Adding some decorative bubble or balloon accents to a cake can give that extra pop of pizzazz to any design! Whether creating bubbles for an under the sea cake or making hot air balloons, this unique tutorial shows you how to create gelatin balloons that sparkle with style.

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Balloons (water balloons are best, can use up to 12” size)
Bowl (or cup), microwave safe
Dust (your choice of luster, petal or disco dust)
Flavoring extract, optional
Gelatin, 1 tablespoon unflavored
Shot glasses, disposable
Water, 2 tablespoons



1. Blow up the balloons to your desired bubble size. Do not fill more than 2/3 full so your balloon still has flexibility. Keep in mind that bigger balloons will require a bigger dipping bowl and more gelatin.

2. Lightly coat balloons with shortening and set aside.IMG_0459

3. Combine gelatin with 1/4 teaspoon of dust in a microwave safe bowl. You may use more dust to achieve a deeper color or more sparkle.

4. Add water, stir and let sit 5 minutes.


5. Microwave gelatin mixture in 10 second increments until lukewarm and liquid with no lumps.

IMG_04696. Grab your balloon by the knot, dip straight down and then roll around to evenly coat the sides of the balloon. It is okay if you go up onto the knot, but it’s easier if you don’t completely cover the balloon.

7. Pull the balloon out of the gelatin and continue to roll your wrist to allow the gelatin to smooth around the balloon without making big drip mark as it cools.

IMG_04728. Set aside on top of disposable shot glasses to dry.

9. Repeat with multiple balloons.

10. If desired, dip a second coat to achieve more sparkle, deeper color, and stronger bubble. Wait a minute or two between coats.

Tip: Be sure to watch the temperature of the gelatin mixture. Reheat your gelatin when it becomes clumpy and remember to mix in all of the drips and dribbles from your work space and reheat those too.

11. Allow finished bubbles to dry for 30 hours. Bubbles are dry when you hear it make a noise when gently tapped. If it still feels rubbery, allow it to dry longer.


12. After bubbles have dried, gently twist and pull the knot away from the gelatin.


13. Use your finger to gently push the rubber balloon down into the bubble, thereby pulling the balloon away from the lip of the gelatin.


14. Use your scissors to snip a small hole in the balloon. You want the air to escape slowly to avoid the bubble caving in. Do not cut the knot off; you will want to use it to pull the balloon out of the bubble.


15. If any of the balloon sticks to the bubble, use your finger to pull the rubber away from the gelatin. If the bubble dented during balloon removal, you can push the dent out, reach in with your finger and pop it out.

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If desired, you can use scissors to cut a smooth the edge of the gelatin or cut into a half-sphere.

Bubbles can be used immediately or set aside and stored for many months. Keep away from water and from heat while storing/using.

If someone will be eating the gelatin, do not use disco dust. You may want to flavor it with flavoring extract added to the water.

Leftover gelatin can be stored in a baggie for roughly a week. Keep away from heat and moisture— it will eventually go moldy if left out for more than a couple weeks.

Have a great time!!!!
- Annie


Smckinney07 Says... 2013-07-12 11:20:49

Very cool! Thank you! This is something I've wanted to try for a while, it's on my long list of decorating techniques

sweetflowers Says... 2013-07-12 12:55:26

There is the original tutorial also on this site for another option with disco dust.

superstar Says... 2013-07-12 18:24:00

Thank you, you explained everything so well!

carenm30 Says... 2013-07-12 22:13:04


donthaveaclue Says... 2013-07-14 07:57:37

do you think there is a way to make them super small like bubbles?

AnnieEzellCave Says... 2013-07-14 21:16:00

Hi Clueless, I will give it a try this week and get back with you, but here is the approach I'll take: blow a very small amount into a water balloon and when you tie it off, tie very close to the top of the balloon so that the pressure stays strong even when small. Another option for super tiny is to do drops on your parchment, allow them to dry and then you can stick them together to make a round - or just use the half rounds. Hope this helps and I'll let you know what I find! -Annie

karaokegirl Says... 2013-07-14 23:21:14

This is so cool - thank you! Its very hot and humid where I am right now. Am guessing its probably not the right type of weather for something like this? I'd think it might never fully dry/set up.

LeanneW Says... 2013-07-15 13:18:30

I watched Annie demo this technique a few years ago at the Washington State Sugar Art show. She mentioned that you can place them in front of a VERY low fan to dry them faster. This should help in a humid environment, also, place it near a dehumidifier if you have one. I am curious how it turns out for you. Will you give it a try and let us know? You could store them with silica gel too.

KarenK55 Says... 2013-08-19 14:46:58

Cooooolllllll stuff. Thank you

CupcakerCathy Says... 2013-08-23 10:11:38

I have never made these so I don't know how strong they are. Do you think that it would be possible to use edible markers to draw something on them? Thanks!

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