If you love to decorate your cakes with fondant and decorations, the chances are you need to use edible glue to fix things into place. When I bake at home, I like to make fondant flowers to create ornate sprays across my cakes, especially at Christmas time when I want my creations to look spectacular. Perhaps you make wedding cakes for family and friends, in which case, like me, you need to find a way of securing those cake decorations.
Decorating cakes is an art form in itself and takes a lot of practice and technical wizardry to learn. However, if you don’t make your flowers or decorations, you may purchase them from stores to make your life easier. Unfortunately, you still need to find a satisfactory way of sticking them to your cake!
What Is Edible Glue?
My ambitions always seem to exceed my abilities when it comes to cake decoration. I start with good intentions and often fall flat on my face. However, I love to try, and I immensely enjoyed the process, but it wasn’t until I discovered the joys of edible glue that my cake decorating attempts improved.
Edible glue remains the best method for building fondant decorations and holding them together. For instance, if you make fondant roses, you need edible glue to stick the petals together and fix the flower to the cake.
The main ingredient to the sticky miracle usually consists of Tylose powder. Tylose powder remains an essential ingredient in sugar crafts that you may find in modeling paste used to create figurines and flower decorations. You may see it referred to as CMC, which stands for Carboxymethylcellulose, and it stabilizes the glue or fondant and gives it flexibility and sticking power.
What Is Edible Glue Made Of?
You can purchase edible glue from various retailers, though it remains comparatively expensive, especially if you make many cakes. However, with a bit of know-how, you may easily make it yourself, and in the long term, it’s more cost-effective.
You need a tub of Tylose powder, a saucepan, boiling water, a plastic bottle, and a funnel.
Edible Glue Recipe
How to Make Edible Glue: Step 1
Boil 300 milliliters of water in a saucepan and once you achieve boiling point, take it off the heat and set it aside to cool.
How to Make Edible Glue: Step 2
Measure 200 milliliters of the boiled water and pour it into the plastic bottle. Add a teaspoon of Tylose powder to the bottle and use the bottle lid to close the vessel tightly.
How to Make Edible Glue: Step 3
Pretend you have a maraca in your hand and shake the bottle vigorously until the powder dissolves in the boiled water. Leave the mixture to stand overnight, and the next day you may see a thick glutinous liquid suitable for using as edible glue.
The process is alarmingly easy and allows you to make the quantities you need when you need them. Furthermore, if the consistency seems too thin, leave the bottle open and allow some moisture to evaporate to make a thicker glue.
However, not everyone wants to use chemicals in their cake making.
Alternatives of the Edible Glue Recipe
However, if you do not fancy the previous recipe, give the next three alternatives a try.
Tylose Alternatives of Edible Glue
Tylose powder may feel a little chemical to your tastes. The idea of adding something that sounds like it’s out of a laboratory to your cakes may seem alarming. However, you may use some clever and simple alternatives to make excellent edible glues.
Edible Glue Recipe Without Tylose Powder
The process remains straightforward, and you may have the ingredients in your store cupboard. You need white sugar, water, a pan, spoons, a plastic bottle, and a funnel.
Edible Glue Recipe: Step 1
Add one cup of white sugar to a pan and mix them together using a spoon.
Edible Glue Recipe: Step 2
Turn the stove on and let the water boil until the sugar dissolves completely. Please take care during this step as the mixture reaches extremely high heat, and hot melted sugar causes severe burns if it splashes onto your skin.
Edible Glue Recipe: Step 3
Once the sugar and water, and sugar mixture reach boiling point, turn the heat down to a simmer and let it bubble away for five minutes.
Edible Glue Recipe: Step 4
Turn off the heat and let the homemade glue cool down. The substance should form a sticky glue consistency, and you may use it directly from the pan or pour it into a storage bottle using a funnel.
The title may not sound attractive, but gunge glue provides a quick fix when you run out of edible glue. It consists of a bit of sugar paste mashed up with a few drops of cooled boiled water to create a tacky consistency. You can water down the mixture further by adding more cooled boiled water. However, sugar paste contains Tylose powder, so please bear that in mind if you make gunge glue.
Gum arabic is a mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins, which give it the properties of glue and binders. It is used as an emulsifier and as a thickening agent in icing and cake fillings. You may commonly find the ingredient in chewing gum.
Mix 2 teaspoons of gum Arabic with 60ml water to create edible glue. Store the mixture in a jar in the fridge, and it remains usable for several weeks.
How Long Does Edible Glue Take to Dry?
Using edible glue takes time and patience. The trick derives from using the glue sparingly and only on one side of the project. Don’t apply the edible glue to both surfaces because it may slide down the surface of your cake. And if you intend to stick larger decorations to the side of a cake, you may wish to use stronger glue, such as royal icing, which has a thicker consistency.
