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.
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.
To make gum paste leaves, you will need:
- decorating gloves
- lustre spray (optional)
- gum paste
- rolling pin
- leaf plunger cutter
- food gel coloring
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Voila! Easy gum paste leaves to dress up your flower confections.
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!!