Cake Decorating Blog

Sweet Safekeeping: Tips for Storing Fondant and Gum Paste Flowers

When it comes to sugar flowers for cake decorating, storage can be equally important as creating your edible masterpieces. It's important to learn how to store fondant and gum paste flowers, because this will allow you to create sweet blossoms in advance yet ensure that they remain as crisp, colorful and lovely as when you made them.

Advantages to storing fondant and gum paste flowers

Sugar flowers can be time consuming to produce, so it's nice to have the option of making them in advance. Plus, the longer they are able to dry, the more firm they will remain, making them less likely to sag once applied to a cake.


How to store fondant and gum paste sugar flowers

As long as they are kept cool and dry, sugar flowers will keep for a very long time, so they can be created even weeks before a wedding or event, and then applied to the freshly baked cake. So whether you're storing fondant flowers for a birthday cake to be served next week or storing gum paste flowers for a wedding cake to be served in 3 months, these tips will serve you well.

  • Moisture is the culprit for many a wilted sugar flower, so for best results, you'll first want to let the flowers dry completely. Letting them dry overnight before storing is a good bet. Some decorators even let them dry upside down to keep gravity from wilting their blossoms.
  • Once dry, sugar flowers should be stored in an airtight container; a plastic container with a lid is a safe bet.
  • Add some padding to your container, especially if your flowers are delicate. Foam or tissue paper applied to particularly delicate parts can help save heartache later.
  • Keep the flowers in a cool, dark place to keep them temperature controlled and to keep the colors from fading.

Should you chill out?

It's generally better to keep the flowers in a cool, dry place rather than in a refrigerator or freezer. There are a few reasons for this. To name just a few:

  • As the flowers thaw from the chill, condensation can form.
  • Too much moisture can be removed from the flowers and they can crack in a very dry refrigerator.
  • The flowers can absorb flavors from foods around them in a refrigerator. Nobody likes sugar flowers that taste like Chinese leftovers.
  • It will reduce their keeping time. According to Craftsy instructor James Rosselle, with time, "the flowers will wilt and slowly turn into a sugar syrup."
  • If you do freeze or refrigerate, be sure to wrap the container well, and be sure to let the flowers very gradually come to room temperature -- transfer from the freezer to refrigerator first, then to a cool room temperature.

Heat and humidity

Just as heat and humidity can cause real flowers to wilt, they can have an adverse effect on fondant or gum paste flowers. A dry container may not be dry enough, either because some moisture remains in the flowers themselves, or there is moisture in the air.

Food-grade desiccant packs (sort of like the type you'd find in coat pockets, but made with food storage in mind) can be your friend, wicking unwanted moisture from the designs and keeping them safe and shapely. For a solution you may be more likely to have on hand, try putting a plain slice of white bread in the container with the flowers. It will wick excess moisture.


When to assemble?

So, you've figured out how to store the flowers, but when is the right time to apply them to your cake?

The short answer is that it's up to you, but assembling on site can reduce unwanted stress. As cake decorator Jenny Williams puts it, "I always assemble on site. My peonies rattle together and break if I transport them on the cake, roses and flowers without individually wired petals will be better."

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Lucia Zanchi

Incredible! Today, while checking on some stored items, I found some sugar flowers I made over 10 years ago, when doing cake decorating classes. They are still perfect, the same colour, no breakage. I only don’t know if they are still edible.

kenneth Johns

Sugar flowers,(as all Icing sugar) will almost ALWAYS remain edible, if kept away from contaminants, as sugar will rob any bacteria of the one thing they need to survive !….MOISTURE !!!…..Icing is often used in hospitals to cover serious wounds, which cannot be immediately treated !

Carol Williamson

How did u store them for 10 years


Thanks for the info. Very helpful


How far in advance can you make them? I need to make them for a wedding in november, so could I start making them now if I store them right?

