Sculpting with sugar: how sweet it is

Believe it or not, for hundreds of years, people have been using sugar to create pretty little sculptures to decorate cakes. Artist Jeanne, an instructor at Pratt Fine Arts Center, a community arts center in Seattle that works with Amazon, has been making sugar roses using her mom’s recipe for years.

In this video tutorial, Jeanne teaches mini-bakers/sculptors-in-training how to mix up basic grocery store ingredients, add gel food coloring, and then use the heat from your hands to start molding the sugar paste into shapes. Though Jeanne creates a rose, you can make any shape you can think of: a sunflower, a snowman, an emojilet your imagination run wild! And the best part is, even if you make a mistake, you can just roll your sugar paste back into a ball and start from scratch.

Once you finish shaping your sugar sculpture, give it some time to harden before placing your edible masterpiece atop a cupcake or other treat. We bet it’ll look almost too good to eat—almost.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 small bowls (glass, metal, or ceramicnot plastic)
  • Small metal spoon
  • Plastic spatula
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (also called confectioners’ sugar or sugar flour)
  • Meringue powder (found in the cake decorating section of a grocery store)
  • Cream of tartar (found in the spices section of a grocery store)
  • Cornstarch (small amount for dusting)
  • Any food-grade oil (small amount)
  • Food coloring (found in the cake decorating section of a grocery store)
  • Water

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.