How To Make Sugar Bamboo for Asian-Inspired Cakes

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Video transcript:

Hi, I’m James Rosselle, instructor of Exotic Sugar Orchids at I’m going to show you how to make some bamboo very quickly out of sugar paste.

What I have here in front of me is some pre-colored green gum paste. I’ve already gone ahead and rolled out some logs out of the sugar paste. Doesn’t matter how long or wide you roll your logs. That’s really up to you. I leave the creative freedom up to you. Once you’ve rolled out your log, as you can see right in front me, I’m going to grab my little mini pizza wheel cutter, and just cut segments from these logs. Just insert, pull away, insert, pull away, and do the same with the next log.

Once you have your noodles cut, take some pre-cut green wire, and insert that wire into some gum glue. I just wipe off the excess on my hand. Pick up your noodle. Thread that wire through that noodle, like so. At this point, you just want to be careful, as you’re threading the wire through your gum paste, that the wire doesn’t poke out. And as your threading that wire through the needle, you can actually feel it going through the sugar paste. Also, you don’t want that wire to pop out from the top. So just be careful with that. So I have my noodle nicely placed on to my wire. I’m just going to roll the tip in between my fingertips. What I do to the top, I want to do to the bottom.

Now bamboo is also a good accent for any Asian-inspired cake. It’s a great accent for orchids such as Cattleya, Cymbidums, or even Dendrobium orchid.

Now you can see what I’m doing is re-rolling that noodle just so it’s nice and uniformly shaped. Pick it up, nice shape. Next process: take another piece of wire, place that directly on to your table top, and we’re just going to divide it into segments, like so. Once you’ve divided that, then we’re just going to roll that wire over and over your sugar paste until you actually get nice segments all around your bamboo. Once you’ve gotten an even impression, I’m going to pick it up, use the same wire, and we’re just going to rough it up a little bit.

So, I’m going to take this wire, poke the wire into the sugarpaste, and just drag that wire down. Just rough it up a little bit. If you look at real bamboo, it has these little holes and crevices in them. So you’re just going to do that all around your bamboo like so. I’m going to flip it over and do the same thing to the other end. It’s good to see random impressions all around your bamboo stem. Just like that. Once you’ve gotten that point, go ahead and place it on a piece of styrofoam to dry. Then I like to bend it a little bit just to make it look more natural.

I have one here that’s already tried. And what I’m going to do now is we’re going to add some highlighting and some color to it just to bring it to life. What I have in front of me are two brushes: one fine-tipped brush, and one soft-tipped bristle brush. I also have some dark green petal dust, I have a pearlized green petal dust, and I have a dark green petal dust that I diluted into some vodka.

I’m going to pick up my fine-tip brush, dip that into the liquid-form color, and just brush away the excess on to my piece of paper. Now where we rolled that wire to seperate the bamboo in segments, that’s where we’re going to paint. We’re just going to darken that area, add some shadowing, some depth, and just sort of bring it to life slowly as we go. So I’m going to do it to the bottom segment, and again to the top. Just like that. So once you’ve gotten these segments highlighted with that liquid color, you’re going to take your soft-bristle brush, we’re going to dip into the dark green petal dust. Tap, tap, tap saturate that dust. Tap off the excess. And we’re going to begin by highlighting the base of this bamboo. So we highlighted the base, and we’re going to highlight in between those segments, as well. And all this does is bring the bamboo to life, adds depth, color, and dimension. Just like that. Nice and easy. Add a little to the top. Once you’ve gotten the green on, we’re going to add more highlight. This is the pearlized green. The pearlized green just adds a different dimension to the overall bamboo. And with this, you just want to brush the entire bamboo stem with the pearlized green, which adds a nice shimmer, and overall a different dimension. And it just kind of adds an interesting touch to any cake, especially to orchids.

I have a finished one here, and I have several in front of me, so you can see just how lifelike and lovely it looks. I’m James Rosselle. If you’d like to learn more on sugar paste, come take my course, Exotic Sugar Orchids, at

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