Sugar paste, also known as gum paste, pastillage or sugar gum, is a sugar-based edible dough. It's a popular material for cake decoration because it's sturdy, easy to use and can be molded into almost any shape. Look for sugar paste at your local craft shop, cake-decorating shop or gourmet store, then learn to shape sugar paste into beautiful flowers---perfect for topping cakes, cupcakes and other treats.
Things You'll Need
- Sugar paste
- Food coloring in your choice of colors
- Rolling pin
- Solid vegetable shortening
- Sugar paste flower cutters in your choice of flower
- Waxed paper
- Cupcake liners (optional)
- Paintbrush (optional)
- Edible glue (optional)
- Decorative items such as edible pearls (optional)
Add food coloring to the sugar paste and knead on a smooth work surface until the color is evenly distributed throughout the paste. You'll need only a few drops of food coloring to create pale flowers such as light pink roses, but you might need many drops for intensely colored flowers such as bright yellow daffodils.
Place your sugar paste on a smooth counter you've greased with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening. Using your rolling pin, roll the paste out to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Pick up the sugar paste, give it a quarter turn, and roll it out again. Repeat two or three times until the gum paste is about 1/16th of an inch thick.
Using your sugar-paste flower cutter, cut as many flower shapes as you can fit into the rolled-out paste. Lay the flowers on a sheet of waxed paper and place them in a cool, dry place to dry. If you want flowers with a more three-dimensional shape, place each flower in a cupcake liner so the petals will dry in a curved position. If you want flowers with a fuller look, layer two or more flower shapes on top of each other at slightly different angles.
Decorate your flowers for a realistic look. For multicolored flowers, such as lilies, use a paintbrush and food coloring to paint spots or stripes on the petals. For flowers with colored centers, such as daisies, use food coloring to paint a dot in the center of the flower. You can also add just-for-fun decorations, such as edible pearl balls, to the flowers using edible glue.
Tips & Warnings
- If you can't find sugar-paste flower cutters at your local craft shop or cake-decorating store, you can cut out the flower shapes with a regular cookie cutter or a paring knife.
- Dry the sugar-paste flowers very thoroughly or they may lose their shape during the cake-decorating process. Drying can take anywhere from several days to a week, depending on the humidity.
- Photo Credit icing flowers image by Trevor Allen from Fotolia.com
How Long Does It Take for Gumpaste Flowers to Dry?
When an important event is approaching, you don't want to find out too late that there's not enough time to create your...
How to Make Sugar Flowers
A few simple tools and techniques transform a lump of gumpaste, a sugar dough made from powder sugar, gelatin, gum tragacanth and...
How to Make Gum Paste
A simple recipe for gum paste. Learn about using sugar gum paste dough to make flowers in this free crafting video.