Caketoppers are not just for cakes! Here we show you how to make your own printed marshmallows with photos using our printed edible wafer sheets or icing sheets.
First order your printed wafer or icing. The sheets are available in various sizes and shapes but easily cut down to suit how you want your finished marshmallow. This could be round, square or oblong. Wafer is much cheaper and available in packs of 5 sheets, so if you are making lots then this could be the choice for you. Normally we recommend printed icing rather than the wafer for cakes and cupcakes as it gives a better print quality, but I’ve found with marshmallow the wafer also gives a very good finish. If you are serving and eating the marshmallow straight away then the icing sheets work very well, but if you are storing it for a few days I suggest the wafer instead as the icing can become tacky over time.
You can have any kind of photo – old or new, colour, black & white or sepia. I’ve used a collage of pictures so I can cut the marshmallow into individual squares.
I’ve included my recipe at the end of this page as I think it works well with the toppers, but you can use any marshmallow recipe. Maybe you already have your own tried and tested method or there are plenty available on the web. I used water, sugar, liquid glucose and gelatine plus icing sugar for dusting. Other recipes use egg whites or golden syrup and you can add flavouring to taste such as vanilla extract. All the ingredients are available in supermarkets and you might already have them in your cupboard.
In a nutshell you pour the marshmallow mix in a lined tin and leave to set. Turn it out of the tin and the underside will be both flat and tacky. You just place your printed wafer or icing on top and will stick itself. You can cut it up either before or after you put the wafer on. Here are the details of how I did it with lots of tips to get perfect results.
First line your tin. Grease the tin first (this helps the paper stay in place) and make sure the base is smooth is flat and the sides are covered. Also grease the lining paper and make sure you do the sides as well as the base. This makes it easier to remove the paper after your marshmallow has set.
Make your marshmallow mix and as pour it into the tin. Smooth over the top with a palette knife and leave to set. The time this takes depends on your recipe, usually a few hours.
Tip: The longer you leave it the drier it will be, so it’s best to check every couple of hours. You want it just set so you can turn it out of the pan, but still tacky so the wafer will stick to it.
Once it’s set and while it’s still in the pan, sprinkle some icing sugar over the top and lay a sheet of paper over it. Then put a tray or chopping board (or whatever you have handy) over the top of that so you can just flip it over. Now lift away the pan and lining paper and you should have a nice flat but tacky surface.
Now you can either lay the whole printed sheet on the top then cut it up, or cut the sheet into shapes first and cut round them into the marshmallow. Or cut both the sheet and marshmallow into matching shapes then put the shapes on top.
Tip: if your mix is a little dry and the picture is not sticking – make a glue using liquid glucose mixed with a little hot water. Just spread it on the back of the wafer or icing and it will stick nicely.
You can see that I used a collection of photos printed as a collage so that I can them cut them into squares. You would normally dip the cut pieces in icing sugar or cornflour which is still fine with the printed ones – you can just brush off any powder from the pictures using a clean, soft paintbrush.
Store your printed marshmallow in an air-tight container and it should keep at least for a couple of weeks, depending on your recipe.
My Marshmallow Recipe
Equipment you will need
- Baking tin slightly larger than your printed topper
- Baking paper to line the tin.
- An electric stand mixer with a metal whisk attachment
- Heavy base saucepan
- Sugar thermometer (optional)
- 25 g of powder gelatine (I used 2 x 12g of Dr Oetker sachets)
- 100 ml cold water
- 450g granulated sugar
- 175g cold water
- 1 tbsp liquid glucose
- Icing sugar for dusting
Prepare your tin by greasing and lining it and also grease the lining paper.
Tip: I used coconut oil but you could use sunflower oil or whatever else you may have to hand.
Next soak the gelatine in the bowl of the mixer. Add the 100 ml of water first then sprinkle on the powder from the sachets and stir until it’s well mixed. Leave to soak while you continue with the recipe.
