All You Need To Know About Gum Paste Flowers: What They Are And How To Make Them

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All You Need To Know About Gum Paste Flowers: What They Are And How To Make Them

Adding flowers to your cake gives it that elevated finishing touch. But did you know that using fresh flowers may contaminate your cake? That’s why gum paste sugar flowers is all the hype right now.

This article will bring you through the what’s, why’s and how’s of everything related to gum paste flowers.

    • Difference between fondant, modeling chocolate and gum paste
    • How to make gum paste flowers?
      • Step 1: Follow a basic homemade gum paste recipe
      • Step 2: Watch free gum paste flowers online tutorials
    • How to dye gum paste flowers?
    • Method 1: Coloring Gum Paste Before Making Flowers
    • Method 2: Painting Gum Paste Flowers
    • How to store gum paste flowers?
  • How to attach gum paste flowers to a cake?

Difference Between Fondant, Modeling Chocolate and Gum Paste

According to bluprint, gum paste, fondant and modeling chocolate are referred to as the Big Three of cake decorating. Each of them are made with different ingredients and therefore, have different purposes!

Fondant

Gum Paste Flowers - FondantSource: How To Make Rolled Fondant (Bold Baking Basics)

Ingredients: sugar, water, gelatine and glycerine

Glycerine is one of the key ingredients that differentiates fondant. That and the fact that it doesn’t dry completely through gives it the elasticity to cover cakes well.

Tip!

If your fondant is dry, simply add more glycerine to boost its elasticity.
Elisa Strauss, founder of Confetti Cakes

Modeling Chocolate

Ingredients: melted chocolate, corn syrup

The hardness of modeling chocolate lies just between fondant and gum paste. Another thing that sets it apart is the natural colour that it offers – this means that if you’re sculpting something brown, no coloring is required. Plus, it tastes good!

Gum Paste

Ingredients: egg whites, sugar, gum tragacanth e.g. Tylose powder / Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC)

Adding gum tragacanth strengthens the end product while providing elasticity. That’s why you can roll gum paste much thinner than fondant without it tearing.

Also, this paste dries extremely hard which is why it’s great for sculpting cake toppers such as sugar flowers that have intricate details.

Here’s why you should never put fresh flowers on your cake.

Gum Paste Flowers - Gum Paste VS Modeling Chocolate VS FondantAdapted from Satin Ice: Uses for Modelling Chocolate, Fondant, Gum Paste

How to Make Gum Paste Flowers?

Step 1: Follow a Basic Homemade Gum Paste Recipe

Equipment

  • Heavy duty mixer with paddle attachment
  • Spatula
  • Zip-lock bags or airtight containers (to store paste when done)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of confectioners’ or powdered sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons of Tylose powder (or gum tragacanth)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Add the egg whites into the mixer bowl.
  2. Using a high-speed setting, beat for ~10 seconds with the paddle attachment to achieve the right texture.
  3. Setting the mixer to low speed, add the powdered sugar in slowly.
  4. Once all the sugar has been added and mixed well, increase the mixer speed and beat for approximately 2 minutes until the mixture is soft.
  5. Switching the mixer back to low speed, add the Tylose powder in slowly.
  6. Increase the mixer speed till the texture of the mixture reaches your preferred consistency.
  7. Cover your work surface with powdered sugar and pour the mixture onto it.
  8. Coat your hands with shortening to prevent any sticking. Then, knead the paste until it becomes a non-sticky, smooth dough.

Gum Paste Flowers - How To Make Gum Paste

Step 2: Watch Free Gum Paste Flower Online Tutorials

Here are some free tutorials that you’d love!

1. How to Make a Gum Paste Flower by CakeJournal

How to Make a Gum Paste Flower by CakeJournal

For the beginners, this is a basic flower that you can start with! All you need is a flower cutter, silicone veiner and petal dust.

Other than this tutorial, they also have a whole bunch of other ones e.g. How to Make a Gumpaste Gerbera Daisy.

2. How to Make a Sugar Rose That Looks Exactly (We Mean EXACTLY) Like the Real Thing by Bluprint

How to Make a Sugar Rose That Looks Exactly (We Mean EXACTLY) Like the Real Thing by Bluprint

This tutorial by Bluprint includes step-by-step instructions with images on how to make a lifelike rose.

Gum Paste Flower Online Course

Winifred Kristé Cakes - Classic Rose
Learn to Create Stunning Sugar Flower Wedding Cakes

Course Instructor: Winifred Kristé

What You’ll Learn

  • Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make, arrange, paint and store sugar flowers
  • Flowers include classic rose, Juliet garden rose, hydrangeas and more
  • Learn how to create Winifred’s signature earthy colours with advanced dusting techniques

What’s Included

  • 10 video tutorials
  • Winifred’s gum paste sugar flower recipe
  • Tools and resources
  • Color reference guide for dusting

3. Gum Paste Techniques by Wilton

There are video tutorials and step-by-step instructions for selected flowers. For those that don’t include a video, clear images are provided for each step.

Flowers include: peony, carnation and echeveria succulent. 

4. Gum Paste Flowers by MakeFabulousCakes

Gum paste flower making has been simplified with clear images to show exactly what goes into each step. This tutorial doesn’t require much technical skills or experience to follow.

