One of the questions we get asked most often is the difference between florist paste and sugar paste, so we thought this week we’d share the low down and give you some tips.
Florist paste is the best product to use for making any delicate decorations, including flowers and cut out shapes. It’s very tough and can (and should!) be rolled very thinly. It feels like a relatively expensive product when you first start cake decorating (about £5 per 250g) but because you roll it so thinly and can make mountains of decorations from a small pack, it’s actually really good value. You need to use florist paste if you want to shape your flowers using a ball tool or similar as it’s tough elasticity allows you to do this.
Florist paste dries very hard, decorations made from it should be left to dry (ideally) for a day or two before use. This allows them to dry out fully so you won’t be in fear of the drooping at a crucial moment!
Adding vegetable shortening to florist paste makes it lots easier to use. Always store florist paste in a completely sealed container with no air to avoid it drying out.
Our preferred florist paste brand is Squires Kitchen. If you’re buying a different brand, do check it is edible as they aren’t all safe to eat! You can buy florist paste here from our online shop.
Sugar paste (or sugarpaste – either is okay!) is also known as rolled fondant, ready to roll icing, covering paste or Regalice. It’s rolled out and used to cover cakes as icing, rather than for making decorations. It has the consistency of play-doh.
It’s sweet, quite soft and is rolled much thicker than florist paste. It should always be kneaded until warm and pliable before use (especially when covering large cakes).
You can use sugar paste to make decorations but it’s unstable as it doesn’t dry hard enough and as it’s very soft, you can’t roll it thinly enough to make anything delicate. It is good fun to use to make decorations with children though!
You can buy sugar paste from cake decorating shops, when we move to our new premises in the next few weeks, you’ll also be able to buy it in person from us.
Happy cake decorating!