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Gum Paste

Tabitha Helms

First news first: my best friend is engaged! Whoohoo!! So excited for both of them. Very excited that I no longer have to lie and keep secrets too. That was rather stressful. ‘ At the beginning of this week plans for an engagement party were put into action and I was enlisted to bake the cake! I did some research to find the perfect one. Google searches of “proposal cakes,” “engagement cakes,” and “congratulations cakes” flooded my search engine to no avail. I couldn’t even find a wedding cake topper of a guy down on one knee with a ring. Really? This wasn’t supposed to be that hard! The only one I could find was something along these lines:

I had never used fondant before and I needed to feed 20ish people, so this idea was way out. I managed to find a regular birthday cake that looked like a present (something I’ve done before), but instead of candy, it used gum paste for the ribbon and polka dots.

Having been a faithful viewer of cake decorating shows the past year or so, I decided it was time to move up in my baking abilities and attempt the gum paste. I watched some how to videos, read some instructions from professionals, double checked the container’s directions and gave it my best shot.

Overall, I was very impressed with myself. My arms got very tired from kneading the gum paste for so long and working in the yellow food color. But it did turn out rather well. Pat on the back for me, and encouragement for you–if a non professional like me can make it work, I bet you can too!

Yellow cake – Nicole’s favorite!

Chocolate frosting, with piping bag bottom edge

Gum paste shapes set out to dry overnight

1st step in bow assembly

2nd step, add the loops

3rd step, add the knot to the center

Piping bag with writing tip

The finished product!