Flowers include: daisy, gerbera, daffodil and calla lily.

5. Homemade Gumpaste Recipe Tutorial by Wedding Cakes For You

Not only are video tutorials provided, most of the flowers mentioned here don’t require a wire – simply use buttercream to stick to your cake!

Flowers include: rose, cymbidium orchid, hydrangea, dogwood, daisy and gerbera.

How to Dye Gum Paste Flowers?

Method 1: Coloring Gum Paste Before Making Flowers

  1. Knead the paste to soften it.
  2. Pour the desired amount of coloring onto the paste. (Add a little at a time till you get the right colour!)
  3. Twist and knead the paste till the color is evenly spread.
  4. If it’s not the color you’re looking for, add more coloring and continue kneading.
    On the other hand, if the color is too dark, simply add some uncolored gum paste into the mixture to lighten the shade.

Tip!

Only knead the proportion that you wish to color. The remaining paste should be kept in an airtight container or bag to retain its moisture.

Method 2: Painting Gum Paste Flowers

You can paint your readily made gum paste flowers by using

  • food-grade paint and/or
  • petal dust.

If you’re using paint, all you have to do is to mix it with some water. The more water you add, the lighter the shade will be.

Ensure that you’re using a fine brush so that you can reach the bottom of the flower easily. If you’re looking to achieve finer details, use a fine brush with stiffer bristles.

Also, make sure that you don’t dip your brush into too much paint as that would slow down the drying process.

Tip!

It’s a good idea to have a test flower or some extra gum paste to test the color of your paint. Once you’ve achieved the perfect shade, you can go ahead to paint your actual flower.

Painting Gum Paste Flowers - Use Kitchen Sponge or Towel to Prevent Paint SpillageSource: How to Colour Gumpaste Flowers

It’s also advised that you use a kitchen towel or sponge as shown above to prevent any paint spillage.

If you’d like to enhance the color or hide any paint stroke imperfections, use some petal dust.

Difference between a painted rose (left) and a painted rose with petal dust (right):

Painting Gum Paste Flowers - Painted Gum Paste Flower VS Gum Paste Petal DustSource: How to Colour Gumpaste Flowers

If you choose to only use petal dust, this is how your flower would look like:

How to Store Gum Paste Flowers?

It’s best to make your gum paste flowers on the day that it’s going to be delivered. But if that’s not possible, here’s how to store your flowers correctly.

  1. Use a rolling pin to roll your gum paste as thin as possible, so it’s easier to dry.
  2. Once you have created your flowers, leave them on a baking sheet to dry for at least 24 hours.
  3. To speed up the drying process, you can place silica packets or bread with your flowers.

Note!

DO NOT touch the flowers while they’re drying!
The moisture, dirt or temperature from/of your hand may cause them to break.

  1. For storage: place the flowers onto bubble wrap or paper towels and store them in a clear airtight container. This is so that you can check on them easily.
  2. If you’re still unsure if they’re completely dry, simply add silica packets or bread again.

How to Store Gum Paste Flowers - Store Container in a Cool, Dry, PlaceSource: How to Store Gumpaste Flowers

  1. Store the container in a cool, dry place. Avoid places with excessive light.

Note!

DO NOT keep your flowers in the refrigerator or freezer!
They may crack when you take them out or even start to taste like the food in your fridge.

  1. Be sure to check on your flowers from time to time!
  2. On the event day itself, you may want to transport the flowers separately from the cake and assemble them at the venue.

How to Attach Gum Paste Flowers to Cakes?

There are several methods to attach or stick your gum paste flowers to your cake. The ideal method is dependent on the

  • Size of flowers
  • Orientation / arrangement of flowers
  • Type of cake (buttercream or fondant)

Tiny flowers

image of tiny flowers on cake

Tiny flowers have minimal weight and can hence, be stuck on easily with

  • buttercream (for buttercream cakes)
  • icing (for fondant cakes) or
  • toothpicks

Medium to large flowers

For larger and heavier weight flowers, they’re usually made with wires for better support. You can either use a

  • bubble tea straw or a
  • flower pick

to stick the stem of the flower into the cake.

Sticking Cake Flower Stem Into Flower PickSource: How To Attach Sugar Flowers To Your Cake

To ensure that the stem is stuck into the flower pick or straw firmly, fill it with a bit of gum paste or melted candy before inserting the stem in.

Inserting Flower Pick into CakeSource: How To Attach Sugar Flowers To Your Cake

Then, insert the pick into the cake at your desired point.

Arrange Cake Flower Gently into Correct PositionSource: How To Attach Sugar Flowers To Your Cake

The last step is to arrange the flowers gently into the right position.

Note!

  • Never stick wires directly into your cake.
  • It’s not ideal to have too many holes in your cake.
  • Flowers, stems and leaves should be as lightweight as possible.

Pretty Gum Paste Flowers: Sugar Craft Flowers for Wedding Cakes

All You Need To Know About Gum Paste Flowers: What They Are And How To Make ThemAll You Need To Know About Gum Paste Flowers: What They Are And How To Make Them

Gum Paste Flower Workshops

If you want to find out more about how to make these beautiful sugar flowers, we offer courses and workshops both online and offline. At our local workshops and international workshops, trainers will be there to guide you step by step on what to do. You can also check out our online courses.

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