I have made Peony flowers many times the traditional way – by cutting, veining, frilling, wiring and drying each petal individually. They looked amazing – see… they also took F O R E V E R.
Well maybe not that long but more time that this working mamma has to dedicate to cakey flowers as often as I get asked to make them. You can imagine how thrilled I was to see these jems of cutters at my local cake studio recently. They look like this and are called Easy Peasy Peony Cutter Set by Sugar Crafty.All the petals are joined together – genius!
So how quick is it? Well, I can make, cut and dust a large flower in about half an hour! The only shortcoming with these that I can see is that they don’t magically speed up the fondant drying time, so it is still a couple of hours before the peony can be assembled.
To make a peony using these cutters follow these steps:
1. Roll out out fondant to approximately 1-2mm thick and cut out the largest peony shape. I like to do two of these.
2. Using a foam pad, roll the edges with a balling tool to give them shape and ruffle. It took me a long time to master this, despite it being pretty simple. The secret is to position the balling tool half on and half off the edge of the fondant shape and use a firm pressure. This ensures that the fondant thins and stretches at the very edge, which is what makes the ruffle. No need to over do it either, a little bit gives the right effect.
3. To give some texture to the petals you could use a veiner, but I am not very good at that so instead I use a cone tool and just press and drag at least three creases into each petal.
4. When all the petals are creased and ruffled place the whole piece inside a patty pan or small bowl and leave it to dry into a pretty peony petal shape. I make copies of my favourite size bowls by pressing several layers of Al Foil into the original to copy the shape.
5. Repeat the crease and ruffle bit with the other three cutter sizes and place those into shallow dishes to dry into pretty peony petal shapes too.
6. To make the centre cut another of the smallest cutter size and crease and ruffle it the same way as the others. Then fold the petals together into the centre to make a bud shape. To make a tighter bud make a ball of fondant to wrap the petals around.
7. The next bit is the hardest part! Wait. Or if you can’t do that dust the edges of the petals while waiting for them to dry. The good news is it is best not to wait for the petals to harden completely before assembling. It is much easier to layer them together when there is a little bit of give left in them.
8. Once the petals have mostly dried stack them inside one another, using a dab of sugar glue to stick them together.
The peony here has five petals plus a centre. I think they look better with more, just keep stacking to get the look of a fuller peony. I think this one looks better than those made using the fiddly and forever taking individual petal method.
Happy peony making!