Aug 24

25 comments

How to make gum paste leaves

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rose leaves cupcakes in cups

I would love to share how to make simple gum paste leaves.  They’re really so easy to make once you know a few handy tips and have the right equipment.

leaf top 3 layers angle_edited-1

I usually create mine with gum paste rather than fondant for two reasons; they hold their shape better, and the detail is highlighted.  That being said, since gum paste is more expensive than fondant, another option is to use half of each as a mixture.  It is an excellent cost saving technique if you’re making a large amount of these leaves.

rose leaf tools and ingredients

To make gum paste leaves, you will need:

  1. shortening
  2. decorating gloves
  3. cornstarch
  4. lustre spray (optional)
  5. gum paste
  6. rolling pin
  7. pin
  8. leaf plunger cutter
  9. food gel coloring
  10. CelFormers

Coloring the gum paste:

Massage a small amount of food gel coloring into your gum paste at a time.   It’s easier to add coloring bit by bit, rather than try and correct or lighten the color by adding more paste.  I wear decorator gloves with a bit of shortening on them so that my hands stay color-free, and the gum doesn’t stick to them.

Instructions:

Dust your work surface with cornstarch.   It does look a bit strange; but I like to fill a clean, new nylon stocking with cornstarch until it is about tennis-ball size, tie the end into a knot, and store it in a plastic container.   It’s easy to use just the right amount of cornstarch by lightly dabbing the nylon onto the work surface.

gum paste leaf rolling pin

Roll the gum paste out to about 3mm or 1/8 of an inch thick, using your small rolling pin.  How thick or thin you’d like your leaves is really a matter of preference though.

leaf cutter on gum paste

Press your leaf cutter into the gum paste, just as you would a cookie cutter into cookie dough.   Before you lift the cutter away, press the plunger a few times to create the petal embossing.  Making sure you have enough cornstarch under the gum paste, move the cutter in a circular motion on your work surface to help create a cleaner cut.  Lift the cutter from the surface.

leaf rough edges

You will notice that the edges of the leaf need to be smoothed.  Gently press into the leaf cutter and run your fingers along the edges to wipe away the excess gum paste.  Turn the cutter over, hovering over the flower former, press the plunger and your gum paste leaf should release and fall onto the former.  If it needs a bit of coaxing, gently pry the leaf away from the cutter with your pin.

leaves drying on celformers

Bend the leaves into your desired shape and let them dry on the flower formers for at least an hour.  If there is any excess cornstarch, gently wipe off with a pastry brush.

rose leaves tier top view

yellow cup blue rose2

At this point you can put petal dust on to give the leaves a bit more color, shimmer and to highlight the veining.  Another option for shimmer is to spray on lustre spray.   I’ve put a very light coating on mine.

leaf head on 3 layers_edited-1

Voila!  Easy gum paste leaves to dress up your flower confections.

leaf green cup close up_edited-1

Incidentally, these are lemon cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing, topped with gum paste roses from Petra International and of course, gum paste leaves!  A few more gum paste leaf pics can be found on older posts here, and here. You can make your own roses of course, but as I’m still working on improving mine, I opted for these pretty ones instead.

A big thanks and credit are due to Kylie Lambert of Le Cupcake for the ‘rose cupcake in a teacup’ inspiration.  Her creations are beautiful works of sugar art!

Thank you to my friend Rebecca for lending me her beautiful tea cups!!

I would also like to thank-you very much for all of your attention!  If I can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to email me.

Have fun creating!!

Marian

rose leaf cupcake tier

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25 Comments

  1. Diane
    August 24, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink
    1

    Thanks so much for sharing the” how to “and showing your beautiful creations !
    Gorgeous as always !!

  2. Angie
    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
    2

    I love making the leaves, too.
    I use the 50/50 mix and roll thinand shape on the flower formers.When I hav a lot to do I use paper towel tubes and bathroom tissue tubes cut in half.Dust the formers atubs with 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch.
    Happy Baking and Decorating,
    Chef Angie

  3. August 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
    3

    Diane: Thank you!!