Jessie Oleson Moore

Ellie: as long as they are properly stored, you could start making flowers now.

kenneth Johns

until we retired, we had so many orders for wedding cakes, that they had to be decorated app three months in advance…..on the big day, they were as fresh as the day they were finished, such is the nature of the Icing, and the cakes had more time to “MATURE”…….having been lightly soaked in a mixture of 10 parts sherry, one part Brandy, and one part Glycerine !…….keep the cake in a VERY DRY PLACE, PROTECTED WITH A LIGHT LAYER OF CLING FILM IF NEEDED.


very helpful hints. thanks so much. am making a wedding cake in two weeks time and was not sure if it were possible to start making the roses now. I only have about two weeks to go but was wondering if dry roses are nicer to eat..i find them a bit hard myself. but thanks again I can get to work


Can you tell me what is used in this video for the flowers? It says fondant and it shows Kelmy’s Fondant, but from what I’ve read gumpaste would most likely be used for this. Probably used the fondant and added cmc or some such. I don’t have much experience with fondant and gumpaste, I was always far better at piping buttercream designs and flowers, so I never bothered to try the other, until now…
Thank you for the reply. I’m making a wedding cake this weekend and decided to try my hand.


Hi i need to make fondant roses at the end of december can i make them now n how do i store them…thnx


I wish i read alllllthis page before! I made small
Flowers to decorate the cupcakes i made. It was my daughters First Communion…i was thrilled on how brautiful they were!! So the night before i put them in an cupcake container thinkjng they were safe from my kids hands…..but to my disbelief it was the moisture! 🙁 all my perky flowers were no longer perky, more like sleeping. Anyways, lesson learned! NEVER AGAIN! They still looked lovely! Loved the tips here!!

Cynthia Dovens

I need to make a teapot cake for my soon to be daughter in laws shower. I want to make the spout and handle in advance. How do I preserve them until I need to make the cake?
Thank you


I am very new to fondant making, I tried to make fondant and also fondant flowers but after sometimes they became sticky
I made fondant without the marshmallows I made it with gelatins, glycerine and glucose syrup it wasn’t stretchy and the flowers melted
Now I am waiting for the corn syrup, to make my fondant again because I want to learn from scratch please guide

Joann Beckett

One of the best teachers on the internet is Chef Alan Tetreault. I stumbled across one of his tutorials a year ago as a fairly new cake decorator and he is my one and only mentor now. I spent far too much time trying to absorb so much from so, so many tutorials on the net that it resulted in confusion, disappointment, misguidings….not that I don’t appreciate people sharing their knowledge – I do but there is so much out there. Chef Alan is my “to go” mentor, he is so articulate not only in his profession but most importantly as a ” teacher” in the field of caking, he is second to none! Head on over to one of his tutorials…’ll be hooked!


Hello, I have been making flowers with gum paste and the leaves and petals tend to whilter, break off or the whole flower falls apart until I only have a mass of petals. I made several at my home and several at my cake classes, but they all ended the same way. I have been told by the teacher that it could be due to the fact I live across the road from the ocean (Australia) . Could this be the cause? If so, how do I prevent it from happening? I’m finding it very disheartening to have my flower creations fall in a mass of petals or simply just split in half. Many thanks in advance. Marie


I live in cental Florida and make gumpaste flowers just for the fun of it .I make my own gumpaste and my husband blends the colors I need into the gumpaste while watching football. I let my flowers dry a few days befor storing in zip lock bags . They never wilt or break .The only problem I have it what to do with them …I am teaching my self to make gumpaste dolls compleat with clothes This is my recipe.4 egg whites beaten till foamy.slowly add ..6 cups powder sugar ,when it’s all mixed in I add a 1/4 cup tylose powder.mix quickly as it hardens quickly plus I use a Kitchen Aid counter mixer..I lightly greese his (lol) hands with crisco and it come out beautiful …I hope I helped you a Little….


making a poker table cake and want to make poker chips in advance – can I do this 2 weeks in advance?


I have a bucket of white icing and decor paste from Callebaut, tightly closed and kept in a cool basement. Expiry date 2012. The icing is still soft enough to roll out, and smells sweet as should. Is it still ok to use? I know some stuff keeps forever, but expiry dates is a business. Thanks for your advice!


What can save a gun paste that put in the freezer and transfer to sir con room, will the figure okay ?


So a lot of people are saying build your cake on site with the gum paste flowers, I have a cake that a customer will be transporting about two hours. I was going to freeze the cake since it’s covered in buttercream can I assemble before hand?


Hiya – I tried to make some roses over the weekend using fondant icing (ready to roll) and as they dried out they started to crack and break apart. How could I store them so they stay perfect and ready for a cake that I need to make in a couple of weeks?


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