Debbie Brown's Confectioner's Varnish Recipe Anyone?

Decorating By harrison Updated 17 Jul 2014 , 1:31pm by nabiki

harrison Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:21pm
post #1 of 30

I would greatly appreciate anyone who could share the recipe from debbie brown's book that is called 'confectioner's varnish' makes fondant/gumpaste, etc very shiny and glossy...thanks in advance for the help and any additional advice icon_lol.gif

29 replies
JavaJunkieChrissy Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:27pm
post #2 of 30

I'm going to keep my eye on this post as I am also interested in this.


Meg828 Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:33pm
post #3 of 30

I was wondering the same thing! I wish she gave it in her book. icon_smile.gif

harrison Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:35pm
post #4 of 30

well, i hope for all our sakes SOMEONE knows...i have the book Enchanted cakes where she says to apply the confectioner's varnish but yet doesn't tell you what it oversight i suppose...sure feel better knowing i wasn't just looking over it...i was embarrased to admit i keep reading and reading and can't seem to find it icon_smile.gif

rockii Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:47pm
post #5 of 30

sorry I am not sure about Debbie Browns varnish ( I wish she would put it in her books to) but sugarcraft has one on their website here is the link you have to scroll down to the middle of the page.

Wendoger Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:51pm
post #6 of 30

Hmmmm....interesting, never heard of it.....someone 'round here ought to have it, huh???

julesn20716 Posted 9 May 2007 , 11:58pm
post #7 of 30

I have her books and she doesn't give a recipe - she simply refers to confectioners varnish. If you do a google search it brings up lots of suppliers, most of which are in the UK.

Wendoger Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:01am
post #8 of 30

I did a google search and couldnt find anything..... icon_confused.gif

harrison Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:12am
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i just went to her website and clicked contact and wrote an email asking her...we'll see if she replies...if so i'll write with her the meantime let's all keep trying to figure it out icon_smile.gif...

mamatank Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:26am
post #11 of 30

i was looking though one of my debbie browns books and it says clear piping gel or confection varnish

nickshalfpint Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:27am
post #12 of 30

I don't know if this is what you're talking about, hope it helps.

Food Varnish
1 tsp. gelatin
3 tsp. water
1 tsp. liquid glucose
Sprinkle gelatin in the water, let stand until spongy, dissolve until clear over hot water not boiling add liquid glucose and stir until ingredients are well combined, put it in an airtight container. the mix will get very stiff, to use it, heat in a container of hot not boiling water paint onto item while still hot. do not refrigerate.

itsajeepthing0196 Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:36am
post #13 of 30

Thats so cool!

itsacake Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:44am
post #14 of 30

Not certain about this, but I used confectioner's glaze in Nicholas Lodge's class and I think it is the same thing. It isn't something you make. Rather it is made from (or possibly just is ) a lac resin produced by an insect, rather like honey is produced by bees. The solvent for it is isopropyl alcohol.

I found it only once in a cake decorating shop, but the owner said she had ordered it for someone who never picked it up and it had been about a year, so it isn't common in the U.S. as it is in Britain.

Probably Debbi Brown doesn't explain because over there everyone knows you pick it up with your dusts etc.

I find it a bit difficult to work with, as once it lands somewhere, you can't get it off except with the isopropyl alcohol. On the other hand, you don't continually have dusts and color brush off as when you use vodka or extract.

Nicholas Lodge, among others, has it for sale in the US and it is used in many foods.

Maybe this is more than you wanted to know icon_smile.gif , but I hope it helps in any case.

sunflowerfreak Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:50am
post #15 of 30

So I wonder if this "food varnish" that nickshalfpint posted here is what you are looking for? It sounds interesting. Let us know Harrison if this is the one.

jburbie Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:58am
post #16 of 30

I don't know if this helps. when you use gumpaste dissolved in water to glue thing together it dries shiny on fondant and gumpaste. so that might work.

brilandken Posted 10 May 2007 , 12:58am
post #17 of 30

Can you substitute corn syrup for the glucose?

harrison Posted 10 May 2007 , 1:14am
post #18 of 30

thanks again everyone...i'll check out all the advice and let you know icon_smile.gif

harrison Posted 10 May 2007 , 1:21am
post #19 of 30


Hi Renee, must have been an oversight when the Editor cuts out text when page planning. Confectioners' Glaze or varnish is a clear yellowish liquid that when applied to the surface of sugar seals the surface and creates a shine. Confectioners' use it to seal the boiled sweets, otherwise they would melt.

