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Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Make a Gumpaste Bow

Yesterday, I shared these graduation cakes with you.  As promised, today I am going to show you how to make a beautiful gumpaste bow.

Gumpaste is an edible food product, but I don't actually recommend eating it.  You can buy gumpaste or make it (although I haven't had any success in making my own).  When you buy gumpaste, it comes in the form of a stiff dough.  You form gumpaste into whatever shape you want, then let it dry.  Gumpaste hardens completely when dry; however, when you eat gumpaste, it turns to a slimy texture in your mouth--YUCK!  It is nice to use because it does harden completely and is completely food-safe.

  • Gumpaste
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap (or bag)
  • Large pot (or other stand)
  • Crisco
  • Pizza cutter
  • Candy melts (you can use stiff frosting)
  • Piping bag
  • Rolling pin
  1. Color your gumpaste whatever color bow you want.  If it sticks to you hands, grease your hands with a little Crisco.  You will need a ball that fits into your hand (this should leave you a little extra)
  2. Tear off about 1/4 of the gumpaste and roll onto the parchment.  Cut into strips.  Your strip width will change with the size of your bow.  My strips were about 3/4 of an inch wide for this bow.  I used the Wilton ribbon cutter, but I have used a pizza cutter and a ruler in the past.
  3. Cut strips into various lengths.  I cut: 8-7.5" strips, 8-6" strips, 4-4.5" strips, and 4-3" strips.
  4. Roll a piece of parchment paper into a long tube.  As you cut your strips, wrap them around the parchment.  Then squish the ends together using a little Crisco as glue.
  5. Hang the roll of parchment (lined with your gumpaste loops) over your large pan.  Let dry overnight (I don't let it dry completely, but mostly.  This lets me tear off the long squished ends if I need to, without breaking the loops).
  6. When you pull them off the parchment, your loops should hold their shape.
  7. Melt some candy melts in a piping bag.  This will be used as glue for your bow.  Make a silver dollar sized blob of candy melt on the flat parchment paper.
  8. Place the largest loops in a circular pattern into the blob of candy melts.  You can place some of them on their side for a more natural look.  Then place more candy melts and the next largest loops.  Continue in this pattern until it looks like a bow.  Add candy melts where needed to secure bow.  You can also tear the ends off the bow to make it fit better.  Play around until it looks right, which sometimes takes some time.
  9. After the candy melts cool and harden, you can move the bow to your cake.  Secure in place with a little more of the melted candy melts.

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