I designed this Christmas cake for a wedding but it would easily serve as a table centerpiece for any holiday celebration. The poinsettias were made without wires except for the stamen in the center. I hope you enjoy the smaller set of poinsettia cutters that I designed especially for this cake.
Your poinsettia flowers need to be made ahead of time so that they can dry. Roll out green and white Satin Ice gumpaste and cut numerous large green leaves (bracts) with the largest cutter and numerous white bracts using each of the remaining four cutters from GSA Poinsettia Cutter Set #22265. Vein the leaves using the First Impression Poinsettia set #22016 or any all purpose rose leaf veiner.. Place the leaf on the base and cover with the leaf pressback. Apply light pressure on to the pressback to vein the leaf. Place the leaves, ridge side up, on the soft side of a CelPad and soften the edges with a Ball Tool or the end of a Medium CelPin. Flip the leaf over and dry on a piece of crumpled foil so they have a natural shape. When dry, dust the large green bracts with Lime Green petal dust in the center, Forest Green on the outer edge and Moss Green petal dust over the whole top to blend the colors together. The white bracts were colored with a faint line of Lime Green petal dust down the center and Super Pearl Dust over the entire leaf.
The stamen are made using gumpaste and 30 gauge white Sunrise Floral Wire. Cut short, 1-1/2 inch pieces of wire and bend the ends to form a hook. Make a very small (1/2 pea) size ball of gumpaste and insert the hooked end of the wire into the ball. Press around the base to adhere to the wire. There are three shapes of stamen on a poinsettia. #1) Using a tweezers, pinch a pair of "lips" in the ball. #2) Pinch the top flat then use a toothpick to push into the center to create two ears. #3) Pinch the top flat and snip with a pair of Spring Action Scissors. Then roll this form a circular crown. When dry, dust the bottoms very lightly with Lime Green Petal Dust and the tops with Yellow Petal Dust. Gather 5-6 assorted stamen and tape them together with White Floral Tape then spread the stamen out with a tweezers. Cut off ends of the wire so the entire stamen center is no more than 1 inch long.
You will need to make several lace leaves using the JEM Reindeer & Lacy Leaf set #23863. Roll out Mexican Paste very thin (# if using a pasta machine) and dust with cornstarch. Cut the leaves with the Lacy leaf cutter then flip the cutter over and use a ball tool or the end of a CelPin and rub back and forth so that all the cutting edges show through. Use a cocktail stick or pin to pick out the inside pieces then ease the leaf out of the cutter with the pin. Dry on crumpled foil they paint with Golden Crown Shimmer Dust and Everclear. If you do not plan on consuming the leaves, you can paint with gold highlighter and alcohol for a real shiny appearance. I found that Mexican Paste worked with this cutter far better than any gumpaste.
Bake a 10 x 4 inch cake, a 7x4 inch cake and a 1/2 ball cake baked with the Wilton Soccer Ball pan #16962. The 1/2 ball cake is added on top of the baked 7 inch cake and iced. Cover both cakes with Satin Ice Red Rolled Fondant. While the fondant is fresh, emboss the 10 inch tier with the Holly Embosser from Patchwork Cutters Set #18286. Using Golden Crown Shimmer Dust and Everclear (or any clear alcohol like Vodka), paint in the outline of the holly using a fine artist brush. Place the cake on a 14 inch drum covered with dark green fondant. Roll the green fondant with the Holly Taffeta Rolling Pin.
I arranged the poinsettia's on top by first assembling the very top flower, then one flower just below. After these two were done, I added the green bracts and the gold lace leaves of the remaining flowers so that I could be sure there were all evenly placed. This also makes sure the largest leaves are carefully tucked under the flower BEFORE it is assembled in place. All lacy leaves and bracts were attached using royal icing and piping bag.
Add the first layer of largest white bracts (5-6) followed by a layer of 5 of the medium bracts. The third and final layer is a mixture of the two smallest sized bracts. I used a cocktail stick in the center both to form a hole to insert the stamen and to be sure I did not cover that area with a bract. After all the bracts are in place, gently push in your stamen. You may also insert a piece of a drinking straw as a holder for the wired stamen.
The border around the 7 inch tier was made by rolling a long rope of red fondant about 1/2 inches thick. Apply it to the bottom edge with a little water to adhere it. Crimp all around the rope using a PME Holly Crimper. Paint the border with Golden Crown Shimmer Dust and Everclear.
The border on the bottom tier was made by rolling out a very long strip of gumpaste. Roll the paste with the JEM Fabric Rolling Pin then cut the strip using the FMM Multi-Ribbon Cutter so that it is about 2 inches wide. Fold the strip in half and dust with Super Pearl Dust. Lay the folded strip all around the bottom tier so that the folded edge is out. Next, repeat the rope border used on the 7 inch tier on the lower tier. Simply place the rope border on top of the white ribbon border.
The bow was made using gumpaste rolled into a thin strip. Roll with the JEM Fabric Roller then cut the strip with the FMM Multi Ribbon Cutter into a 2 inch strip about 7 inches long. Gather the two ends and seal together with a little water. Place a piece of rolled paper towel into the loop of the bow to dry. The center piece was made by using a short strip of paste and fold over the edges. Next, wrap it around a 1/2 inch tube and seal the ends together with a little water. Allow to dry. When the bow loops and center are dry, dust with Super Pearl Dust and attached to the cake with a little water on a ball of moist gumpaste. The bow tails were cut the same way as the loops but placed on the cake while they were still flexible. Cut one end at an angle and gather the opposite end. Attach under the bow center with a little gumpaste and water. Place a small piece of paper towel under the tails to give them a natural fabric look. Dust with Super Pearl Dust before adding them to the cake.