Poinsettias have become a staple during the holiday season, the plant is sold every year, and most homes have a few. It has become a family tradition to design a special cake that represents the season, last year we created a Buche de Nöel (Yule Log), I suggested we design another this year, but Sydney wanted something spectacular! Thinking of a spatular cake isn’t as easy as you think. As I was thumping the front of my head saying “think, think, think,” yes just like Winnie the Pooh, I glanced over to fireplace and saw…a poinsettia plant. Eureka! I had a dazzling idea to create a poinsettia cake with gumpaste poinsettias; Sydney agreed. We had so much fun with this cake I wanted to share how to bring your own poinsettia cake to life!
Poinsettia Gumpaste Plant:
- 26 gauge white wire
- 26 gauge green wire
- Fine needle nose pliers
- Embroidery scissors
- Wire cutters
- Fine groved needle nose pilers
- Green floral tape
- Art brushes
- Fresh mat
- A-ceto knife
- PME plain wheel
- Jem poinsettia cutters or global sugar
- Foam board
- Ball tool
- Poinsettia bract and leaf veiner, SKGI
- Groove board
- Gumpaste/fondant rolling pin
- Serger thread
- Petal dust: Vine, moss, forest, poinsettia red, crystal red, mimosa, aubergine, mimosa, edlerwise, and daffodil
- Sugartex, or DIY cornstarch & mimosa petal dust
- Food paste, red, green, yellow, and white
- Egg white/ glue
Prepare your mise en place.
You will need to create the flower/plant centre and the stamens, if you do not have sugartex then DIY. Place equal amounts of cornstarch and mimosa petal dust on a piece of parchment paper, set aside.
Now for the stamens cut 3 pieces of 6.35cm/2 1/2-inch serger thread, using your fine needle nose pliers and bend the green 26 gauge wire into an open hook, fold the threads in half, tie a knot around the loop of the hook. Smush/clamp the wire closed on the thread. Tape the 1/4 up of the thread and down the wire, cut the thread, color the thread red, lightly dip the tip of the thread into an egg white, and dip into sugartex or the mixture you previously made, with the cornstarch and mimosa petal dust. Allow the stamens to dry. With floral green tape place 5 stamens and six petals tape then tightly to create The yellow flowers, or cyathia, that is in the center of the colorful bracts.
For buds, kneed a small piece of pale green gumpaste, roll a ball, divide the ball in half, and hollow each half. Attach to the taped wire, add a tiny piece of daffodil yellow paste to the centre of the halved pieces, and use a celstick to place an indent in the yellow piece top.
For the cyathia (petals) cut 12 short white wire (cut the wire in thirds), knead some white gum, using a small piece of the white gum paste roll into a ball, and place on a grove of a groove board. Gently hollow the centre as you pull the petal to a point, dip the wire slightly in the glue (the egg white) and attach the petal. Allow the buds and petal to dry. Dust the buds with moss green petal dust. Dust the petal with daffodil yellow and a little red in the inside of the tip. We brought the poinsettia close enough to see and replicate.
The bracts and leaves are created similar. The poinsettia is actually a plant, and the bracts are the beautiful colored parts of Poinsettias
Most people think of these bracts as the flowers, however they are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). To prepare the bracts and green leaves color some gumpaste light red, knead the paste, roll out the gum paste thin, but not as thin as you would for a delicate flower (poinsettias have deep veins and you don’t want the bract to rip). I find it helps to place the bracts/leaves on the groove broad, lightly roll your gum paste with a rolling pin to create a thick centre for the wire. Dip a piece of wire in your egg glue, holding the bottom of the bract/leaf gingerly thread your wire half way up through the middle, pinch the bottom of the bract/leaf to secure to the wire. Soften the edge, but do not frill, lift the wired bract/leaf, and vein the bract/leaf. Add some movement (bend) to the bract/leaf and allow to dry. The number of bracts and leaves will depend on how big you want the poinsettia to be.
Coloring the Bract and Leafs.
Prepare your mise en place.
Having a poinsettia to look at helped us create the color, the red bracts had green and purple colors, some of veins were colored an aubergine purple and some were dark green. The green leafs had red and a smokey purple color, and veins were a light color, we mixed elderwise with vine petal dust to create a vibrate yellow green.
To assemble the poinsettia add six small bracts, one at a time to the centre buds/petal, using green floral tape to secure gingerly bend the bracts were you want them to be, then add five of the next larger size (still a small bract), one bract at a time, sightly lower then the first six bracts, again bending the bracts,and then add five medium size bracts, one bract at a time and slightly lower then the preceding bracts. For the larger poinsettia we added five of the large bracts, one at a time and sightly lower. After you have added the bracts and are satisfied with the placement of your bracts add you green leafs, in the same manor you added your bracts and bend them in place. As you are adding your bracts and leafs watch closely, it is quite easy to create a very large poinsettia. Sydney had to stop me, because my first poinsettia was almost as large as the plant I was replicating. No harm done, except to my ego.
I hope if you plan on creating a poinsettia cake our tutorial helps and you and your family have fun!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!