How to make gum paste orchids

The fondant bamboo works perfectly with the Spathoglottis orchids!

I love orchids of all kinds, they have majestic beauty. Depending on the size of the orchid (there are around 25,000- 35,000 species of orchids), they can be a filler flower or the focus flower on wedding cake.

In this case I have taken tiny orchid, the Spathoglottis orchid and designed an asian inspired cookie with sugar paste bamboo trim.

All orchids have the same parts a column, anther cap, later petals, sepal petals, a lip and throat. The column and anther cap are the most time consuming. The overall flower shape is characteristically bilaterally symmetrical (the left and right halves of the blossom are mirror images).

I love creating orchids each species have there own characteristic. I wanted to share an orchid tutorial with you, for the most part you will follow the same methods for creating your favorite orchid, whether it be a  slender Vanilla orchid, a large Caymbidium  or tiny Spathoglottis orchids.

  Spathoglottis Orchids:

Equipment:

How to make gum paste orchids tutorial

The orchid bamboo cookie would be a perfect wedding favor!

  • 33,30, 28,26 & 22 gauge wire
  • 1/4 width  white floral tape
  • 1/2 width nile green tape
  • Tap-It mat, ISAC
  • Shaping foam, wilton
  • Foam pad
  • Spathoglottis cutter, TT
  • Christmas rose veiner, SKGI
  • Silk veining tool, HP
  • Celstick, Celcakes
  • Jem veining tool, JEM
  • Small rolling pin
  • Metal ball tool
  • Tweezers
  • Small wire cutters
  • Artistist brushes
  • Size gauge chart
  • Floral foam
  • Stay fresh mat
  • Steamer, optional

Materials:

  • Flower paste, gum paste
  • Aubergine petal dust, SF
  • Plum petal dust, SF
  • Iridescent gold shimmer,
  • Daffodil yellow, CK
  • Egg white
  • Crisco
  • Cornstarch
  • Egg white

You can find the supplies at 5th Avenue Cake Designs

 Knead, condition your flowerpaste/gumpaste  and prepare your mise place.

How to make gum paste orchids

Mise en place

Anther/ Column: 

Cut a 33 gauge wire in 1/4th sections, you will need 15 asian orchids for five sugar cookie frames, you also need 15 anthers caps. Knead and condition a # 3 size seamless ball of flowerpaste. Insert a 33 gauge wire into the seamless ball.

Gently roll the paste down the wire to create a slender shape with a slightly wider tip. With your thumb and forefinger work the paste into a point on the wire. Curve the anther cap and hollow out the tip with a ball tool and soften the edges. Using your tweezers pinch the back of the anther cap. Roll a 1/2mm ball of paste, slice with x-acto blade in half to the centre, this is the anther cap. Brush a little egg white on the back of the anther cap, and attach in the hollow tip.

Place in a straw in a floral foam to dry.

 Labellum/Throat:

 Cut 1/4 sections of 30 gauge wire, you will need 15 wires for 15 throats. Roll out and condition kneaded flowerpaste on a groove board, until transparently thin. Transfer to a Tap-It mat and cut with the oddly shaped cutter (stick people shape). Dip your 30 gauge wire into the egg white, wipe off the excess and thread the groove of the throat. Place the throat on your foam pad, use a small metal ball tool half on the pad and half off of the heart shape of the throat to thin the edges and to slightly concave. Use your silk veining tool to frill and add texture. Next use the ball tool on the legs to thin and curl.

Place in a straw in a floral foam to dry.

 Lateral and Dorsal Petals:

The lateral and dorsal petals are created following the same method, only the shapes are different. The lateral petals are wider and dorsal petals are narrower. Roll your white kneaded and conditioned flowerpaste/gumpaste onto a groove board, roll the paste thinly until it is transparent. Cut out two lateral petals per orchid, and three dorsal petals per orchid. We generally create all the lateral petals (for this project 30) first, six petals at a time. Next we create the dorsal petals (45 for this project) five at a time.

Transfer the grooved paste to your work mat and cut out five petals. Place four petals under a stay fresh mat and the fifth one on your foam pad. Insert a 30 gauge wire that has been dipped in egg white. Use a metal ball tool half on the petal and half on the pad to soften the edges. Vein the petal in between a Christmas rose double sided veiner.   Use your thumb and forefinger to work the paste to a point on the wire, and transfer back onto the foam pad. Use the silk veining tool to add a little more texture to tip of the petals.

Turn the petal back side-up on a shaping foam and ball tool the back to cup the petal.

Place in a straw in a floral foam to dry.

How to make gum paste orchids

Guest love cookie frames!

Buds:

We decided for the sugar cookie bamboo frame two buds per Spathoglottis Asia Ground Orchid Spray would be perfect, therefore 30 buds were created. Cut 26 gauge wire in 1/4 sections. Design a floral tape bud, wrap 1/2-width white floral tape (1/4 will work as well) about five times around a hooked 26 gauge wire, and tape about 1/2 down the wire. Knead white flowerpaste into a seamless ball, and brush the taped wire with egg white. Push the taped wire through the ball. Work the ball down the taped wire to a point on the bottom and tip. Smooth into cone shape between your fingers. Create three sides with a Jem veining tool starting at the tip of the bud down to the base, (the lines should become lighter towards the centre to the base).

Place in a straw in a floral foam to dry.

Color and Assemble:

Color the anther with iridescent gold. Next color the throat, starting with the platform with daffodil yellow from the sides to the centre. Dust the entire throat with shimmer gold,now dust the  bottom part of the throat with a mixture of plum and aubergine dust (3-parts plum to 1-part aubergine) you will want to colour this section the heaviest. Dust the legs with the same mixture (on some we left the legs iridescent gold in the inside with the  mixture dusted only on the edge and back).

How to make gum paste orchids

The rocks add a special touch!

The Petals:

Dust all the petals front and back completely with gold shimmer. Dust the base up about 1/8 of the way with plum/aubergine mixture, dust sides towards the centre about 1/8th in with the plum/aubergine mixture, and the tip of the petals.

Assemble:

Every orchid is assembled in the same method. Tape the anther (column) to the labellum (throat with 1/4-width white floral tape, the column should be closest to the legs). Attach one lateral petal to one side of the throat more towards the column, keeping the tape taut wrap once around. Attach the second lateral petal to the other side, mirroring the first wrap, tape around once again. Next the dorsal petal, add the first one behind the column, pull the tape taut and wrap once around. The second dorsal petal attach slightly lower than the lateral petal; wrap the taut tape around once. Add the final petal to the other side mirroring the proceeding petal. Keeping the tape taut tape all the wires together all the way down to the bottom, and cut the excess wire with cutters.

Since the Spathoglottis Asian Orchid Spray is going to adorn the cookie create a floral tape cap to cover the bottom wires. Fondant/royal icing and wire doesn’t taste the best.

How to make gum paste orchids

You could paint orchids on the background for a completely different look!

Once you understand the method of the orchid you will be able to create a variety of orchid species, maybe not 35,000.

How to make gum paste orchids

Happy sugar orchid creating!