I’m often asked what the difference is between sugarpaste, florist paste and modelling paste, what you use them for and why so I thought I’d explain the difference.

SUGARPASTE

Also known as fondant, ready to roll icing or just icing this is perfect for covering cakes and making small decorations.  It’s very sweet in taste and pliable and soft.  It can be rolled out quite thinly but not as thin as florist paste and doesn’t dry as hard or as quickly as florist paste.

Sugarpaste feels a bit like playdough and must be stored fully covered otherwise it will dry out.  You can either pop it in a tupperware box or wrap it tightly in foil and pop it in a freezer bag.

FLORIST PASTE

Also know as gum paste, this is perfect for making sugar flowers and fine and delicate decorations.  It’s much more expensive that sugarpaste but a little goes a long way so you don’t need to use as much.  It can be rolled incredible thinly, dries very hard and perfect for delicate decorations.

It doesn’t have the sweet taste that sugarpaste has, but as you use it in small quantities you don’t really notice.  Florist paste dries up incredibly quickly, normally whilst you’re working with it if it’s not covered, so make sure you work on a small piece at a time to avoid it drying up.  Make sure you wrap it well with foil and pop it in an airtight container to use it next time.

MODELLING PASTE

This is perfect for making models or objects that you want to dry a bit firmer than sugarpaste.  You can either make it or buy it.

Modelling paste can be easily be made by mixing 1 part sugarpaste and 1 part florist paste or by adding 1 tsp of gum tragacanth to 250g sugarpaste.

STORING YOUR DECORATIONS

Once your decorations are made it’s important to remember that to keep them in shape and nice firm you must never store them in the fridge, tupperware box or tin as the moisture will make the decorations wilt and sweat.  Keep decorations in a cardboard box like a cake box.