Gum paste flower cutters are designed to help you cut out shapes of different petals from gum paste.
These cutters are made of either metal or plastic. They also come in the plunger design or just plain petal shapes.
Gum paste flower cutters can be categorized either by the design or by the type of flowers they produce. We are going to use both categorizations. The first categorization we would use is the plunger cutters and the plain cutters.
There are varieties of flowers that can be created with gum paste; this is achieved using the different kinds of gum paste flower cutters.
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Sugar (gum paste) Flower Plunger Cutters
Edible flower plunger cutters are designed with a simple mechanism that enables them to be pressed into the gum paste and cut out the shape. After this, you push the plunger to detach the flower.
Most gum paste flower plunger cutters would emboss veins on the petals as they cut them. But there are some that are plain without vein embossers.
Some people find the flower plunger cutters a bit more cumbersome to use; they say that it elongates the process of flower making. However, some decorators would use nothing else but plunger cutters because for them it shortens the process.
The merit of either side of the argument may be based on whether you want embossed petals or not.
One thing we have discovered however is that plunger cutters are good for filler flowers. The detailed cut out of flowers is also good for flowers that don’t require assembly line process. Examples of these include hydrangeas, daisies, sunflowers and blossoms.
Some of the flowers that require assembly line process include roses, dahlia, chrysanthemum, carnation and calla lilies.
Most large multi petal flowers require making the flowers petal by petal and as such would not work well with a plunger cutter.
Plain Gumpaste Flower Cutters
Plain gum paste flower cutters are designed either as single petal cutters or as three, four or five petal cutters. They do not have plungers or veiners, they are shaped as cookie cutters but designed to cut out different shapes of petals.
One major disadvantage of plain gum paste flower cutters is that they can’t emboss the petals like the plunger cutters. So if your petals require veining, then you have to use a veining tool after cutting them out.
Apart from this, plain gum paste flower cutters are really versatile. They allow you to make different variations to a particular flower. Some bakers even use these gum paste flower cutters for purposes other than making flowers.
Each type of gum paste flower cutter has its own merits. To get the best of both you might decide to have both types of cutters.
Types of Gum Paste Flower Cutters
Apart from the above broad categorization of gum paste flower cutters, there are different types of cutters. This categorization is based on the kind of gum paste flowers they are used to produce.
In this segment we shall be discussing 10 gum paste flower cutters and the kind of flowers you can make with them.
Gum Paste Rose Flower Cutters
Gum paste rose flower cutters come either as single petal cutters or the five petal cutters. The single petal cutters come in graduated sizes and can be up to seven sizes or more. While the five petal cutters come in three or four sizes.
Majority of rose gum paste cutters come as plain cutters; they were rarely designed as plunger cutters. However, in recent times some brands have started making rose plunger cutters.
Rose flowers are in-arguably the most common and popular flowers both in real life and sugar craft. There are many species, colors and varieties of the rose flower. As such there are also different brands and models of rose cutters to help decorators capture the different varieties.
There’s also this rose cutter that’s known as the 3D rose cutter; it doesn’t look like the conventional rose cutter.
With this cutter shown below, you can make your rose in two simple steps.
To make a full gum paste rose you’ll need the following: gum paste, rose petal cutters, leave cutters and veiners, foam pad, ball tools, corn starch and vegetable shortening.
If you need a step by step manual, you can check out this gum paste flower kit and manual.
Gum Paste Peony Flower Cutters
The gum paste peony flower cutters come as single petal cutters or 5 petal cutters. The single petals are graduated in size and can be used to make different sizes of peonies. Some of the single petal cutters are designed to allow you cut and emboss the edges of the petals.
The peony is another flower that’s gaining fast popularity. It can be used as a single large flower decoration for any type of cake. Or made into a bouquet for cake toppers or cascading décor accents.
The peony is one of those flowers that have multiple petals and have to be crafted one petal at a time. That’s why the cutters are mostly single petals and five petal cutters.
The five petal peony cutters are also in graduated sizes. Some come as set of three while others come as set of four.
Gum Paste Gardenia Flower Cutters
The gardenia flower doesn’t have as much petals as the peony; they would usually have about three layers of five petals. The cutters also come in single graduated sizes or five petal cutters of three sizes.
Some of the single petal cutters are referred to as 3D gardenia cutters. Though they are specifically made for gumpaste gardenia, they can be used for cookies and other sugar craft items.
Though there are basic steps to the creation of every gum paste flower, methods and processes differ. Different cake decorators have different methods of producing the same flower. In the same vein tools and cutters required vary from one instructor to the other.
That said however, you should note that gum paste flower cutters are the basic tools for gum paste flowers creation.
Gum Paste Calla Lily Flower Cutter
The calla lily flower cutter is heart shaped and comes with a set of flower formers that are cone shaped.This is actually the most unusual of all the flower cutters
To make calla lilies, you might not even need to buy a calla lily gum paste flower cutter. If you have a heart shaped cookie cutter, all you need are cones to use for flower formers.
