Homemade gum Paste Recipe

Simple Homemade Gum Paste Recipe for Sugar Flower Making

I know it’s easy to shop online or go to your local cake supplier to buy ready-made Gum Paste, but it’s 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 Gum Paste.

Because ready-made gumpaste is expensive to buy, make your own from this recipe if you want to cut back on your expenses. You will find that you not only save money, but you will have a superior product.

No need to panic…

Another bonus of knowing how to make Gum Paste, even if you usually use ready-made, is to keep the ingredients to make it in your kitchen, so if you run out and there is nowhere to obtain more, you can always finish your project.

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 and stored correctly, and they will keep for a long time.

What makes it so special?


I have made my own Gum Paste since I started making and decorating cakes over 30 years ago. However, I have tried various 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 the fact that I prefer to make my Gum Paste, I am always aware that everything mass-produced contains quite a few unnecessary chemicals to give it long shelf life, and Gum Paste is no exception.

What is gumpaste made of?

Gum Tragacanth is obtained from the sap of a plant, so it is entirely natural. I have used it in this recipe mainly because it makes excellent gumpaste. However, because It’s imported from the Middle East, it can be expensive.
If you use it all quickly, it will keep sealed tightly at room temperature for several weeks. If you are only going to use it occasionally, close it tightly in a couple of layers of freezer-proof plastic and keep it in the freezer.
CMC is a synthetic version of Gum Tragacanth (Tylose is a brand name of CMC) and is much cheaper to buy and gives reasonably good results.

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

Unfortunately, the sugar origin 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, stick with it.

If you want to know more about sugar used for baking and its results, then I am sure you will be interested in this article.

Difference Between Cane Sugar and Beet Sugar for Cake Decorating?

Gelatin, white fat, liquid glucose, and egg white are all ingredients that help make the gumpaste into a dough that can be rolled, shaped, stretched, and the finished items dry to a porcelain-like hardness.

Making Gum Paste with a table mixer  – Gum paste made with a mixer is quick, easy, and takes minimal effort to make. The result is a white paste that requires minimal kneading before use.

Making Gum Paste by Hand – Not everyone has a stand mixer; fortunately, it’s possible to make a good quality gum paste by hand. It takes a little bit of hard work kneading it, but if you follow the recipe and the instructions below, I am sure you will be pleased with the results.

Make Gum Paste With a Table Mixer

The following instructions on making gumpaste are only suitable if you have a table mixer with a strong motor because the sugar paste is quite stiff and requires beating for a few minutes.
If you try to use a hand mixer, you will burn out the motor.


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.


Gum Paste Recipe


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, place 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 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, heat it by putting some hot water in it for a few minutes, then empty and dry.

Next, 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, set the electric mixer to a slow speed, and mix everything.

Turn up the speed

When everything is combined, turn the speed up to maximum and beat for about 5 minutes, or until you place a finger on the paste, it doesn’t feel sticky. The longer you beat it, the whiter it will be.

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

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

Store the Gum Paste

If you do not use the paste straight away, it can be stored for several days at room temperature. However, if you are not going to use it any time soon, double wrap it, place it in airtight plastic, freezer-proof box, and put 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 is 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, and it will melt; the sugar content could burn your hands, and because it will have overheated, it will most likely be unusable.

Make Gum Paste By Hand



Gum Paste Recipe


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 is absorbed.

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

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

Add the liquid glucose and white fat, stir and make sure it also melts. 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 mix.

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 tightly wrap each portion of the gum paste.

Place the portions into a plastic bag and then into an airtight plastic box, and leave them 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, ensure you wrap the paste well, which 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 is 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; it may melt, and the sugar content will burn your hands, and because it overheated, it may be unusable.

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

I hope you enjoy making flowers and other decorations for your cakes. If you have any questions about making gumpaste, please ask in the comments below, and I will do my best to answer them. 

I wish you success in making your Gum Paste.

Joyce Freeman

Joyce Freeman

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27 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. 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.

