Naomi Yamamoto sugar flowers are some of the most admired in the world and this week we have her exquisite gumpaste English rose tutorial to share with you from her book, Sugar Flowers: The Signature Collection.
(For the classic David Austin rose, see Cake Geek’s Quickest Ever David Austin Rose Tutorial here, featured below.)
Extracted from Sugar Flowers: The Signature Collection by Naomi Yamamoto (£45.00, B. Dutton Publishing). Photography by Takeharu Hioki.
Naomi Yamamoto’s Gumpaste English Rose Tutorial: Materials
- Squires Kitchen Designer Pollen Dust Food Colour: Pale Golden
- Squires Kitchen Fairtrade Sugarpaste: Ballerina Pink (Fondant)
- Squires Kitchen Sugar Florist Paste (SFP): Pale Pink and White (Gumpaste)
- Squires Kitchen Professional Dust Food Colours: Cyclamen, Holly/Ivy, Rose and Vine
- Squires Kitchen Designer Bridal Satin Dust Food Colour: White Satin
- Squires Kitchen Quality Food Colour (QFC) Dust: Pink
- Yellow cotton thread
- 3cm and 4cm (1 1/8” and 1½”) polystyrene balls
- 5cm and 6cm (2” and 2 3/8”) polystyrene ball formers
- 20-, 22- and 30-gauge green floral wires
- 28-gauge white floral wires
- Green floral tape
- 4cm (1½”) circle cutter
- Orchard Products Carnation Cutters: 2.5cm, 3.3cm and 4cm (1”, 1¼” and 1½”)
- Squires Kitchen Multi-Flower Cutter Set 1: nos. 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7
- Orchard Products Rose Leaf Cutter Set of 4: R576A (2cm, 2.5cm, 3.5cm and 4cm/¾”, 1”, 1 3/8” and 1½”)
- Squires Kitchen Great Impressions Rose Leaf Veiner Set of 3: Small, Medium and Large (3cm, 3.7cm and 4.5cm/1¼”, 1½” and 1¾”)
Flower Centre and Base
- Wind cotton thread around your index and middle fingers 20–30 times. Cut the thread from the reel and remove it from your fingers. Twist the thread once in the middle to make a figure of eight then fold one ring over the other.
- Pass one end of a 30-gauge wire through the ring of thread, fold the wire in half over the cotton then twist the wires together twice to hold it in place. Wind the shorter end of the wire twice around the base of the cotton ring, then twist the wires together down the length to make them into one.
- Cut through the cotton loop to make individual stamens then trim them to approximately 1cm (3 /8”) long. Dip the ends into edible glue and then into pollen dust food colour.
- Tape the wired stamens to a hooked 20-gauge green floral wire to make a stem.
- Cut a 4cm (1½”) polystyrene ball in half and put one half aside. Cut off the top of the remaining dome to flatten it, then smooth the edges with sandpaper. Make a hole in the centre of the dome with a bamboo skewer, making sure the skewer goes all the way through the ball vertically.
- Brush the domed side of the polystyrene flower base with edible glue. Roll out 30g (1oz) of sugarpaste/fondant in the same colour as chosen for the petals and use it to cover the domed side of the polystyrene. Re-insert the bamboo skewer so the hole is visible.
- Turn the flower base over so the flat side is facing upwards. Cut out a circle of sugarpaste/fondant using a 4cm (1½”) circle cutter and attach it to the flat side using edible glue. Re-insert the bamboo skewer so the hole is visible.
- Fill the hole on the domed side of the flower base with SFP. Insert the wire stem of the cotton thread stamen centre into the hole at the flat side of the flower base and secure with edible glue at the base of the thread. Leave to dry.
- Roll a very small amount of Ballerina Pink fondant into a sausage and wrap it around the base of the cotton thread flower centre, on top of the covered polystyrene base.
- Roll out some pale pink gumpaste and cut out two flower shapes with the 2.5cm (1”) carnation cutter. Stretch the paste by running a bone tool from the centre of the circle to the edge of each frond. Vein with a veining tool.
- Cut each flower shape into quarters to make eight petals. Glue four of the petals around the ring of fondant so they are evenly spaced at the base of the cotton thread centre. Glue the remaining four petals in between the previous petals.
- Repeat steps 1–2 to create two sets of petals using the 3.3cm (1¼”) carnation cutter and attach them around the smaller petals (A).
- Roll a small amount of Ballerina Pink fondant into a sausage and wrap it around the base of the petals. Smooth the paste with your fingers to make the flower base more spherical, with a dome shape under the attached petals (B).
- Repeat steps 1–2 to create two sets of petals using the 4cm (1½”) carnation cutter and attach them around the previous petals (C).
- Brush the central petals with Rose dust food colour mixed with a small amount of Cyclamen.
- Knead a small amount of white gumpaste into some pale pink gumpaste to make a paler pink paste for the outer petals.
