I spend a pretty large amount of time lurking peoples’ baking blogs and Instagram accounts, eyeballing all of the really beautiful cakes that dreams are made of (well, my dreams anyway). In my fantasy world I’d be a little more courageous, go to pastry school, and then be able to support myself financially by making beautiful cakes and desserts. But in reality I just dabble in it as a hobby, learn things by watching a lot of YouTube videos, and there is a lot of trial and error.
I started to take more of an interest in cake decor last year, and one of my first projects was a birthday cake for my mom. I wanted to make the kind of cake that you’d be sad to cut into because you wouldn’t want to ruin how nice it looked. I found a pretty good tutorial online for creating buttercream roses and, with the help of my boyfriend, ended up making a cake that was covered in them (he hates baking, for the record, but spent hours in the kitchen helping me make the cake and pipe buttercream roses – if that ain’t love, I don’t know what is!). Looking back on it, the roses weren’t really perfect, but for a beginner’s effort I’m still pretty satisfied.
My mom’s birthday was last weekend and I wanted to make her another cake that she would love. When I started planning it, I instantly thought that I’d like to learn how to make a gumpaste Gerbera daisy because they’re my mom’s favourite flower. I scoured the Internet and found a tutorial I really liked (of course it was on YouTube, because YouTube has EVERYTHIING! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5C83aKR1tA). I liked this tutorial the most because I felt like the daisies looked more realistic than the ones in some of the other videos I watched, and the instructor in the video explained each step and the products he was using really well.
Armed with my newfound knowledge about creating gumpaste daisies, I went to one of my favourite stores, Golda’s Kitchen, for supplies. To save myself some stress when making this cake, I bought fondant instead of making my own. In hindsight, I kind of wish I’d made my own, but it really did make it a bit easier since I was already pretty busy. I didn’t buy gumpaste, though, because I read a lot about gumpaste before executing this plan and found articles that said you can add Tylose to fondant to create gumpaste. I was trying to stay within a budget, so I figured I’d at least try the Tylose first before buying pre-made gumpaste, and my experience with it was great – it worked exactly as I’d hoped it would!
I was also really happy with the lustre dust I picked up. I originally wanted to use gold or silver leaf to decorate the cake, but when I saw the price I decided to pick up gold lustre dust and paint the cake with that instead. The lustre dust I purchased for the flower was a really nice colour, too – the finished product was pretty much exactly what I had envisioned when I first thought about how I wanted it to look.
I won’t get into the step-by-step process, I posted the YouTube link above in case anyone is interested, but I will say that it was much easier than I anticipated! I’m really excited to make more and to find other projects where I can use them.