The Miracle of Gum Paste Flower Art

They look so real

Every once in a while someone or something will become a part of your life that shapes your views or changes you. I have been blessed by such an experience; both Kerry Vincent and Toba Garrett have entered my cake decorating life. I am in awe of their capabilities and genuine talent, if you have not had the opportunity to see either women’s amazing cakes please go to the links I provided.

I recently received Kerry Vincent’s Romantic Wedding Cakes, a must for any inspiring or accomplished cake designer, the book contains pages of stunning cakes with detailed instruction to delight the reader. I also added to my culinary cake library with Toba Garett’s Professional Cake Decorating, 2nd Edition, I think I own all of her decorating books, her knowledge and technical artistry is awe-inspiring!

So it is no surprise Sydney and have creating gum paste flowers. I wanted to share our technique for designing gum paste/sugar paste roses.

A few tools of the trade

Gum paste recipe

  • 1250 g/ 2 lbs 8 oz icing sugar, 10 3/8-cup
  • 30 grams/ 3-Tablespoons gum tragacanth
  • 30 grams/1 egg, room tempature
  • 170 grams/ 6 -ounces water
  • 60 grams/ 2- oz glucose
  • 250 gram/ 2 1/8-cups icing sugar

Plastic film

Prepare mise en place

In a bowl of a standing mixer  sift the icing, add the gum tragacanth, and whisk till combined. Add the egg white mix for 1-minute on medium speed, add the water and glucose mixing until amalgamated.

Transfer the paste to  a counter top or work space, knead the remaining icing sugar (by 1/4 of cup at a time). Keep add the icing sugar until a smooth, firm dough developed.

Coat  a large piece of plastic film with shortening, roll the paste into a cylinder shape, wrap tightly, store in an airtight container, and allow to rest overnight.

There are a plethora of good gum paste available for purchase if you would rather skip preparing your own.

  • Rose leaf cutter
  • Calyx cutter
  • Flower foam pad
  • Leaf cutters
  • Ball tool
  • Fondant rolling pin
  • Rolling mat
  • plastic teaspoons
  • Flute and Vein tool
  • wooden toothpicks
  • 2 large plastic sandwich bags, prepared
  • Cell Forms
  • Gum paste
  • Food color paste, of your choice
  • Shortening
  • Small paint brush
  • Edible glue or egg whites

Apply a small amount of shortening to the tip of a toothpick. Shape a small amount of kneaded gum paste into a center cone, this will be the inner bud of the rose, allow to dry overnight for best results.


Apply a small amount of shortening to the tip of a toothpick. Shape a small amount of kneaded gum paste into a center cone, this will be the inner bud of the rose, allow to dry overnight for best results.

Prepare mise place, and sandwich bag

Mise en Place

To prepare sandwich bags cut the to and both side, apply shorting to the inside liners, this is for cut petals, to keep them from drying out.

Color your gum paste (make sure to wear gloves the color will stain), knead, and roll out

A fondant roller is a must; due to the smoothness

 Roll the gum paste 1 mm thick

Roll the gum paste just as you would dough

 Each rose will need a total of twenty petals, working with five at time. We prefer to cut 10 petals at a time. Placing the petals in the sandwich bag till needed

The petal, prior to frilling

On a flower foam pad place one petal ( there are two because Sydney and each were working together), using either a bone tool or a ball tool began to frill the edges, by rolling the petals edges gently with the ball tool. Place the petal in your palm gently roll the ball tool from the center out.

The edges will began frill right before your eye

 The first five petals will be wrapped (attached with either edible glue or egg white) around the center cone/ the bud. Wilton’s cake give a great descriptions on the first five petals. think of the petals as a head, two arms, and two legs. Attach the head first the petal should encompass the tip of the bud, using a soft small brush wet the center cone with edible glue, now attach one arm and one opposite leg, repeat for the next two petals. Starting the petal half up.

Try not to wrap to tightly, leaving an opening at the top

The next fifteen petal will be frilled in the same manor except laid on a plastic spoon to set, and dusted with petal dust. We chose a shimming lavender, but a bright pink would have been beautiful as well.

I like to place the petal so it lays a little on side, to create a nice bend

Once all the petals have been laid on spoons, began to build your rose on a Celform from the outside in. Most cel form have a small whole in the middle, if yours does not push a large pin through to create a whole. Began with the first set of spoons, lay the shaped petals around Celform over lapping the petal sightly. Remember to brush each petal with edible glue or egg white, to ad here to each other. Lay the next five in-between were the first five petals attach, slightly higher. Repeat with the last set of five petals following the same pattern, each set of five petals should be tighter and look higher. Once all fifteen petals have been arranged poke the toothpick center/ bud through the petals and Celform whole, place the Celform, with the tooth pick still attached in a small glass. So the lips of the Celform cover the top of the glass (we used shot glasses), dry over night.

Rose drying on a shot glass

 The next day prepare your leaves and calyx.

 Prepare a mise en place for the leaves and calyx.

Leaf/Calyx mise en place

Roll the colored gum paste out to 1mm, cut at least 3 leaves per rose and 1 calyx using a leaf and calyx cutters. Frill the calyx and leaves from the center out, taking care to frill the edges, be careful to not tear the gum paste. Keep the leaves and calyxes in your prepared sandwich bag until use.

Flute and veiner tool in the back, bone tool in the front

Each leaf and calyx is colored with green, yellow and gold petal dust to achieve the color of the leaves

Lay the leaves over a Celform or a rolling pin

Using edible glue or egg whites attach the calyx to the bottom of the rose, allowing the calyx to bend a little away from the rose. Attach the leaves with edible glue or egg whites. These roses were prepared for a special cake… we attached them and surprise, surprise allowed the roses to dry on the covered cake overnight!

The tutorial for this cutie will be given later in the week.

Remember to be patient and take your time. Footnote: these flowers become addicting, Sydney and I can not stop making them. I am truly elated both Kerry Vicent and Toba Garret have become apart of my world.



Author: hope

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1 Comment

  1. These roses are real work of art; thanks for the very detailed article

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