Cold Porcelain : Anyone Making And Using It From Scratch?

Decorating By wrightway777 Updated 10 Feb 2010 , 1:42am by sweettooth101

wrightway777 Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 3:53pm
post #1 of 19

I have never made cold porcelain and have to admit it sounds interesting. Is there anyone out there making/using it from scratch? What are your views? Obviously not edible but would you ever use it for your figures/flowers (esp for keepsakes after Weddings from the cake)?

I found this site (from India) interesting on this subject:

18 replies
milkmaid42 Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 6:15pm
post #2 of 19

I make cold porcelain from scratch and quite like the effect. It has an attractive translucence and it much sturdier and less breakable than gum paste. The drawbacks I find are: it shrinks somewhat as it dries. It does distort a little as it dries which makes it difficult to make flat pieces. It does not airbrush well. This recipe can be placed on a cake, but it is not edible, (which might not necessarily be considered a drawback). You just need to let the client know. I obtained it from Geraldine's Creative Cutters. (


3 T. Cooking oil
2 T. Sodium benzoate
5 oz. Elmer's white glue
1 T. Water
1 C. Cornstarch
1 1/2 T. Cold cream (such as Pond's)

1. Place the oil and sodium benzoate in a non-stick pan and stir together
OFF THE HEAT. Continue stirring until milky looking to be sure it is
incorporated well.
2. Add the glue.
3. Rinse out the glue bottle with the Tablespoon of water and add to the
mix in the pan.
4. Add the cornstarch and mix with a wooden spoon over medium heat.
Continue stirring until the paste leaves the bottom and sides of the
pan. (The paste will come together to form a ball; skin forms over the
paste.) Make sure you have cooked the paste on all sides. DO NOT
5. Turn the hot mixture out on counter spread with the cold cream.
Knead well.
6. Place on Saran wrap which has been wiped with a small amount of
mineral oil.
7. Cover, but DO NOT wrap until paste is cold, then wrap well and keep
an airtight container.

Note: Other recipes I have seen say you can add color, gel or paste,
acrylics, tempera, or poster paints when kneading. (Use very
little as it darkens when dry); or when dry can be dusted with
petal dust and steamed.

Will keep for 30-45 days at room temperature if well-wrapped
and airtight. If in a very hot climate, can be refrigerated or
even frozen indefinitely. Just thaw 24 hours before use.

For long term display, (off the cake), it needs to be sealed with
one or two coats of varnish to protect from moisture and
water. (I have never had the occasion to refrigerate a cake
decorated with cold porcelain so I don't know how it holds up
to the moisture in a refrigerator.)

I hope this gives you desire to experiment with it. It really is beautiful.

Cakechick123 Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 8:36pm
post #3 of 19

if you are going to place cold porcelain on a cake, just be carefull as it may react with the icing, making the icing inedible as well. It better to have it on a board or some sort of barrier between the cake and the decoration.

I love CP for modelling, it does tend to shrink, but thats great as my models are always a little on the "big" size, when dry they are nice and slim icon_smile.gif

superstar Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 1:30am
post #4 of 19

I like CP & have used it a few times when the weather is too humid & damp for sugarpaste w/tylose. It really works well & I have not found it to shrink much. There are 2 cakes in my photo's with CP. The Swan, waterlilies, catstails are all CP on a fondant w/tylose plaque. The deck chairs & umbrella are CP on a fondant w/tylose plaque on the beach & sea cake. It is easy to work with & I am glad I have it as a back up plan.

wrightway777 Posted 8 Feb 2010 , 3:10pm
post #5 of 19

I dont think I was ever notified of the reply posts.
Interesting replies! Definitely deserves this bump.

Questions though tia:
- Where do you get sodium benzoate (perhaps the "s" site that shall not be named)?
- for figures...doesn't it dry fast? Does it dry faster than gumpaste?
- freezing! Hmm does it sweat when coming to room temp?
- Superstar - cute chairs!! What site did you order your mold through to make them?

milkmaid42 Posted 8 Feb 2010 , 4:31pm
post #6 of 19

Looks like you have waited a long time for your answer! I think I obtained the sodium benzoate from Geraldines...but you might just call a few pharmacies and see if they carry it.
I cannot recall how long it takes to dry. Whenever I make anything out of it or gumpaste, I always allow myself several days just as a matter of course. As far as freezing it goes, I never have so cannot answer you there.
Perhaps someone else can give you more detailed information. Hope this helps.

wrightway777 Posted 8 Feb 2010 , 5:39pm
post #7 of 19

found it here for around $6 per lb.

thanks know I just did some quick research and found that sodium benzoate is some pretty toxic stuff. I know I wouldnt put it on anything edible but...if I am mixing it and touching it with my hands, I'm afraid that I would get some of that into my body transdermally or accidentally inhale small fragments of dust from it.
I've got some thinking to do......