  4. Dear Joyce,
    I am able to make the petals of flowers, however my trouble comes when trying to assemble them.
    Whenever I add water, egg white or icing to stick them together the fondant disintegrates and the y fall apart.
    What am I doing wrong? I have tried assembling them as I go along and also leaving the petals todry before assembly.
    The results are the same.
    Can you help please?

    1. Dear Meg,
      I am sorry you haven’t had much luck with assembling your flowers.

      I always use Gum Arabic powder mixed with a little water as a glue to stick them together.

      It is a little difficult to mix the powder into the water so I put a teaspoon of powder into a small screw-top jar, add 4 tablespoons of water, screw the top on and shake the jar until the lumps break down and the powder has mixed into the water (it will take a few minutes). When it is mixed together leave it for a couple of hours to thicken. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

      I find that this makes quite a thick glue that doesn’t ‘melt’ the gumpaste.

      I have also been told that you can use ½ teaspoon of Tylose CMC mixed with 4 tablespoons water. Mix it the same way as I mix the gum Arabic, then leave it overnight to thicken, but I have not tried it.

      Best wishes, Joyce

  5. Thanks for sharing the recipe. In ingredients mentioned white vegetable fat. Ib having white colour vegetable shortening. Is it same.? If not pls let me know what i can use for white vegetable faf

    1. Joyce Freeman

      Hi Shaji,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes, white vegetable shortening is perfect.
      I have even used coconut oil which comes in solid form and it works just as well.
      Best wishes

  6. Hi, thanks for sharing recipe. I am making regularly gumpaste with cmc amd powder sugar. That have some issues in humid weather. Even though it is very good in taste, i use mostly in decorating ribbon, cut flower etc.

    My doubt is with this recipe how the taste. Also how work in humid conditions. Pls reply

    1. Hi Shaji, I’ve had no problems with the taste of gumpaste made with this recipe.
      However, the gumpaste flowers are not usually eaten because they are too hard and also people usually like to keep them as souvenirs rather than eat them.
      Read my blog post about “Tips for Extreme Weather Cake Decorators: Gum Paste Sugar Flowers” that you can find by clicking the following link.
      I hope this answers your question about working in humid conditions.
      Best wishes

    1. Dear Antonio
      Yes, Xanthan Gum and Gum Tragacanth do have similar properties, and you can make gum paste with either of them. You can buy both types of gum from a cake decorating supplier.

      I have only used Gum Tragacanth, so I can’t tell you if gumpaste made with Xanthan Gum will make the same quality flowers as gumpaste made with Gum Tragacanth.

      If you use it, I would be very interested to know how you get on with it and if there is any difference in the quality of gumpaste it makes.
      Best wishes

    1. Hi,
      I’m so pleased you like the website, and I hope you found all the information you needed to assist you with your cake decorating and gumpaste flower making.
      I will continue to add many more articles on all aspects of cake decorating in the future, so I hope they will be of interest to you.
      Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Nicole.
      Yes, it’s similar to white vegetable fat.
      It’s made from refined coconut oil and is OK to use in the sugar paste.
      I have used plain, solid coconut oil if I can’t get vegetable fat, which works as well.
      Best wishes

    1. Hi Leora,
      Yes, it will be the same amount of tylose powder as gum tragacanth.
      Although it isn’t my first choice I use tylose powder if I can’t get anything else.
      Good luck with your first attempt at making gum paste.
      Best wishes

  7. I have been using a recipe for years (30) like yours (it’s just a double recipe) I got out of mail box news and it has always worked beautiful !! but the last couple of times it is too soft and sticky ..don’t know why ..do you have any idea of what I should do to keep it from being like this ??

    1. Hi Judi,
      Not all powdered sugar is the same. It may depend on what brand of powdered sugar you use and if it’s cane sugar or beet sugar. Try adding a little bit more powdered sugar to the gum paste you have already made. Also, try changing the brand of sugar you use or use slightly less liquid to the next batch you make. If you find that the flowers you make are not so hard, knead in a tiny bit more gum tragacanth or CMC to your gum paste. You may have to experiment to get it just right. Cane sugar is best for making sugar flowers. Always use cornflower/corn starch to roll out and work your gum paste but not too much, or you will dry it out.
      Best wishes

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