If you want to glue the petals of a flower together, edible glue is ideal. Apply the glue to the petal and hold the petal in place for a few moments to allow it to set up. Once you complete the flower, you need to place it aside to dry overnight.
When it comes to attaching the decorations to the surface of the cake, the edible glue proves ideal for the top of the cake as the decorations won’t slide down the face of the cake. However, allow the decorated cake to dry overnight before moving it to ensure the pieces are glued into place.
Lighter-weight decorative items may stick to the side of the cake using edible glue. Apply the glue to one surface only and hold it in place for a few moments until it takes. You may need to leave the piece overnight to dry thoroughly. Alternatively, for heavier components, use royal icing or gunge paste to fix them into place.
How to Use the Edible Glue?
All glues have specific properties and use. You wouldn’t use wood glue to fix a tile into position, for instance, and the same goes for edible glues. Each type performs a function, and you may find one type of glue more suited to your purpose than others.
1. How to Use Glue Made from Tylose Powder
Edible glues made from Tylose powder or CMC prove ideal for gluing sugar flowers together and making and gluing figurines. However, this type of glue may leave white sugar stains on your cake when dry.
If you want to glue decorations to the side of the cake, ensure you use it sparingly and don’t let it run down the side of the cake because it stains the icing surface and leaves a sugar trail you cannot remove. Glue made from Tylose or CMC is ideal for use in areas you can’t see.
If you work with fondant, you need Tylose powder because it makes the fondant stable and usable. You can use the fondant gunge glue method to create glue suitable for fixing decorations in visible areas because it is thicker in consistency and shouldn’t run.
2. How to Use Sugar Glue
Sugar glue is a superb universal glue. It’s excellent for bonding large areas, such as gluing a fondant blanket to your cake. Due to the runny nature of the sugar glue, you must use it sparingly and paint it on one side rather than the item and surface you intend to glue it to.
Like the Tylose glue, you need to hold parts together for a few minutes to allow the glue to take. Consequently, this type of glue is better suited to large-area applications rather than fine detail.
Royal icing remains the preferred method for gluing decorations to the side of a cake because it sets up quickly and forms a strong bond. As with all methods of using edible glue, you must hold the decorations in place for a few minutes to allow it to set and avoid touching the decoration until it has time to dry overnight.
3. How to Use Water as Glue
Some tutorials and cake decorating books recommend using water as edible glue. Sometimes the trick works, but it depends on the items you wish to glue.
If you work with fondant to make flowers, you may use water sparingly to apply to a petal before pressing it into place. The waterworks effectively for making fondant flowers because you tend to squeeze and pinch the petals together around a sturdy core. However, you can’t stick the flower to the cake using water.
Water is runny by nature. If the water runs down the surface of your cake, it leaves a watermark that you can’t remove. Plus, the application to some decorations may result in the decoration dissolving in your hands!
I often use a technique called cake lace, which uses a thin edible molding solution in a silicone mold to create intricate, decorative edible lace. The instructions tell me to use water to glue the cake lace to the cake, but I found it dissolved almost instantly. Consequently, I use Tylose powder edible glue to attach cake lace to my creations and achieve far better results.
When to Use Edible Glue and its Alternatives:
- If you want to glue fondant flowers together, or make figurines, use Tylose powder edible glue.
- To glue sheets of fondant to a cake, use sugar glue.
- When it comes to attaching your decorations to the side of a cake and the top, use royal icing in a piping bag.
- If you don’t have edible glue at hand and don’t have the time to make sugar glue, try using the gunge paste method and make instant glue to your preferred consistency. The adhesive works well for making sticking flowers and figurines together, and you may also glue decorations to the side of a cake using gunge glue.
Final Thoughts About Edible Glue
Decorations on a cake take your creations to the next level. Home baking remains a joy to many of us, especially during the pandemic, but elevating it to something spectacular needn’t prove too difficult.
You may purchase ready-made sugar-paste flowers to glue to your cake. A wide variety of molds exist to make your life simpler, and you may easily make quick decorations using the molds, fondant, or sugar paste. However, gluing them onto your cake remains essential, and edible glue provides the answer.
You may make a simple sugar glue that proves ideal for attaching large sheets of fondant to your cake. You may also use it for gluing flower petals and figurines together. Edible glue made from Tylose powder helps create fine detail when making figurines and flowers but may not glue them to the sides of your cake in a satisfactory manner.
Use a batch of royal icing in a piping bag to glue larger decorations to your cake. The royal icing sets rock hard and forms a lasting bond when decorating your cakes.
Above all, enjoy the process. Whether you make spectacular floral displays or comical figurines, the making process remains a pleasure. It’s so satisfying to see the look on everyone’s faces when they see a beautifully decorated cake, especially when you make it yourself!
Do you have experience using edible glue? Why not share your favorite recipes with us by commenting in the space below.