Fondant, Gumpaste, Flowerpaste, Sugarpaste. What's The Difference Please?

Baking By seashelleybell71 Updated 11 May 2016 , 9:02am by hep275

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seashelleybell71 Posted 8 May 2016 , 3:14pm
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I live in the UK so the easiest thing for me to buy is fondant. Is this sugarpaste?

I want to make flowers for my cupcakes and have bought Culpitt in different colours. Is this gumpaste, flowerpaste or something else. Lol so confusing. :)

I've bought Renshaw in the past but it always cracks on me when I'm trying to do flowers etc I used Culpitt yesterday and all the flowers were cracking and it just wouldn't work for me.

So could somebody please help me and tell me what I use for flowers? What I use for moulds? and what do I use to cover cupcakes with?

Thanks in advance


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costumeczar Posted 8 May 2016 , 9:59pm
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Some of it depends what country you're getting an answer from...In the US fondant is what they refer to as sugarpaste in the UK, if I remember correctly, and the US gumpaste is the UK flowerpaste. If I'm wrong on that, someone correct me!

The difference is in the ingredients. Fondant that you roll out and cover a cake with has glycerine and gelatin in it if you make it from scratch, and gums in it if you buy the commercial version. Some brands also have a candy clay component to them, so they dry out slower and are stretchier.

Gumpaste that you use for flowers has no glycerine in it, but has gelatin and gums to make it stretchy and to dry it out faster.

You can add tylose or other gums to fondant to make a quick version of gumpaste, but it's not "real" gumpaste. It dries differently and is more crumbly when it's dry.

If you're using something to make flowers, it should be a gumpaste. If you're using something that's going to be eaten, use a fondant that won't dry hard as a rock.

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seashelleybell71 Posted 10 May 2016 , 1:50pm
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Thanks so much for that costumeczar. That helps me a lot.

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MBalaska Posted 10 May 2016 , 5:31pm
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Alan Dunn says that what the US calls gumpaste the UK calls it flower paste.

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hep275 Posted 11 May 2016 , 9:02am
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I'm in the UK and I use Renshaws products simply because I find them the most readily available in my area.  As someone has said, fondant = sugarpaste and that's what you use for covering cakes whether they be large ones or cupcakes.  You can also use for some modelling.  Gumpaste = flower/modellling paste - use for fine/detailed work - like making flowers.  the other difference is that modelling paste is inedible (I think) because it dries so hard - it wont kill you but it just wouldnt be very pleasant. 

As far as I'm concerned, the main difference is that fondant never really dries 'rock hard'  whereas the flower/modelling paste does and it can be rolled so much thinner than sugarpaste. 

If you do use Renshaws anytime, make sure you get the right product - I have found its all to easy to grab a pack of the wrong product - the flower/modelling paste has a picture of a flower on the packet - the sugar paste (fondant) doesnt.

If your product is drying out - are you leaving it exposed to the air for too long?  Are you using too much cornflour/icing sugar for rolling it out? 

In answer to your question about which to use in moulds - I've used both - or a mix of the two together.

You might find it useful to have a look at this website (hope the link works!)


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