Homemade gum Paste Recipe

Simple Homemade Gum Paste Recipe for Sugar Flower Making

What if you could cut back on your expenses by making your own Gum Paste – read on and find out how it’s done.

I know it’s easy to shop online or go to your local cake supplier to buy ready-made Gum Paste but it is expensive, and I have not been satisfied with the quality of any commercially made paste I’ve tried.

With prices of all the cake making and decorating ingredients going up all the time, I’m sure you are always looking for ways to keep costs at a reasonable level, and one of the ways you can do that is by making your own Gum Paste.

When you buy ingredients such as Gum Tragacanth, liquid glucose, and gelatine, you will find that you have enough for more than one batch of Gum Paste.

No need to panic…

Another bonus of knowing how to make your paste, even if you use commercially produced paste, is if you keep the Gum Paste ingredients in your kitchen you will never have to panic if you run out in the middle of a project and can’t get to the shops to buy more.

What makes it so special?

I have made Gum Paste since I started making and decorating cakes over 30 years ago. However, I have tried various makes of commercially produced Gum Paste, but I didn’t find them easy to work with so I went back to making my own because I like to have control over the quality of the gum paste I use to make flowers.

Apart from actually liking to make Gum Paste, I am always wary of the fact that everything that is mass produced contains quite a few unnecessary chemicals and Gum Paste is no exception.

Gum Tragacanth has been used in this recipe mainly because I like the results I get with it, but you can use CMC which is a chemical version of Gum Tragacanth (Tylose is a brand name of CMC).

Cane confectioners/powdered sugar is better to use, if possible. The only reason I prefer it is because I find it gives a much better “stretch” to the Gum Paste. However, you can use beet confectioners/powdered sugar, and you will still get good results.

Unfortunately, the origin of the sugar is rarely given these days because producers are not required to state what plant it is made from because the chemical composition is almost the same. You only know what type of sugar you have bought when you use it so if you find a brand that works for you then stick with it.

Make Gum Paste with a stand mixer

Gum paste made with a mixer is quick, easy and takes a very little effort to make. The result is a white paste that requires very little kneading before use.

Make Gum Paste by Hand

Not everyone has a stand mixer but, fortunately, it’s possible to make a good quality gum paste by hand, so, if you follow the recipe and the instructions below, I am sure you will be pleased with the results.

Make Gum Paste With a Mixer

The following instructions on how to make gum paste are only suitable if you have a stand mixer with a strong motor because the sugar paste will be quite stiff so if you try to use a hand mixer you will burn out the motor!

Mixer

Use the paddle/flat beater to mix the gum paste because the wire whisk is not strong enough.
I am sure you will be pleased with the resulting flower paste and the quality of the sugar flowers you will make from it.

Ingredients

Gum Paste Recipe

Method

Place the cold water in a heatproof bowl (that will fit over a saucepan) and stir while sprinkling in the gelatine then let it stand for half an hour until all the water is absorbed.

While the gelatin is soaking, sift together gum tragacanth and confectioners’ sugar into a clean, heatproof bowl (or into your mixer bowl if it is heatproof) and warm it over a saucepan of gently, simmering water for about 5 minutes. Stir it carefully after a couple of minutes to make sure it’s warm right through.

Next, dissolve the gelatine, in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until the gelatine has completely melted. Add the liquid glucose and white fat, stir and make sure it has also melted then remove from the heat and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes.

Warm your mixer bowl

If you have not used your mixer bowl to warm the confectioners/powdered sugar then warm it by putting some hot water in it for a few minutes, then empty and dry. While your bowl warms remove the ‘string’ from the egg white and beat it gently with a fork until it is liquid.
Pour the gelatine mixture and the egg white into the mixer bowl with the sugar and gum and set the electric mixer on a slow speed and mix everything together.

Turn up the speed

When everything is combined, turn the speed up to maximum and beat for about 10 minutes, the longer you beat the paste and whiter it will be.

After you have finished beating the paste, divide into six pieces and double wrap tightly in plastic, place them in an airtight plastic box and leave it overnight at room temperature

When you are ready to use the Gum Paste knead it until it is soft enough to use and keep any you are not working with tightly wrapped until required.

Store the Gum Paste

If you are not going to use the paste straight away, it can be left for several days at room temperature. However, if you are not going to use it for any length of time, after it has been double wrapped and placed in an airtight plastic, freezer proof box, place it in the freezer where it will keep for several months.

To Use Gum Paste

To use Gum Paste that has been in the freezer leave it to defrost at room temperature then knead it until it is soft and pliable.

Note: If the Gum Paste too hard to knead then you can put it in the microwave for a FEW SECONDS at a time until it is warm enough to knead. Leave it any longer then it will melt and the sugar content will burn your hands and, because it will have overheated, it will most likely be unusable.

Make Gum Paste By Hand

Ingredients

Gum Paste Recipe

Method

Place the cold water in a small bowl and stir while sprinkling in the gelatine then let it stand for half an hour until all the water has been absorbed.

While you are waiting for the gelatine to be ready, sift together the gum tragacanth and ¾ lb (338 g/1 ½ cups) of the confectioners’ sugar into a clean heatproof bowl and warm it over a saucepan of gently, simmering water for about 5 minutes – stir gently after a couple of minutes to make sure it has warmed through, evenly.

