Mexican Modeling Paste for Fine Flowers

Mexican paste is great for making fine flower petals. It has a generous drying time, dries hard and is humidity resistant once dry. It’s fast to make, cheap, super reliable and lets me roll paper thin petals for flowers.


6 tsp cmc or tylose powder (28g)
500g pure icing sugar, sifted
70g hot water
4 tsp copha, crisco, snow cream, or other solid vegetable fat (25g)
2 rounded tsp corn syrup or glucose (20g)
1 tsp cream of tartar (5g)
A drop of vanilla


  1. Wipe over bowl and spatula with a small amount of fat, sift in dry ingredients.
  2. Melt the remaining fat
  3. Measure syrup and hot water.
  4. Add melted fat and vanilla to the liquids, pour the liquids into the dry mix, stir well.
  5. Lightly grease your bench and hands and briefly knead the icing (This is easier with gloves).
  6. Place in a zip lock bag, rest for an hour, knead, rest for another ten minutes, and the paste is ready to use.

Mexican paste has a long working time and still sets fast enough to make great flowers. Fine petals will go leathery and firm up after half an hour. (Depending on weather). Once dry, the paste is strong and sets like porcelain, not at all flexible when dry. It holds up to humidity extremely well. And it rolls very very thinly. I vacuum seal the paste in small lots and freeze them so I have it as I need it. When it defrosts it’s very sticky but comes together again beautifully after a quick knead.

I make super brightly colored Mexican paste by weighing the color and the water together to make up the total weight of the water.

Recipe by Robert Harwood of Robert’s Cakes & Cooking