Helpful Hints and Tips for Course 4

Helpful Hints & Frequently Asked Questions:

Course 4: Advanced Gum Paste Flowers Student Resource Center

Rolling Pin Ring Size Guide 


9″ rolling pin





Make sure your hands and workspace are clean when working with gum paste

Keep long hair tied back, make sure you don’t have chipping nail polish, and don’t wear anything fuzzy – all of these can end up in your gum paste.

Store your floral tape in a baggie to help prevent it from drying out.

Give your gum paste decorations a beautiful matte finish! Brush Wilton Color Dust onto your flowers and decorations for a deep, lifelike colors.  Flowers should be brushed with dust before putting them on your cake to avoid the dust getting all over your cake.  

You will want a brand new package of gum paste for this class. The fresher the gum paste, the easier it will be to work with. We will also divide the entire package of gum paste to color and use throughout the course.

Leave the cutters in the plastic tray that comes in the kit. Storing them in this manner will keep them from being damaged and also keep the cutters sharp.

To save on cost, if you and a friend are both taking the course, you can split the package of neon fondant. One package for every two people max, please.

Another way to save on the cost of the course is to share the purchasing of the color dusts. There is more dust in the tube than you will need for all the flowers in this course.

To keep from wasting the color dust, use contact lens cases when you are coloring your flowers. Just pour some of the dust into one side of the case to use when brushing the color onto your flower. When you are finished, all you have to do is screw the lid back on. When you are ready to use that color again, you will be ready. (This will be handy when using the spruce and lime green colors. We will mix those two when coloring the leaves.)

If you need to purchase extra Gum Paste Wire and Tape to make more flowers, make sure to purchase the Wilton brand. Do not purchase wire and tape from the floral section of the store. This wire and tape is not food safe and should not be used for edible flowers and on cake.
We will never insert wires directly into a cake. Even though it is food safe, you do not want to take the chance of leaving a piece of tape or wire in the cake.

If you already own the Gum Paste Flower Cutter Set, you do not need to purchase the Course 4 Student Kit. Most of the cutters in the student kit are the exact same ones that are in the cutter set – the exception being the sweet pea cutters not in the larger set. You will, however, need to purchase other items to supplement the cutter set. Please contact me for the full list.

This is the only course you will not need to make a cake, either during the course or for a final project. You will be making a final arrangement of flowers of your choice, and I will demonstrate for you how to feature them on a cake. If you would like to make a cake to put your final arrangement on, you are welcome to do so, but it is not a part of the curriculum.

Remember, practicing at home reinforces what you learn in class and makes YOU a better decorator!

Frequently Asked Questions:

• Why use cornstarch and powdered sugar for your dusting puff?  Why not just one or the other? 
Cornstarch alone dries out gum paste too quickly, powdered sugar alone absorbs into the medium and can make it stick to the working surface. Using both will help keep both of these from happening.

• Can I make my own gum paste? 
Yes, but not for class.  You will have better success when you use the Wilton Ready to Use Gum Paste. Or you can pick up the powdered gum paste mix and prepare it at home following the instructions exactly as listed on the can. (I recommend you use the ready to use gum paste before you attempt to mix your own so that you know how the gum paste should feel.)  You need to learn how to work with and understand how gum paste works before trying to make it from scratch.  Once you are comfortable with working with the gum paste, you are welcome to make your own using the recipe in the Wilton Yearbook or on the Wilton website.

• Gum Paste vs. Gum Tex – what’s the difference? 
Gum-tex is a powdered ingredient used to make gum paste.  It can also be added to fondant to make it set up firmer faster when making flowers.  Gum paste is an edible sugar dough used to make hand formed flowers and decorations.  Never use gum-tex in fondant that will be used to cover a cake.

• Why can’t I use the wire and tape from the floral section or a sharpie instead of food writers?
While they may seem the same, the wire and tape from the floral section and sharpies are not food safe. They are only non-toxic. This means if you accidentally ingest some of these items (or lick the wire and tape), they will not kill you. But they may make you really sick. To keep you and those that wish to enjoy your cakes safe, make sure to use only food safe items in, on, or around your cakes and edible flowers. (Because this involves the health of others, I will be mentioning this fact several times throughout this course.)


I want all my students to have the best Wilton class experience possible, and your feedback is welcome!  If there is anything you would like to tell me about this class – what you liked, anything you didn’t like—or something you would like to see added to future classes that you want me to pass along to Wilton – please email me, mention this class (Course 4) and your feedback.