Label states: Ingredients: Shellac (Laccifer Lacca) (solids 25%); Pharmaceutical grade alcohol (Industrial Methylated Spirits).

Sounds tasty huh! Although it doesn't actually affect the taste or texture much at all.

Hope this helps,

doescakestoo Posted 10 May 2007 , 1:40am
post #20 of 30

I have the glaze. Got it at one of Nicks classes that I was able to take. I use it on leaves. It gives them a realistic look. And shine.

harrison Posted 10 May 2007 , 1:45am
post #21 of 30

can glaze/varnish be ordered on line...not familiar with 'nicks' classes...newbie here...thanks in advance doescakestoo!

BlakesCakes Posted 10 May 2007 , 2:50am
post #22 of 30

You can make your own strength of a varnish by using full strength confectioner's glaze and glaze thinner. Country Kitchen sells both:

Nic Lodge sells an aerosol version that is wonderful. I think you have to call them about it, as I can't find it on the website. They also sell a paint on version (already thinned down) for $1.99. sells the aerosol version, too, but I think it's 3 cans at a time.


harrison Posted 11 May 2007 , 3:57pm
post #23 of 30

thanks everyoneicon_smile.gif

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 11 May 2007 , 4:20pm
post #24 of 30

I remember not too long ago watching a Food Network Challenge where on of the contestants used edible lacquer on her creation. I looked it up afterwards and found it online. It's an aerosol can. The only drawback is that it's fairly expensive - close to $40!

Here's one of the links that I found:

I know it's not the same as the liquid, but figured it might help someone.

julesn20716 Posted 16 May 2007 , 10:49pm
post #25 of 30

I was just surfing on and they sell confectioners glaze too. It's $4.39 for 8oz.

KHalstead Posted 16 May 2007 , 11:01pm
post #26 of 30

aine2 uses it......I remember one of her figurines having black patent leather shoes on and they were so shiny and realistic looking and that's what she said she used!!

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 17 May 2007 , 6:41am
post #27 of 30
Originally Posted by julesn20716

I was just surfing on and they sell confectioners glaze too. It's $4.39 for 8oz.

Wow! That's just a little difference in price! icon_confused.gif Maybe the first one has liquid platinum in it.

peacockplace Posted 17 May 2007 , 12:53pm
post #28 of 30

IS that what Buddy used on the groom's cake in the wedding challenge on food network?It kind of looked like he was using a steamer, but the cake got really shiny. Did anyone else see it?

BlakesCakes Posted 17 May 2007 , 7:12pm
post #29 of 30

No, Buddy used a commercial clothing steamer. He uses it to make the fondant tacky to apply decos and he also uses it to make the fondant shiny. That shine is not as intense as a varnished surface, nor does it last as long because only the varnish blocks humidity from the surface of the fondant and holds it's own shine. Simply dampened fondant gets dull after a time.

The aerosol laquer that runs $40 is a huge can that is most often used on chocolates. The smaller aerosol cans that Nic Lodge and sell are much cheaper--$7-$10/can--but a little goes a very long way.

The full strength confectioner's glaze comes in very tiny (cheap) bottles up to large gallon jugs (expensive). It's rarely used full stength because it's like trying to paint with hairspray and it leaves a thick coating, so it's most often thinned with grain alcohol (Everclear). Many companies sell the already thinned product for cheap, e.g. about $2/2 oz. It can be thinned further, if necessary, by adding more Everclear or other grain alcohol.

If thinning confectioner's glaze, and you want it to remain edible--DO NOT USE OVER THE COUNTER ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL because that isn't food safe.


nabiki Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 1:31pm
post #30 of 30

AI know this thread is old, but I was just looking up on this because I was watching Alan Dunn use this on his leaves and I was wondering what it was...I found a substitute for it! The recipe is equal parts corn syrup to vodka.(1:1) Here's the article on craftsy that mentions it:

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