Gum Paste Recipe: How to Make Gum Paste

  • Serves: Makes approximately 2 pounds
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Gum paste wreath by Flower Guy, Premium Member 

Gum paste orchid by Colette Peters, taken by Sarah Phillips

What is Gum Paste?

Gum based paste is a stiffening agent and can be purchased ready-made. Gumpaste recipes vary but typically involve gum tragacanth, making it not as sturdy as pastillage. Because of the added gum, the dough is very elastic and soft, making it able to be rolled out thinner and worked with longer than pastillage. Both will hold up fairly well in humidity, but gum paste will soften slightly, as it will if it touches buttercream (because of its fat content) or is refrigerated. This recipe is adapted from Nicholas Lodge.


Tylose is an alternative product to use in making gumpaste instead of gum tragacanth. The advantage of the tylose is that the paste is less expensive, easier to make, holds up better in humidity and is whiter in color.

You can use gum tragacanth instead of tylose. Substitute one for one.
For "quick gum paste", simply kneaded tylose into rolled fondant. Add 1-3 tsp. per pound of rolled fondant.
Start with the lower amount; You can adjust the amount.

BUT, you can use Fixodent Brand Powder for Dentures, the adhesive powder, too.
The ingredient in it is actually tylose, under another chemical name. This will allow your fondant to set up very well.  
You use about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoonful to a soft ball sized piece of fondant to start. Knead it in.

4 large egg whites
One 2 lb. bag powdered sugar SARAH SAYS: Use a National Brand; many times off-brands produce gritty results. 2 pounds contains about 8 cups powdered sugar. I advise sifting after measuring.
1/4 cup Tylose 
4 teaspoons shortening (Crisco)

1. Place the egg whites in a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl fitted with the flat paddle attachment.
SARAH SAYS: Make sure you use a KitchenAid Mixer with at least 325 Watts or greater for one batch. If doubling the recipe, a much stronger motor is necessary.

2. Turn the mixer on high speed for 10 seconds to break up the egg whites.

3. Reserve 1 cup of the powdered sugar and set aside.

4. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the remaining sugar. This will make a soft consistency royal icing.
SARAH SAYS: Add the sugar slowly at the side of the bowl with the mixer running.

5. Turn up the speed to setting 3 or 4 for about 2 minutes. During this time measure off the tylose into a small container.
SARAH SAYS: Sift the tylose in a fine mesh sifter AFTER measuring if necessary.

6. Make sure the mixture is at the soft peak stage. It should look shiny, like meringue and the peaks fall over. (If coloring the entire batch, add the paste color at this stage, making it a shade darker than the desired color.)

7. Turn the mixer to the slow setting and sprinkle the tylose in over a five second time period. Next, turn the speed up to the high setting for a few seconds. This will thicken the mixture.

8. Scrape the mixture out of the bowl onto a work surface that has been sprinkled with some of the reserved 1 cup of powdered sugar. Place the shortening on your hands and knead the paste, adding enough of the reserved powdered sugar to form a soft but not sticky dough. You can check by pinching with your fingers and they should come away clean. Place the finished paste in a zip-top bag, then place the bagged paste in a second bag and seal well.

9. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours if possible before using to mature the paste.

10. Before use, remove from refrigerator and allow the paste to come to room temperature. Take a small amount of shortening on the end of your finger and knead this into the paste. If you are coloring the paste, add the paste color at this stage.

11. Always store the paste in the zip-top bags and return to the refrigerator when you are not using the paste. Will keep under refrigeration for approximately 6 months. You can keep the paste longer by freezing. Be sure to use zip-top freezer bags. If you will be freezing a batch of paste, allow it to mature for 24 hours in the refrigerator first before placing into the freezer.

Adapted from

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