Wilton Method Course 4: Advanced Gum Paste Flowers

January 13th, 2012 by Catherine Franczyk

It’s been an exciting year for Wilton Method™ course development. We’ve been listening to you and talking to students who have enjoyed taking our classes. We’ve heard back that you would love more advanced classes – the right next step to expanding and building upon your wonderful decorating skills.

Advanced Gum Paste Flowers Course Kit So in February of 2012 we will begin teaching our newest course, Course 4: Advanced Gum Paste Flowers. It’s a wonderful four-week, one-day-a-week, class that will help you learn to create life-like gum paste flowers and decorations.

Our Ready-To-Use Gum Paste is a wonderful icing medium that is pliable and has an amazing structure that allows you, the decorator, to create beautiful blooms that can be shaped into bouquets and flower sprays that can grace the top of many celebration cakes. Plus, you can count on the precise high quality of our gum paste flower cutters, ejectors and impression mats to help you achieve exquisite petals and leaves that rival nature.

Each week you will create petals and leaves and then build them into beautiful flowers like the Gerbera Daisy, Star Gazer Lily, Sweet Peas and so many more. This four-week course will give you the confidence to create cakes like the experts. Your friends and family will be amazed at the cakes you will learn to create.

We invite you to come discover our new course and have a great time sharing the excitement of decorating with other students and newfound friends. Our Wilton Method Instructors will help guide you through the learning process with step-by-step instruction and hands-on guidance.

We’re celebrating the launch of Advanced Gum Paste Flowers with a sweepstakes! Enter to win a $50 gift card to register for ANY Wilton Method Class, plus your choice of $100 in Wilton products. Please see our contest page and rules for details.

To learn more about all the Wilton Method courses, please visit our website. Use our handy class locator to find a class in your area within the U.S or Canada.

Catherine Franczyk Catherine’s career spans over 30 years at Wilton. She currently serves as Director of Product Development-Cake Decorating. Catherine’s expertise in solving process problems has served her well in her collaboration with the Wilton curriculum work group. In her spare time Catherine has participated in personal leadership development and women's studies that span world religions and ancient civilizations. She cooks, bakes, decorates and gardens, reads and is Landscape Director for her Town Home Association.

57 Replies

  1. I visited Canada (Nova Scotia) on three occasions and actually started on your starters courses with the icing run outs etc. I got so involved with it and actually carried on in UK. I take two courses a week, the first is Royal Icing with Eddie Spence MBE. I have been with him for two years now, I also do a course in sugar craft (flowers etc). I have wanted to order certain things from Wilton but dont get any joy in being able to purchase any of the things needed for your teaching classes. I am saddened by this as I want to carry on doing this in UK. Can you help me please to find the necessary website to enable me to make my purchases and tutorials this side of the hemisphere. Thank you and awaiting for reply

    • madeitwithlove says:

      Hi Connie

      I have the same problem too, but there are several Wilton tutors in the UK. There are tutors in Kent, London, Cambridge and I think also in Bath.
      I can’t attend any of them because they’re too far away. If you e.mail Wilton they will give a list of areas. There is an e bay trader in Yorkshire who does sell some Wilton products, I think the name is Gaiety girl. Sorry can’t be more helpful. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

  2. Jaime says:

    I would love to have a class on tiered cakes. That is the biggest thing I have trouble with and would LOVE to have a Wilton course instructor show me!

    • Iisha says:

      @Jamie, Wilton offers a Tall Cakes project class that teaches stacked and tiered cake construction.

    • Christy says:

      I would also love to have a tiered cake class.

    • Jamie I agree with you this is one class I found LOVE to do. I don’t think that Wilton would have a problem adding this feature as another module.
      We await their response to this request.

      • Cathy Franczyk says:

        Hello Augustine &

        Your valuable insights are always informing our work and I appreicate that you have taken the time to let us know. I can’t promise that we’ll have a tierred cake class any time soon, but I know that we could provide you wonderful content and we will certainly keep this in mind. We are always working on our new curriculum offerings. Happy Decorating!


  3. Eva says:

    Does any one know were to get the 4 inch form cups for the flowers. I can find the small ones everywere but the bigger ones no were.

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Eva:

      We have added the larger forming cups to our product line up and most craft stores are displaying them with the new Course 4 Advanced Flowers Kit.


    • Depending on your location, I found them in Michael’s at Columbus Avenue in New York also any Michael’s store should have this item, if not they should be able to order it for you. You can also order whatever you need online. Hope this information was helpful.

