How to Make the Gum Paste Pom Poms

  • 01 of 08

    Gather Your Equipment

    gum paste pom pom materials
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Pom poms are a festive decoration for many types of cakes such as graduation, wedding, baby showers or birthdays. They can be any color and look a little like hollyhock flowers when completed. You can also make these pretty decorations from fondant if you wish but they will not look as ruffled because fondant cannot be rolled as thin as gum paste before it rips. You can make pom poms in several different ways but using a ribbon cutter with the ruffled attachments can create a great look. Gum paste pom poms can also be made quite far in advance and stored after drying in an airtight container out of direct sunlight.

    Materials Needed

    • Ribbon cutter
    • Gum paste
    • Gum paste glue
    • Paintbrush
    • Rolling pin
    • Ball tool
    • Sharp knife
    • Gel colors
    • Dowels or toothpicks
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  • 02 of 08

    Make the Pom Pom Base

    Gum paste base
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Tint your gum paste to whatever color is needed for your project. Remember when adding color to do it in increments because it is easier to make a color richer and darker than to lighten it after putting too much gel color into it. After you have the correct color or colors pinch off a small piece of gum paste and roll it in your palms until it is a uniform ball. The base of the pom pom will be the determining factor in the finished size of the pom pom so make sure it is not too big. A big base will make pom poms that need a lot of support and will be difficult to attach to your cake. If you need larger pom poms than dowels, toothpicks and heavy gauge wire will work.

    After you have a perfect ball of gum paste press it gently on your work surface to create a flattened bottom. You can also use your fingertips to flatten the base out. This creates a surface that can be easily attached to the side or top of your cake.

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  • 03 of 08

    Roll out Gum Paste

    roll out gum paste
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Lightly dust a flat work surface with cornstarch and knead your tinted gum paste until it is very smooth and elastic. Roll into a fat sausage shape and flatten the gum paste out a little with your palm. Take a ​smooth rolling pin and roll out the gum paste in a rectangle until it is thin and wrinkle-free. You might need to flip the piece over in the middle of this process.

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  • 04 of 08

    Cut out Strips

    Cut out strips
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Once your gum paste is rolled out to your satisfaction use a ribbon cutter set with one-inch spacers to cut strips. You can use the ruffled attachments or straight ones depending on whether you want to use a ball tool to ruffle the edges. You can thin the edges even if they are already cut out wavy depending on how delicate you want your pom poms to be.

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  • 05 of 08

    Cut Gum Paste Strips Into Pieces

    Roll the strips
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Using a sharp knife or your ribbon cutter to cut your strips into two-inch pieces all along the lengths. If you are using the ribbon cutter simply set it up with the attachments on the outside and two-inch spacers in the middle.

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  • 06 of 08

    Make Gum Paste Ruffles

    Make the ruffles
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Take each piece of gum paste in your fingers and fold and gather the gum paste-like an accordion. Then gently fold the gathered strip in the middle to form a small ruffled flower. Pinch the bottom to secure the shape. Fluff the top out a little and set the ruffle aside. Repeat this process until you have enough ruffles to cover the base of the pom pom.

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  • 07 of 08

    Glue a Ring of Ruffles Around the Base

    Glue the ruffles on the base
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Set your gum paste base on your work surface and brush the entire surface of the ball with edible glue using a paintbrush. If you want your pom pom more “poofy” leave the ruffles as they are with the tapered bottom. If you want a more secure pom pom then take a sharp knife and trim the bottom of the ruffle. Create a layer of ruffles all around the base of the pom pom pressing gently to secure each ruffle.

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  • 08 of 08

    Finish the Pom Pom

    Finished pom pom
    The Spruce / Michelle Anderson

    Carefully glue another layer of ruffles snugly on top of the first layer creating a filled in pom pom. You might need to put a couple of ruffles in the very center depending on the size of your base. Set each pom pom aside to dry completely before attaching these charming decorations to your cake.