I first met Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet Cakes on twitter about nine years ago. We both lived in Southern California (she in San Diego and I in Long Beach), and were both passionate about cake design. I admired Jacqueline’s reserved use of color (she’s the pastel pink to my neon), her stylized flower designs, and her flawless cakes. Early on in our cyber friendship, I had a sugar flower crisis, and reached out to Jacqueline for help. To be precise, I had a wayward spinning petal, no idea what to do about it, and a looming cake design deadline. Jacqueline advised me that a bit of dental floss tied tightly around the flower stem would surely do the trick. It worked, and I knew I had to learn from this beacon of sugar knowledge.
Shortly thereafter, I took a private class with Jacqueline that would exponentially improve my sugar flower work. It was she that taught me how to correctly use floral tape (my not knowing that floral tape needs to be stretched to activate the adhesive was the cause of my original petal problem), introduced me to the indespensible groove board used for rolling sugar paste so that it has a small extension in which to insert wire, and blew my mind by using spoons as petal formers. I listened intently as she shared her process (I didn’t have any identifiable “process”) and discussed her concept of production (as home baker, I didn’t exactly understand “production” mode, and wouldn’t come to appreciate it until I opened my shop in 2012). She generously shared with me her gumpaste recipe, answered my myriad questions, and even laughed at my jokes. An enduring friendship was formed.
Recently, Jacqueline announced pre-orders of her first sugar flower book, Modern Sugar Flowers, and I couldn’t be more excited (for her, for me, and for you). If you follow her on social media, you’ll instantly recognize the book: Jacqueline’s clean, modern style is represented on every single page. Her thorough, meticulous process is carefully laid out for every single flower, with clear, easy to understand instructions. I love how all the photos, the layout, the lighting, and even the font are consistent with her Petalsweet look. My favorite flowers in the book are the cherry and apple blossom and the phalaenopsis orchid (I’m all about that hot pink!), but really they are all beautiful and perfect. I especially enjoyed reading some of the personal notes she shares. Oh, and of course she includes the recipe she uses for sugar paste.
One especially noteworthy reason to buy this book is to learn about Jacqueline’s signature “formula” for flower design. It’s what makes her flowers so recognizable, and so Petalsweet. I can’t wait to get my copy!
Take a sneak peak at the book here.
Pre-order Modern Sugar Flowers here.