What is Gum Paste?
Gum paste is a very sweet edible sugar dough usually made from sucrose and glucose. It is sometimes referred to as sugar gum or sugar paste, but should not be confused with fondant. It can be used to cover cakes, to mold features, and create decorations for cakes and many other uses.
Although gum paste is edible, flowers and leaves contain wires / toothpicks and some contain foam centers, therefore they are not recommended for consumption.
Sugar paste will harden out completely, so it is ideal for creating the bigger cake decorations which stand up on a cake, or for the bigger flowers. It is very fragile and caution should be taken putting it on as toppers, set out as party favors, or mailed. To ensure that you have enough for your cake make sure to order extra, as some will break during the shipping process.
Gum paste will only last up to twenty four hours on top of butter creams, less in high humidity. Flowers that are being stored should be kept away from extreme heat and high humidity.
Storing Gum Paste Flowers:
If you are not planning to use the flowers for the next week, they can be stored in packaging box away from direct light and heat. If you are not planning to use them for more than a week, transfer the flowers to an air tight container away from direct sunlight, extreme heat and humidity.
Please DO NOT refrigerate gum paste flowers. The cold will cause the flowers to become too brittle and crack/break when handled.
What is Cold Porcelain?
Cold porcelain is an inexpensive, non-toxic, easy-to-work-with material. Despite its name it is not porcelain, its main components are cornstarch and white glue, but can also include low quantities of oils and glycerol which promote a porcelain-like, smooth texture.
Cold porcelain should be kept away from water and high humidity, as well as open flames and extreme heat. Unlike gum paste, cold porcelain flowers fair better when shipped and are a non-toxic alternative to gum paste. Cold porcelain flowers do not look much different from gum paste flowers but they are heavier.
Storing Cold Porcelain Flowers:
Unlike gum paste, cold porcelain can be kept out on your table when arranged as a center piece. After cold porcelain dries it can only be damaged by water, physical pressure, or extremely high humidity. High humidity usually just makes the petals a little flexible and in some instances, a little loose. If that happens just transfer the flower to a less humid area and prop the droopy petal up with a piece of foam and let it dry out once more.
Which one should you choose?
It depends on what you are planning. If you would like to make a cake for an occasion where children will be present, go for gum paste. Do use caution as flowers and leaves contain wires and some may have foam centers.
If you are getting them shipped but worried about how much will break on the way to you, go with cold porcelain. It is none toxic and more durable than gum paste.
If you are looking to use them as party favors that guests can take home and keep, go with cold porcelain. Certain flowers can be made without wires if you would like favors made out of gum paste.
If you are looking to get a figurine for a special someone then cold porcelain would be the best option.
Gum Paste Cake Decor Contains the Following:
-Traces of shortening
-Edible Varnish (glucose and vodka)
-Traces of Corn Starch
-Styrofoam / Clay Centers
-Cotton Thread / fishing wire
Cold Porcelain Decor Contains:
-Oil Paint (only figurines, cake decor is colored with food coloring and edible dust, varnished with edible varnish)
"The details are not the details.
They make the design"
- Charles Eames -