Sugar paste, also known as gum paste, is used to create decorative flowers, figures and other elements for cakes, cookies and centrepieces. Sugar paste dries more quickly than its decorative counterpart, fondant, and once dry takes on a hard consistency that will last for several hours or days. You can make figures from homemade sugar paste, or start with sugar paste purchased from a craft or bakery supply store.
Remove the sugar paste from the container with your bare hands. The heat from your hands will make the paste more pliable, which is crucial if it has been stored in the refrigerator.
Divide the sugar paste into several small sections. The size of each section will depend upon the figure created and the amount of each colour you require.
Knead each individual section of sugar paste with your hands. Place each unused section into an airtight container to keep it from drying out.
Add colour to each sugar paste section by dipping a toothpick into a container of food colour paste. Run the toothpick over the surface of the sugar paste. Knead the colour into the sugar paste with your hands until it is evenly incorporated. Add more food colour paste to achieve a darker hue.
Mold each individual section into the desired shapes. Knead the sugar paste with your hands if it begins to stiffen up to make it pliable again.
Place each created section of the figure onto a piece of waxed paper. Once each piece is dry, attach them together with egg whites or royal icing. Either will create an edible, strong hold.
Allow the sugar paste figure to dry completely before using as a decorative element. This could take several hours to several days, depending upon the thickness of the piece. Set the piece flat onto a piece of waxed paper and turn every few hours to ensure it dries evenly.
Use food colour paste and a paintbrush or an airbrush to add more decorative elements to the sugar paste figure.