Fancy Gumpaste Rose Tutorial

I got a message on facebook from Jo Ann about whether I'd ever made a David Austin rose before, and how long they took to make. I had to look it up to see what it was, and I hadn't made one, but I was up for it.

The David Austin roses are basically the ones that have the multiple groups of petals in the center, then a row of petals around those. They look really fluffy, and the photos that I was finding made it difficult to see how many rows of petals there were because they just have so much going on.

I found a few that looked like there were six groups of petals in the center part, so I decided to go with that. I also decided that to get a full look 8 petals in each group would probably be enough.

First, take six wires and hook the ends, then put a little sausage of gumpaste on the ends of the hooks. Roll out gumpaste to the thinnest setting on your pasta roller (mine were an 8 on the KA roller) and cut out 48 small rose petals.

Thin the edges of the petals with a ball tool so that they're a little ruffly.

Wrap one petal around one of the sausage wires, pinching the petal so that it covers the sausage completely. (I used some gum glue to attach the petal and for all the steps that require any kind of gluing.)
Stack seven of the petals, using a tiny bit of water or gum glue on the base of the petals so that they stick together. You don't want the top of the petals to stick together.
Press the base of the petals together using a dowel or another tool to really adhere them together and widen the base of the petals.
Put a little glue on the base of the petal bunch and wrap it around the sausage wire. Pinch the base so that it wraps all the way around and attaches, but leave the top of the petals loose so that they're not touching.
 Now do that 5 more times.
Take the groups of petals, and stick them to each other using some gum glue. This will be a sticky process, and might be difficult since the bases are going to be thick. Press the bases together gently as you group them.

 When you're done joining all six sections, you'll have the back that looks like this.
 Twist the wires around each other to maintain the sections staying together.
Put that part aside and roll out some more gumpaste a little thicker than the first. I took it down to a 6 on the KA roller. This is going to hold the whole thing together, so you don't need it to be thin and wimpy. Cut out three of the small 5-petal rose shapes and one larger one. Thin the edges of the petals so that they're ruffly.
 Using more gum glue on the 5-petal shape, put the wire through the center and attach it to the base of the flower. Try to place the petals so that they're not even with the ones above them. Repeat with the other two smaller 5-petal shapes.
 Finish with the larger 5-petal shape.

Fluff the petals with your finger to make them look messy. The ones from the 5-petal cutters need to be included in the fluffing so that the sections look like they're all one big group.
Put that aside and cut out six of the larger 5-petal cutter shape, a little thicker than the last one. I did it to a 4 on the KA. Cut a line in the flower shapes so that you can open them up and wrap them around the flower.
Thin the petal edges out but don't ruffle them. Using a ball tool, cup the petals by rolling the center of the petal.
Put some gum glue on the base of the petals, and open the strip up to wrap it around the flower. These petals come up over the top edge of the inner rose petals and curve over them a little. The first row of 5 petals went about 2/3 of the way around the flower, so don't worry about it if it doesn't go all the way around.
Wrap all six of the 5-petal sections around the flower, keeping the top edge of the petal on the higher side, as opposed to applying them lower like you would with a normal rose.
Put the flower in a rounded container to dry. You can also put a piece of tinfoil around it to maintain the shape as it dries.
Make sure that the outer petals are drying in a rounded shape, don't let them flop open. At this point, if there are any areas that don't look full enough you can take individual petals and stick them down into the flower to fill in the spaces.

When rose season starts up I'll need to get a real David Austin rose to take it apart and see what it really looks like. I think that the actual shape of these is more rounded on the back, but if you're putting them on a cake you don't want a super-round back since that will elevate the flower off of the cake a lot more than you probably want.

This flower took me 45 minutes to do, and it includes 102 petals. It's a full-sized flower, but if you wanted to use smaller cutters you could probably do fewer petals.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

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