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Recipes for Gum Paste, and Pastillage

Gum Paste, Petal Paste, Flower Paste & Pastillage

Gum paste recipes may vary, but typically include gum tragacanth, imparting a level of elasticity and softness that surpasses pastillage. This characteristic allows for thinner rolling and prolonged manipulation compared to pastillage. While both gum paste and pastillage hold up reasonably well in humid conditions, gum paste may slightly soften if exposed to buttercream (due to its fat content) or refrigeration.


Pastillage formulations can vary, but universally yield a hard, crisp result upon drying. It serves as an excellent medium for constructing bases, supports, stands, and replicas, and can be customized with color or paint. Due to its rapid drying properties, working swiftly is imperative when handling pastillage.

Gum Paste Recipes

Gum paste recipes typically feature gum tragacanth, lending them a slightly less sturdy texture compared to pastillage. The addition of gum makes the dough highly elastic and soft, allowing for thinner rolling and prolonged manipulation compared to pastillage. While both gum paste and pastillage hold up well in humid conditions, gum paste may soften slightly if it comes into contact with buttercream (due to its fat content) or is refrigerated.

Gum Paste Recipe #1


• 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

• 2 tablespoons Gum Tragacanth

• 1 teaspoon dextrose powder

• 1/2 teaspoon citric acid

• 2 tablespoons glucose

• 1 egg white (or enough to make 1/4 cup liquid)

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 2 teaspoons shortening (Crisco or Sweetex)


1. Place egg whites, lemon juice, and citric acid in a heavy-duty mixer with a flat paddle attachment. Start the mixer on high speed to break down the egg whites.

2. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add all but 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar, achieving a soft royal icing consistency.

3. Mix on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Color the mixture if desired.

4. With the mixer on low speed, add the Gum Tragacanth and dextrose powder, then mix on high speed briefly to thicken the mixture.

5. Transfer the mixture onto a clean work surface dusted with some of the remaining confectioners' sugar. Rub shortening on your hands and knead the paste, adding enough remaining confectioners' sugar to form a soft, non-sticky dough. The texture should resemble taffy; test by pinching the paste, which should not stick to your hands.

6. If necessary, refrigerate the paste for 24 hours to mature before use. Allow it to return to room temperature before use.

7. Store the paste wrapped in plastic wrap inside plastic bags. It can be refrigerated for up to 6 months and frozen after maturing in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.


Pastillage dries hard and crisp, making it suitable for creating bases, supports, stands, and replicas. It can also be colored or painted. Due to its rapid drying properties, it requires swift handling.

Pastillage Recipe


• 1 cup Royal Icing (made from egg whites)

• 1 teaspoon gum Tragacanth

• 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

• 1/2 to 3/4 cups cornstarch

• Crisco Shortening


1. Stir the gum tragacanth into the royal icing, then knead in the confectioners' sugar to create a fairly stiff dough.

2. Rub about one teaspoon of Crisco onto your hands and knead in cornstarch until you achieve pliable, rollable dough. If the mixture becomes too sticky, continue adding small amounts of Crisco to your hands.

3. Use the resulting dough to create structures or any other items typically made with pastillage.

All cakes below are designed by Kathleen Lange, all have some form of Sugar Paste used in designs.


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