Edible and Colorful Beads for Cakes

Written by cyndi bass
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Edible and Colorful Beads for Cakes
Use edible beads as borders for a cake or draped elegantly as side decorations. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Decorating cakes with edible beads and pearls can make a simple cake look elegant. Beads may be used to decorate cupcakes or cookies. Sprinkle lustre dust on beads for a shiny gold or silver appearance. Create a lustrous pearl finish by adding white lustre dust to white beads. Edible and colourful beads for cakes are available to purchase at cake speciality stores or you can make them at home.

Fondant Beads

Fondant is the preferred ingredient to form edible beads for cakes in the baking industry. Ingredients in fondant are gelatin, water, corn syrup, glycerine and confectioners sugar. Fondant beads are formed with moulds. After removing beads from the mould, let them air dry to harden into beads. The moulds ensure that the edible beads are perfectly round and the same size.

Buttercream Beads

Making beads out of buttercream frosting requires more work because of its soft consistency. Freeze the frosting for 45 minutes until it is hard, but not completely frozen. Stick the small end of a round pastry tip into the frosting. Pop the frosting out with a toothpick. Roll the frosting into round balls with your fingers. Be sure your hands are clean and dry or use plastic gloves. If the frosting begins to soften, put it back in the freezer to harden.

Royal Icing Beads

Royal icing is made from icing sugar, water and meringue powder. It is very sweet and dries very quickly. Use moulds or a pastry tip to form beads. Keep a damp cloth over the unused portion to prevent it from drying and crusting.

Colouring Beads

Prior to making edible beads, colour the fondant or frosting. Most professional bakers use paste colours, but it is possible to use liquid food colourings as well. Do not use liquid colouring on royal icing as it ruins the consistency. Dip a toothpick into the paste or liquid and dab it onto the fondant or frosting. Mix colour in frosting with a large metal spoon. Dab the colour onto fondant and knead until blended. Use plastic gloves (not latex) to avoid staining your hands. Once colour is evenly blended, add more colour if desired. Flavour beads with chocolate, mint, berry, vanilla or any other flavour desired. Add flavouring before or after colouring.

Decorating Cakes with Beads

Beads add pizazz to just about any decoration. Use beads to form mouths of characters and for their eyes. For a floral cake, add beads to a leaf to form the line or to the centre of flowers. Other ideas include creating the border and using beads or draping beads on the side of the cake. They could also be used as snow falling or water splashing. Be creative.

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