Why Is My Gumpaste Not Drying?

Decorating By kkmcmahan Updated 7 Oct 2021 , 10:53pm by -K8memphis

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kkmcmahan Posted 2 Oct 2021 , 5:23pm
post #1 of 13

Hi all!  I am making gumpaste sunflowers for my granddaughters wedding cake.  I haven't made flowers in years but was always satisfied with the wilton gumpaste so to simplify my life I just went out and picked some up.  I'm finding that the gumpaste does not dry hard anymore.  The petals got stiff enough to put the flowers together, but even after almost a month they are not totally dry.  Did they change their recipe?

Can I put the flowers in a warm oven to dry them out?  Any suggestions would be appreciated,  Thanks

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-K8memphis Posted 2 Oct 2021 , 6:21pm
post #2 of 13

do you have some leftover gum paste? I would test some leftover in a 150 degree oven -- if it won't go that low then just -- y'know, turn it on for a few, turn it off and put the test piece in there so it doesn't go over 150 -- 

so if the test piece crisps up ok try a flower -- and be careful touching it while warm -- some of this stuff needs to cool off to firm up --

I would leave my stuff in for a couple hours, let it cool, repeat -- y'know depending on thickness & humidity & whatever--  but I have a warning drawer that I could keep a constant temp -- 

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-K8memphis Posted 2 Oct 2021 , 6:24pm
post #3 of 13

has it been humid there? and you're storing them at room temp, right? not in an area where it's normally extra humid like a basement?

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kkmcmahan Posted 2 Oct 2021 , 8:24pm
post #4 of 13

I do have leftover gumpaste, actually leftover petal so I will try that.  I believe my oven only goes as low as 170 so I will heat it up and turn it off.  I'll be sure to wait for the pieces to cool before I check them out.  Thank you for the reply, I appreciate it.

When I made the first three sunflowers I was at our cabin up north and it was a bit humid.  I have been back for about 3 weeks and they are still the same.  I've made a couple of more here and though it is raining today, it hasn't been humid.  Wilton must have changed the recipe over the last couple of years because I've never had this happen with their gumpaste before.  Fingers crossed!

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kkmcmahan Posted 2 Oct 2021 , 8:57pm
post #5 of 13

By the way it's really good to still see you on this site K8memphis.  I've been off for a while and I know it isn't the site it use to be, but I'm happy to recognize some of the people.  Thanks again for your suggestion.

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jchuck Posted 2 Oct 2021 , 10:03pm
post #6 of 13

I made some gumpaste flowers in the summer of 2020. Dried hard, and we’re perfectly fine. I just used fondant + tylose. In spring of 2021, the flowers actually got soft!!! I’ve got figures I’ve made in my china cabinet that are years old, still hard as a rock. So this surprised me. If I were making gumpaste flowers, especially for a wedding cake, I wouldn’t use Wilton pre-made. I just don’t like the stuff. And since a German company bought Wilton several years ago, a lot of their products aren’t the same. I swear by either Nicholas Lodges gumpaste recipe  https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/nicholas-lodge-gumpaste-recipe/. This gumpaste is never fail, and flowers stay lovely and firm. You could also buy Nicholas Lodges pre-made sugar paste/gumpaste. You can buy on his website, I think Amazon too. 

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kakeladi Posted 3 Oct 2021 , 2:44pm
post #7 of 13

Yes I agree that Nick Lodge’s recipe is super good.  It’s been years since I’ve made/used it & just a few days I was thinking about trying to find the recipe.  But I have a shoe box full of flowers and nothing to use then on in the foreseeable future:(.  Just hope when I do get an order I’ll remember this post :) 

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Oct 2021 , 7:00pm
post #8 of 13

yes, you're very welcome and thank you, kkmcmahan, nice to see you too! what a wonderful wonderful project for you!!!

if you still have some of the wilton gum paste and you feel like messing with it, it might dry better if you knead in some cornstarch or maybe tylose --

enjoy the wedding!!!

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SandraSmiley Posted 4 Oct 2021 , 3:18pm
post #9 of 13

Hello kkmcmahan,  I am wondering if your flowers are holding their shape, even though they are still somewhat soft?  In the last few years, there have been several people developing gum paste which stays flexible.  If it drys out over a long period of time, you can steam the flowers and it brings it back to it's flexible state. The idea is that it makes arranging the flowers much easier because they do not break, not even if dropped.  I've tried the one developed by Arati Mirji, sold through Sugarin, and it has its advantages, but I still prefer Nicholas Lodge's recipe.  It didn't roll as thin and was not as responsive to veining or shaping.  The flowers looked pretty but were quite heavy.  All that being said, there is a possibility it is intended to remain flexible.

By the way, I'M RICH!  I made a new batch off Nick Lodge's gum paste last night and it is ready to go this morning!!  It calls for 8 cups of sifted confectioner's sugar, 4 teaspoons of shortening (Crisco, Trex), 12 level teaspoons of Tylose, and 4 egg whites.  You are supposed to mix in 7 cups of sugar and work in as much more as needed by hand.  I do use the full 8 cups of sugar, but I've always had to use one additional egg white.  Of all the different gum pastes I've tried, overall, it is still my favorite.

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kakeladi Posted 5 Oct 2021 , 4:16am
post #10 of 13

Hey Sandra… I remember yrs ago when I was teaching Wilton I had to make royal icing in class with meringue powder.  Immediately after class I had to go out of town so the royal went into Tubberwear for the weekend.  I hate waste & figured I’d make flowers…. But an order came in using gum paste… & I thought Lodge’s recipe is basically meringue with Tylose added so I through some in that royal icing & had some fine gum paste.  As I remember Nic insisted egg whites had to be used…:). 

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SandraSmiley Posted 5 Oct 2021 , 4:41pm
post #11 of 13

What a clever idea, kakeladi!  I would have never thought of such a thing.  Leave it to the old pros!  By the way, by old, I mean been at it for a long time, since I am older than you, lol.

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kakeladi Posted 7 Oct 2021 , 2:43pm
post #12 of 13

Hey Sandra I think we’ve had this discussion before & I’m older than you by a couple of years:).  Lately I’m feeling it.  This body knows another year is about to be added on & is not too happy about it. 

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-K8memphis Posted 7 Oct 2021 , 10:53pm
post #13 of 13

i prefer "vintage" blush

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