Homemade Gumpaste Recipe for Sugar Flowers – Cake Decorating Recipes
Sugar flowers are made with a special sugar dough called gumpaste recipe made with edible gums such as Tylose or CMC. These make the petals hard enabling us to roll the paste really thin thus creating lifelike sugar flowers. Making gum paste recipe at home is a simple, easy and effortless process and I have given you two recipes here that will be the answer to all your cake decorating and gumpaste flowers.
The Many Names of Gumpaste
Now weather you call it gumpaste recipe or gum paste recipe for sugar flowers they both are the same. Gum Paste also refereed to as modeling paste, flower paste. I think in the US it’s often referred to as gum paste while in UK it’s referred to as flower paste or modeling paste. Often it’s made with either tylose or CMC which is an edible gum. In mexico they have something similar called Mexican paste and it uses Gum Tragacanth.
What is the Difference Between Gumpaste and Fondant?
- Fondant is used to cover a cake. We prefer fondant to be nice and soft so we can mold it around the cake with ease as well as it’s soft on the pallet to eat.
- Gum paste unlike fondant is similar but had added edible gums in it. This edible gum helps make the paste tough and can even dry rock hard.
- The purpose of gum paste is to use on decoration that can hold their shape. Like in this Frozen theme cake the spikes are made of gum paste because they are hard and can hold their shape.
- You would not be able to use Fondant for these spikes as it will not dry hard as this.
- And you can also make Sugar Flowers, sugar figures and such for cakes using gum paste
- Adding CMC to fondant to strengthen and stiffen the fondant. But flowers are still best made with gum paste.
Let’s talk ingredients and Substitutes – (Save/Pin for later)
- Egg White or Meringue Powder – as you can see I have two recipes below one with egg white and one with meringue. The Nicholas Lodge Gumpaste recipe uses egg whites and I use that almost all the time to make my sugar flowers. The other recipe which is my gum paste recipe is made with meringue powder. You can use it for making sugar flowers but it will be an expensive paste. So I use it only when I need a gum paste recipe that may be eaten. Sugar flowers made with wires are not meant to be eaten so they can be made with egg whites.
- Powder sugar – There are many different brands on the market some made with beet sugar or cane sugar. I always recommend using powder sugar made with cane sugar for cake decorating. Having said for gum paste it really does not matter if you use either. What’s important though is that your powder sugar is fine, not coarse (yeah I get a brand that’s not really fine hence the mention)
- CMC / Tylose – This is edible gum and is the MOST IMPORTANT ingredient in this recipe. While there are other gumpaste recipes this one uses either CMC or Tylos nothing else. These can be found at any cake decorating store near you or online. It’s not really expensive and has a long shelf life.
- Clear Vanilla Extract – The purpose of the clear vanilla extract is to prevent the gumpaste from getting an ivory tint from the vanilla. Having said that often I do not have clear vanilla just my homemade vanilla extract so I often use Rose Extract for my gum paste recipe.
The Original Gumpaste Recipe
Personally, I love to use the gumpaste recipe by Nicholas Lodge for my flowers. I use it to make my sugar flowers that will not be eaten. It works great in summer and dries really hard too. Honestly, it’s the best gum paste recipe for sugar flowers.
RECIPE – Gumpaste (Original Recipe by Nicholas Lodge)
but this is My Method. You Can See His Method in the Video Below)
- Egg whites – 125 egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
- Powdered sugar/ confectioners Sugar – 725 grams + 100 grams Extra for kneading
- Tylose powder or CMC – 30 grams (about 12 tsp)
- Veg shortening – 2 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Clear vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- In a bowl mix 2 cups powdered sugar.
- Make space in the center and add egg whites, salt and vanilla extract.
- Mix well until no lumps.
- Add tylose or CMC powder.
- Mix for a minute or two until sticky.
- Now add more powdered sugar – until you are able to form a ball.
- Do not add too much powdered sugar as the gum paste can dry out.
- You can transfer mix to a working board to mix well.
- Next, knead in the veg shortening.
- You want the mixture to be soft, slightly sticky – you can add more powdered sugar later too.
- Divide paste into small portions and wrap well in plastic wrap/bag
- Then place them all in ziplock bag and into an airtight box.
- Let rest in the fridge overnight.
- Next day – let rest at room temperature.
- knead with a little veg shortening if needed powder sugar too.
- Use as needed for any project.
Don’t forget to save this recipe on Pinterest for later.
You can find a collection of my tutorials and recipes here on Pinterest.
Video and method used by Nicholas Lodge – Gum Paste Recipe
So while I use the same recipe I do not mix it as much as he does – The process is slightly different as in I do not whip it like royal icing. So I believe my gum paste is a bit denser and handles this hot and humid weather better. But you can try both and see which works best for you.
This is my Video on YouTube – Gumpaste Recipe
My Recipe – Edible Gumpaste Recipe
The drawback of the above recipe for me is that it is made with raw eggs and I do not get pasteurized eggs. My first Castle Cake was made with this gum paste. As a cake decorator when I saw all the kids at the birthday party eat the towers it really freaked me out.
