When my original idea for the tree frog cake I made didn’t look quite right, I needed to find a quick and simple tropical flower that would complement the colours and style of the decorations I had already made.
I did some research online (what did we do before the internet?) and decided on to make some Frangipanis. This little flower looks so simple: just five petals, no fiddly stamens or centres. How I underestimated these little buggers! I made 12 to start with and 9 ended up in the bin. After a lot of research, I combined a number of methods and was soon churning them out. So here is my sugarpaste Frangipani tutorial.
Please note, Frangipani plants contain a toxic milky sap and under no circumstances should you use fresh / real flowers or leaves on a cake.
Empty chocolate tray
Plain cake flour
Corn flour (for dusting)
Non-stick rolling pin
White petal paste
Frangipani petal cutter (I happened to find one in my Jem 2 set. It is cutter number 51 in my set)
Medium foam pad
Clear Alcohol (I’m a G&T girl so I use Gin)
Small thin brush
Large clean dusting brush
Small clean dusting brush
Yellow petal dust – I’ve used Squire’s Kitchen in “Marigold”
Go out and buy a tray of chocolates. Consume them all. (The things we must do for our craft!). Don’t throw out the packaging, as it is the plastic tray you are after. Have a snooze to recover from the sugar crash and then proceed to step two.
Fill the chocolate tray compartments with flour. I used plain cake flour. Shake to level them off. Using your ball tool, poke a neat hole in the middle of the flour.
Roll out some petal paste until it is fairly thin, but not paper thin. If you look at the real thing, you will see that Frangipani flowers are actually quite thick and waxy. Use the petal cutter to cut out 5 petals per flower. (Don’t forget to flip the paste over once you have rolled it out to get super smooth edges)
Place the petals on the foam pad. Curl the petals inward slightly by running the ball tool once down the centre of each petal.
Carefully paint a small strip of alcohol onto each petal. The strip only needs to be about 5mm long and only on the lower right hand side of the petal. The small red arrows show where I applied alcohol on each petal.
Place one petal on top of another, lining up the right hand edge of the lower petal with the left hand edge of the upper petal, to form a fan shape.
Using your ball tool, squish the base of the fan so that it flattens out a bit.
Remembering that there is only a little glue holding the flower together, very carefully roll the fan up so that the two ends overlap. You may need a tiny dot of alcohol to ensure the two ends stick together.
Twist, roll and pull the base into a spiral shape. It will elongate as you do this.
Trim off the end with a sharp knife.
Pop the flower into the hole into the flour.
Gently pull the petals apart to form a spiral. You can use a cocktail stick to move each petal individually and curl the free edge of the petal. The flour will support the weight of the flower until it is dry and can hold its shape on its own.
Once the flower is dry, remove it from the tray. Using a clean large brush, dust off any excess flour.
You can then dust it up, ready to go on the cake. I used Squire’s Kitchen food dust in “Marigold”.