Next, dissolve the gelatine, in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until the gelatine has completely melted.

Add the liquid glucose and white fat, stir and make sure it has also melted. Remove from heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

Remove the ‘string’ from the egg white and beat it gently with a fork until it is liquid then pour the gelatine mixture and the egg white into the bowl with the sugar and gum and stir well until it is all combined.

Sift the remaining ¼ lb (112g/ ½ cup) of the confectioners’ sugar onto a board, make a well in the center, pour the gelatine and sugar mixture into the well and work the sugar into the mixture.

Knead it well

When all the ingredients are combined, knead for about 1 minute.

Divide the paste into 4 or 6 portions, lightly dust some plastic wrap with confectioners’/powdered sugar and wrap each portion of the gum paste tightly.

Place the portions into a plastic bag and then into an airtight, plastic box and leave at room temperature overnight.

To use, take a portion of the sugar paste and knead it well until it is smooth and pliable. If it sticks to your hands, smear a little white vegetable fat on them, and it will prevent sticking.

Wrap it well

To prevent it from drying out, make sure the paste is always wrapped well, and it can be stored for a few days at room temperature or for a longer time in the freezer.

To use Gum Paste that has been in the freezer leave it to defrost at room temperature then knead it until it is soft and pliable.

Note: If the Gum Paste too hard to knead then you can put it in the microwave for a FEW SECONDS at a time until it is warm enough to knead. Leave it any longer then it will melt and the sugar content will burn your hands and, because it will have overheated, it will most likely be unusable.

If you need a Vegan version this recipe will work well.

I wish you success in making your Gum Paste.

Joyce Freeman

Joyce Freeman

FREE ONLINE VIDEO

SWEET PEA FOR BEGINNERS

Are you struggling to make sugar flowers? Or may be you’re just starting with sugar flowers. It can be difficult to know where to begin!

In this free 35 minute video, you’ll discover how to make a full Sweet Pea display that will impress anyone who sees them.

Sugar Sweet Pea

11 thoughts on “Simple Homemade Gum Paste Recipe for Sugar Flower Making”

    1. Hi Karen, Gum Tragacanth is a natural gum which I prefer to use because it gives good results but it is expensive.
      Tylose is a chemical substitute for Gum Tragacanth, it is not so expensive and gives quite good results.

  1. i was planning for mass production of gumpaste flowers. what preservative is best to put in this recipe to extend shelflife in stores? Thank you

    1. Hi Michelle
      Sugar, itself, is a preservative so I don’t think there is any need to add anything to the gum paste. I have flowers I made 30 years ago and they are still as good as the day I made them.
      You need to let the flowers completely dry then put them in an airtight box together with a food safe desiccant sachet that will eliminate any moisture that may be left in the flowers and will keep them dry. Moisture is the enemy of sugar flowers.
      The flowers may need some padding or some sort of support around them if they are to be transported and/or handled so they don’t break.
      They need to be stored or displayed out of direct sunlight or any bright lights or the colours will fade.
      Good luck with your venture.
      Best wishes, Joyce

    1. Joyce Freeman

      Hi Artie,
      I am sorry that you have not had any luck with your flowers drying. However, I can only recommend that you follow the recipe and add all the ingredients to ensure your flowers dry and become hard.
      I have not tried this myself but I have been told that if you are a vegan and do not want to use any animal products, you can substitute the egg white with 1/2 a cup of aqua faba (the drained liquid from a can of chickpeas).
      Also, you can substitute the gelatine with agar-agar powder. As far as I know, 1 teaspoon of agar-agar = 1 teaspoon of gelatine powder but do read the instructions on the packet before you use it, just to make sure.
      If any of you have used these products I would be very interested to hear from you to find out how the gum paste turned out.
      Best wishes, Joyce

  2. Hello Joyce,
    i just finished doing your version for gum paste after trying so many different versions. It is the first one however that asks for 10 minutes of beating time, and I must confess I was a bit worry since all others after 3 the paste got very stif. I was just wondering, is it normal of it to be somewhat dry and not elastic at all? I made sure I followed every step, and I really want this work as I’m exhausted of trying to male it from scratch and wasting so many ingredients.

    1. Hi Tina,
      The idea of letting the paste mix for 10 mins is so that the more air that is incorporated into it, the whiter it becomes. I usually stop the beating as soon as I see that the paste is very white, the length of time is not set in stone because every make of confectioners sugar is different and I have also found that the same goes for CMC and various makes react differently. It can take anything from 5 to 10 minutes.
      The last lot of confectioners sugar I bought made an exceptionally stiff paste so when I made the next batch of paste I added seven teaspoons of water to the gelatine to slacken it off a bit.
      Because the paste gets very stiff, is why you need a powerful mixer as it will burn out the motor of a less powerful one. The paste becomes elastic after you leave it overnight then knead it. If your mixer is not very strong then making it by hand is the answer but knead it well before you use it.

  3. Hi Joyce
    As you mention the sugarpaste flowers must be place in an airtight box, is it ok if it is place in a airtight plastic container instead of a box.

Leave a Reply to Tina Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FREE ONLINE VIDEO

SWEET PEAS FOR BEGINNERS

Get instant access to the full video today!


By subscribing you agree to our terms and conditions. You will also receive our Newsletter from time to time. You can unsubscribe at ANY time. Full privacy policy can be found here.

Sugar Sweet Pea