The Violet Cake Shop™

Sharing inspirations for my designs, and tips I've discovered along the way in my caking journey! <3


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FREE Gumpaste Anemone Flower Tutorial by The Violet Cake Shop™

Recently, I created a tutorial for my Industrial Steampunk Chic cake (a cake designed originally for the Steam Cakes Collaboration) that appeared in the October issue of Cake Masters Magazine, UK.

The Violet Cake Shop - Steam Cakes - 2 - IMG_8881 - ii - watermarked

The original cake featured an orchid coloured anemone flower in the design, sitting between the two tiers, but the flower was not included in the print tutorial since it would have added at least 28 more steps to an already lengthy tutorial. This was communicated to my contact at Cake Masters and passed along to the editors when the tutorial was submitted.

Steampunk Chic Blog Title

Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding somewhere along the line when the magazine went to print, so although the printed tutorial did not have those steps included, there was promotional material created and posted that indicated the flower was part of that tutorial in the print issue.  Of course, a few people were a bit disappointed to find out it was not in the magazine.

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As a happy solution, I created a free tutorial for the anemone flower that I posted on my Facebook page, to share with Cake Masters, their readers, and anyone else that was hoping it was part of the tutorial.  I am also adding it permanently here to my blog so it will be easier to find later on for those looking!  See below for the step-by-steps details and pics…but first…

GREAT NEWS:  A few people sent me messages when the magazine first came out, asking if the full Steampunk Chic Cake tutorial would be available to download in PDF file format and I’m happy to say that it is finally now available for sale in my Facebook SHOP.  It’s on for an introductory price of 50% OFF, for a limited time.  So that’s just $11 CAD for over 135 high quality pics and 85 pages of step-by-step instructions, tips and best practices, which works out to less than $9 USD (reg. $22 CAD or $17 USD).  It also includes a printable version of this Gumpaste Anemone tutorial as a BONUS.

The Violet Cake Shop - Steampunk Chic Full Tutorial - 1 - cover

Here is what the tutorial covers…

Steampunk Chic Full Tutorial - 4

I’m also putting ALL my other tutorials on SALE for 40% OFF in celebration of the release of this latest tutorial.

So now on to the good stuff, the free stuff…😉

The Violet Cake Shop™’s FREE GUMPASTE ANEMONE TUTORIAL:

TVCS Anemone - 1

Tools and supplies you will need:
– 3 petal flower cutter (alternatively, you can use an oval cutter – pictured) – floral tape – #2 piping tip and #12 piping tip – 5 petal flower cutter – small silicone rolling pin – dresden tool – ball tool – craft or exacto knife – needle nose pliers/wire cutter – wide mouth Japanese soup spoon – 1 oz (large gumball size) gumpaste coloured black – 2 oz (golf ball size) gumpaste coloured orchid/magenta (2.5 parts deep pink to 1 part purple) – thin foam pad – flower veiner – 20 or 24 gauge floral wire cut to 3″ length – lily stamen (if cannot find long black stamen) – black gel colour for dyeing stamen – aluminum foil – paper towels (not pictured)
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 2

STEP 1 –
If you cannot find black stamen (which I could not find readily), you will have to dye stamen of similar size and length as those found on anemones, which I find lily stamen work well.
You can dilute the black gel colour with some vodka before dipping your stamen, or you can paint the colour on with a standard brush dipped in the colouring. Let your stamen dry on some paper towel. Wipe off excess colour if necessary.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 3

STEP 2 –
Spread out the stamen with your fingers, into a line, so they are not so bunched together.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 4

STEP 3 –
Roll out a small ball of black gumpaste approximately 2/3″ or 1.5 cm wide, to create the centre. Flatten the top slightly against your work surface.
Use the needle nose pliers to make a hook at the end of the 20 or 24 gauge floral wire. Insert the hook end of the wire into the gumpaste ball, approximately halfway up.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

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STEP 4 –
Use the small end of a #2 piping tip to mark small circle details on the top surface of your centre.
TIP: hold the wire just under the gumpaste ball, to prevent the ball from slipping down the wire as you mark the top.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 6

STEP 5 –
Insert into a styrofoam dummy to dry a few hours, until the gumpaste ball is set fairly firmly onto the wire.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

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STEP 6 –
After a few hours, your centre should have set a bit and your dyed stamen should be fully dried.
Add your stamen bunches to your centre, one or two at a time, wrapping well with floral tape before adding the next bunches. You will need approximately 6 to 7 bunches to go around your centre nicely.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

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STEP 7 –
Once all the stamen are added, wrap the stem of your centre all the way down. Set aside to dry fully, overnight.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 9

