How to make gum paste daisies

Posted on September 3rd, 2009 in Cupcakes, Sugar Tools, Tutorials

how to make a gumpaste daisy tutorial

I’ve been asked quite often about how to make these gum paste daisies.  People seem to think that they’d be challenging, but the things is, they’re ridiculously easy to make.  I wish I could say I had amazing talent and that I hand-crafted each and every petal, but the truth is, it doesn’t take much to whip up some cupcakes and a few of these flowers.

Once you know a few handy tips and have the right equipment, you can easily make these whimsical edible decorations, and with the same tools the experienced cake decorator can create other variations.  (I’ll mention some options later).

flower close up

To begin, 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 daisies. One thing to note is that gum paste, although edible, really doesn’t taste good. Let the people you serve these to know that it’s best if the flower is removed before eating the cupcake. That being said, my husband and his friends devour everything and still love the taste. 😉

ingredients and tools2

To make a gum paste daisy, you will need:



  1. shortening
  2. decorating gloves
  3. gum paste
  4. cornstarch
  5. small rolling pin
  6. daisy center mould
  7. palette knife
  8. Americolor soft gel paste
  9. daisy plunger cutter
  10. edible glue (tylose powder & water – tutorial found here)
  11. small fine paintbrush
  12. flower formers (examples below)

flower formers

Flower Formers:

  1. Egg cartons

You can use any type of former to dry your daisies in.  I prefer Wilton’s shape for this particular flower.  A painter’s palette also works, as well as other inexpensive options such as egg cartons, egg create foam, aluminum foil and manicotti noodle trays.

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 trying to 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.

Colors in gum paste tend to fade, especially blues, purples, blacks – deep colors essentially.  It’s best to tint your paste and let it sit for 24 hours, so that you can see if you’re happy with how the color turns out.

How to make daisy petals:

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.

gum paste and rolling pin

Press your daisy 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 daisy cutter in a circular motion on your work surface to help create a cleaner cut.  Lift the daisy cutter from the surface.

daisy unfinished

You will notice that the edges of some petals need to be smoothed.  Gently press each petal deeper into the daisy cutter and run your palette knife or fingers along each edge to wipe away the excess gum paste.  Turn the daisy cutter over, hovering over the flower former, press the plunger and your gum paste daisy should release and fall onto the former.  If it needs a bit of coaxing, gently pry the petals away from the cutter with your palette knife.

daisy petals finished

daisy petals close

For a different look, you could layer more than one daisy on top of each other and depending on what type of center you make, this cutter can be used as gerbera flowers or sunflowers as well.  You can also obtain a finer finish by using a ball tool to soften the edge of the petals.

How to make daisy centers:

Besides the JEM daisy center I used here, the same centers can be found in silicon form.  They are easier to remove from the mould because they’re bendable, but the JEM version is simple too!  (I used the JEM version today as it’s easier to see in pics).  If you’re looking for a homemade version, form the paste into a button shape and texture using a piece of tulle or net.

The first step is to dust your center mould with a light coating of cornstarch.

center squeeze extra out

Roll a small amount of gum paste into a ball; enough to approximately fill the daisy center.  Press the gum paste into the mould.  Turn your mould over and press it into a cornstarch dusted work surface while moving in a circular motion.  The excess gum paste will squeeze out the sides and sever from the edges.

center ready to remove

It’s now ready to be removed.

center coming out

If the gum paste doesn’t fall out of the mould immediately after turning it over, you may need to gently insert your palette knife and pull.  You can also use other sharp, small objects such as a pin or toothpick.

Another tip that works is to lightly dampen your finger with water and press it onto the unmoving paste.  The gum paste will stick to your finger and slide right out of the mould.

center with edible glue

Fasten the daisy center to your dry petals using edible glue.    A tutorial for how to make your own glue can be found here.

finished flower

That’s it!  Easy gum paste flowers to dress up your cake, cupcakes or other confections.

gumpaste daisy cupcake close up

Some other examples of these daisies I’ve made in older posts are here and here.  As you’ll see, I tend to like making white petals and colored centers!

By the way, these are straightforward vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream.  I used my go-to recipes from Peggy Porschen’s book Pretty Party Cakes, and matched the pink Americolor soft gel paste with these pink polka dot cupcake liners.

The buttercream was piped with a large star tip.

Thanks for stopping by;  If you have any questions, comments or if I can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to email me or drop me a line below!

Have fun creating!!


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