Have you seen those stunning cakes adorned with lace as delicate as can be? I know, they look amazing. But you and I could never do that, right? WRONG! Let me show you how to make your own edible sugar lace and how to apply it to your cake. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be wow-ing everyone with your sugar lace creations!
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To be completely honest, I had never even thought about how cake artists pulled off that lace aesthetic until it became the next project with Sweet Arts Guild. There are multiple ways to make the sugar lace paste. Some include meringue powder, but this one is vegan.
I found this recipe on Veena Azmanov’s websiteand it was recommended to me by several members of the Guild. She’s got a helpful video, though I found her recipe needed some tweaking and re-writing. The sugar lace gets it firmness and elasticity from tylose powder and a bit of corn syrup.
Not at all! Kind of… It is completely possible to buy dry sugar lace mix or even pre-made paste. I almost went with a cheap packet from Sugar Veil, but my fellow cakers in the Guild said it was very difficult to work with. Instead they recommended Claire Bowman Cake Lace and Sugar Dress by Martellato.
These high quality mixes run about $20+ a pop and I just did not want to spend that much. With the homemade recipe, I only had to buy tylose powder. That ended up being $5 because I used a 50% off coupon at Michaels (I <3 Michaels). I’m tempted to try these mixes and compare the difference! They look like they’d be more flexible and last longer.
The first thing to keep in mind is you want a thick paste when you apply it to your mat. It will dry quicker and be stronger. That means that this recipe takes a little bit of elbow grease to stir that thick paste.
Once you have the paste, you’ll add hot water a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick, but spreadable consistency. I ended up adding over 10 teaspoons. The brand of tylose you use can affect how much you’ll need to add.
A little bit of the paste will go a long way. Working in small sections, take a dollop of paste and smooth it back and forth while pressing down with the spatula. You want to get the paste into every nook and cranny of the mat. Work the spatula in multiple directions to get all of those details filled in.
Once the mat is completely filled in, use your bench scraper to scrape off the excess. You might notice gaps after scraping. Simply fill them in and scrape off the excess again. Try not to scrape more than necessary though! You could end up pulling the lace out of the mat. After the mat is completely filled in and all of the excess is gone, it’s time to dry.
You can either let the sugar lace dry in the oven or air dry overnight. I placed mine in the oven at 170℉ (lowest setting) for 7 minutes. You don’t want to over bake it or the lace will become brittle. The center of my mat was still tacky, so I let it air dry for 2 hours. After this cake, I tried making lace by letting it air dry over night. It was a dry, brittle mess. If you air dry, keep an eye on it, because this will dry out quickly.
Once the lace is dry, flip the mat over onto a silicone mat or a large piece of parchment paper. Begin peeling the edge of the lace out of the mat. Try to pull the mat away from the lace and not the lace away from the mat. If any of the finer details get stuck, gently use a toothpick to loosen the lace off of the mat.
This isn’t too tricky, but it will take a bit of practice. Brush a thin layer of clear piping gel (or edible adhesive) onto your chilled cake. Carefully place the lace onto the gel, making sure that the bottom lines up with the bottom of the cake. Work in small sections, supporting the lace with your free hand.
If you find any areas need more gel, go back and carefully apply more behind the lace. Once the sugar lace comes into contact with the piping gel, it will become quite delicate and you will not be able to adjust it much. If you need to press the lace onto the cake, use the end of the paint brush.
Filling in the Gap
It is very likely that your sugar lace will not completely wrap around the cake. To fill this in, you will need to trim a second piece of lace to fit. Measure the gap first. Then look at the pattern of the lace. Trim the sugar lace so that the pattern matches. It’s better to leave it a little long because you can always trim more once it’s on the cake.
You may also find that the bottom of your lace didn’t go on perfectly. If you want to hide any gaps there, I suggest adding a border of fondant pearls. I used this trick to hide gaps in my fondant ruffles. But this is not necessary.
Caking Made Easy
Baking and decorating cakes is a blast, but it’s not exactly a stress free activity. So let’s take some of the pain out of it! In my free Resource Library, you’ll find a bunch of tools to help you with your next cake. Some of these goodies are a cake prep list, bake time chart, and a sample cake template.
This is a beautiful cake decorating technique and I really think you should try it. If you’re like me, this looks pretty intimidating. How could I possibly pull off something so delicate and fine?! Well, you won’t if you never try.
I can’t stop saying it, but I’ve been blown away with the cake techniques I’ve tried since joining Sweet Arts Guild. Nearly all of these cakes were styles that I never would have tried in a million years. But with a little bit of research, I’ve managed to broaden my knowledge and gain new skills. Don’t let fear hold you back.
Hi there! I’m Colleen, a novice baker with a passion for learning and improving my bakes… and blunders. On Bakes and Blunders, you can find all sorts of tasty recipes that range in difficulty, but most importantly, I’ll try to explain the reason behind important steps. If you know why a recipe works, you can tweak and adapt it to suit your unique tastes, and you’ll be able to reliably produce some very delicious treats. If you love baking and want to expand and grow your skills, or if you are a casual baker and just need some pointers, my blog is right up your alley! Join me on my baking journey and we’ll learn how to make more impressive recipes together.