- Thinly roll out some of the paste and cut out five petals with the no. 4 cutter from SK Multi-Flower Cutter Set 1. Vein them using a veining tool and soften the edges with a bone tool. Brush the veined side of each petal with White Satin dust food colour then brush a little Vine at the base of each one.
- Place each petal over the top of a 5cm (2”) polystyrene ball former. Fit the petal to the former from top to bottom and pull together both sides of the excess paste from the bottom centre of the petal. Fold the excess paste to one side and cut it away with fine scissors. Smooth the cut edges with your finger. Leave the petals to semi-dry on the formers.
- Use edible glue to attach the five petals so they are evenly spaced around the inner petals, with the top edge of the petals slightly higher than the centre (D).
- Repeat steps 2–3 to make five petals using the no. 6 cutter and a 5cm (2”) ball former. Attach the petals around the previous layer using edible glue, with the centre of each petal covering a join in the previous layer.
- Repeat step 5 to make five petals using the no. 6 petal cutter and a 6cm (2 3 /8”) ball former (E).
- For the fourth layer, repeat step 5 to make five petals using the no. 7 cutter and a 6cm (2 3/8”) ball former. Attach these petals at the bottom of the flower base with edible glue (F).
- To make the final five petals, roll out two pieces of gumpaste into thin sheets approximately the same size. Line five glued 28-gauge white wires on one sheet of paste and lay the second sheet on top. Rub the SFP with your fingers to secure the wires between the two layers. Cut the gumpaste into strips so that each strip of paste has a wire in the centre. Use a CelStick to thinly roll out the paste around the wire. Use the no. 7 cutter from SK Multi-Flower Cutter Set 1 to cut out five petals.
- Vein both sides of each petal with a veining tool and frill the edges with a bone tool. Brush both sides of the petal with White Satin dust food colour.
- Place each petal over the top of a 6cm (2 3/8”) polystyrene ball former without bending the wire. Pinch together the excess paste under the wire at the base of the petal with your thumb and index finger. Lift the petal off the former and cut out the triangle of excess paste between the base of the petal and the wire.
- Return the petal to the former. Overlap the cut ends of the petal then bend the wire down to cover the join in the paste. Press with your thumbs to ensure the petal is snug against the former. Remove the excess paste from around the wire and pinch the edges of the petal to shape it outwards (G).
- Use floral tape to attach the petals at the base so they are evenly spaced around the previous petals. Tape down the wire.
- Fold full-width green floral tape into five 8cm (3 1/8”) long layers then cut the folds to make uniform lengths of tape. Hold the lengths of tape together and use fine scissors to cut one end to a point. Make diagonal cuts into either side of the tape lengths, leaving 2cm (¾”) uncut at the base.
- Separate the lengths and stretch out each one. Twist the pointed ends and curl the tips between your thumb and finger.
- Brush the outside of the tape with Holly/Ivy and Vine dust food colours and add a touch of Cyclamen to the edges.
- Brush the inside with edible glue and attach each calyx sepal to the base of the flower with edible glue. Bring together the ends of each calyx with floral tape and wrap it down the wire to secure them in place.
- Flatten the top of a 3cm (1 1/8”) polystyrene ball slightly with sandpaper. Use a bamboo skewer to make a hole in the bottom of the ball. Brush a small amount of edible glue in the hole. Plug the hole with a small piece of SFP. 2 Make a small hook in the end of a 22-gauge floral wire and brush it with edible glue. Insert the wire into the SFP and leave it standing upright in a polystyrene block to dry.
- Thinly roll out some gumpaste and cut out five petals using cutter no. 1 from SK Multi-Flower Cutter Set 1. Smooth the edges with a flower shaping tool.
- Glue the petals to the top of the polystyrene ball one by one, evenly spaced, with the points at the centre. Tuck the edge of the last petal under the first petal. Brush the petals with White Satin dust food colour.
- Follow steps 1–3 for the inner petals of the flower to cut out and shape one set of each size of petals. Attach them close together around the bud centre in a flatter, closed position (H).
- Brush the petals with White Satin dust food colour and catch the tips of the petals with a mixture of Rose and Cyclamen.
- Make the outer petals for the bud following steps 1–3 for the outer petals of the flower; you will need three petals made with both of the no. 5 and 6 cutters from SK Multi-Flower Cutter Set 1.
- Brush the veined side of the petals with White Satin dust food colour then add a little Pink dust food colour at the base of each petal.
- Attach the three smaller petals with edible glue so they are evenly spaced and high enough up the flower base to curve around the edge of the inner petals. Attach the three larger petals around the base of the bud.
- Make and attach the calyx as for the flower then tape down the wire of the bud (I).
Gumpaste English Rose Tutorial extracted from Sugar Flowers: The Signature Collection by Naomi Yamamoto. Photography by Takeharu Hioki. Published by B. Dutton Publishing.