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Differences between Sugar Paste and Gum Paste

Brief explanation of Sugar Paste and Gum Paste

Sugar paste and gum paste are two types of edible decorating mediums used in cake decorating. Sugar paste, also known as fondant, is a soft and pliable mixture made from sugar, corn syrup, and water. It is commonly used to cover cakes and create smooth surfaces for decorating.

Gum paste, on the other hand, is a firmer and more elastic paste made from sugar, egg whites, and gum tragacanth or tylose powder. It is used to create intricate decorations like flowers, figurines, and other detailed designs that require more structure and support.

Importance of knowing the difference between Sugar Paste and Gum Paste

Knowing the difference between sugar paste and gum paste is important in cake decorating because each type of paste has its own unique characteristics and is best suited for specific tasks. Using the wrong type of paste for a particular decorating task can result in a finished product that looks unprofessional or even fails to hold up structurally.

For example, using sugar paste to create detailed decorations that require more structure and support will not work well because sugar paste is not as firm as gum paste. Similarly, using gum paste to cover an entire cake will not produce a smooth finish because gum paste is not as pliable as sugar paste.

Understanding the differences between these two types of decorating mediums allows decorators to choose the right paste for each specific task and achieve the desired result.

What is sugar Paste?

Sugar paste, also known as fondant, is a soft and pliable mixture made from sugar, corn syrup, and water. It is a versatile decorating medium that is commonly used to cover cakes and create smooth surfaces for decorating. Sugar paste can be colored, flavored, and shaped into a variety of designs, making it a popular choice among cake decorators.

It can also be rolled out and cut into shapes to create intricate decorations such as flowers, ribbons, and bows. Additionally, sugar paste can be used to create 3D figurines and molded decorations. Its smooth texture and pliability make it ideal for creating a range of cake designs, from simple and elegant to intricate and detailed.

What is gum Paste?

Gum paste is an edible decorating medium used in cake decorating. It is made from a mixture of confectioner’s sugar, egg whites, and a gum agent such as gum tragacanth or tylose powder. The gum agent provides the gum paste with its unique properties of elasticity, firmness, and quick-drying.

Gum paste is commonly used to create intricate cake decorations such as flowers, figurines, and other detailed designs that require more structure and support than fondant.

It is often preferred over fondant for these types of decorations due to its ability to hold intricate shapes and its quick-drying properties. Gum paste can also be colored or flavored with food coloring or extracts to create a variety of custom designs.

When working with gum paste, it is important to knead it until it becomes pliable and easy to work with. It should be rolled out to the desired thickness and then cut and shaped using gum paste tools or cutters. The gum paste decorations should be allowed to dry for several hours or overnight before attaching them to the cake using edible glue or water.

Gum paste is a versatile and popular medium used in cake decorating for its unique properties and ability to create stunning and intricate designs.

Differences between Sugar Paste and Gum Paste

There are several differences between sugar paste and gum paste, including:

  1. Texture and consistency: Sugar paste is soft and pliable, while gum paste is firmer and more elastic.
  2. Ingredients: Sugar paste is made from sugar, corn syrup, and water, while gum paste is made from sugar, egg whites, and gum tragacanth or tylose powder.
  3. Shelf life: Sugar paste has a longer shelf life than gum paste. Sugar paste can be stored for several months at room temperature, while gum paste has a shorter shelf life and needs to be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  4. Tolerance to humidity: Sugar paste is more sensitive to humidity than gum paste. Sugar paste can become sticky and difficult to work with in humid conditions, while gum paste is more resilient and can withstand humidity better.
  5. Uses and applications: Sugar paste is commonly used to cover cakes and create smooth surfaces for decorating. It can also be used to create intricate decorations, but it is not as firm as gum paste and may not hold up well for certain designs. Gum paste is best used for creating detailed decorations like flowers, figurines, and other designs that require more structure and support.

Understanding these differences is important for selecting the right type of paste for each specific cake decorating task.

How to use sugar paste and gum paste

Here are some tips for working with sugar paste and gum paste:

  1. Sugar paste:
  • Knead the sugar paste until it becomes pliable and easy to work with.
  • Dust your work surface with cornstarch or powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
  • Roll out the sugar paste to the desired thickness using a rolling pin.
  • Use cookie cutters or other tools to cut out shapes or designs.
  • Apply the sugar paste to the cake by gently lifting it with your hands or using a rolling pin to transfer it to the cake.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles with your hands or a smoothing tool.
  1. Gum paste:
  • Knead the gum paste until it becomes pliable and easy to work with.
  • Dust your work surface with cornstarch or powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
  • Roll out the gum paste to the desired thickness using a rolling pin.
  • Use gum paste tools or cutters to create the desired shapes or designs.
  • Allow the gum paste decorations to dry for several hours or overnight before attaching them to the cake.
  • Use edible glue or water to attach the gum paste decorations to the cake.

Remember to work quickly with sugar paste and gum paste as they can dry out quickly. Also, keep in mind that both types of paste can be colored or flavored with food coloring or extracts to create a variety of custom designs.

Conclusion

Sugar paste and gum paste are two types of edible decorating mediums used in cake decorating. Sugar paste is a soft and pliable mixture made from sugar, corn syrup, and water, commonly used to cover cakes and create smooth surfaces for decorating.

Gum paste, on the other hand, is a firmer and more elastic paste made from sugar, egg whites, and gum tragacanth or tylose powder, used to create intricate decorations like flowers, figurines, and other detailed designs that require more structure and support.

Understanding the differences between these two types of decorating mediums is important for achieving the desired cake design. Both sugar paste and gum paste have their own unique characteristics and are best suited for specific tasks.

Proper use of these decorating mediums involves kneading, rolling, cutting, and shaping the paste to create a variety of designs, and applying it to the cake using a variety of techniques. By following these tips, decorators can create beautiful and delicious cakes that are sure to impress their customers and guests.

Reference Books

  1. “The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating” by Wilton Enterprises – This book covers all aspects of cake decorating, including the use of sugar paste and gum paste for creating decorations.
  2. “The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating” by Autumn Carpenter – This comprehensive guide covers a variety of cake decorating techniques, including the use of fondant and gum paste for creating beautiful cakes.
  3. “The Art of Royal Icing” by Eddie Spence – This book covers the art of creating intricate decorations using royal icing, sugar paste, and gum paste.
  4. “The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible: Over 150 Techniques and 80 Stunning Projects” by Lindy Smith – This book covers a wide range of cake decorating techniques, including the use of sugar paste and gum paste to create beautiful and intricate designs.
  5. “Cake Decorating for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Decorating Like a Pro” by Rose Atwater – This beginner’s guide covers the basics of cake decorating, including the use of fondant and gum paste for creating simple but elegant designs.

References Website

  1. Cake Decorating with Modeling Chocolate: Sugar Paste vs. Gum Paste: https://www.craftsy.com/post/sugar-paste-vs-gum-paste/
  2. The Difference Between Fondant, Gum Paste, and Modeling Chocolate: https://www.mybluprint.com/article/the-difference-between-fondant-gum-paste-and-modeling-chocolate
  3. Sugar Paste vs. Gum Paste: What’s the Difference?: https://www.cakeflix.com/online-cake-decorating-courses/sugar-paste-vs-gum-paste-whats-the-difference
  4. Gum Paste vs. Fondant vs. Modeling Chocolate – What’s the Difference?: https://www.wilton.com/blog/gum-paste-vs-fondant-vs-modeling-chocolate-whats-the-difference/
  5. How to Use Fondant, Gum Paste and Modeling Chocolate: https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/food-network-essentials/how-to-use-fondant-gum-paste-and-modeling-chocolate