Homemade Sugar Lace – An Experiment and a Postscript

Homemade Sugar Lace – An Experiment and a Postscript

I am utterly in love with my newest lace mats and wanted to incorporate one on a butter cream covered cake that I’m in the process of making…but I heard that cake lace couldn’t be used directly on butter cream 🙁  The fear is that the butter cream would transfer moisture to the lace causing it to dissolve.  Obviously none of us would want that to happen. Can you imagine, finishing all the decorations on a cake that is ready to be delivered only to have sections of it melt and disappear into nothingness before your very eyes!

I didn’t want to cover my cake in fondant.  I wanted a butter cream finish with only accents of fondant, lace and modeling chocolate.  And yes, I do have a stubborn streak and often do need to see proof before I believe.  And so I set out to test whether or not cake lace can be set directly on butter cream.

I smeared about a tablespoon of leftover homemade American butter cream (butter, confectioners’ sugar and a bit of almond extract) onto two separate saucers.  I put one saucer in the fridge so that the butter cream could harden up and the other I used while it was still soft, soon after it was made.  I then placed a small piece of lace directly on top of each, really pushing it into the unhardened cream.  Each dish was subsequently loosely covered with a nylon baggie and placed in the fridge over night.  I had no idea what would happen, if anything.


To my great surprise and delight, both saucers looked exactly the same way the following morning as they did the previous evening.  I even touched the lace to see if it would melt and dissolve with the sudden heat of my hand, but it didn’t.  The lace retained its integrity.  There also didn’t seem to be any difference between the lace that was placed on the softened cream and the lace that was placed on the cream that had previously set in the fridge.

I then wanted to see what would happen to the lace when the butter cream would warm up to room temperature, so I had the saucers sit on my kitchen counter in an un-airconditioned room throughout the day.  The butter cream on both dishes did soften enough for me to be able to leave fingerprints in it, but the lace remained unchanged and undamaged!

Then I moved on to the freezer test.  I put both saucers, still covered lightly with the nylon baggies, in the freezer overnight.  The following morning I moved them to the fridge for a few hours and then to my counter once again.  I am delighted to share that the homemade lace created using the recipe in my previous article (Homemade Sugar Lace), maintained its integrity throughout these several days of trials.

I have no idea whether lace on butter cream would work using the Swiss, French or Italian creams or whether any of the name brand lace products would behave differently.  I am just content that the products that I use do work and I am happy to share my results with you.  If anyone has had a different experience I would be very interested to hear about it.

Now off to work on my very tall sky blue butter cream cake that will be accented with lace … and without any worries at all of melted lace. 🙂

About the Author
"Let it be a challenge to you" is a saying that has accompanied me for all of my adult life. While studying education in N.Y.C. in the late 60's that was the typical response given to most work/school, related difficulties. Over the years I've found that viewing problematic situations as challenges makes them not only easier to cope with, but increases the satisfaction of having risen up to the challenge. My current challenge is trying to turn reality into cake. I am much more interested in an edible nature scene or an edible guitar than "the pretty cake". I am the mother of three and have been living in Israel for the past 40+ years. My hobbies include drawing, sculpting, photography, gardening, travel, and of late, cake decorating.
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