Gum Paste Hydrangea Flower Cutters
The hydrangea is a four petal flower. The cutters are four petal cutters and plunger cutters. Most of the four petal cutter sets come with embossers and veining molds. The plunger cutters have their embossers in the cutter such that the petals are embossed as they are cut out.
The hydrangea is a small flower that’s usually used as filler flowers or as cupcake toppers/decorations.
They are quite easy to make since they are not multi petal flowers; this also makes using plunger cutters a better option because it reduces the production time. No need to cut with one tool and emboss with the other. The plunger does both cutting and embossing at the same time.
Gum Paste Orchid Flower Cutter
Orchid gum paste flower cutters come in single petal cutters and this is because each petal of the orchid has its unique shape. Plunger cutters would always give you uniform petals.
Orchids like roses have a wide variety but unlike roses, they do not have uniform petals. Different brands have endeavored to make cutters that would capture these varieties.
It is the different unique petals that make the orchid flower special. No two brands of orchid cutters would have the same shape. If you want to copy and get an exact replica of an orchid, ensure that you use the same cutters that was used.
Gum Paste Tulip Flower Cutters
Tulip gum paste flower cutters come in single pieces of graduated sizes. The single petal cutter is designed to allow you to cut out and work on each petal individually. You have to cut out the petals then use the veining tool to vein the petals.
And because of the shape of the tulip flower there are no plunger cutters for tulip flowers. Maybe we should say that we have not yet come across any tulip plunger cutter.
Gum Paste Sunflower Cutters
Sun flowers are single layer flowers with many petals. They do not require assembly line process and as such are quite easy to make. They are sunny flowers that would liven up any cake in a heartbeat.
So for those times when you are pressed for time but need to jazz up your cake, reach for the sunflower gum paste flower cutter. They most often come in plunger sets which make the process faster.
Gum Paste Daisy Flower Cutters
Daisies are great for cupcake decorations any day or time. They are great filler flowers for large flower bouquets. You can also use them alone for breathtaking designs on cakes.
They are single layer flowers and as such are easier made with plunger cutters.
You may decide to just cut out your daisies with the plunger cutter and use without frilling or extra touch.
You can also cut out the flowers and do a little frilling and thinning out. The different methods would give you different effects.
Gum Paste Chrysanthemum Flower Cutters
There are different kinds of chrysanthemum flower cutters and most often they come singly. This would allow you to make any size of flower that you want.Chrysanthemums are elegant flowers that would always make your cakes pop.
The number of petals you make would determine the size of the flower. This is true for all flowers that have multi layered petals.
Some of these cutters may look similar but don’t be deceived; the slight differences especially in the three,four or five petal cutters determines the shape of petals that you would get. For this reason, ensure that you always use the right cutter recommended for the flower you want to make.
If you are new to gum paste flower making and want to buy your tools we recommend you buy a complete kit. It’s true that you might not get to use all the items in the kit but kits such as the Wilton gum paste flower kit would help you a lot. It comes with instructional guide for all the flower cutters that are in the kit.
By the time you finish practicing all the flowers in the manual, you’d have developed muscle memory for creating sugar flowers.
However, if you are more interested in making a particular gum paste flower, the cutters are also available individually.
Since there are many tutorials online, you can take them one at a time. And as you watch each tutorial, you buy the tools used. You’ll find out that once you’ve bought the basic tools, all you’ll need would be the specific cutter for the flower you’re making.
We also recommend you read the following articles to help improve your cake decorating skills:-
- Wedding Cake Toppers: The Right Choice
- Edible Luster Dust – Glamorize your Cakes
- Cake Icing Tools – Pre-Decoration Tips
- Gum Paste Tools – Next Level Sugar Craft
- Cake Stenciling Molds – Understand the Essentials
- How To Transport A Wedding Cake
How to Clean and Maintain Your Flower Cutters
Gum paste flower cutters like every other cake decoration product have to be handled with care. The metal ones are susceptible to rust and being bent out of shape. The plastic ones are more liable to gather dirt (oil and grease) because of inadequate clean up.
To ensure that your metal gum paste flower cutters last for long, do the following: (a) wash with warm soapy water after use (b) Allow to dry properly before storing (c) store properly to help maintain the shape. Try as much as possible to store the cutters in the pack/container that they came in.
Though plastic cutters or plunger cutters do not have the risk of rusting or bending out of shape, they can retain a lot of dirt. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, always wash your cutters with warm soapy water and rinse out properly with warm water.
Most products come with cleaning instructions so you’ll do well to follow the instructions. This is especially true for plunger cutters as you might need to dismantle them to clean properly.
As with every product that you are unfamiliar with, it is necessary to read a lot of buyer reviews. This would help you to get insights into the product that you want to buy. You can also learn different ways of using the product or even improvising.