Now put the 175 ml of water, 450g sugar and tablespoon of liquid glucose into a heavy base pan.
Tip: Place your tube or pot of liquid glucose in a pot of hot water to make it more runny and easier to measure.
Set the pan on a medium heat and stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
To stir or not to stir? There is much debate about whether you should stir while the sugar dissolves. As this recipe uses glucose it prevents the sugar from crystallising, so you can stir it.
Bring it up to the boil and let it simmer until it reaches 114 degrees. This temperature is called the soft ball stage and it takes anything from 5 to 15 minutes so keep your eye on the temperature.
Tip: If you don’t have a sugar thermometer you can check when it’s ready as follows: Place a bowl of very cold water next to your pan. Drop a little of the syrup it into it. Leave to cool for a few seconds then pick up the ball of syrup. If it’s pliable, sticky and can be moulded in your fingers easily, it has reached the soft ball stage.
Once the syrup is ready put it to one side for a minute or so to let it cool down a little. Meanwhile, turn on the mixer with the gelatine to the lowest sitting. While it’s running, very carefully pour in the syrup from the saucepan into the mixer bowl. If you can, let the syrup dribble down the inside of the bowl.
Tip: Be very careful of the syrup as it’s very hot! If using the bowl on the mixer is a little tricky you can take the bowl off, pour in the syrup then return it to the mixer and turn it on immediately.
Now turn the mixer up to it’s highest setting and whisk until the mixture is frothy, creamy and slowly pours off the whisk and holds its shape a little. This could take from 5 to 15 minutes depending on the speed of your mixture.
Tip: if you don’t have a stand mixer you can use a hand-held one but it will take longer.
Now pour the mixture into your prepared tin and leave to set for about 4 hours or overnight.
Tip: to test if it’s ready the paper should lift away easily once the marshmallow has set.
Now see the previous instructions on how to get your printed photos on to the marshmallow.
Looking for a theme for your little party animal? A safari, jungle or zoo party is a great theme for any age. Whether you’re planning that very special first birthday or a summer party for your children and their friends, this versatile theme can be adapted to suit all ages.
Here we will arm you with tips and ideas to ensure your party is a roaring success.
FOOD & TREAT IDEAS
Try our very special Leopard Spots and Caramel Tiger Bites to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
Caramel Tiger Bites
These are very simple to make by using shop-bought caramel bites, or you can make your own.
First decide on the design of your print. If you already have some party tableware you could scan a napkin or tablecloth to match exactly, or just search the internet for a royalty-free image. You can either have a page of a single print which you then cut into squares, or make a page of little squares the same size as your shortbread.
Next you need to order your printed toppers. You can use our edible wafer or icing sheets, both work just as well.
Now you need to prepare your caramels. If you want to make your own they could be plain caramels, topped with melted chocolate and/or on a biscuit base. Simply make them, cool them, ice them and cut into squares. We used Thorntons white chocolate caramel shortcake bites, available from major supermarkets in packs of 9. They are also available in milk chocolate.
We printed a sheet of squares to match the size and shape of the Thorntons bites then cut them out. To stick them to the tops you need to make the chocolate a little tacky, whether you are using printed wafer or icing sheets.
If you have made your own bites, put the tops on while they are still tacky. Otherwise you can melt the tops a little by warming a pallet knife, or any flat metal knife and press it on the tops. Or just use a dry finger! To warm up a knife stand it in a pot of hot water for a few seconds and make sure you dry it thoroughly first. Alternatively you can make an edible glue by mixing together equal parts of liquid glucose and hot water. Just smear it on the back of the printed wafer or icing and the toppers will stick.
It’s as easy as that! Now you have snacks to match your party theme and wow your guests.
Chocolate Leopard Spots
We love these chocolate leopard spots! They are simply giant white chocolate buttons with an edible leopard print. Making them yourself couldn’t be easier – just order your edible print, cut out the circles and stick them to chocolates. They could be a unique hand made gift for a lover of animal print or a great addition to your table at a jungle themed party.
