Gum Paste Flowers Coming Out Limp

Decorating By Mamaelf Updated 16 Jun 2008 , 11:16pm by Mamaelf

Mamaelf Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 3:31pm
post #1 of 11

I am new to making gum paste flowers, I was pleased as everhting seemed to be going along fine. Now that I am making the actually petals they seem to be too limp. Not quite sure what to do. My first thought is more sugar? Any help would sure be appreciated.

10 replies
cheeseball Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 3:50pm
post #2 of 11

If it's not holding its shape at all, you may need to knead in some additional powdered sugar (hey, I just wrote it's and its and then need and knead icon_lol.gif yes, I know I'm strange) - the more you do it, you'll learn what consistency you prefer. I find that adding sugar as you go makes it easier to work with rather than all at once so that it doesn't end up too dry

ibmoser Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 3:55pm
post #3 of 11

You need to let the individual petals dry a bit before assembling the flowers. Depending on which flower you are making and the technique you are using, sometimes you want them completely dry before assembling, other times they just need to dry enough to hold their shape so that you can fit them together more easily. I live in a very humid area, so I sometimes have to put mine in a food dehydrator to dry them out enough to hold the shape I need. I also sometimes add extra tylose to my gumpaste to make it dry more quickly. Adding extra sugar really doesn't help me.

Mamaelf Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 4:32pm
post #4 of 11

Ok, I will try both of those and see what happens. I am ending up with limp noodles,lol. icon_cry.gif I watched the video on youtube and her's stood right up so figured that would happen with mine. At the moment I am working on the calla lily and then need to do roses.

Thank you both for your help, say do not worry about the spelling I am the world's worst.

Using a dehydrator is a good tip also. Well, back to trying and thank you again. thumbs_up.gif

cheeseball Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 8:20pm
post #5 of 11

I forgot to say you can also use a little cornstarch. Are you saying that it isn't drying at all? Like after you leave it for a while, it doesn't begin to dry and it's still as soft as when you started? Or is it that the paste is too soft to stand up in the first place? As I'm currently in a very humid location (Central America), I've kind of forgotten what it's like to have sugar/gumpaste dry quickly icon_lol.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 8:28pm
post #6 of 11

I know when I make mine, letting the layers dry upside down is helpful but if the leaves are very floppy, that is a problem as one of the other posters said, letting the leaf dry out a bit before application will help it keep its shape too.

Adding too much cornstarch won't really help, IMHO, since it makes the GP crack rather then dry.

msmeg Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 8:46pm
post #7 of 11

how long did you let them dry. it can take several days for them to get dry.

They are not like fondant because they are so thin they need to be very dry or they are super fragile

How about humidity.... I never had a problem with my gumpaste but recently did a cake where we had not turned on the AC yet and my lovely lilies got a tad soft and started breaking.. I put them in a warm oven and dried them out and turned the AC on... I learned my lesson... humidity will soften gumpaste.

Sugarflowers Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 9:05pm
post #8 of 11

Adding more tylose to your gumpaste will probably help quite a bit. After kneading in a small amount of tylose, let it set up over night. The tylose needs time to absorb the excess moisture. The tylose also provides stretch, strength, and faster drying time.

Powdered sugar and cornstarch will absorb moisture also, but they weaken the gumpaste. It can become crumbly, grainy, and brittle.

After your flowers have dried, try steaming them. Very briefly pass your flowers through a stream of steam from a kettle. Let them dry completely before touching. This seems to seal them and prevents them from going soft again. Of course, this won't help in extreme humidity.

Good luck.


Mamaelf Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 10:07pm
post #9 of 11

Thank you all. I am trying to make Calla Lilies. Here is what is happening, when I first roll them out they are very limp and floppy. So, after the hint to let them dry a tad I have been laying them over a roll of paper towels and they seem to be drying well. I leave them for a little bit and then wrap them around the stamen and I have been hanging them upside down by the wire. They look pretty good and I do not need them until Friday night so I am ahead of the game at the moment. There is a video on youtube that someone found and in this video she rolls out the petals, wraps them around the stamen and then stands them in foam. They seem to have shape from the begining and that was what I was expecting to happen also. Wronggg.

I am not familiar with the ty??? that you mention. I have the glycose and the other item that is mentioned in the Wilton directions. We are in high 60's and low 70's at the moment and humidity is not terrible high. As I mentioned before this is my first attempt so it is all new. I know once I get the hang of it I will be having fun. I have the rose centers drying so will try some of them tonight, hopefully without too much stress. Thank you again for your help, I am trying all the hints. If anyone knows of a good online tutorial that would explain what to do if?? that would be super. Or else we can write our own. icon_rolleyes.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 10:53pm
post #10 of 11

When I've made gumpaste from the wilton ingredients and instructions, it's always kind of limp. It does eventually dry but it's hard to work with. Maybe someone has tweaked the instructions a bit and knows a solution...

I do have good results adding the gum-tex powder to marshmallow fondant. It's easy to work with and stiff enough to get the results I want.

Mamaelf Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 11:16pm
post #11 of 11

Ok Rose, Thank you for that, it is always good to have that information that says you are not going crazy. I am thinking of manking another batch and using less water. The batches I made seem to have the right consistancy, like modeling clay or play doh, but when I go to work with it that is when the starch goes out of it. There must some secret in a vault somewhere that will fix this,lol.

Adding more sugar is helping as is letting the petals dry slightly before I try to form them. So, back to the drawing board and thank you all again.

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