Native to Mexico, the poinsettia has become a traditional decoration around the winter holidays. The small white flowers clustered in the middle of the red, green pink or variegated sprays of leaves make this colorful plant symbolic of the season. Poinsettias appear on cards, napkins and wrapping paper as bright and cheerful reminders of the holidays. And they are also prevalent throughout the season as cake or cookie decorations. Although many poinsettia flowers are made of gum paste, it's possible to create them from fondant to decorate your own holiday cake or tray -- keeping the season festive.
Things You'll Need
- Red and green fondant
- Rolling pin
- Leaf-shaped cookie cutters, different sizes
- Corn starch
- Wax paper
- Floral wire
- Red floral tape (optional)
- Royal icing (optional)
- Scissors or wire cutters
- White, paste (optional)
- Gold dusting powders and pastry paintbrush
Roll out the red and green fondant until it is about 1/4 inch thick, 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. Dip the leaf cutters into the cornstarch, and cut out three large red leaves and six large green leaves. Then dip the medium leaf cutters into the cornstarch, and cut out three medium red leaves. Dip the small leaf cutter into the cornstarch, and cut out three red leaves only. Cover a sheet of wax paper with cornstarch, and set the leaves onto it as you cut them out.
Cut 15 pieces of floral wire, and attach each one to the back of each leaf. You can either insert the wire into the leaf or you can tape it against the leaf with the floral tape. Create thin veins on each leaf by gently drawing the edge of a piece of floral wire along the middle of each leaf, and then draw thin angled lines that meet at the middle line. Be very careful that you don't trace the lines too deeply, or you could punch a hole through the fondant.
Cut five more pieces of floral wire. Roll five small pieces of fondant around the tips of the wire. Dab a drop of white gum paste onto the fondant tips. Secure the wires with floral tape, as these flowers are the center of your poinsettia.
Assemble the fondant poinsettia by attaching the small leaves to the flower cluster, using the floral tape. The wires will enable you to move the fondant leaves into whatever shape you want without handling the icing -- which warms it and changes its shape. Once you have the small leaves attached, repeat with the procedure with the medium red leaves and the large red leaves. For a three-dimensional effect, use the wires to alternate the medium and the large leaves so that they surround the small leaves entirely, and are not piled on top of each other.
Attach the six green leaves to the middle cluster of wires, and wrap the entire stem with the floral tape. Leave only an inch or so at the top, so you can arrange the leaves of your poinsettia in the design you want for your cake or tray.
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