Sugar Flower How-To Series: My Go-To Gum Paste Recipes

As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Trial and error, many buckets of purchases gum paste and loads of sweat equity brought me to these two recipes. They each serve a purpose in my sugar flower line-up. The Go-To Gum Paste is perfect for deep, rich colors in flowers. The Tylose gum paste is my recipe for white or pastel flowers.

I prefer to make my own because it is cost-efficient, easy and reliable. The buckets of pre-made gum paste just don’t work for me (maybe you have better luck and know something I don’t). I found some brands to be be difficult to work with and others never dried hard. Like the saying goes, if you want something done right (or how you want it), do it yourself.

The first recipe is my Go-To Gum Paste and was a gift from Rosemary Watson years and years ago. I like the recipe because you can substitute gel color for some of the water to make deep colored gum paste without compromising the texture. I am sharing the recipe in the format it was originally given to me.

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Go-To Gum Paste Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 pound powdered sugar

  • 1 TBSP + ½ tsp. Gum Tragacanth (don’t substitute)

  • 1/3 cup cold water (less 1-2 TBSP for firmer paste)

  • 1 ½ tsp unflavored gelatin

  • 1 TBSP shortening

  • 3 TBSP white corn syrup or glucose


Instructions

Notes

  • This recipe can be doubled.
  • Corn syrup will work with this recipe but I prefer to use glucose.  
  • The fresher the gum tragacath the better your finished gum paste will be.  
  • Don’t substitute another type of gum for the gum tragacanth.  
  • Make sure to buy “Gum Tragacanth” not cmc… they are NOT the same.
  • If the paste becomes a little too stiff to work with, Knead a drop or two of water into the paste.  A little at a time until the preferred consistency is obtained.

I’m pretty sure Nicholas Lodge introduced Tylose gum paste to the world.  My recipe below is a variation of his recipe. This gum paste is easy to make and very reliable. It always dries nice and hard and very white so it is best used for whites and pastels. I don’t recommend using the Tylose recipe for deep colors because if you put too much gel in Tylose, it alters the recipe. The paste loses its integrity and will not perform how you expect. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the base you need for your flowers.

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Tylose Gum Paste Recipe


Ingredients


Instructions

Notes

  • I have used the paste right after making it but the paste will work so much better if you let it chill 24 hours before using.
  • If adding color to this recipe, use a concentrated gel color.  Add the gel color prior to add tylose.  Make sure the color is dispersed evenly before adding tylose.  This recipe makes a great white or pastel colored paste.  Adding a lot of gel color (for deep shades) can change the consistency of this paste.  Use the Rosemary Watson gum paste recipe for deep colors.  
  • This paste needs to be stored in the fridge when not is use.  Will last in the fridge for 3-6 months.  Freeze for 1 year.
  • This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • This recipe works best using Tylose.  The only brand I use is Confectionery Arts International.  Strengths vary by brands and I find CAI gives me a consistent product.  Don’t substitute CMC or other gums when using this recipe.

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  1. Laney says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! How long and how should we store these?

    • Minette says:

      You are so welcome! You can store gum paste (both recipes) in the fridge for months. Store in the freezer (both recipes) for at least a year.

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