The Most Elegant Cakes Are Covered in Edible Lace; Here's How to Get That Look

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Don't reserve lace just for wedding dresses and doilies: The edible kind will make your cakes look classic, elegant and oh so beautiful. There are three simple techniques for decorating your cakes with edible lace; try them all and see which one best suits your baking style.

1. Brush embroidery

This approach gives your cakes a gorgeous texture and feel, whether you're copying a pattern or creating your own. All you need in the way of supplies is some royal icing , a piping bag and a paintbrush from a local crafts store.

While you're at the store, browse the lace-fabric section if you don't already have a specific look in mind. You'll find tons of patterns there, from traditional flowers and blossoms to modern scrolls and designs.

Tips and tactics

  • Use a flat, angled brush. It will create a beautiful texture as it cuts through and drags the icing, without flattening and spreading it out.
  • Don't be afraid to create your own mesh-style netting with royal icing. Laying down lines of piped royal to fill in a bit of open space is a cinch.
  • Practice on a small square of dried fondant if you're unsure or want to experiment. 

2. Appliqué

Using a mold is the most common way to add lace designs to a cake. It's also the best way to capture all the fine threads of a pattern. The key to this technique is getting the consistency of the sugar paste just right — not too thick or thin.

Tips and tactics

  • Use a pasta roller (dedicated to sugar work only) and roll your paste evenly to the third-to-thinnest setting. This can be different depending on the brand of roller. For example, if the largest setting is 9, roll the sugar paste down to 3.
  • To fit the paste into the mold more easily, use a similarly shaped petal or shape cutter before you put it into the mold. You'll avoid drying out any excess sugar paste.
  • Tuck the edges into the mold with modeling tools for a neater look. The tools will also press the paste in so it can pick up the mold's pattern.
  • Luster dust brings out the fine details in the threads. For a simple yet sophisticated look try plain pearl luster.

3. Edible lace mixture

This is the most popular method. The mixture is spread onto a very shallow lace mold and allowed to dry, creating flexible pieces of realistic-looking lace. Even better, you can store the lace pieces in an airtight container for six months, and they'll still be perfectly pliable (and edible!).

Tips and tactics

  • Don't rush. You need the lace to dry thoroughly in the mold before removing. Otherwise, you'll tear it.
  • Add gel color during the mixing process if your lace needs a special hue. Just remember gel colors are highly concentrated, so place just a tiny bit of it on the tip of a toothpick and dab it into the mixture until it's close to your desired shade. Why close? Because once dry, the lace will be a little darker than it looked when wet.

You can also make your own cake lace, which may be tastier and less pricey than buying a mix. Plus, it's always fun to experiment, right?

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The Most Elegant Cakes Are Covered in Edible Lace; Here's How to Get That Look