Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cake Design--Gumpaste vs. Cricut Test Part 2

In my last post I tested out my gumpaste recipe,
and in this one I'll use the one that I got from Tobias Wilhem at Cutting Edge Cake Design. This is the one that they use in the cricut, but I find it a lot softer than mine, so I told Tobias that I'd compare them again to see if there was something that I was doing that made the texture different.

The last time I made Tobias's recipe it seemed very marshmallowy and hard to roll out without having it spring back. I made this batch by hand so that I wouldn't be adding more air into it than necessary, but it was still very springy. I let it rest for a couple of days after making it, since I didn't have time to do this yesterday.

I kneaded it by hand to soften it up, but it was already a LOT softer than my recipe is after having it sit for so long. I think that it might have started to dry out on the surface a little bit
because I was getting tiny flecks of hardened sugar in it. That can be avoided by keeping in a plastic bag or bucket, most likely. I just had it wrapped in plastic wrap while it rested, but if it was in an enclosed container the specks might not have developed.

I rolled it out through the pasta roller to make sure I had all the air out, and after 20 minutes of kneading and rolling I thought that it was going to be as smooth as it was going to get.

I rolled it out to the same thickness as mine when I did it a couple of days ago. The main difference between mine and this recipe was that the texture of this one still wasn't as smooth as mine was. I don't know if the photo at the top really reads well, but it definitely has a rougher surface texture to it. It's not something that's a really big deal, but it's noticeable.

The other difference is that since this recipe is softer, it will probably be easier to roll out when it's not as brand-new. My gumpaste gets harder as it sits, but this is so soft to begin with it might stay softer longer, so if you don't mind the rougher texture, the trade off is easier rolling if you don't have a pasta roller. (You really should use a pasta roller, though, to get a uniform depth overall.)

I let the gumpaste sit for about an hour and fifteen minutes, then I cut it using some of the same patterns I used on my gumpaste, with the same settings. It cut just fine, so as far as that goes either recipe works.

The one thing that I figured out from doing this test is that after you roll out the gumpaste, you have to do one very important thing. Let. It. Dry. My gumpaste cut the best after about an hour of drying time, and this recipe worked fine after an hour and 15 minutes. When I was having trouble before, I had only let it sit for about 15 minutes, so the drying time makes a huge difference. I've included my gumpaste recipe that I used for this experiment below. This is different than the one that I use for flowers, but it works for the Cricut.

Gumpaste Recipe
2 lbs powdered sugar
4 tsp tylose
1Tbsp gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp glycerine
1/2 cup corn syrup

Heat a pan of water on the stove.
Put the sugar and the tylose in a large bowl.
Soften the gelatin in the water in a metal bowl that will fit on top of the pan of hot water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
When the gelatin has bloomed, put the bowl on top of the pan of water and stir until the gelatin has become transparent. Add the glycerine and the corn syrup and stir until the liquid is clear.
(If you want to add food coloring to it, you can do it now.)

Stir the warm liquid into the powdered sugar/Tylose mixture. When all of the sugar is incorporated, knead it until it's relatively smooth (it will be sticky, so it won't be completely smooth.) Wrap the gumpaste in plastic wrap and let it rest overnight, or at least for 8 hours or so.

When you go to use the gumpaste, use shortening, not cornstarch, to knead it. It will be rough-textured until you knead it some, then it will smooth out. Don't use a lot of shortening, just a little at a time. The more you knead into it the softer the paste will be, and the longer it will take to dry, so you don't want to add too much.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


Jennywenny said...

Very cute! Cant remember whether I've mentioned this before but on the demo I saw, the secret was that the gumpaste was pretty stiff, and to get it so that she could roll it out, she heated in the microwave, that way it didnt need to rest too long before cutting.

This does seem like a fun tool, but I dont know when I'd have time to get it working how I'd want, not to mention all the legal stuff! I love to see your handiwork and am always interested in seeing more though!

Kara said...

That makes sense about the microwave. Sometimes if my gumpate is too hard when I go to use it I'll heat it, but that seems to make it dry faster, too. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

They will be charging a licensing fee? I read somewhere else there wasn't a licensing fee. Hmm ~ if that's the case, I may just return it. I did order one thru HSN but now I have to think about it. They have to realize that people will buy it to make and sell their products, not just to sit around for whenever they want a cake. Anyway, I like your website. Your work is beautiful:)

Kara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kara said...

I rephrased the first paragraph to reflect the changes that apparently took place today on their website. They had a page that had photos of the cartridges that were going to be available for the cake cricut, with "License" written across them. The product description was "License for use of the cartridge designs in your cake business" or something to that effect. After word of that got out, the online boards were filled with angry people who had bought the machine without having anyone mentioning the license issue, and that page disapppeared. I'm not associated with Provocraft in any way, shape or form, so I don't know what they're up to. The licensing issue might have gone away, or it might be on the back burner. People should be aware that it's being discussed, though. Such drama!

Kara said...

Now I removed the first paragraph about licensing, because Provocraft apparently "changed the policy" after being thrown into the middle of a bunch of angry cake decorators and scrapbookers. Now there won't be a licensing fee for any use of the cartridges, other than the third-party designs (Disney, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Microwave gumpaste 5 seconds makes it easier to work with. After rolled out on the sheet place it in the freezer for a good ten minutes before cutting with cricut, you will be pleased with the results!