An Expression of Art

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roses: How to Make Fondant Roses

Fondant roses are beautiful. These roses harden up and are less fragile than royal icing flowers. If you are able to roll the fondant "dough" very thin, the roses can look very realistic. They do take a little bit longer than icing roses, but the end result is wonderful. Not to mention that they last longer.

Please note that the instructions below may seem a little intimidating. To make a full rose takes about 5 minutes. The first time may take longer. Once you get a hold of it, you will be making these roses a bunch at a time. They are worth it.

Before you start make sure you have the following:

  1. Fondant (and the color of choice: I use Wilton Gel Food Colors)

  2. A plastic mat (this will be for rolling the fondant). I use the Wilton Cake Dividing Wheel (it works wonders for me and it has many uses).

  3. A tiny bit of shortening (to rub the mat so the fondant won't stick)

  4. A rolling pin

  5. Flower fondant cutters (I use the Wilton Rose Bouquet Cutter Set)

  6. Ball tool (I prefer the one that has the ball tool on one side and the veining tool on the other- very practical)

  7. Art brush

  8. Icing flavoring (this will be used to glue the fondant)

  9. Toothpicks

  10. Thin and Thick Foam pads

  11. And last but not least: Before you start, read the "Working with Fondant" that I have previously posted.

Step 1:
Have the amount of rose centers you need ready (toothpick with cone fondant centers). Instructions on how to make this: "Fondant Rose Centers".

Step 2:
Prepare your mat by applying a very thin layer of shortening. This will avoid the fondant from sticking to it. Make sure the amount of shortening you place is very minimal. Too much and it will make the fondant sticky.

Step 3:
Knead a portion of your colored fondant until it is a little bit softer (this shouldn't take long). Roll it into a ball and place on top of the mat.

Step 4:
Roll the fondant from center to the edge to stretch into a very thin layer. I know it is thin enough when I cannot roll it any thinner and I can read the mat printed font through it (see picture below).

Thin rolled fondant

Step 5:
Use your medium sized flower cutter and cut as many flowers as you can (remember we are only rolling a portion of the fondant as this will dry very fast). You need three flower cutouts to make one full bloom flower.

Cutting fondant

Step 6:
Take one cut out (tip: wrap the rest with plastic wrap to prevent drying) and place on top of your thin foam. Make short straight incisions in between each petal as shown on the picture below. This will allow the petals to be more flexible and not rip when bended.

petal incision

Step 7:
In order to create a more realistic effect, we have to thin the edges of each petal with the ball tool. Place the one side of the ball tool at its middle (i.e., half of the ball is touching the fondant and the second half the thin mat). Roll your ball at the edge on each petal by pressing a little hard. You will see the petals "rippling". DO NOT go back and use the ball tool again on a thinned petal. This will rip the petal. This is a one chance only. I will refer to this step as "balling".


Step 8:
Place your thinned or "balled" flower cut out on top of the thick foam pad. Note that I covered the foam with some corn starch to prevent sticking. With the ball, press its center (as shown on the picture below) slightly hard. This will create a "cupped" center.


Step 9:
Apply a little icing flavoring with an art brush at the cupped center. We use icing flavoring instead of water because the flavoring has alcohol and this evaporates faster thus the flower will dry faster. Insert the rose center toothpick through it. This first petal will be the center petals of your rose.


Before we continue to setp 10, visualize the picture below. Each cutout has 5 petals. Imagine that this looks like a gingerbread man, with petal 0 beign the head; petal 1 and 2 the arms; and petals 3 and 4 the legs.

Step 10:
Apply flavoring to petal 0 (the head). Glue the petal to the center fondant cone as shown on the picture below.


Step 11: Apply flavoring to one arm petal, in this case petal 1 and 'glue' it with flavoring to the cone center.


Step 12:
I assume that by this time you know the process, so a picture is not necessary. Apply flavoring to opposite leg, in this case petal 4 and 'glue' it to the cone center.

Step 13:
Apply flavoring to the remaining arm (petal 2) and 'glue' it to the cone center.

Step 14:
Apply flavoring to the remaining leg (petal 3) and 'glue' it to the cone center. The center petals of the rose are complete. Stop here if you want a rose button.


Step 15:
Take another flower cutout and make the incisions between the petals. Place on the thin foam pad and ball all the petal edges. Transfer the balled flower cutout and place on top of a thick foam pad. INSTRUCTIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

Step 16:
Place the ball tool on middle of one of the arm petals (petal 1) and cup the petal. Do the same to the second arm (petal 2) and then to the center. Turn the petal to the other side and cup the head (petal 0) the two legs (petal 3 and 4).


