How To: Sugar Ice Cubes Or Gelatin Cubes?

Decorating By brea1026 Updated 11 Nov 2008 , 4:03am by alanaj

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brea1026 Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:35pm
post #1 of 20

Please Please if you know how to do this I could really use the help. I am making a beer cake and have searched the threads on them, and have found wonerful directions for sugar beer bottles, but not so much info on the sugar ice cubes.

I am just making fondant beer bottles, because this is a cake for my sister's friend. I also thought about making jello/ getatin cubes, but I was wondering if anyone knows how well those hold up in the heat. The party will be indoors, but still I don't ever eat jello so I don't know if that stuff melts.

19 replies
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diane Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:39pm
post #2 of 20
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diane Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:41pm
post #3 of 20

here's a tutorial on youtube. thumbs_up.gif

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lu9129 Posted 22 May 2008 , 4:55pm
post #4 of 20

I made my sugar cubes (you can see them in my photos). I made the rock candy recipe and then poured them in the ice cube trays. Don't know if this is what you are looking for, but it worked for me.



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brea1026 Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:01pm
post #5 of 20

Thanks so much for the help. Now I have another question: Is there any way to make the sugar clear, without the yellow color? Does it turn that color because it needs to reach 300 deg. to harden completely?

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KHalstead Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:16pm
post #6 of 20

okay, I'm sorry but that video was HILARIOUS!!!

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lu9129 Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:36pm
post #7 of 20

I thought the yellow color was from the pam that I sprayed in the ice cube trays. It had butter in it.

I tried another spray without butter, and they still came out yellow.

I don't know what can change that.


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puzzlegut Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:57pm
post #8 of 20

I'd like to learn more about this as well.

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lnb19 Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:06pm
post #9 of 20

That video is too funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SweetResults Posted 22 May 2008 , 10:28pm
post #10 of 20

That video totally rocks!

Basically that is how you make your ice - just crumple the foil up before you pour the sugar on it so it is uneven. Then when it hardens smash it up and it will look like crushed ice. It won't be as yellow as you think once it is broken up and placed on the cake, trust me.

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trishawv Posted 23 May 2008 , 1:54am
post #11 of 20

Cream of TAR that was video was so funny. Maybe if you use a heavier sauce pan it won't be as yellow. or maybe put a smidgen of blue in the mixture, because that might look better than yellow.

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kristanskakes Posted 23 May 2008 , 2:13am
post #12 of 20

Your sugar is carmalizing. Try either heating it to 300 at a lower temp or don't go to 300. Just take the sugar to the hard ball stage. Before your sugar gets any color make a test. drop some sugar into ice water and pull it out. It should be hard. If your test hardens while the sugar is clear then you can make clear cubes.

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kansaswolf Posted 23 May 2008 , 2:23am
post #13 of 20

"Cream of TAR TAR... It's not even cream, it's a POWDER!" BA HA HA HA!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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Price Posted 23 May 2008 , 2:31am
post #14 of 20

I used jello for the ice cubes in my cooler cake. They worked ok, but if it is very hot, I think you might have a problem with them melting a little. If you try the jello, use the jigglers recipe to make the jello more firm.

If I do it again, I will probably try to make sugar ice cubes.

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lutie Posted 23 May 2008 , 2:47am
post #15 of 20

I found this information in My Documents where I copied it from an article from the internet some time ago... I do not know from where it originated, but the information will answer all your questions regarding the Sugar Glass... Hope it helps! (It talks about how to keep your sugar from getting the yellow color).

"Before explaining the cooking procedure and shaping of the sugar solution into various shapes and forms, it is of importance to understand the behavior of the sugar and water in the syrup.

Boiling Point and Sugar Concentration

When sugar is dissolved in water, it raises the boiling point of the solution above that of water. The magnitude of the change depends on the amount of sugar dissolved in the water; the more the sugar, the higher the boiling point. So the boiling point of sugar solution is an indirect sign of the amount (concentration) of dissolved sugar it contains.

A sugar syrup that is cooked to a high temperature (high boiling point) contains quite a bit of sugar and very little water. Once that is cooked to a lower temperature contains more water.

When cooking a solution of water and sugar, the water begins to evaporate, while the sugar stays behind. This means that the sugar accounts for a larger and larger proportion of ingredients in the solution. In other words, the syrup gets more and more concentrated as the water boils off and so its boiling point (cooking temperature) rises. As the cooking process continues, the boiling point and concentration of the syrup increases. The more water a syrup contains (low boiling point), the softer it will be when cooled. A syrup that contains very little water will be harder to cool.

It is best to use copper pots for cooking the sugar because the copper will conduct the heat faster and more evenly, which enables fast, even cooking of the sugar. Be sure the pot used is completely clean. Clean it with an acid such as lemon juice of vinegar.

Have a reliable candy thermometer on hand. The temperature of the sugar is very important because it will determine the final texture of the cooked sugar.

