Sugar Flower Arranging Tips from James Rosselle

Sugar Flower ArrangingSugar Flower Arranging
By James Rosselle

Have you admired the sugar flower arranging work of cake designers and also wondered how they do floral work? Well, there is an art to arranging flowers on a cake.

Sugar flower arranging may not be simple. It can be intimidating, in fact terrifying! As we all know, sugar flowers are a labor of love. They are made petal by petal and are very fragile items. The sound of shattering sugar flowers breaks my heart. Don’t let that thought scare you. My advice, show those flowers who is boss. Here are some guidelines I like to follow in arranging sugar flowers on a cake.

Know your materials. I like to categorize flowers. In a flower arrangement, you most commonly find foliage, filler flowers and larger dominant flowers.

Foliage includes leaves, berries, and twigs. These items are used to compliment and accent the arrangement. Foliage can also be used as “fillers” and are typically added in an arrangement after the larger flowers.

Filler flowers generally consist of smaller flowers like hydrangeas, hyacinth, and jasmine. These are used to fill the spaces in the arrangement. Filler flowers are typically the last item placed in an arrangement.

Larger flowers of the bunch can be peonies, roses, tulips, orchids, etc. The larger flowers should be the first items placed in the arrangement. I like to sporadically arrange and place the large flowers to set the tone for the arrangement. Large flowers can be arranged in bunches or close together for contrast or systematically placed to create harmony.

The next idea to consider is harmony and contrast. Both are used in flower arranging to create balance. Harmony is when the cake design and flower arrangement compliment the venue and it’s surroundings. I will try and incorporate some of the elements of the venue in the cake design to create harmony. Contract on the other hand, can be achieved when the design of the cake and flowers are different. The contrast of the design should be done in a way that the flowers and cake stand out in a tasteful way.

If you follow these simple guidelines you are sure to have a stunning design for every occasion.



sugar flower arrangingAbout the author:

Chef James Rosselle is a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena and is passionate about where life has taken him. He has won all four of the Food Network Challenges in which he has competed. In 2011, James was named to the “Top Ten Cake Artists” by Desert Professional Magazine. Please visit James at or

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