Turn the petal to the other side and insert the toothpick with cone center and first layer of petals. Glue one arm petal (petal 1) to the one layer rose (exactly where two petals meet) do the same for the second arm (petal 2). Glue the head (petal 0) next, then the opposite leg (petal 4) then remaining leg (petal 3). You have completed the second layer of petals of the rose. Stop here if you want a medium size rose.


Step 16:
Take another flower cutout and make the incisions between the petals. Place on the thin foam pad and ball all the petal edges. Transfer the balled flower cutout and place on top of a thick foam pad. INSTRUCTIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

Step 17:

Cup the center of the flower cut out with your ball tool and then cup all the petals one by one.


Turn the flower cutout to the other side and insert the toothpick on cupped center (petals should be curved on the outside) and glue the petals one by one to the 2 layer rose (where two petals meet).

An easier way is to turn the rose upside down and glue all the petas one by one to the 2 layer rose.

Your full rose bloom is done. CONGRATULATIONS.



Cuen said...

Hi, thanks alot for this wonderful site. I have been wanting to learn how to use fondant. May I know what is the difference between fondant, marshmallow fondant and sugar paste?

The Cake Stylist said...

Hi Cuen,

Sugar paste is basically the same thing as gumpaste. It is a sugar dough that contains Gum Tragacanth and is edible. This gum makes it easy to shape and when it dries it is stronger than Fondant and dries faster too. Gum paste is used a lot for decorations.

Fondant is also a sugar dough that remains soft for quiet a while and can also harden over time but not as strong as gumpaste. It is often used to embellish cakes and for some decorations like ribbons, roses, etc...

Finally, Marshmallow fondant is... well... fondant made with marshmallows. Apparently, the taste of regular fondant is not so great, so marshmallow fondant seems to be a tastier and inexpensive fondant.

I hope this helped. Thank you for your interest. Let me know your comments.

Beautifulillusions said...

Hi! This is a wonderful tutorial on how to make fondant roses! I had one question though... Im making a cake for a few people and they would like edible flowers on it. But by edible they mean "taste good" so I was wondering if it was possible to make these same roses with marshmallow fondant. I figured I could make them just fine, but the main thing i was worried about was whether or not they would harden or if they would stay soft and lose thier shape. Please let me know if this makes sense lol. Thanks so much in advance! :)

The Cake Stylist said...

Hi Beautifulillusions,

I'm glad you like this tutorial. Definitely you can make this roses with MMF. My advise is to make the marshmallow fondant the same day you are going to roll it for the rose petals. Let the new batch of marshmallow sit for a few hours and use it when it cools. You might be able to roll it thin more easily this way. Yes, they will harden.

However, everytime I make roses, I don't find people eating them since they are hard... or too pretty to eat. Have you thought of making buttercream roses?

Beautifulillusions said...

Thanks so much! How long will they take to harden, do you know? that way i can make sure i have time for that. Yes i have thought of buttercream roses but im not posotive on how to make them. do you have a tutorial for them? That would help alot :) And how long do THEY take to harden? Sorry if im asking too many questions lol

The Cake Stylist said...

Hi Beautifulillusions,

Your fondant roses will harden overnight... you can make them way in advance. I make mine a week in adavance... because if I make tons of them I work on some of them each day. In that way, I don't have to do them all at once. They will keep just fine.

I haven't yet had time to write a buttercream roses tutorial, but I promise that it will come soon. I think that it will be easier in a video. With buttercream roses and/or royal icing, if you add meringue, they will harden overnight.... royal icing hardens better than buttercream.

Megan said...

Hey i've seen that people are making figurines out of fondant. my friends made there wedding cake toppers out of marzipan and they still have them, after a year, still nice as the first day. If you made figures for a wedding cake out of fondant would it last the same way? if not, what would be the best way to go about doing marzipan ones, making your own from a recipe or buying some? I'm a beginner at this stuff if that helps lol. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Great tutorial! If I wanted to make a very, very large rose (i.e. practically cover a whole round cake), should I use fondant or buttercream or something else?

jessica said...

hello:) I was wondering if you can make these roses out of marshmallow fondant:)

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I found this! I've been using the book that came with the gumpaste kit and it required each petal be cut seperately. For me that means more room to mess up! This is so simplified, I appreciate you going to the trouble to make this tutorial.