Why Is My Gum Paste Cracking?

Decorating By Britterfly Updated 16 Sep 2011 , 7:50pm by Tfaye

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Britterfly Posted 15 Sep 2011 , 4:04pm
post #1 of 7

This morning I made an initial cake topper out of gum paste with a small bit of fondant mixed in.

First I colored it Teal with the Wilton color paste/gel. I didn't add enough the first time so I kneaded some more. It said on the package to add a little shortening on your hands when tinting so I did that.

Once I got it the color I wanted I started rolling it into a rope/snake & formed a "C". I kept adding shortening & dusting the mat, but my gum paste kept wanting to crack & split in different areas while I was rolling & shaping it. I had a lot of trouble with it.

--What did I do wrong? Why did it keep wanting to crack?

I kept squishing the gum paste together where it wanted to split until I finally got it to shape into a C. Then I had another problem... the C was covered in powdered sugar/corn starch & could hardly see the teal color. I got a damp brush & wiped off the sugar... then I painted on some white pearl dust... to kinda make it look better. It's far from perfect, but I guess it came out okay. The last thing I did was add the tooth picks & used gum glue to make them stick.

Also, 1 more question...
--Would the topper be okay sitting out all day today & all night until I make the cake tomorrow? Will it crack? Should I wrap it with some plastic wrap?

Here's a photo of the topper...
I sure hope it stands up stiff & doesn't break tomorrow when it's time to put it on the cake.

If anyone has any advice or tips I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm very new at this & am learning as I go. I hope my next initial or number topper turns out better.

6 replies
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TexasSugar Posted 15 Sep 2011 , 4:27pm
post #2 of 7

You have to work very quickly when shaping gumpaste or it will crack on you. Cracking is usually what happens when it starts to dry out. Cornstarch or powder sugar can also make it crack more.

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Herekittykitty Posted 15 Sep 2011 , 5:50pm
post #3 of 7

You definately want to let it sit out overnight. Keep it in the open air as long as possible before putting it on the cake so it has time to dry.

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kakeladi Posted 15 Sep 2011 , 6:11pm
post #4 of 7

As was said it was drying becuase of the use of powdered sugar &/or cornstarch. When that happens, depending on the gp recipe used, you need to knead in about a teaspoon of shrotening &/or some (real/liquid) egg white. (into about a golfball size lump). At first it may get sort of all slimey but keep working it until it comes together - shouldn't take long.

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Tfaye Posted 15 Sep 2011 , 6:22pm
post #5 of 7

If you had that much trouble with it maybe (if you have enough of the gumpaste left - and time) I would make another one just in case that one falls apart.

Better to be safe.

God Bless and good luck hun.

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Britterfly Posted 16 Sep 2011 , 2:44am
post #6 of 7

Thanks for all the help! I tried to make another one, but couldn't. I added the tsp of shortening, kneaded it & as I was trying to form the C it started to crack again! I didn't use any sugar or corn starch this time, just shortening. When I got the rope the size I wanted it tore in half.

I just went check on the C I made this morning & when I picked it up it wanted to crack in half where the C curves/where the toothpick is. Is there something I can add to the back of the C to support it? Or if it were to break, could I glue it together somehow? I'm afraid it is going to break once I put it on the cake. icon_sad.gif And I don't have enough time or supplies to make another one.

I used the wilton pre-made gum paste with a little bit of white fondant tinted teal.

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Tfaye Posted 16 Sep 2011 , 7:50pm
post #7 of 7

Is there someone you know that could do it for you since you're in a bind?

I work at a cake and candy retail shop and we sell sugar roses and other types of flowers of every color. We also sell baby booties and bottles made out of royal icing. We also have those pink ribbons for the cancer awareness, and other misc. stuff.

Maybe there is a shop in your town that sells this type of stuff pre-made. Or if you have a friend that could do it for you. I would if I could.

Good luck hun.

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