since the gum paste poppies petals were individually wired, I could still do adjustments after the taping process has been completed.
And that is how I make my gum paste poppies.
Hope you find this tutorial helpful.
Happy decorating 🙂