A Poppy to Remember Cake Decorating and Baking Tutorial

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A Poppy to Remember
with Stephen Benison
Skill level: Advanced Cake Decorating | CakeFlix - Skill Level Courses
HD Lessons: 12
Decorating time: 2 days
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Bite sized

Watch Stephen make his cake in just one minute!

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Create this stunning Autumn themed cake, with the warm colours of the Autumn countryside, blackberries, poppies , acorns and leaves captured in modelled sugar, set as a feature side design . Make bright red poppies, and grasses from flower paste and rice paper, which are all brought together in this totally captivating, detailed tutorial, which you can refere to for each of the specific skills lessons. Although the tutorial is for Intermediate to advanced level, be sure to be inspired for even the beginner can learn techniques to advance your skill level and set your sights on other skills to add to your learning goals.

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1. Planning and colour choice

Learn how design sources can influence the features and design of the cake. Looking at different design sources to help inspire and guide you through sketching and selecting a colour palette to use on the design. You don’t have to be an artist- just putting your ideas down on paper helps and gives you a starting point.

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2. Painting the background

Use diluted food colours to create a wash on the cake surface with brush strokes that will add shading and interest to the cake surface.

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3. Making sugar grass

Cut out the sections of meadow grass from  modelling paste, creating different sizes which are applied with a transfer method, which avoids smudging or distorting the paste and getting the pieces in the right place easily.


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4. Bas Relief

The effects of bas relief are one of the main feature designs of this cake. Apply snapshot elements from the detailed Autumn mould to create Poppies, acorns black berries and foliage.

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5. Wired Rice paper grasses

Another medium that adds interest and texture to the cake design. The blades of grass highlight the foreground of the meadow grass, add height and movement to the design, with each one being wired and coloured to give a realistic finish. 

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6. Rice paper and sugar poppies

Rice paper has been used to create the poppy petal. See how to colour and texture with tips on the best method. Make the poppy seed heads and buds which are then textured and coloured for great impact and effects.

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7. Stenciled rice paper Gypsophilia

How to apply a stencil design on to rice paper with food colours to make swaying in the breeze Gypsophilia. These are then cut out and secured to wire, adding height to the feature flower arrangement.

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8. Flower spray assembly

Taping the flowers and foliage into a flower spray to create a neat and balanced feature. Binding the wire to avoid flowers from becoming loose in the spray, and tips on securing to the cake.

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9. Other Ideas

Take the different elements from the tutorial and add your own take on the design, by theming your colour scheme. Maybe you want to create a chocolate cake, with the highlighted Bas relief design painted in gold. 

Create a larger version, with three or four tiers adding another two, or three sprays of flowers. Change the season, by using one of the Spring, Summer, Winter moulds, adding the appropriate colours for the season, or maybe keep it totally white! Feature flowers of your choice, maybe rice paper or flower paste Christmas roses or a Poinsettia will make it just as stunning !

The Bas relief design works really well too on small individual cakes, cupcakes and also as a little feature on iced cookies. 

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10. PRO Lesson

Making this cake as a commission can either be a labour of love or achieving the high end pricing that stunning and creative cake design attracts. Many different skills have been shown on this cake, and this is the difference in making your cakes stand out from the crowd. It’s style and design is creative, stylish and above all its a piece of art. 

Your client base,will be discerning and will understand the time and skills it takes to make, so don’t be frightened to bring this into the consultation stage. If they want more or less of the design, that’s fine, but as a starting point this cake would start at £250, and depending on the number of portions that is required can be reflected in the size.

As a tip, make the flowers when you have some quieter times, or set yourself tasks during your work schedule to bake, cover, prepare stages of the flowers, and finally  decorating and bringinging the whole design together. If you are working with other orders too, it helps to organise and keep things separate, so stages can dry before completing the next one.

A Poppy to Remember Cake

Steve will take you through the techniques of painting the background on the cake surface, then making mouldings and applying them to the surface of the cake to make part of the cake side decoration. Following through the design painting with food colours, you will be shown how to add depth of colour and highlighted details to the bas relief, Poppies and Autumn foliage. Creating the feature flowers, using rice paper and flowerpaste, embossed stencilled Gypsophila, which will be finally completed into a wired flower spray to create a stunning two-tier, wedding or special celebration cake.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to…

  • Create a design perspective (background, middle ground, foreground)
  • Select appropriate colours and applying to the cake design
  • Use mouldings to create an Autumn country Bas relief feature on the side of the cake
  • Paint with food colours, in layers and adding details to the bas relief features
  • Use rice paper to make grasses and stencilled Gypsophila flowers and feature poppies
  • and much, much more

Don’t forget to share your interpretations of this wonderful cake with Paul and the rest of the CakeFlix community on our Facebook group.

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Stephen Benison

Stephen Benison

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