How to make gum paste or fondant figures

Updated April 17, 2017

From flowers to animals, fondant and gum paste figurines are one of the most common ways of decorating a cake. Both edible moulding pastes have been used since the late 1800s to decorate a variety of desserts and cakes. Gum paste retains its shape without tearing when used for thinner shapes, such as flower petals. For figures, such as people and animals, both gum paste and fondant can easily be moulded into the desired shapes.

Dust a flat surface lightly with cornstarch.

Spread a light layer of cornstarch onto the rolling pin.

Roll a small ball in your palms to form the figure's head.

Create four small logs from the same colour to create legs. Make two thinner, if creating a human figure.

Roll one oblong shape to create a body.

Roll any pieces of fondant or gum paste that need to be thin, such as clothing or ears, using the rolling pin.

Paint a small amount of water on the areas of the body where you wish to attach both limbs and details.

Press the head, legs, arms and clothing onto the main part of the body, holding it for several seconds to allow it to set.

Press the toothpick into a variety of places of the body to create textures or small lines to show fur or other features, such as belly buttons, nostrils or ear canals.

Draw on any details that require colours, such as eyes or whiskers, with the edible pens.

Dry the marzipan figure for an hour before using it to decorate.


Fondant or gum paste can also be pressed into moulds to create the shape you desire. Always keep the gum paste or fondant in sealable containers until use, to keep it from drying out.

Things You'll Need

  • Fondant or gum paste
  • Cornstarch
  • Rolling pin
  • Small bowl
  • Small paintbrush
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About the Author

Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.