Build a better gumpaste

Jennifer Atwood and Tobias Wilhelm have emerged as the country's leading Cricut Cake experts. From their blog to their demonstrations and classes, Atwood and Wilhelm provide tips and troubleshooting advice on all things Cricut Cake.

Some of the best advice they have is to start at the very beginning -- with gumpaste. They have developed their own gumpaste formula (just visit www.cuttingedgecakeart.com, and they'll share it with you) that they have found works the best for images cut in the Cricut Cake.

For this formula, Wilhelm worked with a chemist to develop the best possible CMC gum. The viscosity of CMC ranges from very high to very low, and is used in anything from milkshakes to baby diapers. "The trick is to find the sweet spot with the viscosity," Wilhelm says.

After formulating the gumpaste, it needs to sit, wrapped, for 24 hours. "Here is where many of the troubleshooting calls come in," Wilhelm says. "It basically turns to stone, and people say, 'What do I do with this? Now what?'" No worries, he says, it's supposed to be that way. Just simply cut it with heavy duty scissors. Working it through a fondant sheeter will bring it to life. Fold and rerun about 10 times, and then let it sit until it becomes soft and pliable. "The more you work it through, the more the air comes out," he says.

No fondant sheeter? Try using your reversible sheeter or even a pasta maker.

Keep up with Cutting Edge Cake Art on their blog, and keep an eye out for more Cricut Cake troubleshooting tips in the Design of the Times e-newsletter.