Hi everyone! I've received several requests lately for a video demonstration of how to make gum paste succulent plants.
Succulents are beautifully unique plants known for their unusual appearance and thick stems & leaves. I can remember growing "hens & chicks" when I little, but had no idea until recently that these (among many other varieties) are known as succulents!
More and more, I've noticed succulent plants tucked among the flowers in bridal bouquets and on wedding cakes as well! - The look has a fresh, modern feel--and I was so happy to find that these plants are EXTREMELY simple to recreate in fondant and gum paste.
Whether using them as a the focal point on a wedding cake, or as an interesting filler among a bouquet of sugar flowers, these plants always bring an element of elegance . I hope that you enjoy making them!
Materials and Notes
**In this video, my cake is frosted with high ratio buttercream that has been textured with vertical strokes. I don't demonstrate this in the video, as we already have a tutorial on this method. CLICK HERE if you'd like to see! ;0)
In this video, my succulents are added to a 3 tiered cake--10"/6"/4"", frosted in high ratio buttercream . Each tier is resting on it's own cardboard cake circle, with bubble tea straws beneath.
Gum Paste: I used Satin Ice brand gum paste. Since most succulents are fairly thick, fondant can be easily substituted. If your fondant is very soft, you may still want to knead in a little tylose to make it more manageable.
Coloring Gel: Succulents vary so much in color that we experimented with a number of shades of green, and also combined some of our colors. It's best to experiment with tinting small amounts of gum paste to see what color combinations you like best. I used: Americolor Forest Green, Electric Green, Avacado Green, Teal, and Wilton Juniper. I also used Americolor Regal Purple. If you don't have all of these colors, don't worry. You have a lot of options when it comes to color.
Cookie Cutters/Gum paste cutters- Again, work with what you have, or with cutters that you can use for other flowers as well. I used a Wilton Daisy Cutter Set in this tutorial, as well as a basic metal blossom set that I already had. As you see in the video, I also used a basic rose petal cutter and Ateco leaf plunger cutter for one of the succulents, just to demonstrate the flexibility that you have when choosing your succulent cutters.
Floral Wire- Optional, but necessary if you'd like to make the vine with green berries like I did.
Petal Dust- Your dusts of choice--I used mainly purple (Wedgewood), Red (Flame), and Sunflower, along with Super Pearl dust. You have a lot of flexibility here, this is just what I happened to have.
Sugar Glue- (Recipes section) - 2 tablespoons warm water combined with ¼ tsp. tylose powder.
Hi Maria, the SPS is a popular support system for tiered cakes. The system of plates and columns makes traveling with an assembled cake much less risky. Here is a link to a video where we use the SPS support, https://www.mycakeschool.com/video-tutorials/autumnsps/
I love this video ! I am so excited to have some new filler flowers/leaves/shapes to make for my cakes..especially wedding cakes. My customers this year want something 'different' with rustic themes and woodsy wildflowers in browns and moss greens and I m excited to have these succulents to add now ! While watching this tutorial, I remembered a couple things I've learned lately and thought I would share them with you and other members. #1. To give flowers movement you mentioned using little pieces of plastic wrap etc until your flowers are dry , I now cut a plain kitchen sponge into tiny pieces, place a piece wherever you want until your gumpaste flower or leaf is dry. I use tweezers to place the small pieces where I want them and tweezers make it easier to remove the tiny sponge pieces preventing breakage of all your hard work . #2. I also learned to give my larger flowers movement I put three or four styrofoam cake forms together , for instance 12, 10 , 8 and 6 inch sizes-put a wooden dowel down through the middle and as you make your gumpaste flowers this cake form allows you to place as many flowers as you need up against the tiers while they dry, and then when you are ready to place the flowers on your real cake you don't have to risk breaking them by trying to "bend them a little " to fit . Hope these two little tips help. They've saved me a lot of frustration. I now have a little jar filled with tiny pieces of cut up sponge and the tweezers are attached to the bottle :)
Hi Bernice! Thank you so much for your feedback, and especially for your helpful hints! I love both of those ideas, and I'm sure that I will be using them in the future ;0) --
What colors did you use for the succulents that are more blueish gray/green color?
Hi, for the blueish gray/green, I think we used Americolor Avacado Green and just a touch of Americolor Teal....I used a toothpick to dip into the Teal to get just a bit of color. We really just experimented with colors until we got something we liked. I'm not sure if we added an additional green (from Melissa's list of colors) to this.
love the 1st. part of the video. maybe it was just me since no one else commented on this but the entire last half of the video was of your cupboards and counter top, it seemed as if your camera moved a little so you were no longer in the shot. I could hear you clearly but was looking your arm and kitchen.
Hi Cheri-- I was confused at first by the "I was looking at your arm & kitchen" comment at first but in looking at the video, I see that you are referring to the parts of the video where we filmed closer shots of the succulents--assembling them, adding color/dusting them, etc. From a further distance, you may have seen more of me...but you wouldn't have seen as much detail in the succulents. I'm sorry if you found it distracting. We usually have a pretty even balance of distant/close-up shots..but some video tutorials (flowers, figure modeling, etc.) call for more close-ups.
I loved the video as always. It was very informative as I had no idea these plants were called succulents. I googled them and was surprised to see such a wide range in different colors and shapes.
I think i will be practicing some of these using them with some other flowers.
Yhanks for the lovely video ladies!!
Thanks Melissa. Another great tutorial! I appreciated that you used cutters and supplies that you already had. Many teachers make us think we need to buy something "to get that look". I understand that they sell the c
Equipment as a source of their income, but it is helpful to know how to recycle what we have and "get that look". Very lovely cake.
Thanks Ann, I'm so glad that you liked it! Yes, whenever I can, I try to make use of what I already have ;0) Succulents are easily made with all sorts of basic flower cookie cutters! Have fun experimenting!
Awesome! So pretty and I cannot wait to try this one. Love rustic and wild flowers etc.
Love this video. Thank you