Are you a new baker that wants to make cool cakes at home?
As a new baker and cake decorator, have you ever seen an awesome cake that you wonder how do they do that? Well I often wonder that myself and that’s what pushes and challenges me to make a kick ass cake.
I have been making cakes for over 7 years now and every single time is exciting and new. Every year the cake gods develop new trends that just take over. One of the coolest trends in cakes right now is Gelatin Bubbles!
Recently I had a cake order for a Rainbow Bubble cake! Who doesn’t like that combination! I used the colors of the rainbow inside the cake and on the outside. It was a really inspiring creative cake to work on.
But this made me really think about the process. I have made them before but the process wasn’t easy, it just seemed too complicated. I originally got this tutorial from Cake Central. I tweaked and worked on it and so through practice I was able to break the code.
My goal was to create a detailed but easy to understand guide for you to make a remarkable cake using gelatin bubbles.
What you’ll need…
- Latex Balloons (I used the small water balloon size with a hand pump to blow it up)
- Sticks (I used cake pop sticks)
- Duct Tape/Masking Tape
- Cooling Rack
- Pan Spray
- Parchment or Wax Paper
How to Make Gelatin Bubbles
- For 6 – 1” balloons
- 4 Tablespoons Water
- 2 Tablespoons Powdered Gelatin, unflavored
- ½ teaspoon extract, I used strawberry extract
- 2 drops food coloring optional
Let’s Dig In!
In a small microwavable bowl, add water and sprinkle the powdered gelatin on top. Let sit for a few minutes until the gelatin blooms (aka dissolves and expands slightly). Set aside.
While the gelatin is blooming, create your balloons. Blow up your desired balloon size; I used different sizes to create my cake. Tie a knot. Here is the tricky part, this happens more with the smaller size balloons the little, excuse me for a lack of a better word, “nipple” on top will be protruding out so I actually double knotted the balloons.
Your goal here is to create a smooth surface for the top of the balloons.
Next, tape the balloons to the sticks, knot side taped to the balloons. Trick here is to wrap the tape around the neck of the balloon instead of just the tied part, you will actually have more control when dipped into the gelatin.
Set up a dipping station with a cooling rack to dry the balloons and parchment paper to catch the mess. I used a large tupperware to support the cooling rack up above the parchment paper.
Next, use the cooking pan spray to coat the cooling rack, this will prevent the balloons from sticking. I have tried to dry the bubbles just on a parchment paper and on a piece of foam and both ways I was not satisfied with the outcome.
For the larger balloons, the gelatin became too heavy and made the bubbles fall from side to side and have a large puddle on the bottom. Goal was to create a perfect circle as much as possible.
When gelatin is ready microwave the gelatin mixture for 10 second increments until melted. Be careful here it will heat up and exploded over very easily. The goal is not to heat up too much or else bubbles will form and ruin the pretty bubble you are trying to create. There might be some undissolved gelatin once melted, very careful to not create air bubbles, take one of the sticks and remove the clumps.
Next add the color and your favorite extract, add a few drops of color and extract and gently swirl the bowl around to incorporate the color. I used a clear container so I can see what color I was making. White bowls work as well. Do not stir or else the air bubbles will form.
Tip: whatever is in your bowl at the time of the dipping will show up on your balloons, so be careful and gently remove the imperfections. Let it sit for a minute to cool down.
Before dipping the balloons, you need to spray each one with pan cooking spray. This will make it so much easier to remove the balloon when it’s fully dried. After spraying the balloon I just rubbed the excess off and by doing this the spray won’t show up on the gelatin bubble.
Remember the biggest thing to keep in mind whatever imperfection is on your balloon or in your gelatin mixture it will show up on your end product.
When the gelatin is cooled down (not hot or else the balloon will pop on you) dip the balloon and roll it around until evenly coated. Depending on the temperature of the mixture the balloon might take 2-3 times before being fully coated. Feel free to make more gelatin mixes and reheat at 10 seconds if the mixture is solidified.
This is the fun part dip away! It will get messy and that okay have fun with it! After dipping, place the sticks on the cooling rack to continue to drip and dry. Let the balloons sit for 24 hours to fully dry.
Once the balloons have dried fully no longer a rubbery texture, take a pair of scissors and pop each balloon, remove the balloon and stick. Now you are left with something pretty cool, a hollowed bubble that you can eat! I just cleaned up the edges with a small pair of scissors.
Side Note: Since I used unflavored gelatin, it doesn’t taste the best (kind of like glue lol) that’s why I added the strawberry extract. Also without any color the gelatin is a yellowish color since it was beef so if you want a clear color use pork or fish gelatin to achieve that look.
To place on a cake, most people use piping gel, I find that the piping gel didn’t hold very well so for this cake I used royal icing and the bubbles stayed in pace perfectly! Here is the super easy royal icing recipe!
The bubbles can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. They will just become harder and harder. If you are putting them on a cake that needs to be refrigerated (that’s okay that was me) I used the royal icing and it blocked the moisture from the cake getting to the bubbles. Try not to put them on too far in advance or else they will start to get soft.
Making Gelatin Bubbles is not scary; it’s actually way easier than you might think.
This will impress any crowd. Remember to spray the balloons with pan spray so they can come out easily. These are perfect for cakes but also great for making snow globe cupcakes for your next Christmas party!
There are no limits to cake decorating! Have fun while creating your super cool masterpieces!
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