First you need to choose a design. We used a royalty-free image found on the internet that was roughly A4 size. Next you can choose whether to use edible wafer or icing sheets – both work just as well.
If you want perfect circles you can use a craft punch, which again works on both wafer and icing sheets. Ours is a 1 inch or 25 mm, the perfect size for Milkybar giant white chocolate buttons. You could use milk chocolate buttons or make your own. Just melt some chocolate, spread it out thinly in a suitable container to cool and set, then cut into shapes. If you cut squares it will be very easy to trim your prints the same size.
To attach the leopard spots to the chocolate the method is the same whether you use printed wafer or an icing sheet. You can either make the chocolate tacky by warming it slightly or use an edible glue. To make the chocolate tacky you can warm up a pallet knife or any flat, metal utensil and lightly press it on the surface. Then place your print on top and hold it down for a few seconds.
Alternatively you can make a very simple edible glue my mixing a teaspoon of liquid glucose with a teaspoon of hot water. Mix it together, spread it lightly on the back of your print then place it on the chocolate button and hold down for a few seconds. If you use a small paintbrush to spread the glue you can then use the shaft as a mini rolling pin to smooth down the topper. Leave them to dry in the fridge for about an hour.
You can serve them in a bowl at a party, gift-wrap them to give as a present or put them in goody bags.
Alongside these grrr…eat treats how about ants on logs which are simply celery filled with peanut butter or cream cheese and studded with raisins for the ants, sandwiches cut into animal shapes with cookie cutters and a pot of hummus surrounded by carrots and orange and yellow peppers to create a lion mane.
GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT
For older children, an animal themed treasure hunt will be a hit. Clues can be adapted to the space you are using. Younger children will be just as excited with a scavenger hunt. Scour the local charity shops for good condition soft toy animals, give each child a list of animals to find and ask them to tick them off when they’ve found them. The winner is the first to complete all clues or tick off all animals. Another great game is sleeping lions. This one is a great way to chill out at the end of the party.
Scrap the traditional party bag fillers and fill a basket with those soft toys from the scavenger hunt, add a tag inviting the children to adopt a cuddly toy of their choice. You could even print adoption certificates or make a donation to your favourite wildlife charity
(image courtesy of Paiges Party Ideas)
The end of term is almost upon us and teacher gifts are on our minds. Perhaps your child is simply finishing a year, moving up to big school or even leaving school for good. There’s always a teacher that deserves an extra special thank you.
Instead of adding to their ever growing collection of Best Teacher mugs, here’s a few different gift ideas that are guaranteed to leave them with fond memories.
Everyone loves an edible treat…especially at the end of term.
Of course, we have a wonderful range of cupcakes and cakes that can be personalised with your own image and message. How about scanning you class photo and having it printed with edible inks on a cake with a personalised message or a box of message cupcakes. You could even order your own cake toppers to fix to your home baked goods.
A personalised printed gift often gets a bad rap as something tacky however there are some really beautiful printed gifts available. This gorgeous canvas with a quote by Rita Pierson is a bit different but will look great on any wall.
A recent survey showed that teachers adore handmade gifts. These can be affordable, personal and sentimental and can be knocked up fairly quickly for last minute gifts. Here’s a few ideas:
This pinapple sugar scrub by Country Chic Cottage smells divine and can be made using supermarket ingredients
This simple yet fabulous idea from Love-The-Day is affordable and adorable. A pack of highlighter pens, a jar and label is all you need to create a really practical gift.
Even the naughtiest of monsters deserve a party on their birthday. This scary theme is a popular choice with boys and girls of all ages and is guaranteed to turn your party into a spooktacular success.
Fill up those tummies with a few simple ideas to turn party food into monster treats. Serve sausages wrapped in bacon or pastry as monster toes, filled croissants as monster smiles, grapes and melon balls as monster eyes and tortilla chips as monster teeth. You could even create wacky eyes using our edible toppers and fix them to baby bel cheeses or cake pops.
