Using CMC/Tylo/Tylose to harden up sugarpaste

Using CMC/Tylo/Tylose to harden up sugarpaste

15th Jun 2022

Tylo/Tylose Powder and CMC (Carboxymethycellulose) are essentially the same thing. Tylo/Tylose powder are more brand names, and CMC is their main ingredient. You may see both names floating around the world of cake decorating and modelling. When combined with sugarpaste or fondant it speeds up the drying process and makes the paste stronger and harden quicker. It’s great to use when you need a sugarpaste piece urgently and can’t wait for it to dry, or if you need something to hold a bit of weight not to lose shape.

How to use Tylo / Tylose Powder and CMC (Carboxymethycellulose)

We would recommend around 1 teaspoon for every 500 grams of fondant. You will have to knead it well or it won’t do its job properly. Once added you will be working with something firmer and more similar to modelling paste and not just sugarpaste.

If it’s your first time adding CMC to sugarpaste, experiment! Add little bits in at a time to get to your desired consistency. Wait and see how long it takes to dry, it may be too little or two much for what you’re aiming for. Every sugarpaste is different too, some may be a little bit softer than others. So, you’re really better off having a little practice run before adding a load in and it not ending up the way you wish.

So, how do you know its working? The paste change consistency. It will not be as soft and will be harder to knead. If it has dried too much it may crack as you’re modelling it or be too hard and dry to work with. If your sugarpaste bends too easily you may need to add another pinch. What you could do is weigh out your sugarpaste and the CMC that you’re adding each time, so you have an idea of what works for your desired outcome for next time.

Just remember if you’ve always worked with sugarpaste and it’s your first time using CMC, you will have to work faster as it dries quicker. So have your ideas fresh in the mind so you know what you’re working towards.

WARNING Don’t cover cakes with sugarpaste that’s combined with CMC. It will be hard and won’t be edible and you may have to take a trip to the dentist.

HANDY HINT You can also make your own edible glue by adding water. Usually around 1 CMC : 30 Water and leave in a container overnight.

Gum Tragacanth

Gum tragacanth is a natural version CMC and takes a lot longer to activate. Ideally, you need to leave your combined sugarpaste and Gum Tragacanth overnight and then it will act the same as CMC and result in a firmer paste similar to modelling/flower paste.

We would recommend 1 teaspoon Gum Trag for every 250g sugarpaste. Knead it into your sugarpaste, leave overnight and your ready to go! Of course, Gum Trag takes a lot longer to activate than CMC so it will be more trial and error, but practice makes perfect!