2009_04_08-CupcakesTop.jpg2009_04_08-CupcakesThumb.jpgHere's a fun question from Liz! She writes:
Where can I buy pre-made gum paste flowers for decorating cupcakes? I am considering baking my own wedding cupcakes, but do not have the skill to frost them beautifully, and would like something nicer than a big gob of buttercream and sprinkles on top.
I was thinking if I could find pre-made gum paste flowers, i could put a schmear of buttercream on top of each cupcake and top with a pretty flower. (I considered edible flowers, but wasn't sure how well they would survive a few days of storage, and I'm taking Faith's advice to not do anything food-related that close to the actual day.) Thanks!

Liz, there are a few options that come immediately to mind, and I am sure the readers will have other good ones for you. The first caveat, though, is that pre-made gum paste or sugar flowers can get quite expensive. But they are indeed a great way to pretty up your cupcakes or cakes. (Personally, I think cakes are a little easier to bake and store, especially if you don't tier them; just put them on different sizes or levels of cake plates.)

Either way, though, here are a few good sources for gum paste or sugar art flowers. Also, there's a gallery above of some cupcake inspirations. They're not necessarily connected to the products below — just some pretty ideas to get you inspired!

Wendy Kromer Confections - Well-known for her work with Martha Stewart. See her Cherry Blossom cake and some amazing birds. Beautiful and very expensive.
Gum Paste Flowers at Chef Tools - A wide range of wedding-ish flowers, like roses, peonies, lilies, and other things. Range of prices, too.
Sugarcraft - Perhaps the largest online selection of edible flowers, but a confusing menu and difficult shopping experience.
Gum Paste Flowers from Cakes by Sam - A great selection of flowers at great prices. Make sure to look at the flower sprays and leaves too.
Edible Decorations at Country Kitchen Sweet Art - A more user-friendly shopping experience, and a ton of variety.
Gum Paste Flowers at Global Sugar Art - More flowers, including the usual lilies, roses, and daisies.
Millalove Paper Cupcake Toppers - Also consider paper toppers! Very cute. $15/dozen at Millalove's Etsy shop.
Candied Flower Petals at Market Hall Foods. I love these candied flowers; they aren't whole flowers, just petals, so they are sturdier and they taste better than gum paste. (Cupcake pictured above, last in slideshow, with candied violets.)

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
Also see this post on homemade pastillage:

Word of Mouth: Pastillage - Pastillage is like edible play-doh or molding clay. You roll it out and cut it into shapes, and then the candy-like shapes can sit for weeks until you're ready to use them. I did this for wedding cupcakes one time. I piped a bit of frosting on top of each mini cupcake, then stuck a homemade pastillage heart into the swirl of icing. Cute and quite easy. Cheap, too. If there is a simple shape that goes with your wedding (heart, star, daisy, etc) this is one option to consider.

Images:

TOP ROW
1 Bev of Sugarbloom Cupcakes on Flickr
2 Floral cupcakes at Country Living - Royal icing decorations from Sugarcraft.
3 Apple Cupcakes from Martha Stewart - With fondant leaves.
4 Millalove Paper Cupcake Toppers
5 Candied Violet Petals from Market Hall Foods

BOTTOM ROW
6 Janset1 on Flickr
7 Bev of Sugarbloom Cupcakes on Flickr
8 Kristiapaz on Flickr
9 A Baked Creation via Flickr
10 Spring Cupcakes with Sugared Flowers at Martha Stewart

Related: Good Question: Where Can I Find Sugar Decorations?

(Images: Flickr member Bev (Sugarbloom Cupcakes); Country Living; Martha Stewart; Millalove; Market Hall Foods; Flickr member Janset1; Flickr member Bev (Sugarbloom Cupcakes); Flickr member kristiapaz; Flickr member abakedcreation; Martha Stewart; Faith Durand)