Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked December 1st 2014

Flower Application

I have and am still making roses for my daughter's wedding cake. I have made them half cream and half white to make them look more natural. Is it better to lustre and them steam them, or steam and then lustre? Also I am planning to use my airbrush to spray Dinky doodle pearl lustre all over the cakes to give a nice sheen but don't know if the lustred/roses would actually stand out against the lustred cakes. The roses would be lustred using brush on lustre. Over and above all this, I have not put wires in all of my roses as a friend said she just sticks them on with royal icing but I am not sure how well this method would work with the roses I plan to place at the edge of the cakes. The aim being to achieve a slightly cascading effect. Finally as my daughter does not want any filler flowers should I just do smaller roses to sit beside the larger ones on the edges of the cakes? I am not sure how this would look. There are so many ideas out there and I think I have about reached wedding cake design overload! Aargh! Finally if I have to assemble the cake at the venue how can I do this without disturbing the lustred cakes? Any help would be fantastic thanks. x


Sorry, not sure if this is going to be the most helpful answer but I noticed you are waiting for someone to help out!

Did you want to lustre the roses for a particular reason? My personal opinion is that the roses will look more realistic without lustre but perhaps with a hint of dusted colour in the centre of the petals? I agree with you that if you lustre the roses as well as the cake, they may not stand out very well. I would steam after applying the colour or lustre.

I am very lazy when it comes to flowers... and try to avoid wiring wherever possible! I stick on with royal as well, although sometimes I need to make a little dent in the cake where it is going to sit to ensure it has slight support.

How about rose buds as a substitute for filler flowers?

As for assembling the lustred cakes, I would assemble/stack the cake before applying lustre. Sorry can't help here! Hopefully other members will help you 🙂


Hi to both goldengoose and madeitwithlove

Thanks very much for your help. It's really good to have such support and very reassuring too. I will take a look at the suggested links.
I am hoping t be able to get into the venue the day before my daughter's wedding in order to set up the cake but if not I am going to be pushed to do this as the wedding is at 1.00pm. I don't suppose I can actually affix the roses onto the sides of the cakes until they are stacked either although I will be able to put the roses on the top tier in advance. I will need to take a small repair kit with my as insurance. I just hope it all works out ok. Thanks again xx


The best way to stick the unwired roses on is to make a paste from sugarpaste, water and tylo powder (or edible glue would probably work also). Work it with the side of a knife until it's the consistency of chewing gum and then use it to attach your flowers. It is much stickier than royal icing so the flowers should stay put after holding them in place for a few seconds. This is always the best way to attach any two surfaces together if one or both is already dry. If the roses are cascading then always work from the bottom up so that each flower can rest on the one below and that will also help them to stay in place.

It's probably too late for this time, but when I make unwired roses I cut quite a lot off the back of them so there is a flat surface to attach and they are not too thick. Good luck x


Hi bellscakes

On sticking roses to cake take a peek at these links:


attaching sugar roses


To help support unwired flowers you can use tooth picks as Marion Frost does here:

I have never steamed lustred flowers, steaming is done after dusting to set the colour and give a little shine to flowers.
Some airbrushed lustres can rub off a little so it's best to take your airbrush with you to the venue in case the cakes need a little touch up. If the tiers are not the same colour, each tier would need to be protected from cross colouring by covering them loosely with some cling film while spraying. Lustred flowers can become lost on lustred cakes particularly if the whole design is the same colour. How about slightly lustering the flowers and edging them with some sparkle dust? The dust would catch the light and make the flowers more visible.
Sometimes it helps to make the flowers with a hint of a tint so they do stand out against a white bakground.
Making small buds would look lovely if your daughter doesn't want fillers.
Finally, as mother of the bride, will you have time to set up at the venue and take care of last minute touch ups? Some venues will allow set up the evening before the big day but won't take responsibility for the cakes left on their premises. Just thought I'd mention this. Hope other members will give their valued experience and advice. x


It depends where you intend placing the flowers. You could cascade the ones which will not be in the way of the bottom edge of the cakes as you begin stacking. Once the cakes are stacked place the remaining flowers to maintain the flow of the cascade. Repair kit of royal icing is a must, also extra flowers in case any get broken and sugarpaste same colour as the cakes. I place spare flowers in a shoe box cushioned either on bubble wrap or tissue paper and covered lightly with more tissue. Don't put them in an airtight box because they will begin to soften if left without ventilation.
If the venue allows setting up the day before ( depends on their liability insurance) it's best to do so in an area where the cakes will not be near any source of direct heat like radiators or near windows where they might catch direct sunlight. It's also better not to have them in vulnerable place like doorways or thoroughfares where accidental damage could be caused by venue staff while they are setting up for the wedding reception.
I'm sure it will all work out fine, if you have any worries or just need supportive words or a hug you know where to come! x


HI madeitwithlove

Thanks again for all your help and support! I have just held some roses to the bottom edge of a couple of stacked iced dummies and see that there really is not very much room for actually sticking the roses on particularly if they are not on a wires that can then be inserted into flower picks. I have made all these beautiful quite large roses and now can't imagine how I will fix them onto the edges of the cakes. Each cake is 2inches larger than the other (11inch, 9inch,7inch and 5inches). I have some roses with wires stuck into the poly buds and a few that just have flower paste cones. Is there any way I could safely stick a wire in those with flower paste centres without disturbing the rose? I just wondered if I were to put a 20 gauge wire through a candel flame for a minute or so if it would be hot enough to penetrate the base of the rose. Nothing like boltling the stable door and all that! The other thing is that I actually did stick a cocktail stick into some of my roses and the sticks haven't stayed put. I even put edible glue on some. But I will take a look at one of the links where cocktail sticks are used instead of wires and see where I have gone wrong. Thanks xx


Hi bellescakes

You could try piercing the base of the rose with a hot wire, nothing ventured nothing gained! You'd need to make a hook in the wire first. Paul makes a hook and platform for the daisy tutorial. For the rose only the hook is required and which can be heated up before inserting. The wire for the daisy is very fine but the principle is the same for the rose using a stronger gauge wire. The daisy tutorial is here:
Is it not possible that the flowers can be stuck slightly further up the cake rather than right on the edge? If you could place them up a bit, part the flower will still look as if it is on the edge. The flowers will stick with royal icing/ Place a small wad of fresh sugar paste on the back of them so they have something to grip onto.
Does this make any sense? I'm hoping other members will chip in with some more suggestions.
I expect the flowers were too big for cocktail sticks. I didn't realise how big they were. I do hope the hot wire works out! x


Hi doodlecake

Thank you sooo much for your input, more great information from you as reference. Really appreciate!! x



Thanks to all of you who have kindly given me such a lot of great help here. There really is so much to learn in the realms of baking and sugarcraft and I have learned so much in the time I have been a member. It's great to have such a helpful cake community out there! xx


I am making white roses for my granddaughters wedding cake . Do i need to dust the roses with white or cream petal dust to make them look more real and natural.


Hi patsyreynolds75

It isn't essential to use white or cream dust. When I was making flowers, I would dust white ones as that was my preference. Bear in mind that some white flowers do have faint streaks of colour at the very base of the petals and also at the back of the flower where the calyx attaches. To achieve a more realistic flower, try where possible to use a real specimen as a reference.

I suggest experimenting with a couple of small flowers, dust one or two, and leave a couple without dusting. This way, your granddaughter can decide which she likes best. If you do dust, steam the flower slightly to set the dust and to give a more natural look. Take a peek at the following tutorial to see how steaming is done:

Hope suggestions help. 🙂

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