Cherry Almond Cupcake

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

How to Make a Gumpaste Teacup

How to Make a Gumpaste Teacup

The process for making a gumpaste teacup is a simple one. However, it does take some time; so if you need a teacup for a cake tomorrow, you may want to rethink your design. The gumpaste will be very fragile until completely dry, so allow yourself several days to complete the cup.

Supplies Needed:

Paper Pattern
Fondant Roller and Mat
PME cutter
Ball tool
Palette knife
*Gum Glue
Brush for applying gum glue
China Cup for Molding

Method #1.
When using a china cup with an edge at the base, use the following instructions.
1.Start by using a cup with a large bowl. If your teacup has too steep of a slope, your gumpaste may
have a tendency to slide down. Measure the circumference of the top rim of the cup. Apply a liberal amount of cornstarch inside the cup. Set aside.
2. Cut a parchment paper pattern using the pattern guide above.
3. Dust your mat with cornstarch. Using a firm gumpaste, roll out until thin ( not paper thin, but so that you can see the shadow of your hand when you hold up to light).
Lay your pattern over the gumpaste, and cut along the lines of the pattern using your PME cutter. Lift to make sure your gumpaste does not stick to the board.
4. Dust the board again. Then applying pressing on the long curve of the fondant, began rolling to create more length. This is much like the process of sewing a flounce. Measure now to make sure that you have enough length to reach the circumference with a 3/8" overlap.
5. Lay one edge of the fondant in the cup lined up directly with the handle on the outside. Gently press the fondant into the cup.
Smooth the fondant into the cup and lay over the top edge. Secure the overlap with a light amount of gum glue. Using your PME cutter, cut the excess from the bottom edge of the cup, then smooth raw seam with a ball tool.
6. Cut most of the excess from the top of the cup using scissors. Carefully lift the gumpaste to assure it is not sticking to the cup. If it is, gently lift the gumpaste, apply more cornstarch and reset the gumpaste into the cup.
Using a palette knife, trim the edge of the gumpaste to the cup. Carefully lift the gumpaste again and set back into the cup to assure it is not sticking.
( This is an important step. If your gumpaste sticks to the cup, it will break when trying to remove it after it is dry. For the first couple of hours check to be sure it is not adhering to the cup. Be extremely careful with the edge of your gumpaste during this process)
Allow to dry completely. Once cured, you can handle the cup without fear of it breaking easily.

7. When your cup is dry, roll out 1/4" cornstarch on your board. Lightly brush the bottom edge of your cup with gumglue. Press into the gumpaste.
Pick up, turn over and gently trim excess gumpaste with your palette knife.
Smooth inside of bottom using your ball tool.
Once dry, you can spackle any imperfections with royal icing if you like.

Method #2
If you are using a cup with a bowl and no edge where the inside of the cup meets the bottom, you will use this method.

1. Begin by generously applying cornstarch to your cup and board.
2. Roll the gumpaste out very thin in a large circle.
3. Lay over the cup and gently begin smoothing gumpaste into the cup. Don't hurry this process or you will get a crease at the edge.
If your gumpaste doesn't meet the bottom, don't fret.
Gently smooth the gumpaste toward the bottom of the cup and
it will eventually rest into the cup.

4. Cut the edge of the gumpaste with scissors, gently lift away from the cup, then set back in. Using your palette knife, trim the gumpaste to the edge of the cup.

Gently lift the gumpaste to assure it is not sticking to the cup and lay back inside.

Allow to dry completely.

5.When dry. Roll out a 1/4" sausage of gumpaste about 3 inches long. Moisten one edge with glue, the press edges together, creating a 1" circle.

6. Moisten top edge of circle with gumglue and set the cup on top to create the base of your cup.
Use the small edge of your ball tool to make the base of the cup concave if you like.

7. Check to be sure your cup is setting level, then leave upside down to dry completly.

Making and Applying the Handle

8. While your cup is drying, make a handle using the pattern as a guide, or you can create your own handle design. Lay in a cornstarch bath to dry.

9. Mix a very small amount of gumpaste with your gum glue to make a soft paste. Using this paste, attach the handle to the cup.

10. Set aside and allow to dry completely. When dry, you can decorate your cup using petal dust mixed with everclear.

* to make gumglue mix 1/4t Tylose with about 2 T. hot water. Keep in a small sealed container.