  4. Katie says:

    I just completed the basics course and I am now moving on to take this class, however I am diappointed that the Joann’s I am taking the course at is already out of the kit and book for this class. I cannot find it on amazon on on this website. If a course has 12 slots the store should be required to have 12 kits on hand. I have already paid for the course, but now I am going to be unprepared for class one since I cannot get a kit.

  5. Becky says:

    Where do I find the 4 inch former cup? I don’t find it on the Wilton website. I have asked Michael’s and they know nothing about it. I even checked with specialty cake shops. I started course 4 this coming Thursday, Feb. 2nd and don’t have it for class. My instructor said we use it the first night too!

    • Lori says:

      Good luck. We used the 3 in. Because micheal’s only brought in 3 packages. I have now finished the course and no more have come in. I went to a dollar store and bought a 4 in plastic dish and drilled a hole in it

  6. Mary Jane says:

    I want to enroll on this course but i dont know where the location of the class to be held….thanks

  7. shainaz says:

    Please let me know what I should take to the first class for wilton gum paste course 4

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Shainaz:

      For the first night of the Course 4 – Advanced Gum Paste Flowers you will need:

      Course 4 Advanced Gum Paste Flowers Kit
      Ready to Use Gum Paste – 1 package
      Neon Colors Color Fondant Multi Pack
      Large 4″ Flower Forming Cups
      Flower Drying Rack
      Tools from our 10 Pc Gum Paste Fondant Tool Set
      9″ Tapered Spatula
      9″ Fondant Rolling Pin
      Decorator Brush
      From your kitchen: Small Scissors,
      White Vegetable Shortening, Damp Cloth, Paper Napkins, Small Plastic Cup (about 8 oz size)
      One Quart Food Storage Bags (zip top)

      Enjoy your class!

  8. Linda says:

    I would love to take the course 4 Advanced Gum Paste Flowers here in Kansas.

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Linda:

      You can find class locations on our website, click classes and you will be prompted. We do recommend that you take Course 1 Decorating Basics as your foundation for learning cake decorating. You may already have taken this class, I just want to make sure you have a good foundation as you prepare to take this advanced course. All the best in cake decorating.


  9. melisse Mitchell says:

    i love you products. how do you smooth out butercream frostings ?

    • Hannah says:

      In my class, our instructor showed us to let the icing crust slightly. Take a piece of waxed paper and cover the desired area and smooth lightly with your finger. It is amazing what it will do.
      Good luck,
      Hannah in Ansonia, Ohio

    • Diane says:

      I agree with the waxed paper. I was trying to get the buttecream smooth on a cake, did not have any parchment or viva towels, So I tried the wax paper. It works the best and you can see what you are doing through the wax paper. I wish I had found this idea before I took my cake dec classes. I spent hours trying to get the buttercream smooth.

      BTW for anyone who loves the viva towel method; have you ever cleaned windows or a mirror with them? They leave sooooo much lint it is not funny. So that is what is going onto your cakes. You could look at it like added cellulose fiber, but again look at the chemicals used making paper…..

    • martha says:

      my instructor taught us to let the cake dry a little bit and then spray it with some water – dont soak it just spray it – then take something flat and smooth like your long pallet or smoother for fondant and smooth it with that. works great when you dont have any paper or anykind

  10. brandy says:

    is this a mandatory class now in order to be an instructor

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Melisse:

      There are several ways to smooth buttercream icing. It’s a technique that took me some time to perfect. I like using our Tip #789 the Cake Icer, with a 16″ or 18″ Featherweight bag our our 16″ Disposable Bag. It’s a great way to cover the sides and top of your cake with a generous amount of icing. Then I use the 13″ Angled Spatula to smooth the icing. Remember to keep a generous amount of icing in front of your spatula to avoid picking up crumbs in your icing. One tip that I find helpful is get the cake as smooth as you can and then heat the 13″ Angled Spatula blade under hot water, wipe it dry and then smoooth out the icing. The heat from the blade is a nice was to soften the icing and make it smooth. Another tip is to ice your cake as smooth as you can and then let the icing set dry to the touch and place a sheet of parchment paper on the surface and rub lightly with your hand. This is also a great way to smooth. You can learn these techniques in our Course 1 Decorating Basics. Have fun and remember that practice is the key to perfecting your tehniques. Cathy

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Brandy:

      Yes, our Wilton Instructors have been trained in this course. If you are interested in teaching the Wilton Method, you can contact us via our website. Good Luck and happy decorating. Cathy

  11. grethel garces says:

    I taking this class and l love…….it is fun

  12. ronda says:

    Have taken course 4 and loved it. Need more classes like that.

