sugar paste

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
Hans Christian Andersen

 Tea Rose Fondant CakeA Tea Rose Fondant Cake … inspired completely by Peggy Porschens ‘Pretty Party Cakes’. I have had this stunning book by this very talented sugar craft artisit for years. It sits by my bedside and provides infinite hours of eye candy. I didn’t once think I could attempt her beautiful work; until yesterday …

Tea Rose Fondant Cake 2I have long delayed making sugar paste at home. LONG! The one day I saw a fondant cake at The Great Cookaroo, sometime late last year, and I knew she had beaten me to it. Bah humbug! It still seemed pretty formidable to me, even though Ruchira convinced me it was quite easy. She made her fondant out of marshmallows.

Sugar Paste icing is a very sweet edible sugar dough usually made from sugar and glucose. It is sometimes referred to as fondant or sugar gum or gum paste. It can be used to cover cakes, mould features and create decorations for cakes and many other uses.

Tea Rose Fondant Cake Then a few days ago I met a very talented Amrita at I Bake who commercially does cakes with fondant. She convinced me it was really easy to make at home. The sweet girl even offered to send a batch home for me to work with. Enough! It was time to give fondant from scratch a shot, and was promptly entered as a new year resolution; rather an update of one which has been long postponed.

Tea Rose Fondant Cake

Seems like flowers are ‘in season’!! A few days ago, I was asked if I’d like to host a floral giveaway for readers of PAB from the beautiful Serenata Flowers in the UK. Serenata Flowers is a gift shop where other then flowers, you can find chocolates and wine too. They are hosting a giveaway well in time for Valentines day.


The prize is a £30 voucher at Serenata Flowers, that should give the winner the chance to choose a nice gift. Delivery would only be to an address in mainland UK , the winner may live outside UK though. All you need to do is visit the site and leave a comment saying which bouquet you like best. The contest is on until the 31st of Jan, 2013, and the winner will be announced thereafter.

Tea Rose Fondant CakeIt was time to pair real flowers with edible ones, and also time to ‘fondant or sugar paste’! This was my first attempt at working with fondant and I have to say I loved it! The end result wasn’t perfect, creases that peeped through, yet it took me back many years. Back to those play dough times, flowers, leaves, roses …

Tea Rose Fondant Cake I loved using the leftover bits to cut out ribbons etc. Later thought I could have done bees and butterflies too. Maybe the next time I feel so inspired, now that I can ‘do it’!! Fondant is therapeutic; makes you rediscover the inner child in you!

Tea Rose Fondant Cake  8See the ‘cake’ platter? I have to confess that it’s actually a salad plate from Urban Dazzle. It’s a classic white, round platter. The interesting bit is the offset centre which gives you a slight forward tilt. It’s a great aesthetic platter to have, and happily one that doubled up as a cake plate as in this case.

Tea Rose Fondant Cake Cookies, finger foods, cupcakes, fruit, candy seem like some other fun uses. Until I do salads in it, I’m enjoying its versatility! This Tea Rose Fondant Cake was the best baking beginning to my new year. I love you fondant!!

Tea Rose Fondant Cake I learnt something else. Kids never grow up! You should have seen their eyes light up when they saw all that sugary sweet prettiness! I thought they were both way beyond it. Pictures of the cake furiously ‘WhatsApped‘, the urgency to have dinner done, the impatience to cut a slice, the happiness at devouring the cake {the vanilla buttermilk pound  cake is wonderful on it’s own}… so worth the effort!

Tea Rose Fondant Cake If you don’t want too much sugar overload you could always just do a 1 egg mini cake. The little one came away neatly and looked sweet on it’s own. The fondant recipe is minimally adapted from ‘Essential Guide to Cake Decorating’ by Alex Barker, which the kids gave me us on our anniversary 4 years ago. This was my first foray into the book … and I loved it!Tea Rose Fondant Cake

Tea Rose Fondant Cake So go on guys. Spread out some fondant if you are so inclined. Otherwise send someone you love a beautiful bunch of flowers from Serenata Flowers. Share some joy!!

