Here'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.)
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.
• 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
(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)