Tootsie Roll Roses

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to teach a couple of cake classes to a group of local middle school students.  The program was a series of classes titled “Just Desserts.”  As a former middle school Math teacher, I was really excited to teach cake decorating to a group of interested 5-8 graders.

Our first class was all about the cake; leveling, filling, frosting and piping borders.  The class culminated with the best part EATING our efforts!  For the 2nd class, I decided to focus on sculpting.  I brought in all my fondant and taught the kids how to make roses! They created some incredibly beautiful flowers with the fondant.  In our first class, we had a discussion about box mix brownies, cakes and cookies and decided to do a big taste test as part of the 2nd class.  Each participant sampled healthy brownies, scratch brownies and box mix, along with 4 different types of milk.  We enjoyed comparing our thoughts about the brownies and sharing our guesses about which type of milk we thought each little taste was.  But, it was after all this that the real fun began.  Time to sculpt with Tootsie rolls!

I explained the basics – warm the candy just slightly in the microwave, and then sculpt whatever your imagination can come up with!  They made frogs, flowers, presents, roses, animals and more.  The colored candy disappeared VERY fast, leaving lots of brown for me to play with at home.  Look below the pictures to see my directions for a Tootsie Roll rose.  It is fun, easy and cheap.  A neat thing about sculpting with candy is that it is accessible to anyone with an imagination and a convenience store!  Grab some candy and try your hand at it.


Directions for making roses:

  1. Buy your candy. Choose all brown, or the assorted colors package. You’ll need 1-3 pieces for a rose. You’ll also want a rolling pin and a  roulepat mat or parchment to work on.
  2. Microwave one piece of candy at a time for about 3-8 seconds (time will depend on your microwave) and work the candy until it has the consistency of soft clay.
  3. Make a ball.
  4. Shape your ball into a cone; this will be the center of your flower.
  5. Roll out your candy very thin to make petals. You’ll want something to cut your petals out with (the bottom of a decorating tip works nicely) and cut out one or two petals. Use your hands to make them thinner and warm so that they can attach to your center.
  6. Continue to add petals until you have a nice bud.
  7. Add another layer of petals, continuing to roll and cut out your candy. You might need to microwave one or two times during this process.
  8. After your third set of petals, you’ll have a completed rose.
  9. If you have other cutters and colors available, make other flowers or anything your imagination dreams up! Have fun.
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8 Responses to Tootsie Roll Roses

  1. by Mateja on December 9, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Wow, that is so beautiful and simple! I make roses from almond paste that I color to my liking, but to be honest nobody in my family eats them (they just dislike the taste of almond paste), but to use Tootsie Rolls; I can just imagine them cry for more!!! Thank you for sharing and I think you made a difference in many young lives, thank you again ^_^

    • by Amy Dawson on December 9, 2010, 4:51 pm

      Thanks Mateja! I think your family is missing out on eating the almond paste roses though – those are MY favorite!! :) Amy

  2. by Kate @ Diethood on December 9, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Very creative and sooo cute!

  3. by Cakewhiz on January 14, 2011, 2:44 am

    I have heard of people using tootsie rolls for roses but i never tried it. After seeing your tutorial, i am eager to try it out :)

  4. by Amy Dawson on January 14, 2011, 2:03 pm

    If you try it out, let me know. I’d love to know how it works for you! Have fun with it.

  5. by Kd on December 28, 2011, 12:22 pm

    Awesome!!! I can’t wait to try this! Two questions … will the tootsie roll firm back up to its original hardness? How do you attach the rose to a frosted cupcake – will frosting alone hold it in place?

    • by Amy Dawson on December 28, 2011, 6:05 pm

      Kd, great questions! First the easy question, just frosting is great for attaching as long as it is not a whipped cream type frosting. Now for do they firm up? When I first tried these it was fall (low humidity and cold outside) and they firmed right back up and were perfect. I also used them to make a whole winter scene for a Gingerbread House and same thing. But, this summer when my kids made things and put them on cupcakes and then covered the cupcakes under a cake dome they got a bit melty. My suggestion if you are working in a really humid time is to give them time to harden back up before you put them on cupcakes or cake and then don’t keep them in an airtight place (traps humidity) but instead just display and eat. Have fun!

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