Omicake Posted 8 Feb 2010 , 6:07pm
post #8 of 19

¿Toxic? Sodium benzoate has been used as a food preservative for many years, even in drinks like juices, sodas.
maybe I'll take the time and read the posted articles.

wrightway777 Posted 8 Feb 2010 , 9:51pm
post #9 of 19

Yep it was in Diet coke

I just pulled a diet coke can and yep its not in there anymore.

BlakesCakes Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 12:19am
post #10 of 19

I've made and used CP in classes with Geraldine Randlesome.

When she teaches, she makes it very clear that CP SHOULD NEVER COME IN CONTACT WITH ICING OR EDIBLE PORTIONS OF A CAKE. She recommends a barrier between the CP decos and the cake surface.

CP is also often specifically not allowed for decoration in cake decorating competitions.


wrightway777 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 1:04am
post #11 of 19

Blakescakes....we know...most main concern is that when making it could the sodium benzoate be transferred transdermally (through the skin into the blood stream) when handling CP or could it even be inhaled (the air borne dust particles) when making it*. The stuff causes cancer and messes with your DNA....I shouldnt even be contemplating it....I think unless there is a different closed... I just wont attempt it.

*Everybody knows the story of how the Mad Hatter got his name right?

Texas_Rose Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 1:16am
post #12 of 19

Most of the recipes that I have seen don't have the sodium benzoate in them.

A while back someone posted a link to some downloadable books. There are several about cold porcelain but they're in Spanish...I downloaded one and it has tons of pictures so it might be useful even to those of us who can't read Spanish. I've never tried anything from it though.

BlakesCakes Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 1:40am
post #13 of 19

I'm glad that YOU know, but sometimes, when it isn't spelled out, newbies reading things like this WON'T know and that, wrightway, is wherein the problem lies................

The sodium benzoate is a preservative to prevent mold. Another option is to add ½ teaspoon citric acid, instead. Cheap, easy to find, no danger.


milkmaid42 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 1:45am
post #14 of 19

Wow! I had no idea of its toxicity. I just knew it was used as a preservative in foods. I was aware it was inedible and took care it didn't come in contact with the actual cake,but the contact in preparation?! I never gave it a thought. (Of course I had never thought to research it further.)
I have always wondered why it was not permitted in cake competitions. I thought it might have been due to its inedibility. But then I couldn't figure out why, if that were the case, gumpaste was permitted. I tell people that gumpaste just doesn't taste good and could hurt if swallowed, but isn't toxic, as such.
I guess I am really lucky to have arrived at my age: 67 yrs. I recall the fun I had as a child actually playing with liquid mercury...watching it bead up as I shook it and then collecting back into the original blob! Oh, the innocence of ignorance.

wrightway777 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 4:13am
post #15 of 19

I'll clarify, blakescakes, the "we" that I wrote was humbly written as to represent the collective of the people who had already posted on this thread and to hone in on the outstanding question, but you're right it is perfect to mention in case any newbies run across this thread. Citric acid....thats the key...thanks.

TexasRose - I'll have to check that out, thanks.

Milkmaid - if I am not mistaken I believe it was only due to the inedibility of CP that made it off limits in never using wired flowers in competitions (ex. Oklahoma). As far as I can tell the toxicity of SB has only been brought to light over the last couple of years. I'm sure that the reason is now more credible than ever if contest officials know this information though.

Oh I did find out through a chemist (bil) and could be past transdermally and certainly as an airborne dust. wheres my hat icon_wink.gif

milkmaid42 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 4:35am
post #16 of 19

Well, I guess I'd better head for the nearest toxic waste disposal with my
SB. I haven't yet accepted the new light bulbs, what with their incredible disposal instructions in case of breakage, but at least I can replace SB with citric acid. I do have a lot of that from cheese making and home canning. Thanks for the information. You have just added years to a very enjoyable life!

sweettooth101 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 4:50am
post #17 of 19

Here's an interesting method I would like to try, haven't yet, saves a lot of clean-up.

wrightway777 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 3:10pm
post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by sweettooth101

Here's an interesting method I would like to try, haven't yet, saves a lot of clean-up.

Interesting new video its been out there for only about a month. Nivea cream...I've never seen it in a can.....

sweettooth101 Posted 10 Feb 2010 , 1:42am
post #19 of 19

This lady is very talented, she was 1st or 2nd place ( I forgot what it was) at the CSSA cake competition in Toronto last year.There was so much detail in her work.

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