STEP 8 –
To create your petals, use a 3 petal cutter OR use a small oval cutter, 1.75″ long (refer to alternative steps 20 and 21).
First, colour your gumpaste with 2.5 parts deep pink to 1 part purple colouring. Next, roll out the gumpaste to 1/32″ or 1 mm thickness. Next, cut out two cut outs using the three petal cutter. You will need four cut outs overall but work with two first, to prevent the petals drying out.
If using oval cutters, you will need two sets of 6 cut outs for a total of 12.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 10

STEP 9 –
Using the large end of the ball tool and pressing gently, thin out the sides of the petals slightly, with the ball half on the paste and half on the foam pad.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 11

STEP 10 –
Use the veiner to imprint vein detail onto each of the 3 petals.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 12

STEP 11 –
Frill the edges of your petals with the large end of your ball tool and mark two lines down the centre with the thin end of your dresden tool.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 13

STEP 12 –
Use a Japanese soup spoon as a flower former. It is deep enough to create a lovely cupped shape and is the perfect size for the anemone flower.
Dust the cavity of your Japanese soup spoon with some cornstarch to prevent the gumpaste from sticking to the spoon as the petals dry.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 14

STEP 13 –
Lay the first frilled and veined 3 petal cut out into the cavity of the spoon. Using a brush, dab some water onto the very centre.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 15

STEP 14 –
Place the second prepared 3 petal cut out on top of the first one, with the petals of the second set, in between those of the first set.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 16

STEP 15 –
Repeat STEPS 8 to 11, to prepare a second set of petals. But for this set, you will need to cut the petals as shown so they are small enough that they can lay inside the petals of the first two sets.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 17

STEP 16 –
Add the petals individually. First, dab some water with a brush onto the centre, brushing slightly towards the petals, approximately 1/3 of the way up.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 18

STEP 17 –
Position the first set of three petals evenly, in a trillium shape, in between two petals of those from the first set.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 19

STEP 18 –
Position the second set of three petals evenly on top of the first set.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 20

STEP 19 –
Add some small pieces of paper towel in between the petals to add some movement and shape to the petals.
Using a #12 piping tip, cut out a small circle in the very centre of all the petals and set aside to set for about half an hour.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 21

(ALTERNATIVE) STEP 20 – If you do not have a 3 petal cutter as shown, use STEPS 20 and 21 instead to create petals.
Use a 1.75″ long oval cutter to cut out 12 petals total. Work with 6 at time, to vein and frill the petals.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 22

(ALTERNATIVE) STEP 21 – If you do not have a 3 petal cutter as shown, use STEPS 20 and 21 instead to create petals.
Frill and vein the petals as shown. The first petal is untouched. Thin the sides with the ball tool, vein with the veiner, mark the centre details and frill the edges.
Cut out a small circle of gumpaste to sit under the petals. Add each petal on top of the circle gumpaste in a similar position as that shown in STEPS 13, 14, 17 and 18.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 23

STEP 22 –
After the flower petals have had a chance to set, start making your calyx.
Create the calyx using a 5 petal cutter. Roll out some green gumpaste to 1/32″ or 1 mm thickness. Use the 5 petal cutter to cut out one shape.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 24

STEP 23 –
Using your craft or exacto knife, cut out slits in the petals as shown.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 25

STEP 24 –
Use the #12 piping tip to cut out a hole in the centre.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 26

STEP 25 –
Shape some folded aluminum foil into the same cupped shape as a Japanese soup spoon and place on top of a cup. Poke a hole in the centre with something pointed, like a skewer.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 27

STEP 26 –
Dab some water around the centre of the prepared calyx cut out, brushing outwards.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 28

STEP 27 –
Place the calyx in the foil cavity. Gently remove your flower petals from the Japanese spoon former. The petals may still be a bit soft but that’s ok so long as you are gentle.
Place the flower petals on top of the calyx where the water was dabbed and ensure the petals adhere to the calyx. Add some water to the centre of the semi-set petals and insert your prepared flower centre. You may need to add some fresh fondant if the petals are too dry.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 29

STEP 28 –
Reposition the paper towel bits between the petals and leave to dry overnight.
Once fully dried, dust as desired to bring more life to your flower.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

I hope this will come in handy for those of you out there that are new to decorating and sugar flowers!  Please keep in mind that I tend to try things out on my own so these techniques are ones I’ve come up with and are not the only way to create this flower, nor are they necessarily the best.  But they are shared for those who might not have other resources or who just want to use what is easily available.

