5 Reasons to Make Sugar Gum Paste Flowers

5 Reasons to Make Sugar Gum Paste Flowers

The delicate sugar flowers that decorate many of today’s celebration cakes are called gum paste flowers because they are made from confectioner’s/powdered sugar that has been mixed with several ingredients, including edible gum. 

It’s made into a paste with an elastic quality, which can be rolled very thinly and then shaped easily by hand and with tools.

If you make a cake for a special occasion such as a birthday, an anniversary or even a wedding, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could give it a professional finish? Making a smooth finish to the icing on the cake may be easy for you, but what about the decorations. Plastic, silk, or real flowers? Why not give it an exceptional finish by decorating it with gum paste sugar flowers?   

1. A relaxing pastime

Gum Paste Flowers a Rewarding Pastime

Making sugarcraft flowers takes a lot of practice and patience, but it’s a most relaxing pastime.

When I have flowers to make, I usually gather all my equipment and materials and lay them out on my work table. I put on a film that doesn’t require me to watch everything going on or listen to some music, and I can sit for hours making them.

However, to get to that stage, the secret is to watch a good video on making them, follow the instructions, and practice until you get it right.

If you learn how to do it properly, right from the start, and cut out all the trial and error stages, you will quickly become an expert at making them and feel very proud of your results.

2. Quicker than you might think


Once you have decided on the flower type, the paste is rolled out, and petals and leaves are cut out, shaped, and often wired to form each flower.

Some flowers can are made in one go, but others have to be made in stages, letting each step dry before you can go on to the next.

Of course, if you are making an arrangement of flowers, you would make more than one flower at a time and perhaps several different types of flowers.

I always find that making several flowers at a time is quicker than just one because you get a “production line” going with each stage of making the flowers, so they are much quicker to produce than you think.

3. The skill is yours forever


Making Sugar Flowers is a Skill Forever

Once learned, it is a skill that stays with you forever, even if you don’t use it daily. What could make you more proud than being able to make your own or your children’s wedding cake flowers or make sugar flowers for a celebration cake for a family member or a friend?

Imagine having a dinner party for special guests and presenting them with elaborate, professionally decorated desserts.

It’s also an excellent skill to learn. Once you have mastered flower-making skills, you could apply for a job at a bakery or even a restaurant specializing in cakes and desserts. 

You could start your cake-making and decorating business or make the flowers and sell them. There is no end to what you could use the skill.

4. Kept as souvenirs


When the gumpaste dries, you will find that the sugar decorations you have made will have dried to porcelain-like hardness.

Because they are made of sugar, they are, in theory, edible sugar flowers for your cakes, but the gum used to make them doesn’t taste very nice. However, it doesn’t seem to deter children who usually have their hearts set on consuming them and insisting that they are delicious even if they nearly crack their teeth trying to bite them.

Because the gum-paste flowers are so unique, people usually like to keep them as souvenirs. If I know that children are present at a celebration, I typically make some flowers out of fondant for the children to eat.

I know some people don’t care about keeping souvenirs, but most people like to have something to remember a special occasion. Because gumpaste sugar flowers are so special and unique, they are perfect for that purpose.

Gum Paste Sugar Flowers Can Last Forever

5. Gum paste flowers last forever


Before you cut the cake, remove the flowers and put them to one side where they can still be seen, but somewhere people can’t easily touch and break them or even take them. 

In one celebration I attended where I had made the cake, the guests were invited to come up to the cake table and take a slice of cake. 

The flowers had been removed from the cake and placed around the bottom of the cake so the guests could look at them. However, some people thought they were for them and started to take the flowers with their slice of cake.

I had to run around and retrieve them to be kept as a souvenir of the occasion.  

When the cake had been eaten, and the event was over, I collected all the flowers and returned them to the workroom. I cleaned off any cake debris that had got onto the flowers, and I mounted them into a glass dome. 

When putting flowers on display, remember to keep them away from direct sunlight so that the colors will not fade, and they should last indefinitely. I have some flowers I made 25 years ago, which are still in excellent condition.

However, you must remember that the flowers are made of sugar and easily destroyed by moisture, but precautions can prevent this.

The flowers should be mounted on a base or backing and placed with a couple of silica gel sachets, e.g., a box frame, display case, or glass dome, and it should be sealed to keep them from getting damp. 

Silica gel is used if it is not entirely airtight and to absorb any moisture that may still be in the flowers.

Once you know how…


Making gum-paste flowers is a skill that many people would love to learn, but because they look so delicate and complicated, some people don’t dare to try.

However, it’s like anything else; once you have been shown how to make them, and if you are willing to spend time and patience practicing, you will quickly become an expert at making gum paste sugar flowers.

Joyce Freeman

Joyce Freeman

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6 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Make Sugar Gum Paste Flowers”

  1. Your weekly emails are really good to learn from I love your sweet pea video it’s really easy to understand and the right speed to learn from

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      I’m very pleased that you are enjoying the articles and absolutely delighted that you find my presentation and the speed of Sweet Pea video just right for you to follow.

      Best wishes, Joyce

  2. Hi Joyce, I am a keen gardener and just love my garden and the flowers to look at them they are amazing yet I struggle in making them from gumpaste I know that they say practice make perfect. Regards Sophia

    1. Dear Sophia,
      It is fantastic that you are a keen gardener and I totally agree with you that there is nothing else quite like growing beautiful flowers.
      I am sorry that you are struggling with making the flowers in gumpaste.
      However, in my blog, you will find some videos on how to make gumpaste flowers that are suitable for beginners, or if you prefer to read how to make them the instructions are also in text.
      Start with video 1 “How to Make a Gumpaste Rose” and work your way through them (there will be 10 in the beginner series) and you will see step-by-step how easy they are to make.

      Here is a link to the first one:- https://www.sugarflowersworkshop.com/how-to-make-a-gumpaste-rose/

      I hope you enjoy making them and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

      Best wishes

  3. i have made sugar flowers to improve my skill. but when i left the flowers out for show i discovered that the flowers were a magnet for ants. any recomendations to solve this problem.

    1. Hi Gary,
      Unfortunately, because the flowers are made from sugar they will attract ants, flies, and any other insects.
      However, there are ways you can preserve them if you want to put them out on display.
      If I make a cake for someone and they wish to keep the flowers after the occasion I usually take the arrangement apart and re-arrange the flowers in a glass dome.
      If it’s kept out of direct sunlight so the colors won’t fade, and a pack of silica gel is placed in the dome, and the dome is sealed to the base, the flowers will last for a very long time. I made one 30 years ago and it hasn’t deteriorated at all since I did it.
      I haven’t tried this myself but I know bakers who have cakes with gumpaste flowers on them on display have sprayed the whole cake with a couple of coats of clear varnish letting it dry well between coats. Varnish can be bought from craft shops. That prevents insects from being able to get at the sugar.
      Someone else told me that they spray their flowers with a couple of coats of hair lacquer letting it dry between coats.
      If you use a spray to coat your flowers don’t use them on a cake.
      Try these methods out on a spare flower and see which works for you.
      I will be interested to know how you get on.
      Best wishes

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