I needed fresh purple flowers for a recent cake. We planned on fresh lavender but it wasn’t available this time of year. Time for plan B; sugared flowers!
First, it is important to know which flowers are edible. Make sure to look for flowers grown without pesticides if your guests will consume these flowers. Arm yourself with plenty of patience and pick a great podcast to listen to as you work. To get enough flowers for a cake, plan on 2-3 hours for sugaring.
I selected pansies because of their color and size. Starting with a small flower would give lots of opportunity for practice! I have very little patience so I set this project up in my kitchen and did 4-6 flowers at a time over a couple of days. They were beautiful, not that hard to make and actually fun! Watching this delicate flower that would wilt on a cake in less than an hour turn into something that can be stored for up to a year was incredible.
When you are ready to try sugaring flowers, here’s what you’ll need:
- You’ll need a large cooling rack with waxed paper on it, a small bowl, one egg white, a delicate watercolor paintbrush, super fine sugar, a large bowl and a small sifter/strainer. Don’t forget to have flowers ready.
- Pluck your flowers off the plant, leaving a large chunk of stem for holding. Wash the flower to remove pollen. *many sources tell you to remove the stem completely at this point and use tweezers to hold the flower. I tried this for the first 3 flowers and didn’t like the method. Keeping the stem on for now makes it easier to paint the surface. Then removed the stem with scissors after the flowers are dry.
- Whisk your egg white in the small bowl.
- Have your sugar ready to put into the sifter/strainer. You’ll shake this over the flower petals. *If you can’t find superfine sugar, you may use a food processor or blender to make granulated sugar more fine.
- Hold your flower and gently paint every surface lightly with the whipped egg white. Hold the flower over the large bowl and lightly sift sugar onto the flower. You want to cover the entire flower. Then place on the prepared cooling rack to dry. *As you use up your sugar sifting it over the flowers, collect it in the large bowl and re-use. The sifter will catch any lumps that come from egg whites. Just discard this. 1/2 cup sugar will make an entire tray of pansies.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Marvel at your AMAZING flowers!