IMG_9573 - wm

So please use for your own pleasure and I hope you ENJOY!  Remember, you can always share your creations with me on my Facebook page.  I love seeing what you create using one of my tutorials!

Happy Caking Y’ALL!!

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V-Petal Ruffles Mini-Tutorial

I was asked by Cake Masters magazine to submit a cake for their Ombré Cakes Collection in their latest May Issue.  I was assigned the colour BLUE and was immediately inspired!

The Violet Cake Shop - CM Blue Ombre - Full - 1st - IMG_5453 - iii - cropped &amp; watermarked

Right away, I knew what I wanted to do.  I had been playing around one day, and came up with a new and unique way of doing simple ruffles.  Once I saw “ombré” in the email, I KNEW I had to use this technique for the effect.

It is super simple so I hadn’t planned on doing a tutorial but luckily I had taken some pics anyway, for reference (hence the sub-par quality!)  I’ve now decided to post a quick mini-tutorial after all, because I had that cake on display at The Toronto Bakery Showcase just this past week, and I got TONNES of questions about how I created those ruffles.  So I’m guessing it’s not as simple as it may seem, for some.

The Violet Cake Shop - CM Blue Ombre - IMG_5028 - ii - watermarked

I used 8 gradients in the ombré, and with the same batch of fondant which was first coloured the deepest shade, I just kept adding in an equal amount of white each time after I was done with the shade I was working with.

See below for additional closeup photos of this cake…

But first, here are the basic step-by-step pics of how to make my V-Petal Ruffles – ENJOY!!  If you use these ruffles, please feel free to quote this tutorial and I’d love for you to share your creations to my Facebook page so I can see what you’ve done with them!

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Cut out an oval using a 2.5″ oval cutter

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Flip the oval over and dab some water on the very end of one side of the oval – this is the underside that will end up inside the folds

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Fold oval over, so the good side shows on the outside

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Mark the centre with the end of your brush – this helps with the folding

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Dab some water just on the end of the folded over oval

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Fold the ruffle at the crease you made earlier and pinch the end so it creates a point or ‘V’

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Cut a small portion off the bottom  – NOTE: this is only needed for the first row of ruffles that rest on the cakeboard

 

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Attach the first row to your cake with a dab of water down the centre of the back – if they have dried a bit, you may need to add more water and hold longer; add additional ruffles in rows (here I show three columns only, to give an idea); when adding V-Petals on top of an existing one, dab water under the point or ‘V’ of the new petal before attaching; sit each new petal inside the top gap of the previous ruffle underneath; pinch the top loops together if necessary, to neaten up the seams; try to ensure each column is straight, as you work your way up

 

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8 rows and 7 columns of ombré V-Petal Ruffles all completed =D

 

Now for some closeups of my Blue Ombré V-Petal Ruffle cake!

The Violet Cake Shop - CM Blue Ombre - IMG_5107 - ii - watermarked

The Violet Cake Shop - CM Blue Ombre - IMG_5308 - ii - watermarked

I have a tutorial in the April issue of Cake Masters for these Gumpaste Dogwood flowers that do not require special cutters.  I will post that tutorial here in a few months but if you can’t wait, you can always get a copy of the magazine first 😉

The Violet Cake Shop - CM Blue Ombre - IMG_5312 - ii - watermarked

I made the cosmos using my own method but I studied those made by Petalsweet Cakes intently!

The Violet Cake Shop - CM Blue Ombre - Full Cropped - IMG_5428 - ii - watermarked

Happy Caking Y’ALL!! =D


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Gumpaste Ranunculus Tutorial by The Violet Cake Shop™

I first made this tutorial in early 2014 after having made a Christmas cake that featured my own modified version of the sugar ranunculus flower.  It was to help celebrate a recent Facebook milestone and to thank my followers for their support of my humble page.  It was also my first real, full-length tutorial and I was worried how it would be taken.  Thankfully, everyone was very supportive!

Cover Photo - Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus

 

Well, two years later and I figured I better get some of my tutorials up on my blog since it would seem, they are not easily found on my Facebook page, despite being in their own Albums.  So, I will slowly start to upload my free tutorials each as a blog post, even though I did do a catchall tutorial blog post with links to all my existing tutorials.  I guess having them each accessible in their own individual post is just easier all around.

This Christmas cake from 2013 is still one of my fave designs since I tried a lot of new things for me including making gumpaste flowers.

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Here are the tutorial steps to help you create your very own gumpaste ranunculus…ENJOY!

Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 2 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 3 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 4 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 5 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 6 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 7 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 8 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 9 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 10 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 11 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 12 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 13 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 14 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 15 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 16 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 17 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 18 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 19 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 20 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 21 Tutorial - My Version of a Ranunculus - 22


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Lotus, Lotus, LOTUS!