Don’t forget the cake! ‘A party without cake is just a meeting’ (julia child). Our scary monster cake can be personalised and makes the perfect centrepiece.
Keep your guests entertained with these monster themed party activities:
Eyeball spoon race
Decorate a plastic ping pong ball to look like an eye. You could use stickers or sharpies. Place the eyeball onto a spoon and race.
Pin the eye on the monster
Give each child a wacky paper eye, blindfold and get them to stick onto a monster face. A simple but fun game that guarantees funny results
Slime creation station
Create a slime making station. Supply the ingredients for making slime (you can find a great recipe here) and some accessories to personalise the slime. Glitter, food colouring, monster themed confetti and mini monster toys make great additions.
To decorate your venue, hang bright coloured balloons, streamers and banners and supply monster accessories such as these eye boppers, foam monster masks. How about having a face painter to create some scary looking faces.
Instead of party bags, decorate colourful paper cups with googly eyes and fill with sweets and treats to take home. There are some brilliant monster themed favours. Here’s a few of my favourites:
Do you have any ideas for a monster themed party or have you already had a monster party? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas
You can make your own edible fabric with the look and feel of cloth using printed wafer paper and cheap supermarket ingredients costing around £2 to £3. The only tools and equipment you need are probably already in your kitchen. Create a stretchy, pliable material that’s food-safe to use as cake decorations.
There are different methods and ingredients and we’ve tried to provide as much information as possible for novices and cake decorators of all abilities to choose the one that suits you best.
You will need Caketoppers printed wafer sheets which are custom printed with your design. These recipes work very well with our wafer sheets as we have done extensive testing to provide the right type of wafer paper, printing method and edible ink. You are free to use any other wafer sheets but you may need to tweak the ingredients slightly to get the results you want as they come in different grades and thicknesses.
You will also need gelatine (powder or leaves) and glycerine. For a matt finish you will also need either cornflour or dusting powder.
Recipe 1 uses leaf gelatine, readily available in all the major supermarkets. This gives a better result than Recipe 2 and costs only a little more but is a bit more involved.
Recipe 2 uses powder gelatine and is very easy. The results can vary but it’s an economical and simple way to produce amazing results.
In a nutshell, you heat up gelatine in water and mix in the glycerine to create a warm liquid which you then paint on both sides of the wafer sheet. You can either just wait for it to dry or use cornflour or a dusting powder for a matt finish.
You can download the recipes if you want to go straight to them now, or read on for lots more information.
Equipment you might need
You don’t need a load of specialist equipment, just a few simple things you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s a summary followed by some more details and alternatives.
- silicone mat, ideally two mats
- heatproof container
- measuring spoons
- microwave (or saucepan and hob or double boiler)
- paint brushes and/or pastry brushes
- pizza cutter or knife
- dredger or duster
You will need a silicone mat slightly larger than A4 size so the wafer fits with a bit of space around the edge. When you have painted one side of the wafer it is very delicate and rather than trying to turn it over it’s much easier to place another mat on top and flip it over.
Microwave or Melting Pot
A normal paint brush is fine for painting on the mixture, or you can use a flat pastry brush. I have both and they are about 1.5″ wide. You can of course use a wider or narrower brush depending on the size of the fabric you are making.
You will also need a soft brush for brushing off the cornflour or powder if you are aiming for a matt finish. A soft paint or pastry brush should be fine for this, or you could try a blusher/bronzer brush so long as it’s either new or thoroughly washed first.
Dusting for a matt finish
Recipe 1 – Edible Fabric using Leaf Gelatine
Ingredients (Enough to do 4 to 5 x A4 sheets)
- 1 packet of Dr Oetker Platinum Grade Leaf Gelatine (13g, 8 leaves)
- 5 tablespoons of cold water (75 ml)
- 1 small bottle of glycerine (38 ml)
- Cornflour or cake decorator’s edible dust (optional)
This recipe is only for platinum grade gelatine leaves. If you use a different brand or grade the results may not be the same as they have different strengths. Platinum is the highest available, so if you are using a lower grade you may need to use more sheets.
