Simple gelatin bubbles are an easy and quick way to dress up any cake design! They’d be right at home on a rubber ducky cake for a baby shower, a champagne-inspired design, or even on a classic wedding cake.
While gelatin is edible, these bubbles aren’t exactly something that you’d want to go chomping into. They’re just a great way to use a food-safe material to create a gorgeous effect. Since the bubbles won’t be eaten, it’s a great excuse to break out the luster and glitter and ramp up the shine! Be sure to remove bubbles from a cake before serving.
All images via ErinBakes
How to make gelatin bubbles
- Powdered gelatin
- Balloons (the smaller the better)
- Lollipop sticks or skewers
- Petal dusts, luster dust, or glitter (optional)
- Cup or Styrofoam
- Heatproof bowls
- Paper towels
Blow up the balloons as large as you’d like your bubbles to be. I found just a tiny amount of air was needed.
To get your balloon looking more like a perfectly round bubble, tie another knot toward the end of the neck of the balloon. This should help push the air forward and make the balloon appear rounder. You can also pull on the pointed end of the balloon, twist it, and then tie that and the opening of the balloon together. Once you have the shape you want, slide a lollipop stick or skewer into the knot.
Repeat with the other balloons.
Combine 2 parts cold water with 1 part powdered gelatin in a small heatproof bowl. I found that 2T of gelatin plus 4T of cold water yielded about 3 to 4 balloons for me. Stir the water and gelatin together until it forms a thick jelly.
Pop the bowl into the microwave for about 10 seconds, just until the gelatin is fluid. Add petal dust, luster dust or edible glitter to color the gelatin. Keep in mind that gelatin is naturally yellowish in color, so you may need to play around with the colors a little to get the exact shade that you want.
Use a paper towel to wipe a thin layer of shortening onto your balloons. You’ll want to coat the balloons, but not add so much that you can see the whiteness of the shortening.
Dip a greased balloon into the melted gelatin. Swirl the balloon around until it’s coated, being careful to not cover the knotted part of the balloon. Dust on a little glitter while the bubble is still wet for even more sparkle.
Set the lollipop stick into a cup or piece of Styrofoam. Repeat with the rest of your balloons and leave them overnight to dry. One layer should take about 12 hours, 2 layers will take up to 24 hours. Any more than two layers and your bubble will get chunky and gummy.
Once the bubbles are dry, remove the balloon by using a pair of scissors to cut the knot. The balloon should come away from the sides of the bubble pretty easily. Don’t panic if your bubble caves in a little! These little guys are pretty resilient and can be pushed back into shape.
Gelatin bubbles should be made a day or two before using. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Pour any leftover gelatin out onto a piece of acetate or on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Spread it into a thin layer using an offset spatula. Let the gelatin set up overnight. Break up the sparkly sheets into coral-like pieces to tuck in among your bubbles. Crispy gelatin sheets can also be cut into squares or with hole punches to make confetti. Get creative and see what you can make out of gelatin!