I decided to try another cake lace DIY recipe recently because I was curious about the unbreakable gel recipe and whether it could be adapted for lace.
This one was pretty easy, and it didn’t involve dealing with gelatin, which I really, really don’t like!
This article contains affiliate links that will pay me a small commission if the links are used to purchase something, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, click here.
Most cake lace recipes contain gelatin, but I don’t like messing with that. This recipe avoids gelatin entirely.
The unbreakable gel recipe isn’t really 100% unbreakable, but it’s definitely pretty flexible and strong.
I had one person a while back tell me that she made some of it and was actually able to knit with it, so I was impressed by that!
I decided to make some to see if a thicker texture would be spreadable enough to put in one of the lace mats that make the thin lace.
Basic recipe to start with.
I started with the unbreakable gel recipe, then I altered it to use for cake lace using the explanation that follows this:
Unbreakable gel recipe
- 1/4 cup Marshmallow fluff
- 1 tsp Tylose
- 1/4 cup Boiling water
- Put the fluff and the tylose in a dish and stir it with a fork.
- Add the water in 1 Tbsp at a time and mix it so that it all combines evenly.
- When it gets to a piping consistency that you’re comfortable with, pipe it into the shapes that you want, using waxed paper that’s been coated with a thin layer of crisco.
- Let it set up for a day before you mess with it. It won’t look like it will dry out, but after a day or so it will be like a stringy rubber, and it will just continue to firm up.
What do different ingredients do?
Now here’s what’s in marshmallow fluff:
So we have corn syrup, sugar, water, then small amounts of egg white, cream of tartar, xantham gum and flavorings.
Here’s what the key ingredients do in a nutshell:
- Sugar–Flavor and sweetness.
- Corn Syrup- Keeps the sugar from crystallizing as quickly and acts as a softener.
- Egg white- Structure and texture.
- Cream of Tartar- An acid that keeps sugar from crystallizing as quickly.
- Xantham Gum– Provides texture.
So basically, we know that this stuff is marshmallowy, but the proportions of corn syrup and sugar are also high enough that it stays sticky and semi-spreadable.
How to make marshmallow fluff into cake lace.
Since the cake lace is basically just stiff marshmallow fluff, you need to make it harder, so to speak.
To make it stiffen up and set up, we need to increase the amount of gums in it, so that’s why the tylose (a plant gum) in the unbreakable gel recipe works.
The water in the recipe will then thin it out and make it workable.
When the water evaporates and the mixture dries, what’s left will be the fluff with the tylose, which should still be marshmallowy but more solid because of having more tylose in it.
So I mixed up the unbreakable gel recipe, but I didn’t use all the water.
I just stirred it enough to make it spreadable, about the consistency of thick sour cream. It was a little lumpy, but that’s okay.
I let it sit for 24 hours, and since it’s really dry here as I’m writing this, it had dried out enough to remove it from the molds.
It came out with a tiny bit of effort, so I worked carefully to try not to stretch it.
I also put some in a feather mold to see if it would work, and it did set up fine in that, and had the imprint of the mold in it. So it could be used in thicker molds, but it will need to dry longer.
Note, and this is important…this recipe is highly dependent on how humid it is! Two weeks after I made it. it’s still flexible, but it gets stiffer and softer depending on whether it’s raining or not. So always do a test run before you need to use it! 🙂
I was able to wrap it around a cake tier, and it keeps its shape enough that it could wrap around the top and still stand up.
So this recipe worked really well…I would be careful to put it on the cake fairly close to the time that it will be delivered, though, because it will continue to dry out and it could shrink.
And if it’s really humid, it might take a lot longer to dry, and it might sag if it absorbs moisture from the air, so experiment with it for the conditions where you are!
The good thing about it was how fast it was to make, and how it doesn’t involve any gelatin, or any kind of cooking, other than heating the water!