  13. tracey marki says:

    how much do your courses cost?

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Traci:

      It’s best to check with your local craft retailer as promotions and offers are consistently being offered. Our courses are an amazing value for the content and hands on instruction led by a Wilton Method trained instructor. All the best to you.

  14. tracey marki says:

    how much does a course cost

  15. SARA SAENZ says:

    please we need somebody come to Brawley to teach us we have to go to el centro california and is 28 miles to go and come the gas is not cheap please help us!!!!

  16. phyllis gary says:

    I wanted to take the flower making course because I already went through a professional baking course and am now a certified pastry chef. We did not spend enough time on decorating. I tried to sign up for that course at my local Michael’s in Bloomingdale, IL and was never contacted because they are trying to make me take the courses from the beginning. Any idea where I can just take the courses I want?

  17. Cathy Franczyk says:

    Hi Phyllis:

    Based on your experience, you should have no issues signing up for the Advanced Flowers Course in the craft stores. Please send me your contact information and I’ll give your info to our Class Marketing team. You can also check the classes being offered at the Wilton School of Confectionary Arts in Darien, Illinois for our upcoming class schedule. I love your desire to expand your skills. Happy Decorating!

  18. Funmi says:

    We need a tutorial class in nigeria,we want to learn from wilton.

    • OLAOYE OMOBOLA says:

      l run a wilton course here in nigeria but depends on ur locatn. Where do u reside?

      • femi says:

        My sister in law in nigeria, she based in Abuja and Jos. where are you based and where are the lesson held? She wants to start asap

  19. I attended the master course in Chicago in 2003. I would love to learn this new gum paste. Can I do the class at home here in Canada? I also want to know how do I get discount on product because I plan on having classes. I live in Thessalon, On. P0R 1L0 and we aren’t close to a large city. Do you sell a cake cricket? If you don’t where do I get one? Thanks for your help.
    Happy Easter and God bless you
    Doris Sullivan

  20. Sara says:

    I am taking the 4 courses for cake decorating at my local Michaels store in the San Francisco Bay area, where can I take the next courses?

    I know that Wilton offers many more classes but aren’t those at their head offices only? Is there anything further I can take out here for my next steps?

    Thanks so much, look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Hi Sara:

      I am thrilled you are taking our classes, they are a wonderful foundation for learning and understanding cake decorating with all the icing types: buttercream, royal icing, fondant and gum paste. Right now we have the four class series offered at retail locations. If you want to expand your cake decorating skills we do offer many classes at the Wilton School of Confectionery Art near our headquarters in Woodridge, Illinois. You can check out the classes here on our website. I know the California Cake Club is very active and you also may be able to find more classes or workshops that they might offer. Good Luck with all you do and enjoy cake decorating.


  21. Narandradath Jaikaran says:

    I will be visiting Toronto in June -July 2012. Can you recommend a training institute where i can participate in a Wilton cake decorating course, advanced please.

    Thank you.

    • Cathy Franczyk says:

      Dear Narandradath:

      So good to hear from you. The Michaels craft stores in the Toronoto area offer Wilton Method Classes. If you provide us with a location in Toronto where you will be staying I should be able to provide you wiht a store location in the area.

      All the Best

  22. julie says:

    Is kit 4. The same as gum past flower cutter set

  23. Catherine Franczyk says:

    Dear Julie:

    The Gum Paste Flowers Kit includes more Gum Paste Cutters than offered in the Course 4 Kit. If you are taking the Course 4 class and own the Gum Paste Flowers Kit, you’ll need Lily Stamens, Flower Impression Set, Florist Tape and Wire and the Shaping Foam.
    With Best Regards,

    Catherine Franczyk

  24. Elana Tung says:

    I had taken course . Can I proceed to take course 4 without taking course 2 and 3 yet?

  25. Judy Borrego says:

    I seem to have lost the briar rose petal cutter and would like to purchase a new one. I don’t see anything like that listed in your products. Is it possible to purchase this item?

  26. I’ve started course 4 Advanced Gum paste flowers and my gerbera daisy is really dry and brittle what caused this

  27. Kendra says:

    I bought c ourselves but was pretty upset that there was no guide or b ook with. I have not had this problem with the other c ourselves. Can I get a book for this c ourselves or guide. I am self taught using u our viur see ed so as ND books. I don’t have much time due to taking care my mo t her 24/7. Hope you can help. I love your poo ro d u c to. My hubby hates when I go to a craft store or just omega tablet when mom goes bed. He cringe and looks at his e as let lol.
    Thank you ahead of time any help you have.

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