Homemade Gumpaste Strength Issue

Sugar Work By mccantsbakes Updated 26 Aug 2015 , 12:54am by TheresaCarol

mccantsbakes Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 5:59am
post #1 of 18

Hi guys!

i am hoping someone will bounce some ideas off me regarding a strength issue I am having with homemade gumpaste.    The gumpaste I made is a recipe off the back of my "Ty-tex gum" container.  (It's the hobby lobby store brand of gumpaste powder, first ingredients on list are CMC, xanthan gum, karaya gum) I only list this so you know what gum products I am working with.

Here is the recipe:

1 T  "Ty-tex"

4 c powdered sugar (divided 3c/1c)

1 T glucose

4 T warm water

I followed the directions on the recipe exactly.  I let the mixture mature the recommended overnight (I actually let it go a few days) before kneading in the last cup of powdered sugar.    I conditioned as normal.  The gumpaste was GORGEOUS in texture, pliability and had great elasticity...making the little popping noises gumpaste makes as I kneaded it.   It acted just like commercial gumpaste....or close enough that any difference was negligible.   I was elated!

That is until I was several rows into making dahlia flowers which have oh.....17 MILLION petals.   I noticed that the homemade gumpaste isn't drying the same as commercial stuff.  It's fragile.....I don't know how to describe it better than that.   I am wondering if there is anyway I can strengthen the remainder of  stuff I made? Or is this normal for homemade gumpaste....for it to just be more brittle...and easily smushed into a dry chalky powder in between your fingers....unlike commercial gumpaste that breaks crisp like an egg shell with good pressure.  (I hope someone can relate to my examples of the texture)  My intuition is telling me that the "gum" additive is the source of my woes......but I can't find any definitive answer on this issue specifically via google search/cake central search.....So I beg for the advice of those who may know.

If I don't receive any feedback, my plan is to add some more of the Ty-tex and see what happens.   If anything I can report back here if anyone else has had this issue.

thanks all!


*Last edited by mccantsbakes on 24 Aug 2015 , 6:01am
17 replies
julia1812 Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 11:14am
post #2 of 18

Hi heather, your recipe is so different to mine.  Am not sure why there is only water and glucose syrup added to yours,doesn't sound right. Anyway mine is 1 egg white, 3 tsp cmc and about 2.5kg icing sugar. Maybe give it a try?

TheresaCarol Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 1:46pm
post #3 of 18

I am assuming the Ty-tex is a form of tylose powder???  Doesn't sound as if the recipe has enough moisture or a material with something to grab a hold, but I am only guessing.  Could you use some shortening to help with the crumbling part?  I use shortening on my hands when I knead the gumpaste.

julia1812 Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 4:09pm
post #4 of 18

Ohh. Just saw a typo :/ 

I meant 1 (beaten) egg white, 3 tsp cmc and 225g of icing sugar. 

-K8memphis Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 4:53pm
post #5 of 18

just a hail mary here -- i'd knead in some gum arabic if i had any --

i love ck's gumpaste mix and i like nick lodge's recipe too but 'just add water' (to the ck's) is my favorite

-K8memphis Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 4:54pm
post #6 of 18

mccantsbakes Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 6:49pm
post #7 of 18

Thanks everyone!  I think I am going to go buy some for my project this week....I have a huge "secret garden" themed bridal shower cake for my niece due Sunday and I am getting anxious on time.    I will tinker with the stuff I have and try your guys' suggestions also after this cake is gone out the door.....

i checked my dahlia flowers this morning and they were significantly stronger after drying overnight, but I am not totally comfortable with them so I think I will complete them using wilton gumpaste at the store :/  thankfully I only got like 5 rows into them before I felt funny about this gumpaste I made.   Thankfully some of the imperfections in the flowers from my gumpaste actually make them quite pretty.   *silver lining*

-K8memphis Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 7:56pm
post #8 of 18

love the silver lining --

and fwiw with nick's you have a longer working time than with ck's

costumeczar Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 8:23pm
post #9 of 18

Anything that doesn't use gelatin is a "quick gumpaste" kind of stuff and will dry chalky and not handle the same as a real gumpaste.

The Nic Lodge recipe that he uses in that class isn't the same as the one he used to use when he first started out (and is closer to the classic gumpaste recipe.) Try this variation on that recipe with gelatin and you'll see the difference. We adapted this to use without egg white and to use with Tylose when I was in culinary school. It's still a little brittle for my liking so I use a different recipe, but this is a good one to try if you've never used a gelatin-based one before. It's not chalky and it holds together better than the recipes that don't have gelatin in them. You can also make this a little softer by not adding as much corn starch into it at the end if you like it to be less stiff.

2 pounds confectioner's sugar

2 Tbsp tylose (gum tex and other gums might substitute but use tylose if you have it)

1/2 cup cold water

2 Pkgs Knox unflavored gelatin

1 Tbsp crisco

1/2 Tbsp corn syrup

corn starch

Put the sugar and tylose in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine.

Soften the gelatin in the water in a metal bowl and drop the crisco and corn syrup into the bowl with it.

Put the bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir to dissolve the gelatin, crisco and corn syrup. Add this to the sugar and beat well until it's mixed.

Scrape the gumpaste out of the mixer bowl onto a counter and knead cornstarch into it until it's stiff enough for you. I'd leave it a little on the soft side because it will stiffen up as it sits and cools off. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and knead a little crisco or corn starch into it when you use it to make it pliable enough to work with.

-K8memphis Posted 24 Aug 2015 , 9:01pm
post #10 of 18

i'm so glad you posted that -- i was surprised about seeing the egg whites in there -- so there was a different recipe good to know -- thank you, kara

julia1812 Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 5:47am
post #11 of 18

Why are you surprised to see egg whites in there, K8?

mccantsbakes Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 6:33am
post #12 of 18

Kara, thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely try this recipe!

I appreciate all of you for taking time to help

happy baking lovelies! 

-K8memphis Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 1:05pm
post #13 of 18

julia, i did not remember egg whites in the recipe he gave me before

mccantsbakes Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 7:03pm
post #14 of 18

Here is how my flowers turned out.   I am super proud of them especially since I was having gumpaste issues....and the fact that I have only been using gumpaste since June.  First time ever making dahlias and peonies.  God bless you beautiful bakers who make YouTube tutorials.55dcbbf951862.jpeg

julia1812 Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 7:32pm
post #15 of 18

Beautiful! !! Well done you.

-K8memphis Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 8:22pm
post #16 of 18

yes gorgeous you did great

mccantsbakes Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 10:17pm
post #17 of 18

Awe :) thanks!  

TheresaCarol Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 12:54am
post #18 of 18

They are gorgeous Mccantbakes; you did such a great job.

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