Nearby, have a tall container that is filled with clean distilled water and place a clean spoon, for stirring the sugar to dissolve it before it boils, and a clean brush, for brushing down the sides of the pan. Make sure the brush has natural bristles because synthetic bristles can melt.

Place a large bowl about twice the size of the sugar pot filled with cold water near the stove for shocking the sugar when it has reached the proper temperature.

Fill a one to two quart container with hot distilled water for storing utensils to keep them free from impurities during work. Use a tea strainer for removing impurities which cause the sugar to crystallize, destroying the sugar.

To make poured sugar, using a regular size copper pot, use:

Sugar: 4 pounds 100%

Water: 2 pounds 50%

Glucose: 9 ounces 15-20%

If the showpiece is to have many small details, up to 12 drops of tartaric acid are added to the above formula. The sugar will become more sensitive to moisture and more sticky. The sugar used should be very clean. Domino and Dixie Crystal brands of sugar are excellent. The water used should also be very clean. It is therefore best to use distilled water.

Cooking Procedure

1. Clean the pot with an acid (lemon or vinegar) and hot water. This removes the oxidation film and other dirt on the pot that would otherwise discolor the sugar.

2. After cleaning, rinse the pot to remove all the acid, using cold water. Do not dry the pot with a towel because the fabric will leave a residue that promotes crystallization in the sugar.

3. Add the water and the sugar, stirring with a clean spoon.

4. Using a low flame, bring the solution to a boil, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Do not stir the sugar once is has begun to boil. If the sugar is left unstirred before boiling, some of it will sink to the bottom of the pot and caramelize, or even burn, and turn the batch of sugar yellow. It is important to remember that the sugar dissolves as it boils. This is a physical change that results in the sugar not being in crystal formation any longer. Because the change is merely physical, the sugar can crystallize again, becoming grainy, if not properly cared for. Just before the sugar comes to a boil, remove the white scum that is forming on the surface of the sugar, using the tea strainer.

5. Add the glucose. It is best to weigh the glucose on plastic wrap and poke a hole in it when it is ready to be added to the boiling sugar. The reason the glucose is not added at the beginning of the procedure is that its density will prevent the sugar from dissolving completely, which could cause the dissolved sugar to crystallize at a later point.

Note: If possible, let the sugar syrup set overnight, covered with plastic wrap, allowing more time for the sugar grain to dissolve properly.

6. Suspend the thermometer in the center of the pot of boiling sugar. This is best for gas heat, since the flame causes a strong side heat which would cause inaccurate readings if the thermometer were place on the side of the pot.

7. If adding white-white to make the sugar opaque, add it now. Too much white-white can make the sugar look plastic, so measure accurately. White-white can also be added to the sugar later, after the sugar has been cooked.

8. Increase heat to a high flame, making sure it does not shoot along the side of the pot, and continue to boil the sugar, brushing the sides of the pot and the thermometer every 5 minutes. This removes any accumulated sugar that is on the side of the pot or thermometer. This step is important because:
a. If a small amount of sugar collects on the side of the pot it may burns and discolor the batch, or
b. The small amount of sugar may crystallize and the crystals will set off a chain reaction in the sugar. The whole batch will crystallize.

Another method of removing the sugar from the sides of the pot is to cover the pot and let the steam created clean the sides of the pot. This will, however, slow down the cooking of the sugar due to the trapped steam.

9. The sugar should be cooked as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, use a high heat, do not cook too much sugar at one time, and do not interrupt the cooking of the sugar. The faster the sugar cooks, the whiter the sugar will be. If the sugar is cooked too slowly, the sugar will turn yellowish and will have a greater possibility of crystallizing. When the sugar is getting near the desired temperature (approximately 5 degrees lower), stir the sugar lightly with the thermometer to distribute the temperature of the sugar more evenly. As this point, lower the flame.

10. Cook the sugar until it reaches 305° F exactly. Be sure to read the thermometer accurately. Remove the thermometer and place it in a bath of hot water. Sugar can be cooked to a higher temperature, but it will be more off-white in color. Sugar will begin to caramelize at 320° F, so be very careful of the temperature.

11. Shock the sugar in the prepared pot of cold water. Make sure the level of the sugar is equal with the water level on the outside of the pot. Keep the sugar in the water until the boiling stops, taking care that no water gets into the sugar. This prevents the temperature of the sugar from rising any further.

12. Place the pot on a sturdy sheet pan.

13. Add the tartaric acid at this point, if it is to be used. The sugar will start to bubble. Shake the pot until the sugar stops bubbling. This is a sign that the acid is well incorporated into the sugar.

14. Reheat the sugar to maximum fluidity. Do not boil.

15. The sugar is ready to be colored and poured.


The glucose and tartaric acid reduce the chances of the sugar crystallizing. Tartaric acid reduce the changes of the sugar crystallizing. Tartaric acid can be found in some wine-making shops or drug stores. Tartaric acid will make the sugar softer, more sensitive to moisture, and sticky, because the acid actually inverts some of the granulated sugar. Cream of tartar may be used instead of tartaric acid, using a sufficient amount and adding at the beginning of the cooking process. Whenever possible, do not use tartaric acid in poured sugar. The sugar will have a longer shelf life without it.

