Category: Cake Decorations
Pressed Sugar Decorations
Creating edible sugar decorations for cakes and cupcakes is a simple way to dress up a cake with very little work and very little cost.
Whether you use colored sugar or plain white sugar, your cakes will love these pressed decorations — and all you need is sugar, water, and a variety of cutters. And this project is simple enough that kids will love joining in on the messy fun.
Pressed Sugar Decorations Supplies
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. water
- Large pinch of meringue powder (completely optional)
- Parchment paper or wax paper
- Cookie cutters, fondant cutters, candy molds, or general household items (i.e., glassware) for cutting sugar shapes.
About the meringue powder: it really is optional. Meringue powder makes the hard sugar decorations stronger, but unless you plan on making scads of decorations and storing them (or making intricate candy mold decorations that require additional handling because you wish to decorate them with icing), don’t worry about the meringue.
About the cutters: Fondant or cookie cutters and candy molds are the most convenient items to create sugar decorations. However, I’ve also used bottle caps, glassware (the rim of a champagne flute is a perfect cutter), measuring spoons, and just about anything in my kitchen that I thought would make an interesting shape.
Step-by-Step instructions for Sugar Cake Decorations
Place sugar, water, and meringue (if used) in a bowl. Mix with finger until consistency is like damp sand. The sugar should clump together and hold an impression.
Pat down sugar.
Place a pile of sugar on the parchment paper and pat it down to the thickness you want the decoration to be. You can use just your fingers, but I like using the flat side of a bottle cap (see picture).
Place cutter in sugar.
Place your cutter of choice in the sugar and press down.
Slide cutter across table.
Keep cutter flat on parchment paper and carefully slide it away from the patted down sugar.
Carefully lift cutter away from sugar (lifting straight up). If the sugar remains in the cutter, lower the cutter to barely above the parchment paper and lightly tap the side of the cutter until the sugar shape falls out.
Within 10-15 minutes you can handle the hard sugar decorations, but allow them to dry for at least an hour before attaching them to a cake (attach pieces by placing a small amount of frosting on the back of the decoration and pressing it into the cake).
How to Use Candy Molds to Make Sugar Decorations
Using candy molds for sugar decorations.
- Press sugar mixture into candy mold.
- Scrape off excess with flat straight edge (e.g., the back of a knife, or, as in the picture, the edge of a shish kabob skewer).
- Carefully turn mold over. If sugar mixture doesn’t fall out, gently tap mold.
- Decorate with colored icing.