Florals on wedding, birthday, and other celebratory cakes are a timeless tradition. There was a time in generations past when real flowers often adorned the top of cakes, but this is much less common today. Not only is it seen as less practical – the flowers must be removed thoroughly before the cake can be enjoyed – but it’s also not as much fun as some modern alternatives. If you want to have your flowers and eat them too, consider edible choices like marzipan or gum paste flowers.
Marzipan is simply a sweetened almond paste, which can be shaped and flavored to provide beautiful, tasty decorations. It is typically made from ground almonds, almond extract, corn syrup, and confectioner’s sugar, but recipes do vary. The only drawback to putting marzipan decorations on cakes is that they are somewhat heavy and can also become crumbly over time.
Gum paste is a great choice for decorating cakes because of its sturdy nature once dry. While it isn’t usually as tasty as marzipan, it is still certainly edible. So, don’t worry when the toddlers grab for the flowers atop their cupcakes or nab them from their mother’s cake plates – it’s okay to eat these blossoms!
To create gum paste flowers, you’ll need confectioner’s sugar, egg whites, vegetable shortening, and tylose powder. For more information, follow the recipe found here. Preparation is simple, but getting the right ingredients is key. If you don’t have access to tylose powder or other supplies in nearby stores, consult a baking supplier.
If you find that you love the look of gum paste or marzipan blooms but don’t want to go to the trouble of making them entirely from scratch, take a few shortcuts from your bakery supply retailer. You’ll get the same great results, without all the work – and your guests will never know the difference!