- Make up the mixture
- Cut the gelatine sheets into small pieces into a heatproof bowl.
- Cover with the water. The pieces should be small enough so that they are all submerged in the water.
- Leave to soak for 5 minutes.
- Turn the gelatine leaves over in the water and leave to soak for a further 5 minutes.
- Make sure all the pieces are soft, otherwise give them a stir and soak for a few more minutes.
- Microwave in 10 or 15 second bursts stirring after each time until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
- Do this 2 to 4 times depending on the power of your microwave. DO NOT LET IT BOIL.
- Stir in the whole bottle of glycerine and mix well.
- Microwave again for 10 or 15 seconds. It should be very runny and quite hot.
- It is now ready to use but will start to go to jelly as it cools.
- If that happens you can microwave it again in 10 or 15 second bursts to keep it fluid.
Tips on Using Leaf Gelatine
To melt gelatine leaves we suggest a microwave but you can also use bowl over a pan of gently simmering water on a hob, or other suitable equipment such as double boiler, bain marie or water bath.
You can keep your mixture on a very low heat while you are using it to keep it fluid. If that’s not possible, just return it to the heat if it starts to thicken up and go to jelly.
DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL! Not only might it spill over your bowl but it can also spoil the setting properties of the gelatine.
Recipe 2 – Edible Fabric using Powder Gelatine
These are the cheapest ingredients and the most simple method of making the mixture to create edible fabric. The Dr Oetker gelatine (pack of 3 sachets), glycerine (38ml bottle) and a packet of cornflour are available in most supermarkets for around £1 each.
The result is a slightly opaque mixture with a yellow tinge. This will be barely visible if you are using it with a busy print on the wafer.
Ingredients (Enough to do 3 to 4 x A4 sheets)
- 2 sachets of Dr Oetker 12g gelatine (24g total)
- 5 tablespoons of cold water (75 ml)
- 1 small bottle of glycerine (38 ml)
- Cornflour for dusting
This recipe is only for Dr Oetker powder gelatine sachets. If you use a different gelatine powder the results may not be the same as they come in different strengths, referred to as “bloom”. If you are using a stronger bloom you should use less powder, or you need more powder for a weaker bloom. You may also need to soak the powder in cold water after step 3 for about 10 minutes as some powders need time to absorb the water before heating. This is not necessary with the Dr Oetker powder.
Make up the mixture
- Put the water into a microwavable container.
- Gently sprinkle on the gelatine, stirring all the time.
- Keep stirring until it’s well mixed.
- Microwave in 10 or 15 second bursts stirring after each time until it’s completely dissolved.
- You’ll need to do this 3 or 4 times depending on the power of your microwave. DO NOT LET IT BOIL.
- Stir in the glycerine and mix well.
- Microwave again for 10 or 15 seconds. It should be very runny and quite hot.
- It is now ready to use but will start to go to jelly as it cools.
- If that happens you can microwave it again in 15 second bursts to keep it fluid.
How to make the Fabric from your Recipe Mixture
First make up your mixture using either of the recipes above. The following instructions are the same whichever you use. You can make it up advance and keep it covered in the fridge for about a month, or freeze it for three months.
Get everything ready before you begin, put your wafer on the mat and keep your paintbrush handy.
Your wafer has an un-printed border – leave it there for now, you can trim it off after you’ve made your fabric .
- Let your mixture cool down a little so it isn’t scalding hot. It should be just warm and runny.
- If it has cooled down completely re-heat it using the same method you used to melt it.
- Put the wafer printed side down on one silicone mat.
- Paint the mixture over the wafer using light, smooth brush strokes.
- You can either paint over the entire sheet, or leave some of the border dry to make it easier to handle.
