Gumpaste Flowers and Sugar Flowers

How To Make A Sugar/Gumpaste Carnation

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Last Updated on 18th May 2023 by Vicki

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Hi everyone, in today’s tutorial I show you how to make a sugar/gumpaste carnation. This tutorial is perfect if you are a beginner at making sugar flowers. The flower is easy to make and once you’ve got the hang of it, super quick too!

I used FMM’s Easiest Ever Carnation Cutter to make my sugar carnation. FMM’s easiest ever range is great if you are new to making sugar flowers. They enable you to easily practice techniques, while creating great results. If you’re interested, I also have tutorials using their Smaller Easiest Rose Cutter and their Easiest Peony Ever Cutter.

Easiest Ever Carnation Cutter

making a sugar carnation

So the cutter comes in two sizes, allowing you to make a smaller or a larger carnation. You can build up your carnations to make them as big as you like, by adding more layers.

The video below takes you through how to make the sugar carnation. After the video, I will take you through the whole process.

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Edibles Used To Make The Sugar Carnation

The paste that I used to make the carnation was 50% sugarpaste and 50% modelling paste. This allows you more time to work on the carnation and prevents cracking. After a while however, because of the modelling paste, it will set and therefore be much less fragile. The modelling paste that I used was Renshaw Flower and Modelling paste.

I wanted my carnation to be a cream colour, so I coloured my paste with a tiny amount of Old Gold food colouring paste. This is one of my favourite colours, as it ranges from an ivory through to a dark caramel colour depending on the amount that you use.

Using The Easiest Ever Carnation Cutter

You need to roll out your paste to about 1mm to 2mm thick. You may need to use a little icing sugar or corn flour to prevent it sticking to your board. It’s essential that it doesn’t stick, as this will make cutting out your shape very difficult.

cutting out a sugar carnation

You need to press down to ensure an even cut. Move around the board to help you get a clean edge. You can also turn the cutter over and use your fingers to make sure that you have clean cuts around the edge of each petal.

Frilling The Paste

making a sugar carnation

To frill the petals I used a wooden skewer. You can see from the image above that I have the end over the edge of the board. This prevents the pointed end of the skewer digging in and tearing the paste. You want to make sure that the pointed end is raised ever so slightly, having the other end hanging off the board helps to do that. Then you simply use a rolling action over the edge of each petal. This will achieve a very pleasing frill effect!

Rolling The Paste

making a sugar carnation
making a sugar carnation

Once you’ve frilled your paste, you then apply some edible glue along the middle and then fold it over. You want to create a nice straight edge. Next, apply some glue along the bottom of the strip. You don’t want to go too high as this will stick all your petals together. Now you just gently roll the strip up. You want to get quite a tight and even roll.

Add As Many Layers As You Want!

making a sugar carnation
making a sugar carnation

When adding an extra layer, it’s a good idea to start where the previous layer finishes. This helps your carnation to be even. You just add as many layers as you want until you reach the size that you want.

Shaping Your Carnation

This is where your carnation will come to life! I use a dry brush to gently shape the petals how I want them. My tip here is to make sure you shape the centre to hide the rolled up effect. Carnations have more of a messy and less uniformed appearance. I also like to bring the outer petals out and down slightly to give a more fuller effect.

The Back of The Carnation

sugar carnation tutorial
sugar carnation tutorial

You will see from the images above that wrapping the carnation has resulted in a large flat back. This is obviously something that you need to be aware of if the sides of your carnation are going to be seen. I like to use some scissors and trim away some of the excess so it’s not so big. The flat back can be really handy however, as it can help to secure the flower on top of cupcakes or cakes. It all just depends on what you plan your finished design to look like.

After you’ve shaped your carnation, you just then leave it to air dry.

sugar carnation on a cupcake

So that’s pretty much it! You can obviously use different colours or even use an edible blossom tint to colour the edges. I really hope that you found this tutorial useful. Below is a list of all the items that I used to make my carnation.

Items Used To Make My Sugar/Gumpaste Carnation



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