After that, I went on a mad hunt for an edible gum paste recipe. I tried almost all recipes that are available on the internet. The most common complaint I had was that due to the heat and high humidity in Israel the gum paste would stay soft and sometimes form molds or sticky after 2 to 3 days.
After several experiments, I came up with my own recipe and have now settled on this recipe. I use it on cakes where the gum paste may be eaten. All my kids’ cakes are that need hard objects are made with this recipes.
Learn to make some sugar flowers with me – Sugar Flower Tutorials
Using the right recipe.
Meringue powder can be expensive and sometimes hard to find. So if you need to use gum paste for an item that will not be eaten such as sugar flowers, I still suggest you use the above recipe by Nicholas Lodge. My recipe works great for kids cakes to make hard objects that I know kids might eat.
Recipe – II — Edible Gumpaste Recipe by Veena Azmanov
- 450 grams /4 cups Powder sugar approximate (1 pound)
- 2 tbsp Tylos / CMC
- 1 tbsp meringue powder
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- ½ tbsp vanilla or almond extract
- 3 to 4 tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp veg shortening.
- Have all your ingredients ready.
- In a bowl place 2 cups of powder sugar.
- Add the Tylos / CMC, cream of tartar and meringue powder – mix well.
- Next, add 2 tbsp of warm water to the light corn syrup and mix thoroughly.
- Add it to the sugar bowl and mix well.
- The mixture might get a bit sticky and difficult to work but continue to work the meringue powder and tylos well.
- Then add the last two cups of powder sugar.
- It the mix is dry; add another tbsp of water.
- Continue to knead well. Do not add more water unless necessary.
- Eventually, you will have a dough as you can see in the progress pictures below.
- Next, rub in the vegetable shortening until you have a nice smooth dough.
- Once you feel you have a smooth but elastic dough you can stop kneading.
- It is best to rest the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours before you use it. It will firm up quite a bit.
- Always wrap well in plastic wrap as well as in a ziplock bag.
- Label and store in a sealed box.
- I divide my gum paste into 250 grams portions and store them separately. That way I use one portion at a time.
I- Recipe Card – Gumpaste Recipe Adapted from Nicholas Lodge
Gumpaste Recipe Adapted from Nicholas Lodge
This recipe is adapted from Nicholas Lodge. I use the same ingredients and measures just do not mix it as much as he does. Due to high humidity, I find the denser under mixed gum paste works better for me.
Ingredients - Choose (Metric or US Customary) below
- 125 grams Egg whites about 4 egg whites
- 725 grams Powdered sugar/ confectioners sugar + 100 grams extra for kneading
- 30 grams Tylose powder or CMC
- 2 tbsp Veg shortening
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Clear vanilla extract
In a bowl mix 2 cups powder sugar
Make space in the center and add Egg Whites, salt and vanilla extract.
Mix well until no lumps
Add tylose or CMC powder
Mix for a minute or two until sticky.
Now add more powder sugar – until you are able to form a ball.
Do not add too much powder sugar as the gum paste can dry out.
You can transfer mix to a working board to mix well.
Next, knead in the veg shortening.
You want the mixture to be soft, slightly sticky – you can add more powder sugar later too.
Divide paste into small portions and wrap well in plastic wrap/bag
Then place them all in a ziplock bag and into an airtight box.
Let rest in the fridge overnight
Next day – let rest at room temperature.
knead with a little veg shortening if needed powder sugar too.
Use as needed for any project.
II – Recipe Card – Edible Gum Paste Recipe II by Veena Azmanov
You can use my gumpaste recipe for anything that you think will be eaten. Like this birdhouse topper on kids cakes.
Like fondant, gum paste too should have a long shelf life if kept properly. Sealed properly this gum paste can be kept at room temperature for about a month. You can leave it in the fridge for about three months or even freeze it for a bit longer. Just make sure you bring it to room temperature before you need it.
As a cake decorator, I use my supplies fast. I never store my gumpaste or fondant for long at room temperature especially in summer as the temperature can go up to 40 C so use your judgment when it comes to food safety.
I portion my gum paste and bring one or two out of the fridge and it is usually used up in a day or week.
Tip to using gumpaste.
- take only what you need and keep the rest covered under plastic away from air.
- use vegetable shortening to knead and make it pliable before rolling, that way you won’t have cracks.
- Avoid using too much cornflour into your gum paste while rolling; it will make it brittle.
- when drying gum paste, do not touch too often wait for them to dry try to switch sides so they dry faster.
- Delicate flowers and figures can break with over touching or if the paste had excess powder sugar.
- when coloring gum pastes always use small amounts of gel paste with a toothpick.
As I said I still use Nicholas Lodge gum paste recipe for my sugar flowers and my edible gum paste recipe for all others that may have the possibility of being eaten.
How to make a Quick Modeling Paste
If you enjoy good weather the simplest way to make a quick modeling paste would be to add CMC or Tylose to your fondant. A tsp of CMC to 250 grams of fondant works great. You can make cake toppers such as animals and this Birdhouse cake with just a simple modeling paste.
Are you new to cake decorating? Do you love cake decorating?
Click here to see some of my Index of all cake tutorials from basic to advance.