Gum Paste Recipe

gum paste flowers

This gum paste recipe creates an edible modeling dough that dries more rigid than fondant. It's most commonly used for detailed accessories on fancy cakes... gum paste flowers, bows, and other decorations that need to hold their shape well, such as the gum paste roses on the cake to the right. Note: the cake itself is covered in pink fondant with gum paste flowers.

It's easy to learn how to make gumpaste. The hardest part is finding the ingredients (in particular gum tragacanth.)

What is gum tragacanth? Wikipedia says that Tragacanth is "a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern legumes of the genus Astragalus..., but I prefer to remember it as the ingredient that allows gum paste to remain maleable longer than pastillage (although not as long as fondant. It can be found at specialty cake decorating supply shops or online.

Tylose powder (also known as CMC) is an alternative for tragacanth gum. It's a little easier to find (you can buy tylose powder at most craft and cake decorating stores as well as online) and less expensive since it's synthetic (artificial) rather than natural. Gum tragacanth is the dried gum or sap from a plant that grows in the Middle East.

Once you have the "gum trag" it's really not very difficult to make your own gum paste. Here's the recipe I find the easiest and most consistent:

Gum Paste Recipe


  • 4 cups Confectioners' Sugar, sifted (reserve 1 cup for later)
  • 1 Tablespoon Gum Tragacanth (or Gum Tex)
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Glucose
  • 1 Packet Knox Gelatin
  • 4 Tablespoons Warm Water (or 3 Tbs warm water + 1 Tbs lemon juice)

Steps (how to make gum paste):

  1. Pour the water (or water and lemon juice) in a large bowl and add gelatin slowly. Stir until gelatin is dissolved in the water.
  2. Stir in glucose slowly. You may need to microwave 20-30 seconds or heat on the stove with a double-boiler to get glucose to melt.
  3. Add 3 cups of confectioners' sugar (also known as powdered suger) and gum tragacanth.
  4. Mix well. I use a mixer with dough hook.
  5. You'll end up with a soft, sticky dough. Store dough in a well-sealed plastic bag at room temperature overnight (if possible) for it to set.
  6. Knead in the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar and it will become soft and pliable - no longer sticky. Add more powdered sugar if it continues to feel sticky.

Gum Paste Tips:

  • Store your gum paste recipe mixture in a large ziplock bag while working with smaller pieces of it (or keep in bowl and cover gum paste surface with a wet towel.) This will help keep it from forming a crust. If you DO get a crust, don't worry, knead in a little confectioners' sugar.

Click here to read the differences between fondant and gum paste, and other edible clays.

Alternative Gum Paste Recipe

Here's an even easier gum paste recipe, how to make gum paste using Tylose instead of Gum Tragacanth.


  • 4 cups Confectioners' Sugar, sifted (reserve 1 cup for later)
  • 4 large Egg Whites
  • 12 teaspoons Tylose Powder
  • 4 teaspoons Shortening

Steps (How to Make Gum Paste using Tylose Powder):

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed for about 10 seconds.
  2. Slowly add 3 cups confectioners sugar (also called powdered sugar) and mix at a low speed.
  3. Increase the speed setting for a few more minutes until soft peaks form.
  4. If coloring the gumpaste (the entire batch 1 color), you can add the paste color now and mix in. (Note: Aim for a shade darker than you really want as it will lighten.)
  5. Slowly add the tylose powder and mix in at a low speed for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Increase the speed to High for a few seconds to thicken the paste.
  7. Coat your hands with shortening and knead in the remining 1 cup of confectioners/powdered sugar, a little at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. NOTE: You may not need the entire 1 cup!
  8. Place the dough in double zip-lock bags, to ensure a tight seal, and refrigerate for 24 hours if possible.
  9. Before use, bring the dough to room temperature then knead 1 teaspoon shortening into the dough before beginning to model your gum paste creations. You may add paste color at this stage, in small or large portions.

Gum Paste Storage Tips

  • Always store gum paste in double zip-lock bags to keep as air-tight as possible.
  • Keeps in refrigerator up to 6 months and even longer in freezer.
  • Before freezing, allow gum paste to set in refrigerator 24 hours before moving to freezer.

Gum Paste Photos

For some inspiration on what to make out of gum paste, check out this fondant and gum paste photos page!!

Have a Gum Paste Recipe or Tip to Share?

Do you have a favorite Gum Paste Recipe or even just a tip for using gum paste? Share it!

Other Visitors's Gum Paste Recipes and Tips

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

gum paste mixture 
1 lb icing sugar 1 tbsp unflavoured gelatine 1 tbsp vegetable shortening 1 1/2 tbsp liquid glucose 4 tbsp water 1. place water in a saucepan …

my secret recipie of icing Not rated yet
: 2 boxes of cream Cheese:6 mashed oreo's ( of any desire):2 tbsp vanilla:2 tbsp of sugar

Click here to write your own.

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