Printed Isomalt Braid and Topper

Learn how to print images on crystal clear isomalt with Icing Images Simi Transfer Sheets. In this tutorial Leanne Winslow shows you how to apply the image on to isomalt, then create a braided isomalt border and transparent printed cake topper.

We asked Leanne about her inspiration when creating this project, 

here is what she had to say:

“I was intrigued with the possibility of placing images on pieces of isomalt, I arranged them vertically on the topper so the light could shine through and show off how impressive the transparency is. While I was making the cake I found myself wanting to make even more printed pieces, but decided that just a few fern leaves would have more visual impact.”

"I Love

incorporating texture, so I wanted to create the braided border. It was something I have done in fondant before and decided to challenge myself by replicating it in isomalt. I love how the organic movement of the isomalt is even more interesting with the printed fern pattern peaking through.”

“I was curious how the image on the isomalt would behave once I started handling the pieces, especially while I was braiding them. It was like the image became part of the isomalt, it didn’t smudge or chip while I was working. It’s pretty amazing.”


Baking sheets

Cake pan in diameter of middle tier

Cold spray, optional

Culinary torch, optional

Isomalt Gloves

Heat lamp, optional

Oven mitts

Pyrex measuring cup or heat proof container

Silicone mat

Simi isomalt, clear

Icing Images Simi Transfer Sheets, printed in desired design 

Steel scissors


1. Place isomalt in heatproof container and melt following package instructions.

2. Place melted isomalt into 265℉ oven for 15 minutes. 

This will reduce air bubbles and can be used to hold isomalt at a pourable temperature during your project.

3. Line baking sheets with silicone mats.

4. Cut out and place printed sugar transfer sheets on prepared baking sheets.

5. Using caution and oven mitts, pour isomalt over sugar transfer sheets. If necessary, eliminate bubbles by lightly torching the isomalt surface.

6. Allow to firm, 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Heat scissors with torch and trim isomalt pieces.

8. Peel plastic backing from isomalt. 

9. Continue until you’ve created all the pieces you will need. I used 4 fern leaves, 2 bases, and 2 strips. My strips are slightly longer than the circumference of my cake.


1. Put on cotton gloves under nitrile gloves.

2. Create the topper by placing an isomalt circle base on a silicone mat. 

3. Torch the bottom end of a fern and glue into position on isomalt base.

4. Hold until hardened.Repeat, gluing ferns until you are happy with the arrangement.

5. Accent the topper with desired decorative elements. Set aside.

6. Repeat with additional isomalt base for cake board arrangement. Set aside.


1. Place isomalt strips on silicone mat lined baking sheet.

2. Place under a heat lamp or into 265℉ oven for several minutes, watching closely, to soften. 

3. Heat until each piece is pliable. 

4. Working quickly, “braid” two strips in a loose plait.

5. After the pieces are braided, but still soft, wrap around the cake pan to form a ring. If the pieces begin to harden, return to heat lamp or oven shortly.

6. Ideally you will create strips that will go all the way around your tier, you can create one braid in the circumference of your tier, or arrange two braids to circle the entire tier. 

7. Allow to harden before placing on the cake.


1. Carefully lift fully hardened braid off cake pan, and slide over the middle tier.

2. Use a small amount of melted isomalt to secure topper and board arrangement to the cake.

Comments (4)


this is exceptionally beautiful -- and of course it shows your dedication and brilliance to all things cake -- love your pioneering spirit --  you helped open the door to endless possibilities -- thank you for sharing your expertise and risking the inevitable consequences of working with this hot stuff -- ha!


@-k8memphis thank you for your sweet comment. I used to be nervous working with isomalt, but with the right gloves it's much safer. I always keep a bowl of ice water in the kitchen. I only had one tiny burn with this cake, and it was bc I touched the torched end of a fern leaf without gloves on.