Like we earlier mentioned, tutorials would also go a long way in helping you determine the best type of gum paste flower cutters to buy. If you can’t afford to buy a complete gum paste flower kit, you can get your flower cutters one after the other.
Gum Paste Flower Cutters – FAQs
Are Gum Paste Flowers Edible?
Gum paste flowers are edible because of the ingredients that they are made of. Gum paste is made of icing sugar, glucose, tylose powder, gelatine and sometimes a little clear vanilla extract.
One of the reasons why many people shy away from eating gum paste flower is because of the handling. Although we know that any cake decorator worth his/her salt would ensure that they work in a highly hygienic environment, one can never be too careful.
A second reason is the sugar overload and additives. And a third reason is that gum paste flowers are usually very hard. Apart from these reasons and some that may be person to different individuals, gum paste flowers are totally edible.
Why Is My Gum Paste Flower Not Drying?
There are two major reasons why your gum paste flower is not drying and they are (i) the ingredients you used to make the gum paste (ii) humidity.
It is best to buy already made gum paste but in the situation where it is not economically viable to do so, you can make your own from scratch. Now when making gum paste from scratch, you have to ensure that you are making gum paste and not fondant. Fondant is primarily meant for covering cakes while gum paste is more suited for making flowers and other decorations.
Read our article on gum paste flower for recipes and tips.
How Long Will Gum Paste Flowers Last?
Gum paste flowers can last as long as 6 months if properly stored. One thing that gum paste abhors is moisture of any kind. So to store your gum paste flower, you must ensure that it dries properly first. Then you place it in an air tight container and then store in a cool dry and dark place; sunlight would lighten the color of the gum paste flower.
There are also many hacks that you can employ to ensure that your gum paste flowers stay for a long time. Read our article on how to store fondant decorations for more info and insight on this subject.
What Is The Difference Between Sugar Paste And Gum Paste?
Sugar paste is commonly known as fondant and it is primarily used for covering cakes. Sugar paste is soft and pliable and can be used for cake decorations that do not need to dry hard.
Gum paste on the other hand starts out like fondant but it is a harder variant that is used for making flowers or other decorations that need to dry hard. Gum paste is also used for models and decorations that need structure.
The ingredients that are used in making fondant and gum paste are basically the same. Gum paste however, has an extra ingredient that enables it to harden faster and completely and that ingredient is CMC or Tylose powder.
Check out our article on how to work with fondant for more details.
How Do You Fix Sticky Gum Paste?
In order to properly fix the issue of sticky gum paste, you have to find out why it is sticky. If your gum paste is sticky because it is too soft, then you add some more icing sugar and extra tylose powder. You have to do this in increment however, to ensure that you do not make the gum paste to hard that it is no longer pliable.
After adding more icing sugar and tylose powder, ensure that you dust off your working surface with cornstarch. This would ensure that the gum paste does not stick to the working surface as you roll it out or work with it.
How Do You Make Gum Paste Soft Again?
You can make gum paste soft again by warming up your hands and kneading the paste for a while.
In a situation where this doesn’t make the gum paste pliable enough for you to work with, you can microwave. To do this, simply place the gum paste in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 seconds. Bring it out and check whether it is soft enough for you to knead; if not repeat until you get the pliability that you want.
How Do You Color Gum Paste?
Coloring gum paste is as easy as 1,2,3. All you need to do is get a pack of toothpick and keep dabbing the color in drops and knead into the gum paste. Ensure that you add your color little by little because it is easier to darken your gum paste than to make it lighter.
We recommend that you get a pack of toothpick for the following reason:- if you dip the same toothpick that you used to dab the color onto the gum paste back into the bottle of coloring, the coloring in the bottle would run after a while.
Also note that gel or paste colors are best for gum paste because liquid colors would affect the consistency of the gum paste.
Is It Better To Use Gumpaste Or Fondant For Flowers?
It is better to use gum paste for flowers for the following reasons:-
(i) Gum paste can be rolled out thinly enough to give the flower a very life-like look.
(ii) It dries with a porcelain-like finish and can be dusted and embellished with glitters and petal dust.
(iii) Gum paste hardens completely which would enable the flower to retain its shape and form.
(iv) It is pliable and stretchy enough to withstand all the handling that’s needed to make sugar flowers.
Can You Put Gum Paste Flowers On Buttercream?
Gum paste flower can be put on buttercream covered cakes. All you need to do is cover your cake with buttercream, pipe a mound of icing on the spots where you want to place the flower(s) and then position the flower(s). If the flowers are already wired or have toothpicks in them, you do not need the mound of icing; just stick the flower(s) into the cake.
Note that it is recommended that you use flower picks to insert sugar flowers that have been wired with florist wire into your cake.
Using gum paste flowers to decorate your cakes would always save you much time and stress. That is why it is important to make extra flowers whenever you make sugar flowers for a project. When you store those leftovers properly, you can always reach for them in times of emergency or when you just don’t feel like piping much on your buttercream cake.