Comprehensive Guide to Sugarpaste

Thanks for stopping by for your comprehensive guide to sugarpaste.

Sugarpaste AKA Fondant in the US!

Fondant or (Sugarpaste) as we like to call it in the UK is truly a unique and tasty art medium!

It allows us to create beautiful cakes and creations with it, but it also require a lot of skill and experience to master.

We’d like to share the tricks and tips we’ve accumulated over the years to help you master this amazing but hard art medium.

Here are some of the most common questions that we get asked and some tips to go along with them.

The preparations

The key to working efficiently with sugarpaste is to be prepared.

Once you open the package you have very limited time before the sugarpaste starts drying out!

Make sure your work surface is clear, clean, and that you have all your tools nearby as well as the cake ready to be covered.

For the best result make sure your sugarpaste is room temperature before you start kneading it.

Stop Your Sugarpaste from Sticking: You will need something to stop your sugarpaste from sticking to the work surface and there’s a few things to choose from. You can use cornstarch, icing sugar or trex.

If you use one of the powdered options I would highly recommend to drape your rolled out sugarpaste over your rolling pin when you lift it and place the dusted surface facing downwards towards the cake.

This way you will avoid dusty smudges that you have to get off the sugarpaste before your cake looks perfect!


Cake covering

Before you start rolling our your sugarpaste, you want to make sure you knead your sugarpaste well, as shown on this video:

If the paste is cracking when you knead it, you can add a small amount of trex to the paste as it will rejuvenate it.

As for the covering itself, check out our video on how to roll out the paste and get it on your cake here! 


How much sugarpaste to cover a cake?

If you wonder about how much sugarpaste you need for your cakes.

We have this great chart for you to follow to make sure you get enough!

What kind of sugarpaste do I need?

Renshaw has a wide array of products which is tailored to your sugarpaste needs.

This chart shows you the exactly which product is the best fit for you.

Can I use normal sugarpaste as modelling paste?

You can use Gum tragacanth or Tylo powder to firm up the sugarpaste you have already.

Alternatively, buy Renshaws pre-coloured modelling paste.

Or add one teaspoon of gum trag or tylo per 250grams of normal Renshaw ready-to-roll sugarpaste to firm it up to modelling paste.

Make sure you wrap the paste in well and leave it to harden up over night.

Gum trag needs longer to stiffen up than Tylo powder, check the instructions on the product you use as it differs from brand to brand.

Gum Trag requires around 12 hours to firm up.

Tylo takes approximately 6 hours to firm up.


How do I colour my sugarpaste?

With a lot of patience and adding small amounts of colour at the time!

We advise that you apply your colour using a cocktail stick as food dyes are very concentrated.

Test out the colour on a small amount of sugarpaste before you start on the main batch to get an idea how much colour you’ll need and if it will achieve the colour you’re after.

We can highly recommend  Sugarflair and Rainbow dust food colours. These brands don’t add any flavour to the sugarpaste or make it sticky.

They are professional quality & highly concentrated.

Make sure that you use the higher concentrated Sugarflair Extra if you are after very intense colours on your sugarpaste!

Avoid cheap super market food colours, they may be cheap but you need 6 bottles worth to achieve a vibrant colour!


How do I get rid of bubbles?

If you’re rolling out the sugarpaste just pierce the bubble with a pin and use your rolling pin to get the air out. If the sugarpaste is already on the cake, pierce it with a pin and use your smoother tool to gently and carefully get the air out so that it leaves a nice smooth surface!

Check out our blog Sugarpaste Kneading Techniques to help you with minimising bubbling & other helpful tips.


When can I start painting and decorating the sugarpaste?

The sugarpaste will need to firm up before you start decorating.

If you start decorating it before it has firmed up, you risk it going soggy as well as creasing that perfectly smooth finish that you worked so hard on achieving!

Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to sugarpaste, unless you’re trying to get it on the cake before it starts cracking of course!

Adding shading to the rainbow unicorn


How do I harden my modelling paste?

Modelling paste requires a dry environment to harden up properly. With us being in the UK there’s hardly anything dry about our environment so there’s a few things you can do to help the process along.

The first one is leaving your modelling paste on the bottom shelf in your oven with the light on. The light creates just enough heat to help the hardening process along without damaging it.

Be aware that very large figurines would probably crack with this method as the middle wouldn’t dry fast enough to keep up with the outside!

Modelling paste with very bright colours they should not be left in direct sunlight, for more than a few hours as the light exposure might dull the colours.

If you own a dehydrator this is a great way to harden your modelling paste! Set on the lowest setting it will dry up your modelling paste very quickly. The time needed will depend on the size of the figurine that you’re drying. Keep a close eye on them until you’ve learned roughly how long things require to dry out.

If you purchased a new fan this summer because of the heatwave; Good news! It can be used to help your modelling paste dry faster!

Leave the fan on overnight to circulate the air over your modelling paste and it will help shorten the overall drying time.


So that’s it folks, I hope you have learned something new from this blog!

Have you found any of these useful?

Is there anything you feel that we left out?

Please let us know in the comments!

Suggested Reads

Sugarpaste Kneading Techniques

Making Bright Pink Sugarpaste Using Sugarflair Fuchsia Food Colour


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