Mostly just have fun with it.... Remember-- sugar is supposed to be fun!!
Photos and Tutorial by Jacque Benson 2007 all rights reserved.
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Art Nouveau Sugarpaste Topper Tutorial

Several years ago, my friend, Denise Talbot, asked me to demonstrate
at an ICES Day of Sharing in Southeast Texas.

When I asked her what she wanted me to demo, she suggested,
"What about a Jeweled Flower Topper?- You know, like Jeweled flowers on an antique brooch-- in the art nouveau style."

So I set about researching antique jewelry. After perusing antique stores and “googling” Antique Jewelry,

I found that photos of floral brooches which most inspired me were called “pot metal” jewelry.

Now the trick was to take the 2 dimensional flowers and make them into a 3 dimensional for a cake topper.

That includes the following:

Jeweled Flowers, Architectural Interest, and a Base.
A. The Jeweled Flowers

Have plenty of embellishments on hand. Dragees, seed pearls, non pareils, and gemstones. If you are a purist or making the centerpiece for a cake show, use only sugar gems.
However, many brides opt to keep their topper as a memento and the sugar gems will slowly dull, so one may prefer to use a high quality crystal to withstand the test of time.

Note- these florals are not intended to be botanically correct. Exaggerated features will enhance the overall jewelry effect.
The three essential steps to creating a sugar paste “pot metal” flower is

1. Jeweled centers
Start with the center of the flower.
Make the stamen and embellish with dragees, jewels, pearls or non pariels

Use a #22 covered wire to support your flower adequately.

2. The petals can be cut using any available flower cutter.

The gum paste for the petals should NOT be rolled paper thin as for a normal gum paste flower. The thickness creates a nice edge to gild. Pearlize your flower, then gild the edges using gold or silver luster dust.

Pearls, dragees or sugar crystals can be used to edge one side of the flower.

3. The calyx is an important part of the overall look and should be completely
painted in a metallic luster dust.

Using these three principals, you can use any cutters to create a beautiful floral arrangement. Incorporate several larger flowers along with medium sized and smaller filler flowers.

Orchids, lilies, dogwood, trumpet flowers and small blossoms combined can make a beautiful presentation. Leaves can also be wired then edged with gems.

The same principals apply to making butterflies or dragonflies.

The center will be jeweled, the wings pearlized and the edges gilded. Gems are placed on the topside of the butterfly’s body. Small gems may be added to wings as well.


B. Architectural Interest

Creating an architectural spray adds height and interest to the topper.
For an art nouveau style, use an art deco style cutter.
You can also make a paper pattern and cut to size

1. Start by covering #18 heavy wires with white floral tape.

2. Roll out two pieces of gum paste about 1/16” thickness.

3. Make a slight indention on one using the largest cutter. Moisten this side completely with gum glue.

4. Lay wire over the moistened gum paste, then the other piece over all, sandwiching the wire inside.

5. Using large cutter, press to cut. If desired, cut a design in the center using the smaller cutter. Be careful to avoid exposing wire.

6. Set aside and allow to dry completely,

Use pattern (below) to make the tall arched element.

Follow steps 1-4, then

Place parchment paper pattern over and
cut along the egde of pattern using a pizza wheel or PME wheel cutter.

7. Brush with pearl dust and paint edges with gold or sliver luster dust.

8. Embellish with sugar crystals, dragees, seed pearls or gems.

Other interesting ways to create sparkle for the arrangement is to add curved fronds encrusted with sugar crystals or pearls;  or add a smallball of gum paste over hooked wire which has been moistened with gum glue.

Cover with nonpareils, and then paint with silver or gold luster dust.


C. The Base

This will be the last step just before arranging flowers. It is important that the fondant on the base is soft so flowers will insert easily.

You will need a 2-3” base cut from the bottom of a Styrofoam cone, piping gel or gum glue, fondant, appropriate impression molds, gold or silver luster dust , and dragees.

1. Press gum paste into molds. Make two of each design.

2. Moisten Styrofoam base with piping gel or gum glue.

3. Overlay gum paste until base is entirely covered.

4. Pearlize entire piece, then gild edges with luster dust.

5. Add dragees and/or pearls in strategic spots for dramatic flair.
Have fun and be creative!!


Photography and Tutorial by Jacque Benson
2010 All Rights Reserved
This material may not be reproduced with permission from the author.

"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December." ~J M Barrie