Glucose is a type of sugar that will never return to crystal form. It should not be used in excess of 20 percent, however, because it also softens the sugar and makes it more sensitive to moisture.

Points to Remember

Dilute the tartaric acid in a 1:1 ratio of hot water.

Four pounds of sugar takes approximately one half hour to cook, from the moment it begins to boil.

The temperature measures how much water is actually left in the sugar solution. This is why taking accurate temperature reading is so important. Having the sugar at 305° F leaves just the right amount of water in the solution so that it will be firm enough, but not too sticky and white in appearance.

The sugar can be cooked to a higher temperature. It will be stronger, but more yellowish, off-white in color.

If poured sugar is to be opaque, rather than clear or transparent, the following items can be used:

White-white (titanium dioxide) can be added at any time.

Calcium carbonate, mixed with a little water to make a soft paste, added to sugar at 290° F.

Plaster of Paris is used like calcium carbonate, but is used only for showpieces that are not edible.

If the moisture content in the air is too high, the sugar should be cooked to a higher temperature and less glucose and acid should be used.

Pouring the Sugar

There must be a base on which to pour the sugar. Appropriate bases include silicon paper, parchment paper, aluminum foil, marble slabs, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and silicon rubber.

Silicon paper is parchment paper that has been treated with silicon. The sugar will not stick to this surface and it does not need to be oiled. Ordinary parchment paper should be oiled so the sugar does not stick. If aluminum foil is used, it should be slightly oiled.

Marble slab should be well polished and free of cracks or holes, and slightly oiled. If the sugar is poured directly onto the marble it should be released from the marble using a spatula while it is still slightly warm. If the sugar is allowed to cool completely, the vacuum created between the sugar and marble will create such a strong suction that the sugar will stick and not come off.

PVC comes in two forms, either soft, which is plastic-like, or hard, which is used to make some types of piping. These are versatile bases, allowing both sides of the sugar to be utilized. It also allows bending of the sugar. The sugar is bent while still warm and peeled from the PVC when it is cold. No oil is necessary, and soft PVC is preferable.

There are many different kinds of silicon rubber that can be used as a base, and most will need oil. Silicon rubber also allows utilization of both sides of the sugar.


Molds help the poured sugar retain its shape and keep it from flowing. Frequently used molds include plastiline, steel bars, metal bands and aluminum foil, cake rings, cookie cutters, PVC, and rubber mats.

Plastiline is man-made clay that does not dry out or spoil. It is rolled out one-third to one-quarter inch thick, using cornstarch, and then cut. Plastiline needs to be oiled and used when it is as cold as possible. The softer the pastiline, the more it will stick to the sugar.

Steel bars are used for molding straight sections of the showpiece. Metal bands and aluminum foil are used for shaped sections, since both bend easily to a desired shape. Both should be oiled. Cake rings, cookie cutters, and any closed molds are good for forming desired shapes. These should be oiled, and the sugar must be released from the base while it is slightly warm. Since heat expands and cold contracts, if the sugar is allowed to cool completely in the mold, the mold adheres tightly to the sugar, and the mold cannot be removed without breaking the sugar.

Soft PVC can be used for making molds. No oil it needed.

When choosing rubber mats, use the desired shape using a razor knife or scalpel. Rubber mats need to be oiled slightly.

Coloring the Sugar:

Use paste or powdered food colors. Be sure to dilute the powdered food colors in water or alcohol. Do not used liquid food colors which are used for airbrushing. Keep the colors clean and as new as possible. This will help prevent any impurities from getting into the sugar. Make black only with clear, not opaque sugar.

From the three primary colors, red, blue and yellow, most of the other colors can be made. Paste or powdered food color are preferred rather than liquid because the paste color will not change the consistency of the sugar. Use the following chart when mixing colors:

Once the secondary colors of orange, green, purple, and brown are made, coupled with the three primary colors of red, blue and yellow, seven colors are now available, suitable for any decorating. When mixing the shades, add a little at a time until the desired shade or color is obtained. Add a little coloring at a time to the sugar to color it. Always use pale or pastel shades and blend the colors tastefully."

This is probably more information than you wanted, but it will answer your question.


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CAKESHERWAY Posted 23 May 2008 , 3:56am
post #16 of 20

Save! Great!

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SweetResults Posted 23 May 2008 , 12:21pm
post #17 of 20

Hey cool! I wonder if this will help me when I cook the sugar for my IMBC - I ALWAYS screw it up!!!

Thanks for the info!

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ibmoser Posted 23 May 2008 , 2:46pm
post #18 of 20

Fabulous information - thank you so much -

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trishawv Posted 23 May 2008 , 2:49pm
post #19 of 20

thanks so much luti for posting those instructions. Very much appreciated thumbs_up.gif

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alanaj Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 4:03am
post #20 of 20


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