Inspired by a vintage china tea cup, this is a lovely design to choose for a first sugar flower project.

Ingredients

To make 2 large roses, 3 rosebuds, about 18 violets and 9 white blossoms:

  • About 150g white flower paste
  • About 100g white sugar paste
  • White vegetable fat
  • food paste colour in claret (from sugarflair), violet, moss green and lemon yellow (from wilton) food colour pen in black (from rainbow)
  • About 1 tablespoon of royal icing
  • 3 cupcakes (sponge flavoured to your choice (see page 198)
  • About 100g lemon buttercream (see page 201)
  • Equipment
  • Basic tool kit (see page 11)
  • Small violet blossom cutter (from Tinkertech Two)
  • Small 5-petal blossom cutter (from peggy porschen)
  • Ball tool (from pMe)
  • ”¨Frilling cone tool
  • Scissors
  • ”¨Small palette knife
  • ”¨Plastic sleeve (from any office stationery supplier)
  • 2 paper piping bags

Method

To recreate the cakes you will need Ӭ3 cupcakes baked in golden foil cases, as well as 6 large roses, 18 buds, 60 violets and 36 white blossoms.

Making The Roses And Buds

To make the roses, mix 100g of white flower paste with 100g of white sugar paste until smooth and pliable. if the paste feels sticky, add a dab of vegetable fat.

Mix half of the paste with claret food paste colour to make a dark pink shade, a quarter to make a medium pink shade and the other quarter to make a light pink shade.

Wrap the pastes in plastic bags for about 30 minutes, until firm.

Using scissors, cut the hole-punched edge off the plastic sleeve and rub the inside thinly with vegetable fat.

To make 1 large rose you will need 5 hazelnut- sized balls in dark pink and 3 in medium pink. using the light pink paste, make 2 slightly smaller balls and 1 oval shape for the rose centre. place all the shapes inside one half of the plastic sleeve, leaving about 2.5cm between the balls (step 1).

Fold the other half of the plastic sleeve over the top and slightly flatten each ball of paste with the palm of your hand to prevent them from rolling around.

To shape the balls into petals, rub your thumb over each ball in a circular motion until the paste is about 2-3mm thick (step 2).

Continue to flatten the side facing the crease of the plastic sleeve to form a half-moon shape; the edge of the paste should be thin and sharp, while the remaining part of the petal stays thick. keeping this part of the paste thick is important as it gives the petal strength. if the paste gets too thin, the petal will collapse and not hold up its shape.

Repeat for all the ball shapes.

Flatten the oval paste in the same way, maintaining its oval shape.

Open the plastic sleeve and take out the oval petal. curl it up into a spiral with the thin edge at the top (step 3).

Pick up one of the light pink petals, curve itӬto form a cup and lay it over the open side of the spiral. it should sit about 1mm higher than the top edge of the centre. fold the paste down on the left, then tuck the other light pink petal under the right-hand side.

Close both petals from the right and gently pinch the bottom to create a bud shape.

Lay a medium pink cup-shaped petal over the joint of 2 light pink petals, again a little higher than the previous petals.

Fold the petal down on the left and tuckӬthe next petal in from the right, followed by another (steps 4-5). Arrange all 3 petals so that they interlock evenly around the rosebud, making sure they sit at the same height.

Curl back the edges and pinch the tops into a soft tip.

Arrange the remaining 5 dark pink petals in the same way, then curl back the edges and pinch the tops into a soft tip (steps 6-7).

Pinch off the excess paste at the bottom of the rose (steps 8-9).

Repeat this process to make another 5 large pink roses.

For each dark pink rosebud you will need 1 oval piece of paste and 3 hazelnut-sized ball shapes.

Flatten and shape the petals with your thumb as in step 2.

Continue to make the rosebud using the same technique as for the large pink roses, but using 3 petals rather than 2.

Making the White Blossoms

Knead the remaining white flower paste until it is smooth and pliable.

Using the 5-petal blossom cutter, make about 36 white blossoms following the same process as for the violets, up to and including the setting stage (steps 10-12).

Mix a tiny amount of royal icing with yellow food colour to form a soft-peak consistency (add a little water if necessary), then transfer to a paper piping bag.

Making The Violets

Mix the remaining white flower paste with violet food paste colour.

Roll out a strip of paste to a thickness of about 1mm, with small Mexican hats.

Cut out several violet blossoms with a Mexican hat in the middle of each one, then place them on a foam pad, Mexican hat side up.

Press a tiny ball tool onto each petal so that the paste curls up (step 13).

Turn a blossom over and push the tip of a frilling cone tool into the centre to create a well.

Repeat for the remaining blossoms and leave to dry until set.

Once set, draw thin black lines on the centre petal and the 2 adjacent petals using the food colour pen (step 14).

Use the remaining yellow royal icing to pipe a small dot in the centre of each blossom.

Snip a small hole in the tip of the bag and pipe a dot of icing in the blossom centres. dragӬthe icing along the large petal before you lift off the tip of the piping bag to create a pointy centre (step 15).

To decorate The cupcakes using a palette knife, spread the buttercream in a dome shape over the tops of the cupcakes. chill for about 15 minutes to firm up the buttercream slightly.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining royal icing with moss green food paste colour and transfer to a paper piping bag.

Attach a rose or 3 rosebuds to the top of each cupcake by pushing them into the buttercream.

Snip off the tip of the piping bag in a ‘V’ shape (step 16), then pipe several leaves around the roses by wiggling the bag up and down as you squeeze out the icing. Just before you pull the piping bag away, stop squeezing to form a nice leaf tip (step 17).

While the green icing is still wet, arrange some violets and blossoms around the roses (step 18).

Love Layer Cakes by Peggy Porschen (Quadrille £20) Photography: Georgia Glynn Smith