Tips, tricks, and fun ideas for making gumdrop flowers.
You don't need a green thumb to make the candy rose petals that garnish Heavenly Angel Food Cake ―just a handful of gumdrops
and a dish of granulated sugar. Pretty enough to turn any dessert into a special occasion, gumdrop flowers can be made weeks
ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Gumdrops are super-inexpensive, so play around and have some fun―the less formal the shaping, the more natural the petals look. Like learning to crimp the edges of a piecrust, there's a rhythm that comes easily after making a few. Use these ideas as inspiration. Many of the tips and techniques for making rose petals can also be used to create other flowers.
Using your thumbs and forefingers, flatten one small gumdrop to 1/8-inch thickness, lengthening and widening to form a petal shape. Dredge lightly in granulated sugar to prevent sticking as you work. Repeat procedure for desired number of petals. Place petals on a wire rack, and let stand uncovered for 24 hours. Holding each petal between your thumbs and forefingers, use your thumb to press the lower center portion of the petal inward, cupping the petal. Gently curl the top outer edges of the petal backward.
Pasteurized egg whites not only offer a speedy shortcut when making cakes, but they're also safe to use in recipes calling for uncooked egg whites, such as a chilled mousse or soufflé. Don't be alarmed by their appearance―the consistency is much thinner than fresh egg whites, but the structure is the same. When testing recipes, we find they yield the same great results.
Gumdrop flowers are a great way to dress up store-bought sweets for a spur-of-the-moment party. Plain lemon tarts, purchased
from the bakery, glisten when topped with tiny bouquets of Gumdrop Honeysuckle blooms. They can even be used to add sparkle
to place cards or brighten a napkin ring.
Gumdrop Honeysuckle: Using your thumbs and forefingers, flatten one small yellow or white gumdrop to 1/8-inch thickness; dredge lightly in granulated sugar. Using a stephanotis cutter, cut shape; flatten slightly between fingertips, and dredge in granulated sugar. Roll shape to resemble a trumpet; gently press seam to seal. Fold petals down slightly to form a honeysuckle bloom. Repeat procedure for desired number of blooms.
Lavender and blue Gumdrop Violets along with fresh mint leaves make a magical border for a layer cake. Tip: Gumdrop colors
can vary with packaging, so use the same brand of purple gumdrops for all your flowers.
While rose petals are shaped completely by hand, violets and honeysuckle blooms get a quick start with gumpaste cutters. Sold in small sets and flower-making kits, gumpaste cutters can be found in the cake-decorating section of crafts stores.
The same cutter and shaping technique can be used to create other flowers. For example, the blossom cutter used for violets also makes beautiful yellow forsythia and pink phlox.