- Immediately and carefully place another silicone mat over the top then flip it all over and peel away the first mat, leaving your wafer print side up on the second mat.
- If you don’t have a second mat, carefully turn the wafer over holding the unprinted edge. Try not to let it wrinkle.
- Now paint the printed side.
- Leave it to dry for at least 20 minutes.
Gently test the edge test with your finger. It will feel tacky but your finger should come away clean.
If you are going to dust your fabric you can do that now. See below for more information.
If you are not dusting it then leave it to set for about an hour. If you handle it too much before it sets completely it can stick to itself and is quite delicate.
Use a pizza cutter or knife to trim away the unprinted border. Be careful not to cut into your mat, or transfer the fabric to a cutting board first.
If you want a dry or matt finish you can dust with cornflour or an edible dusting powder. Cornflour is white so it will make the print a little whiter, and if you use a coloured edible dust that may change the colour of the print depending on how much you use.
Apply just enough powder so the material is no longer tacky. You can then keep adding to get to get the results you want.
You can dust just one side of the print or both, and you could dust each side with something different. Edible lustre tends to come off when in contact with skin so you could lustre the printed side and cornflour the back side.
Also note that cornflour contains a protein that can interact with fondant or sugarpaste if left in contact for some time. So if you are using your fabric on an iced cake that might be sitting around for more than a day or so then you can either use an edible dust instead, or put the cornflour only on the outside surface. This leaves the back side tacky which may help with sticking the fabric to your cake icing. Alternatively, create a barrier with piping gel, shortening (white baking fat) or an edible glaze.
How to Dust the Fabric
Once you have dusted the fabric it will start to dry out. If you are making it in advance we suggest you leave the dusting until just before you are going to use it .
Before dusting you could put your mat in a baking tray to help contain any mess and when brushing the dust off you could do this over a sink.
- Gently tap your dredger over the fabric to apply a fine sprinkle of powder.
- Gently work it into the fabric with a soft, dry brush.
- Turn it over and do the other side.
- Brush off any excess powder
- Leave to set for about an hour.
- Store it in a plastic bag or air tight container so it doesn’t dry out.
A Perfect Finish
Don’t expect absolutely perfect results, it’s quite likely there will be some brush marks or bubbles. The nature of the wafer paper means the print could be patchy or streaky before you begin. Most of these are barely visible in a busy print and the amazing fabric you end up with makes up for any minor flaws.
There are a few things you can try to get a better finish:
- If you don’t need to use the fabric full size then cut the wafer in half or quarters before you paint on the mixture. It’s much easier on smaller pieces.
- Get everything ready before you begin, put the your wafer on the mat and have your paintbrush handy so the mixture doesn’t cool down too much before you start painting.
- If you have a dark or dense print, test a small part of one edge first. If the colours smudge then let the mixture cool a little and try not to press down with your brush.
- Make sure the mixture doesn’t start to set. Keep your pot over a bowl of hot water or re-microwave to keep it fluid.
- Load up your brush generously, you don’t want to go over the same area too much or it could leave marks, but don’t let it drip on to your wafer!
- If the brush feels like it’s dragging you need to warm up the mixture.
- The wafer has an unprinted margin so you can leave one edge unpainted to hold onto and make it easier to handle.
- For larger pieces brush from the centre of the wafer towards the outside to avoid it pooling at the edges.
If using powder gelatine:
- The mixture has a yellow tinge to it and will turn the wafer slightly yellow. You can reduce this with a little more water or a little more glycerine, but this makes the fabric more delicate to handle and can cause the colours to run if you have a dense print.
- After you microwave the gelatine and before you add the glycerine, leave it to cool for 5 or 10 mins and you may see a layer of frothy foam on top. You can scrape off this foam (I found a small pallet knife best for this). The result is a very slightly thicker mixture that’s a tiny bit less yellow.
- If you see any undissolved lumps of gelatine after you microwave it you can sieve it to remove the lumps before you add the glycerine. This also removes some of the foam and helps reduce the bubbles.