Gumpaste Modelling

Gumpaste novice seeking advice!!

Hi all, I’ve been making cakes as an amateur for several years and my future sister-in-law just asked me to make her fall themed wedding cake. It will be several new experiences for me all at once – wedding cakes, 3 tiers, and gumpaste!! It will be done in buttercream with fall leaves and flowers cascading down the side (mimicking several styles I’ve seen online).

While I’ll take ANY advice at all on the topic – and even just words of encouragement – my main question has to do with the use of gumpaste in making my roses, dahlias and fall leaves. I’ve seen various instructions for using straight gumpaste or mixing in some shortening (if so how much?) or even the 50/50 mix of fondant and gumpaste. Is one method preferred over the other or is there a better choice for the items I’ll be making? I’ve noticing in my experimentation so far that the 50/50 mix seems to work better than straight gumpaste.


Tim @ Chez PA Catering

3 Replies

The shortening (crisco for example) serves to help condition the gumpaste. Use just a tiny bit (finger tip amount perhaps), put it on to your hands and then knead it into the gumpaste. Nicholos Lodge recommends it as a conditioner. I’ve never used straight gumpaste for flowers. Instead I use store bought Satin Ice fondant and to that I add a little CMC and that becomes my gum paste. Sorry if I’m adding too much info and confusing you. If you are looking for a gumpaste recipe that is great for flowers check out Nicholos Lodge’s gumpaste recipe. I think it is available on Craftsy or perhaps even google. Whatever you decide to use, you will do great! Looking forward to seeing your creation :)

The Garden Baker

I use straight gumpaste (Nic Lodge’s recipe) when I want something sturdy or fast drying. Such a plaques or a base for a cake topper. Or for heavier petal flowers such as Magnolia. Fondant with Tylose powder added works quite well for things with some motion to them, such as the Fall leaves you mentioned. Straight fondant is too soft for flowers or leaves and 50/50 is alright. You just need to experiment with small pieces of any of those, roll them out and let them dry. Then see which dries fastest, which seems most fragile and breaks easily, which you can roll very thin without it shrinking back after it is rolled. I know many flower makers prefer something like Platinum Paste or if they plan on keeping the flowers for years you might try Cold Porceline paste. Hope some of this helps.


Hi, I’ve just made my first 3 tier wedding cake with a gumpaste rose cascade. I was quite nervous at first, but really enjoyed the learning experience. As far as gumpaste goes I’ve always bought good quality fondant and added tylose powder to it, and if it does start to go a bit dry I’ll condition it with a little white fat. The main thing is to give yourself enough time for everything to dry, my roses went a little soft on the day, but, it was one of the summers hottest days! Another key thing is to support your 3 tiers with cake boards, dowels and I used a centre dowel through all 3 cakes as I was transporting it stacked. I didn’t add the flowers until I got the cake to the venue, hope this helps, any more probs, just ask xx

sugar and art - perfect combination!