[print_this]Recipe: Sugar Paste / Fondant

Summary: A simple fondant recipe that was silky smooth and fun to use. minimally adapted from ‘Essential Guide to Cake Decorating’ by Alex Barker

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 3 tbsp liquid glucose, warmed {I used Solar, an Indian brand}
  • 1 egg white {or 20g egg white powder reconstituted according to maunfacturer instructions}
  • 400g icing sugar


  1. Place egg white in a large bowl, whip lightly with fork and then then stir in the liquid glucose. {It tends to harden very fast in winter}
  2. Add the icing sugar bit by bit and gradually work in with a wooden spoon until it begins to form a paste. Gently knead into a ball.
  3. On a very clean surface, knead it until smooth and pliable. Wrap with cling-wrap if not using immediately.
  4. To colour, take small portions, or as required, ans knead in a few drops of the colour as desired. Keep the remaining fondant wrapped in clingwrap at all times.
  5. On a very clean surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the fondant quite thin. Then cut into shapes with plunger cutters or hand make roses.
  6. I fastened the flowers etc with egg white, though the book says to use royal icing.

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pound Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

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: A lighter version of the classic pound cake, the Tea Rose Fondant Cake is  sandwiched with a light confetti buttercream, and makes a delicious base for the fondant art.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes {including cooling time, and time to make fondant decorations etc} 

  • Vanilla Pound Cake
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 275g vanilla sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 130ml buttermilk {or substitute recipe below}
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • To make buttermilk substitute 
  • Take 130ml milk at room temp; add 1 tsp white vinegar. Let it stand 5-10 minutes. When it curdles, it’s ready.
  • Vanilla buttercream
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 50g low fat cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 tbsp rainbow confetti {optional}
  • Royal icing or egg white to secure fondant flowers etc onto cake.


  1. Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake
  2. Grease and flour the sides of a 7″ ring tin, or a 4″ round tin. Line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  4. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and scraped vanilla bean.
  6. With beater on low add the flour and buttermilk alternately in three lots.
  7. Divide the batter between the two tins.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes till golden brown on top, and the tester comes out clean. {The smaller cake will get baked in 35-40 minutes}
  9. Cool completely, then slice into two horizontally.
  10. Vanilla butter-cream
  11. Beat the butter, vanilla bean and icing sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  12. Gradually add the low fat cream and whip to desired consistency.
  13. You can add more {or less} depending on how stiff you want the butter-cream.
  14. Assembling
  15. Sandwich the cakes with a light spread of butter-cream with the confetti stirred in.
  16. Give both cakes a thin coat of butter-cream to provide a base for the fondant.
  17. Note: Use squeaky clean hands, counter, rolling pin etc when handling sugar paste/fondant as it is white and shows impurities very easily. 
  18. Take about 1/3rd of the fondant {If it is too hard, then briefly, heat it in the microwave wrapped in cling-wrap  for 10 seconds. {Keep the remaining fondant well wrapped else it will dry out.}
  19. Sprinkle the work surface with icing sugar, and roll the fondant out thin. {I kept it quite thin to keep the sugar intake a little lower}.
  20. Gently transfer it onto the 7″ cake and press into place. I got a few creases but covered most up with flowers and leaves. Handle gently or it will tear. Trim the edges around the base.
  21. Take 1/2 the remaining fondant and repeat with the smaller cake.
  22. Place the smaller cake on top of the bigger one.
  23. Take bits of fondant, one bit at a time, and colour them with liquid colour as desired. Using plunger cutters or your hands, make flowers, leaves, roses etc as desired.
  24. Roll any remaining scraps and using a fluted or plain pastry cutter cut out ribbons to cover up the bottoms edges.
  25. Use either royal icing or egg white to stick the sugar paste flowers, leaves or ribbons onto the cake.
  26. Note: I used the microwave {10 seconds, high} quite often as the fondant kept getting hard as the weather was freezing cold at 6C. 


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