Stained Glass Cake Tutorial from Lily Vanilli

stained glass cake tutorial by Lily Vanilli

When it comes to funky baking ideas, Sweet Tooth by Lily Vanilli is a stand-out baking book. Packed full of beautiful baked goods each with an artistic twist – a trademark of Lili Vanilli’s yummy, sumptuous confectionery that makes it a renowned London cake establishment.

From brand new baked creations to vintage favourites with an edgy vibe , Sweet Tooth by Lily Vanilli will inspire baking fanatics from complete newbies to those looking for fresh inspiration.

This week we have the step-by-step instructions for Lily’s unique “Stained Glass” cake above from her book above:

Sugar glass is what they use in films whenever you see glass being smashed – it’s hard and transparent, more brittle than glass (and less dangerous).

Because sugar glass is hygroscopic, you should smash it into shards soon after it is fully cooled or it will start to absorb liquid and soften, losing its brittle quality.

If you want to make different-coloured sugar shards, you will need to make a fresh batch for each one – don’t try to split the mix and colour it separately, as you have to work quickly with the liquid before it sets.

To Make the Sugar Shards:

500ml water
785g granulated sugar
A few drops of gel food colouring in different shades
250ml liquid glucose
¼ tsp cream of tartar
One shallow baking tray, lined with foil, with no gaps
Oil spray
Sugar thermometer

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 800g

  1. Spray your prepared baking tray all over with the oil spray at least 30 minutes before you want to use it.
  2. Place the water, sugar, food colouring, liquid glucose and cream of tartar into a pan with a sugar thermometer attached and stir to combine. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, until it reaches 150°C approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to 130°C – approximately 10 minutes – then pour the mixture quickly and carefully into the oiled baking tray. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Pop the sugar sheet very carefully out of the tray, then, using a meat tenderiser, hit the sheet carefully in the centre so it cracks into shards.
  5. Tip: You can use a sharp knife to score the sugar glass before cracking it.
  6. Frost your cake with a buttercream of your choice and while the frosting is still wet, gently press the shards of sugar glass all over the cake, making up any pattern you like. If your icing sets before you have a chance to attach the sugar shards, just pipe or dab a little bit of fresh frosting onto the cake and attach the glass that way.

TIp: When building a tiered cake don’t use too much frosting between each layer, as the added pressure of the extra layers will force it out of the
sides and spoil your decoration.

Extract from Sweet Tooth by Lily Vanilli, published by Canongate and available at all good bookshops.

(You’ll find the full recipe and instructions for the beautiful jewel sweets pictured above in Sweeth Tooth by Lily Vanilli also.)

Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth

Join the Cake Geek Magazine Facebook Page for more on cake design trends and updates.