I made this red gumpaste poppy cake as a dedication to our certified public accountant, Dorothy Larson. She is special to me and my husband because she has been our CPA since I had my floral business back in the 1980’s. Dorothy was also our accountant for our non-profit society, the American Clematis Society. This is a long affiliation, so I decided I wanted to make a gumpaste creation as a tribute to her many years of service to us. Dorothy loves bright, primary colors in her garden, especially red. So, it is fitting she would be a big fan of the red scarlet corn poppy. Her appreciation of this particular flower goes even deeper as she is touched by the fact that they were grown as a way to commemorate the ending of World War I (if you would like to learn more about this horticultural homage please visit: Why the Poppy?
So, here is my cake to salute both Dorothy and the Memorial Day Poppy.
Please note the Memorial Day red poppy (genus: Papaver rhoeas) does not have the black patches at the base of its petals as do some red poppies. However, if you want to give the gumpaste petals more “depth” (without adding the black) try brushing a little mixture of ruby petal dust along with some of Sugarflair’s aborigine petal dust onto the outer tips and base of each petal.
To add some additional red coloring to this creation, I decided to marble the white fondant with some red fondant. I did this because I thought the red streaking effect would give my cake a little more eye appeal.
As a finishing touch I added a red decorative border at the base of my cake. I chose the border design from FMM Sugarcraft Straight Frill Cutter because I felt it mimics the look of real poppy leaves which have distinctive points with deep notches. I also like using this cutter because the pattern is not framed, which means you are not limited by a certain dimension and allows you to make the border as narrow or wide as you would like. I think you would agree that the result is a border that does not overpower my cute mini cake. I also used another one of these straight frill cutters from the set on the border of my Jack-in-the-Box cake.
When I was finished making my red petals I had a small amount of red gumpaste left over. Not being one to waste it I decided the perfect use would be to make some little ladybugs.