Cake Lace Q&A

This week we did our first LIVE Q&A session on our Facebook page. The subject this week was Cake Lace and lots of you tuned in live to pick our brains about all things edible lace.

We received a lot of interesting comments and really enjoyed the session – a huge thank you to everyone who took part and sent in some questions. If you missed the session, don’t fret, we’ve detailed all the questions and answers here.

How do you colour Cake Lace?
Cake Lace can be coloured with lustre dusts or gels. Rainbow Dust ProGels work well, but only add a small amount of gel so as not to change the consistency of the lace mixture which may prevent it from drying in the way you expect.

How long can you keep an opened tub?
As long as is stated on the Best Before date. 

What is the best way to attach Cake lace to a cake?
Original mix Cake Lace can be applied by brushing a little water onto the cake. A steamer is also a nice way to adhere a lot of lace. Pearlised Cake Lace might need a stronger bond so try edible glue with that.

Can you save made up white cake lace mix?
Yes, stored in a Tupperware container in the fridge for up to a week. After that time, put your mix into the mat and make up your lace to use on a cake at a later date rather than letting it go to waste. Made up Cake Lace will remain flexible and edible for up to a year if stored correctly. 

How can I stop my cake lace from going brittle after drying it in the oven?
Heat it for less time. You’re not cooking your lace, just speeding up the drying process. Try putting it in for less time. If it’s still tacky when you bring it out, leave it to air-dry for a while. Doing half-oven and half air-dry will speed up the drying time.

If a tub is past its sell-by-date and not suitable to go on a cake, are there any other crafts it would be useful for? Or can the lace be used with other crafts?
Absolutely! We’ve used it on canvases and paper craft. It can still also be used on dummy cakes! I’ve used acrylic paint in old Cake Lace mats (only mats that will never be used for food again). Once the paint dries, it peels off just like Cake Lace and works wonderfully for crafting!

How long can you keep the lace before using on a cake?
If stored properly it can keep for up to a year. Dust with cornflour, wrap in grease-proof paper and store in a cardboard box away from humidity.

How do I get rid of air bubbles in my mixture?
You’re heating for too long or at too high a temperature! Turn down the heat and / or cook for less time.

Is it possible to attach Cake Lace to chocolate? If so what is the best method to do this?
Yes you can. If its actual chocolate or Ganache, then just a little water will work. You can use edible glue if you want a stronger hold, or if you are applying pearlised lace. Cake Lace can also be used on buttercream, but make sure it is crusted first so it’s not affected by the moisture.

Can you airbrush lace?
Yes you can. I’d advise an ethanol / alcohol based airbrush paint like Spectrum Flow which will not saturate or ‘melt’ your lace with too much liquid. Cake Lace is essentially sugar so you don’t want to dissolve the lace by making it too wet. With an ethanol airbrush paint, the moisture evaporates almost immediately, leaving dry colour to apply onto your lace.

Can I put lace on the buttercream and I need to use something to stick it?
Yes, you can use Cake Lace on buttercream but make sure it has crusted first. If there is too much moisture, the lace will sag and wilt off the cake. We don’t advise you to store Cake Lace cakes in the fridge for the same reason.
Just a little cooled boiled water or edible glue will stick lace to buttercream.

Do you have any tips for drying silver, gold and white pearl?
Yes, of course! It’s the same as for the original mixes. You can dry in your oven at 80c or air-dry in 4-6 hours. If you’re finding the pearlised colours are going too hard, turn down the temperature in your oven and / or heat for less time. You’re not trying to cook your lace, just speed up the drying time. If the lace is still tacky when you bring it out of the oven, just leave it to air dry for a bit longer. The initial heating in the oven will have kick started the drying process.

You can also soften pearlised Cake Lace by adding a second layer on top of the first dried layer that is a 50/50 mix of pearlised Cake Lace and Original mix Cake Lace. This adds some more flexibility back to the lace if that’s the effect you’re trying to achieve.

How do you get the cake lace to dry ‘stiff’ i.e. for the 3D butterflies?
You need to use the pearlised Cake Lace mix. Any pearlised colour will dry firmer allowing you to create lace that ‘stands up’ and supports its own weight.

Can you use ordinary fondant icing with the cake lace mats?
No. The Cake Lace mats are very fine and shallow, not like traditional moulds. You’d be able to use a Cake Lace mat with sugar paste / fondant like an impression mat to get beautiful pattern but you wouldn’t get a lace pattern out of it. A 200g tub of Cake Lace will fill a mat over 20 times so it’s quite reasonable!

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