1. To create a flat of seedlings, slice the top off a small loaf cake. Tint chocolate icing with black coloring, and use a quick icer tip to cover the sides of the cake. Use a warm, dry spatula to smooth the icing, making indentations denoting tray partitions. Use tip No. 21 to pipe brown icing on top of the cake.
2. Outline the top of the cake using tip No. 12 and the black-tinted chocolate icing. Then, pipe a line down the center and two lines across the cake. Fill the partitions with crushed chocolate cookies or cereal.
3. Use a dowel to poke a hole in each partition. With leaf tip No. 352, pipe three small leaves sprouting from the hole in each partition.
4. Make a placard with one pointed end out of white royal icing or gumpaste. Use an edible ink pen to write the name of the flower on the placard, and insert it in one compartment of the seedling flat.
1. To make a flower cupcake pull-apart, bake the cupcakes in a blossom shaped pan. Pour more batter in the center cupcake so it will stick up more than the ones surrounding it. By using a shaped pan, the cupcakes bake to conform to the shape, making it easier to create the shaped pull-aparts.
2. Use cake boards to flip the cupcakes out of the pan, and position the cupcakes slightly offset on the cake board. Use tip No. 2A (or tip No. 12) and pink icing to top the outer cupcakes. Loop the tip up one side and down the other, overpiping the outer edge a bit. Smooth the icing using a warm, dry spatula, creating small dips in the icing.
3. Use tip No. 333 to fill the center cupcake (the flower’s stigma) with yellow icing. Pipe a stem at the bottom of the blossom using green icing and tip No. 12. Then, add leaves on either side of the stem using v-tip No. 365.
1. A flowerpot is a surprisingly cost-effective method of showcasing cupcakes and cookies. Insert a wooden coffee stirrer into the flower-shaped cookie before baking. The coffee stirrer is a bit longer than a popsicle stick or tongue depressor.
2. Paint the wooden stick with green food coloring. Use tip No. 12 to pipe yellow icing around each of the petals. Smooth the icing on each petal into a cupped shape with a warm, dry spatula.
3. With tip No. 7, pipe a dot of yellow icing in the center of the flower and circle around the edges, building up the stigma of the flower. Pipe orange zigzags around the stigma with tip No. 3.
4. Cut leaves out of unbaked cookie dough using a lily-shaped gumpaste cutter. The lily cutter features a pointed tip at one end, which makes the cookie easier to insert into the flowerpot. After baking, outline and then fill the leaves with green icing using tip No. 12. Use a warm, dry spatula to smooth the icing, creating indentations in the center of the leaves with the edge of the spatula.
5. Fill the flowerpot with a large cupcake. Use star tip No. 32 to pipe chocolate icing on top of the cupcake. Cover the icing with crushed chocolate cookies or cereal to imitate dirt. Insert the flower in the center of the flowerpot and place a leaf on either side of the blossom.
1. To create cherry blossom cupcakes, you have several options. Coat the tops of cupcakes with blue icing to add a bit of color. Pipe the brown branch with tip No. 5. Place plunger cut gumpaste flowers along the branch.
2. For a cherry blossom with dimension, pipe the branches ahead of time out of royal icing, and place plunger cut gumpaste flowers along the branches. Once dry, insert the branches upright into the cupcake.
3. Another option is to use flowers and a butterfly to add dimension. Pipe the cherry blossom branch using tip No. 5. Add gumpaste calyx flowers along the branch, and place a small gumpaste butterfly at the bottom. Pipe orange accents to the flowers and butterfly using tip No. 2.
Bob Brougham has more than 30 years of cake decorating experience, and he opened his own bakery, The Cakery in North Aurora, Ill., 20 years ago. He is a mostly self-taught decorator who made the switch to bakery after attending culinary school and working as a chef. He began competing in local competitions, and he recently has participated in a cake decorating challenge on the TLC series Ultimate Cake Off.
Deck your showcases with cupcake and small cake bouquets decorated like flowers. The choices are almost limitless and offer a great way to add color to your displays.