Bettys Cake Decorating Guide

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  Home :: techniques & tips :: How to Store Sugarpaste

How to Store Sugarpaste

Quite how you store sugarpaste will depend a little on whether you are wishing to keep a portion of unused product or needing to preserve items you have created using sugarpaste. The biggest enemies in either case are moisture, heat and sunlight.

Storing leftover, unused sugarpaste

If you buy your sugarpaste in larger portions you may find that not all of it is needed for your current project. If unused sugarpaste is stored correctly then it can keep for many months meaning you don't have to waste anything and it it there, on hand, for when you wish to begin your next creation. It doesn't matter whether or not you have coloured the sugarpaste – it will store in the same way.

Place any leftover sugarpaste in a good quality freezer or zip lock bag and then put into an airtight container. Store the container in a cool and dry environment away from sunlight – too much warmth may create an unwanted humid environment inside certain containers. Avoid cheap freezer bags which will often allow some air leakage, as will containers that don't seal properly. Some users of sugarpaste recommend storing the leftovers in cling-film however, cling film 'sweats'  thus creating moisture – the very thing you wish to avoid. Sugar is a humectant which means any warm air moisture will be attracted to it. Should your storage be non-airtight or 'breath' then you will return to your sugarpaste to find it crusty, cracked and past saving.

Fridges are not a good place to store sugarpaste because they are in themselves a moisture creating environment however you can freeze unused sugarpaste.

Be aware that home-made sugarpaste can be stored in the same way as described above but it won't keep for as long as ready made packs.

Storing finished items made with sugarpaste

If you have used sugarpaste to make figurines and flowers, they can be stored in the same way as described under the previous section. Alternatively, you can place your creations in a covered, cardboard box, using kitchen towel or bubble wrap to protect them from knocks and damage and then place the box somewhere cool and dry and away from sunlight.

Whichever you choose,  the same principles apply as to unused sugarpaste – you will want to try and avoid moisture and heat and allow any creations to 'set' (or as much as they are going to as sugarpaste never completely hardens) before placing them in storage.

Getting it right matters for completed creations or those in progress even more than for leftover sugarpaste. In the latter you have only wasted a bit of money, in the former, you have wasted your time and it can be heartbreaking to see your achievements ruined.

Completed sugarpaste flowers and figurines can be stored almost indefinitely if they are kept airtight, dry and cool. Again, the fridge is not the place for storage as the moisture levels will droop and collapse your creations and coloured sugarpaste may bleed.

If you are using sugarpaste to cover a cake then your storage will be a little different. Place your finished cake in a cardboard box with a cover and keep it somewhere cool and dry. You can store your cake in this way for up to five days.

It is possible to freeze a cake covered with sugarpaste for up to two months but you may encounter problems when it comes to defrosting. Condensation from the thawing process can leave permanent marks on your icing. If you can minimise the temperature variations by placing the cake to thaw somewhere quite cold then it may help. Alternatively, some sugarpaste users advise keeping the cake in its freezer storage wrapping until defrosted so that the moisture which accumulates, forms on the wrapping rather than the cake. Furthermore, it would appear that some brands of ready-made sugarpaste take to freeze/defrost better than others.