Use this tutorial to learn how to make easy royal icing flowers (sugar flowers) for decorating cakes and cupcakes.
Today's post is going to cover all the details on making beautiful sugar decorations, using an icing that's made with meringue powder and dries hard. The technique is simple and they can be made months in advance. You will learn how to make a basic flower with a single row of petals and a more "fuller" flower with multiple rows of petals.
Table of contents
How to make royal icing flowers for cakes and cupcakes?
- Make icing- Royal icing is the perfect choice because it dries hard.
- Color it- Using gel colors.
- Prepare piping bag- Fill it with icing and attach Tip #104.
- Start piping- Hold your bag at a 45 degree angle in the center (the wider end of the tip should be at the bottom).Make a "loop." Continue doing this until you have a whole circle of petals.
- Make another row of petals- This is optional but makes a more "fuller" flower.
- Fill centers- Fill another piping bag with yellow icing and attach Tip#3. Pipe little dots.
- Let it dry- At room temperature until hard and you are done.
Variations for sugar flowers
Try different colors- Be sure to use gel colors because they are thicker and concentrated and won't affect the consistency of the icing.
Decorate other desserts- I used it to decorate a cake but you can easily use it on brownies or cupcakes or even cookies.
Make larger or smaller flowers- These flowers were about 2 inches in diameter but you can make them bigger or smaller, using smaller or larger decorating tips.
Add extracts- Flavor the icing in any extract of your choice. The classic choice is typically vanilla.
Make pure white icing- Use clear extracts if you want a truly white icing because the regular extracts will discolor it slightly.
Make flower cookies- Apply the same technique to make flowers on the flat side of Cut Out Sugar Cookies.
Tips and techniques
Be gentle- Just like Fondant Flowers or Wafer Paper Flowers or gum paste flowers, these are also very delicate. So, be careful when you are removing them from the wax paper and when you are storing them. They can break easily.
Drying time will vary- The drying time for sugar flowers is based on the humidity in your area. High humidity = Slower drying time. You can position a small portable fan near the flowers to dry them faster, if you like. Also, keep in mind that bigger and heavier decorations take longer to dry.
How far in advance can you make icing flowers? How long do royal icing flowers last? They can be made 6 months in advance, as long as you store properly away from sunlight and moisture at room temperature. It's a good idea to make lots of them in advance. This way, you will always have flowers for decorating last minute party desserts.
Can you make flowers with Glace Icing? No. That's because it's typically thinner than royal icing and the petals won't hold their shape.
Don’t decorate a warm cake- This is very important because if the cake is warm, the decorations can melt and become messy.
Flower decorations must be dry– If the flower is not dry, it will break apart when you are trying to remove it from the wax paper and place it on the cake.
Room temperature- The dry flowers are best stored at room temperature in a covered box, away from humidity, moisture and sunlight.
Refrigerate- These flowers cannot be in the fridge for a long period of time because the moisture can cause them to melt and disintegrate.
Freeze- The flowers cannot be frozen because the moisture can cause them to melt and disintegrate.
More decorated cakes
- Shirt Cake
- Spring Cake with Flowers and Bumblebee
- Fondant Flower Cake
- Cake with Easy Fondant Bows
- Easy Star Wars Cake (Death Star Cake)
- Blue Ombre Cake
- Butterfly Cake
- Peacock Cake
- Easy Cake Tower
Easy Royal Icing Flowers
- Cut out small square pieces of wax paper. Stick the wax paper on top of the flower nail with some icing.
- Fill a piping bag with pink royal icing and attach Tip #104. Hold your piping bag at a 45 degree angle in the center (the wider end of the tip should be at the bottom and the narrow end should be at the top).Make a "loop" with frosting, as shown by the arrows. This will be the first petal.
- Repeat Step 2 a few times until you have a full circle of pink petals.You can stop here and make little yellow icing dots in the center. But, if you want a more full and "petally" flower, keep going.
- Make another circle of petals by piping "loop" shapes, like you were doing earlier.
- Fill another piping bag with yellow royal icing and attach Tip#3.Pipe little dots in the center of the flower.
- Push your flower nail into a styrofoam block and let this flower dry for 24 hours or until it hardens completely.
- While the decorations are drying, bake chocolate cake and let it cool completely.
- Then, ice it with ganache frosting.
- Remove sugar flowers from wax paper gently and stick them on top of the icing.
- Toss some sprinkles to fill the empty space. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftover cake can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.