Gum Paste Flower- Download Formula

Gum Paste is an edible, although unpalatable, sweet dough that usually contains sugar, egg whites, shortening and a gum product.  The gum product both strengthens it and allows it to dry to a hard finished product.  As a result, gum paste can be rolled thinly and painted once dry if desired.  Gum paste can also be kneaded into fondant (50/50) to strengthen it, enabling the fondant to be fashioned into decorations such as bows.    

A variety of gum products are used to achieve these results including gum tragacanth, tylose powder, gum arabic and CMC powder.  Gum tragacanth naturally occurs in some species of legumes.  Tylose powder is cellulose based and gives the gum paste a whiter appearance compared to the slightly greyer cast of gum tragacanth.  Gum Arabic is derived from the sap of Acacia trees and CMC powder is a man made cellulose gum.  These gum products can also be kneaded directly into fondant to enhance its strength and drying properties, yielding a “quick” version of gum paste. 

Gum paste can either be purchased pre-made, in powder form requiring only the addition of water, or easily made from scratch.  The pre-made gum paste or powder can either be purchased online, from most cake decorating stores or from professional pastry ingredient suppliers.  To prepare gum paste from scratch using tylose powder, see the following formula.

Gum paste should be stored in a well sealed, airtight container.  Since it dries out quickly, it is best to keep a Ziploc bag handy when working with it to store the unused portion of gum paste.  Incorporating a small additional amount of shortening into the gum paste will also help eliminate minimal drying, so it is helpful to have some available while working with it. 

In this video, making of a gum paste lily is demonstrated. Each part is formed and colored separately, and assembled at the end. Gum paste flowers can be prepared weeks in advance and stored in an air tight container.

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