    Angie: Thanks for the tips! I’ve never thought of using paper towel or bathroom tissue tubes as formers. Great idea!

    A couple of other ‘household’ formers which work are egg cartons, egg crate foam, shaped aluminum foil and manicotti noodle trays.

  4. August 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink
    4

    The prettiest thing I have seen all day, just lovely.

  5. Maria Medeiros
    August 24, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink
    5

    omg! SO so cute! Lovely work! Beautiful! I hope all is well! :)
    maria

  6. August 24, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink
    6

    Bethie, thank you!

    Maria, thank you too! Things are good but were busy this summer. I know I haven’t written for a while, but have some more posts brewing… soon ready to go. Hope all is well with you! =)

  7. August 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
    7

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my video post!
    I am glad you left a comment, because it brought me to your wonderful site!!! I am subscribing as we speak!!!

  8. August 26, 2009 at 12:11 am | Permalink
    8

    what an excellent tutorial marian, and those rose cupcakes are just stunning!!! so is your whole setup, those cups are totally to die for!!

  9. Rebecca
    August 26, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink
    9

    Oh I love this creation! It really came together well! What a great use for the tea cups :-)

  10. August 26, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
    10

    wow…. what a great idee to use thies beautiful cup’s.
    a very nice setup like always. I love your creations very much.
    ML

  11. Adelina
    January 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
    11

    Such a Great way to show off beautiful tea sets!!!

  12. marian
    May 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
    12

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!!

  13. meriam from moorea
    February 7, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink
    13

    hi marian,i love everything you do and i m trying very hard to make as beautiful cookies as yours (it s a hard job!!)
    anyway,thks a lot for sharing your tips and recipes,you ‘re very helpfull for an amateur like me.
    these cupcakes in a cup are really cute,whith all these nice roses!!! i love them!!
    i was surprised by the picture of the items we need,specially by the shortening you use;i m looking for a shortening that can replace crisco(because of the transfats)and it s really hard for me to find something else.specially because i m french and i don t know at all what kind of brands are on the market.
    do you have any tip for me,please?
    thks a lot for your help.
    kind regards
    meriam

    • marian
      February 7, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink
      14

      Thanks Meriam from Moorea (love that!)!
      How about just using a little bit of butter? It’s definitely fatty but not the bad kind, like you said. All natural!
      I’ve never tried it, but it might be worth a shot!
      Please let me know how it goes.
      Happy decorating!
      Marian

  14. meriam from moorea
    February 8, 2011 at 2:15 am | Permalink
    15

    thks a lot marian,i m happy to get your answer,it s very kind of you.
    i agree whith you for the butter,i m gonna give it a try.
    happy decorating
    meriam

  15. sharon
    February 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink
    16

    sososo cute! I am throwing a bridal shower for my best friend and its going to be a tea party theme. This would be perfect! Where oh where did you purchase your beautiful teacups? PS- I am a new fan of yours! I LUV your blog! You definitely motivate me to try and decorate cookies! Ive never done it before cuz im scared of failing horribly… so im super excited about that. You definitely offer plenty of helpful hints! Cant wait to begin!

  16. marian
    March 3, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink
    17

    Hi @ sharon: Lucky me, my friend sells and buys antiques and those are all borrowed from her for the photo. Thanks for visiting and commenting and hope you have lots of fun decorating!

  17. Annie
    June 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
    18

    You’re cupcakes are beautiful! How long do the gumpaste flowers last on top of the buttercream before wilting?

  18. marian
    June 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
    19

    Hi @ Annie: I think there are variables, such as how warm the environment is, how thick the gumpaste flowers are, how much of the surface is touching the icing, how much fat the icing has in it etc. If you’re thinking of doing a specific flower (and hopefully have some time to experiment), I would make the flower you’d like, put it on an iced cupcake, and see how long it takes.
    Of course, a good rule of thumb is to put the flowers on as close to the event as you possibly can.

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