Super Cake Moms - LOTUS - The Violet Cake Shop - IMG_4518 - twmpm

SO…I’ve been super-lax in blogging and keeping up with my cake decorating shenanigans!  I’ve got a few excuses though…two kiddos, one which is super high maintenance right now (as she has been ALL her life but a bit more so lately) and the other, off on summer vacation from school (bless his heart he is easy peasy but there are times…), hubby’s business trips, a few projects that I’ve been working on and just general every day stuff that happens…

But I’ve been promising for a few months now to post the story behind probably my most popular cake at the time I took the poll back in…(OMG…just checked back and it was a YEAR ago…my BAD…so sorry!) August of last year.  Overwhelmingly, my Lotus cake, made for the Super Cake Moms collaboration, got the most votes.  It was also my first ever cake collaboration so I was very stressed by the calibre of the rest of the members of the group.  I remember that I really wanted it to stand out but also knew I, as a non-flower person I must add, was not going to be able to make the most realistic of flowers.  Heck, I’d never even touched gumpaste more than twice at this point.  But I challenged myself to go ahead and try and come up with something new.

So I tried my hand at making a life-sized lotus flower which was my chosen flower as I wanted to pay homage to my mom and also my motherland, China.  The LOTUS is a very symbolic flower in Chinese culture and represents purity of the body, speech, and mind. It is a large flower, often more than 7″ wide, that blooms and rises out of muddy waters and floats above it, which is what I wanted to represent with the bottom tier. The ponds and water it grows in, in China and other Asian countries often also have bamboo which I used on the top tier and which also symbolizes the country of China where both sides of my & my husband’s family are originally from.

Lotuses can actually grow to larger than the size of a medium watermelon so this is still small by comparison but it ended up being about 6″ across.

Super Mom's Collaboration - Lotus - outdoor twmpm

My first attempt actually resulted in more pointed petals which I did not feel was as realistic.

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So I started over and made the petals fuller.

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I started with white gumpaste petals and dusted, and dusted AND DUSTED with hot pink petal dust to come up with this colour.

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I also added some soft pink dust in the centre of each petal to give it some more depth.  This flower was completely unwired but I did end up inserting a small dowel into the very centre after the petals were assembled and it had dried for about a day, so that I could adhere it to the cake and not have to worry about it falling off.  I actually put it together very much like you would a fondant loopy bow but I started with the inside petals first and added on the outer ones, with each petal being adhered to the growing bloom with just some fresh fondant as the glue.

I was very happy with it in the end but KNEW it was not realistic or lifelike.  As with most of the flowers I made, it had a very stylized look so I decided to celebrate the distinctiveness of how I formed the petals and call it a stylized gumpaste lotus!

This flower ended up being SO popular that I was constantly being asked for a tutorial for it.  I was finally able to make a PDF tutorial of a smaller version of it and included in my Craftsy class, Cakes in Vivid Color (which by the way you can get with my special Instructor’s discount here).  I had hoped to include it IN the actual class itself but alas, we ran out of time and had to cut it during filming which was a bit disappointing =(.  But I definitely am happy that we were able to include a free downloadable version of it for all that enrolled, especially given that it is used on three of the four designs shown in the class.

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I also have an extended version of it available in my Ecwid Shop on Facebook.

The Violet Cake Shop - Stylized Gumpaste Lotus Tutorial - Cover Photo

I loved the lotus flower so much that I played around with a wafer paper version of it which was used on my Festival of Lights collaboration cake.

The Violet Cake Shop - Festival of Lights - brighter - watermark

I have a free tutorial for the wafer paper version that you can find on my Facebook page here.

Wafer Paper Lotus Tutorial

I have since used it on a few other cakes as well, both for collaborations.  The first one was for the Pretty Pink for Yasmine collaboration honouring a sweet young girl 10 years after her passing, who would have turned 15.

The Violet Cake Shop for Pretty Pink for Yasmine collab - final submission

I mixed it in amongst some delicate gumpaste cherry blossoms to create an angelic feeling of a fairy garden.

The Violet Cake Shop for Pretty Pink for Yasmine - closeup - quick edit - twmpm tcollabwm

The other time was for the Elegant Indian Fashion collaboration where I used a single, medium-sized fantasy lotus, painted with gold lustre dust to top my saree inspired cake.

Violet - EIF

Violet - EIF - closeup gold lotus - twmpm

I have been going a bit LOTUS crazy lately but I hope y’all still like it lol!

Happy Caking Y’ALL!! =D