How to make a gum paste orchid. A step by step tutorial

Learn how to make a sugar flower step by step. Creating realistic sugar flowers is a skill every cake designer should master.

In cake decorating, sugar flowers are very useful if you want to add an elegant and sophisticated touch to a simple, white wedding cake or to a celebration cake with fantasy flowers. You can also use them in sugar flower arrangements for cupcakes, cookies or modeling chocolate figures. I’m going to teach you how to easily make a beautiful moth orchid with flower paste. In my opinion, orchids are one of the most elegant flowers you can make with sugar. They definitely look lovely in square cakes, as well as in Art Nouveau cakes, don’t you think so? With this art of edible flowers you can create pretty bouquets, delicate flowers for wedding cakes or fantastic ornaments for your fondant cakes.

The anatomy of an orchid flower

Before we get started, I highly recommend analyzing the flower we are about to make. The moth orchid has a rounded center with two “lateral ears”, a peak and two thin ends at the base; two large, rounded petals in the shape of the letter D facing each other and three thin, elongated petals located behind the first two, always keeping the same distance between them (as in the peace symbol).  

Materials for making sugar flowers: what do I need to make an Orchid?

I always use Renshaw Petal Paste to make my sugar flowers. This is the main material that you are going to need. With this sugar paste you will get spectacular results: it can be shaped into very thin, realistic petals. It is really malleable, it does not get dry easily and allows you to make corrections within a reasonable time. A box of Renshaw Petal Paste contains three individual packets of 100gr, which allows you to get a small amount of the product, preventing the rest of it from drying out.


How to make a sugar orchid step by step

1. Stretch one portion of the Renshaw Petal Paste until it is 1,5 mm thick and cut all the petals of the orchid.

2. Once you have all the petals, keep them in a zip plastic bag. Stretch the edges of the petal with a small rolling pin. Try not to touch the center of the petal to maintain the optimum thickness. Once the paste is stretched, cut again the petal with the same cutter. Repeat the process with each petal.

3. Cut a 24 gauge white wire and moisten it with edible glue. Remove the excess with your fingers.

4. Insert the wire in the center of the petal, 1 cm approximately.

5. Sharpen the edges of the petal using the ball tool and the flower foam pad. The edges of the petal must be really thin to get a realistic look. 

6. Put the petal in the veiner. Sprinkle the silicone mold with some corn starch (if it is too sticky).

7. Let the petal dry on a plastic spoon (for 24 to 48 hours).

8. Repeat the process with the rest of the petals.

9. Stretch a little bit of the Renshaw Petal Paste and cut the central part.

10. Stretch the lower part of the center of the petal until it is really thin.

11. Make a mark in the middle of the lower part.

12. Fold the upper cusp and stick it with edible glue.

13. Roll up both “legs”, twisting them carefully.

14. Moisten a 24 gauge white wire with edible glue and remove the excess. Insert it in the upper part of the center.

15. Color 30gr of the Renshaw Petal Paste with Khaki Green ProGel to get a really soft tone.

16. Make three different size balls: a big one, a medium one and a small one. Roll them into a teardrop shape.

17. Moisten a 20 gauge white wire with edible glue and remove the excess with your fingers. Insert the wire in the teardrop and use a modelling tool to make four marks (I normally use Sugar Shapers by Innovative Sugarworks).

18. Repeat the process with the other drops.

19. You can paint the orchid after 24 or 48 hours. First, paint the upper part of the center yellow. Then, paint the rest of the center of the orchid with ruby powder colour.

20. Add a little bit of vodka to the ruby powder colour and add some irregular marks in the center of the orchid. Gently paint the end of the petals with ruby powder colour.

21. Mix some citrus green powder colour with some autumn green powder colour to obtain a medium tone. Paint the marks of the flower buds to add some shadows.

22. Cover all the wires with flower tape.

23. To assemble the orchid, roll the wires in the two big petals and cover them with flower tape.

24. Continue assembling the central petal and then the lateral ones. Cover again with flower tape.

25. Fold the wire in the central part and roll it with the other wires. Cover again with flower tape.

26. When you are finished, arrange the petals in the best manner. Remember that they are made of sugar and may easily break.

27. Cross the medium bud with the small bud to join them. Finally, add the bigger bud to create an orchid branch.

28. Assemble the flower with the branch. Flower done!

What’s your favourite flower?

Making gum paste flowers is an art of patience and precision. In time, I have accomplished to do this kind of decorations with ease. If you’re looking for more tutorials, you can now visit my creative pastry blog. If you wish to create a beautiful moth orchid, put these instructions into action and you will achieve excellent results. I’d love to see some pictures! Before I go, let me ask you a question:

What’s your favorite gum paste flower for your fondant cakes?

Marc Suárez


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