Will Gumpaste Flowers Stay Stiff On Cake?

Sugar Work By Elizabeth_Anne Updated 24 Apr 2016 , 2:04am by costumeczar

Elizabeth_Anne Posted 22 Apr 2016 , 8:20pm
post #1 of 11

Hello,

I've seen some things on the internet that say gumpaste flowers will wilt if kept on a cake in a box, but I need to get straightened out on what exactly that is about, so I have some questions.

1.) If I put gumpaste flowers on a buttercream cake, then put the cake in a box, will the flowers remain stiff and looking fine, or will they start to wilt/lose their form? Is there a certain period of time that they will remain stiff, but then after that period, they start to wilt/lose form?

2.) If I do all the above with flowers that are a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of gumpaste and fondant, what will happen to them?

3.) If the flowers do start to lose form in a cake box, what can I do? I've just recently started a cake business, and I'm learning gumpaste, gumpaste/fondant flowers, but if they don't survive in a cake box...and I can't just deliver the cake and assemble the flowers on site, because, for now anyway, my customers will be picking up their cakes all ready in the box.


Any help/ideas would be very much appreciated!

Thanks!

10 replies
Creativeconfectioner Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 2:57am
post #2 of 11

Gumpaste is a wonderful medium to make lifelike flowers and other cake decorations....it can be rolled thinly and yet is malleable ...can be embossed...and frills beautifully.

Gumpaste does not like humidity....warm...dry ....or airconditioned (which is actually an even dry environment)

I do not think the issue with the box was about the box but rather the level of humidity........Gumpaste dries hard but because of the sugar can soften with high humid environments...

I have customers who have kept their flowers for months after the event once it is in the right environment :)


Hope it helps :)

Creativeconfectioner Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 3:00am
post #3 of 11

That should be....gumpaste does not like humidity...IT PREFERS ...warm...dry...or airconditioned  environments (which is actually an even dry environment ... :)

Elizabeth_Anne Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 10:32am
post #4 of 11

So do you think the flowers will be fine in the cake box,  the whole time the customer is transporting it to their place? (None of my customers will probably be more than an hour away, if that)

Where is the humidity  that might damage them coming from, the cake inside the box, or the air coming in through the box?

If it helps you to know, we live in Ohio, which does get humid in the summer, but really not any other time of the year.

Also, you mentioned that they like a warm, dry environment; I've seen on the web that they should be kept in a cool dry place. Does the temperature of the air not matter, as long as it's dry?

Thanks! :)

Creativeconfectioner Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 11:23am
post #5 of 11

When I make my flowers I keep them in a "drying cupboard" a cupboard with vent holes and a lightbulb that warms up the environment .....they stay perfect in there for weeks.......I think the most important word is dry....the warmth sets them ...hardens them......and the dry environment keeps them that way.

If you have access to silica packs....the little packets they put in shoe boxes.......it absorbs moisture.....put a few in the box with the flowers....also ensure that the box is in an air-conditioned environment (cool and dry) not direct on any vents.....and NOT in front of any moving air....a fan or an open car window........It should be fine.....Here is a cake I did where the client had her flowers for months after in an air-conditioned room under a Cloche900_will-gumpaste-flowers-sta_882998571b5b160832a.jpg

costumeczar Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 12:51pm
post #6 of 11

It depends on the gumpaste, too. If you use fondant with tylose or another gum in it,that's not real gumpate, it's a quickie version that will always be softer and more grainy when it breaks than real gumpaste. Fondant has glycerine in it, and that keep it softer, but it also makes it more likely to absorb moisture. If that's the case, I'd just wait to put the flowers on the cake until close to the time the cake is going to be picked up. It's not critical, because if the flowers do soften up it's going to take a long time to do it. You're not going to get them softening and flattening out in the time it takes for someone to take a cake from your place to theirs.

I use gumpaste, not a quick version, and I can store flowers for months at room temperature with no special boxes or silica or anything. My house is climate controlled, so it's not 98% humidity in here, but even if it was it would take quite a while for the water to be absorbed into the flowers. I've had a bunch of gumpaste flowers sitting on my dining room table totally uncovered for months and nothing has changed with them.

If you refrigerate your cakes it's slightly more likely that they'll absorb some moisture, but in a home refrigerator (not a commercial one where the humidity is higher) it's not a huge worry. I've put fully-decorated gumpaste cascades in the fridge overnight MANY times and nothing happened.

If you're worried, take some flowers and put them in the fridge, then leave them there and see what happens. Then take them out and see what happens. Just experiment with them to see what will happen in your specific climate, since that's a factor too. 

MBalaska Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 6:29pm
post #7 of 11

@Creativeconfectioner ‍ that's a pretty cake! That combination of colors is nice.

 I'm wondering now if the gumpaste petals & leaves that are dipped in that confectioners glaze & dried well;  if that coating would keep it waterproof?? ( I don't need it here in Alaska, but lot's of people do use the glaze.)

kakeladi Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 10:20pm
post #8 of 11

Wow, I've never heard that putting gp on a b'cream cake, then into a box would make them go soft.  I agree w/all the others who mentioned it's humidity/moisture that causes the problem.  I also have put gp flowers/bows in the frig for as much as a week or 2 w/o any problems.  So many times information like this is just what ONE person had a problem with, posts it somewhere and lots of people get excited and swear it is what it is - w/o actually having any experience with it.  It's so good to have a site like CC to help refute such misinformation.

Elizabeth_Anne Posted 23 Apr 2016 , 11:13pm
post #9 of 11

Thanks so much, everyone! These answers were very helpful!!

God bless! :)

costumeczar Posted 24 Apr 2016 , 1:55am
post #10 of 11


Quote by @kakeladi on 3 hours ago

Wow, I've never heard that putting gp on a b'cream cake, then into a box would make them go soft.  I agree w/all the others who mentioned it's humidity/moisture that causes the problem.  I also have put gp flowers/bows in the frig for as much as a week or 2 w/o any problems.  So many times information like this is just what ONE person had a problem with, posts it somewhere and lots of people get excited and swear it is what it is - w/o actually having any experience with it.  It's so good to have a site like CC to help refute such misinformation.

I did have one cake that had gumpaste flowers go soft on it, but this was the scenario for that. I had put the cake in one of those  plastic cake carries that seals shut, like a tupperware one. The cake was at room temp, and when I opened it up the next day the flowers had all softened up. I think what happened is that the seal on the carrier had created a little terrarium effect, with the moisture in the icing making it humid in the carrier. the gumpaste absorbed that and softened up. I also don't know what kind of gumpaste it was, but I'd be willing to bet it was a quick gumpaste that included glycerine, since I used that pretty exclusively for a long time before I started making real gumpaste. So it was a combination of many things, but the main thing was the seal on the carrier.

costumeczar Posted 24 Apr 2016 , 2:04am
post #11 of 11

Also, that was a freak event, it's the only time I've ever put a cake in a sealed container like that. It's better to keep them in a box that's not airtight.

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