Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked September 5th 2014

Is there a difference between Flower Paste and Modelling Paste ?

Can you please tell me what I’m doing wrong. In the past I have used white flower paste to make a shoe, and it went really well as the flower paste drys very hard, very quickly.

I want to make a black shoe this time, as I couldnt find black flower paste, and have read that modelling paste is basically the same, I got black modelling paste.

I have made the heel, but 3 days later it’s still not dry. It has formed a crust but it is still soft enough to squeeze.

Is it that the coloured paste drys slower, or am I using the wrong stuff?, and how long will it take to dry solid, so that I can make the rest of the shoe?

I forgot to add that the flower paste and the modelling Paste are both Squires Kitchen

Advice and recomendations on what to use desperately needed

Thank you


Hi Shades

These pastes are all a variation of the same thing in differing purity. In the UK we call gum paste modelling paste because it is made using half flower paste and half sugar paste or also know as 50/50. In the US gumpaste is what we call flower paste/petal paste.
There are all different brands available. In my humble opinion Squire’s Kitchen flower paste is the best for drying.
You can make your own gum paste and you can also make your own flower/petal paste. For recipes look here:

clarke baxter

Tylose powder and CMC powder are the same thing, both used for strengthening sugarpaste to make modelling paste/gumpaste/flower/petalpaste.
Gum Tragacanth is a natural gum which is used in the same way as the above, it is a stronger substance.
Gum Arabic is also a natural gum and can be used as a sugarpaste strengthener, although not as widely used for this purpose.

Darker colours take longer to dry because of the amount of dye required to achieve depth. Allow more drying days for items made with deeper colours and also if the weather is hot and humid.
If you need any more information or help please post again.


Thank you so much for your help, it really is much appreciated. I will now go off and do some experimenting, with different types, makes, colours, plus try making my own.

1 thing I do know 5 days drying time for a heel seems far too long for me. so modelling paste is off my list for makeing heels.

Thanks again very much appreciated .


I have tried making the lantana flowers with gumpaste with no success. Somehow the neck of the flower just break off. Tried making the same flowers with thai clay and they formed perfectly. I do need to make them in some edible material to place on a cake – would modelling paste be stronger and more pliable to work with. Appreciate hearing from you soon.

Thanks and regards
Nancy De Souza


Hi Nancy Da Souza

I haven’t actually got around to making the lantana flower so I’m unable to say why exactly the neck of the flower is breaking. It might be due to climatic conditions if you are experiencing extreme heat and humidity. You might find using flower paste rather than gum paste, will dry stronger and hold up better to any temperature-related problems. My go-to flower paste is always Squires Kitchen. However, I have tried the Saracino Flower paste and found it to be very good.

Arati Mirji, author of the lantana tutorial has her own paste but I’m not sure whether it is available worldwide as yet. There is further information on her facebook which can be seen here:

I hope you will be able to find a suitable medium to work with. 🙂

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