The brand new cake trend 2020 is the decoration with sugar sheets. This is a sugar layer which is placed around the cake or used for decoration. You can achieve amazing effects and the variations are almost limitless. Here I show you how you can easily create a cake with a sugar sheet.
Any cake with a fondant suitable frosting can be used as a base for a sugar sheet cake as well. In this case I used a white Marshmallow Fluff buttercream (250g whipped butter + 200g Marshmallow Fluff* and a splash of white food color*) to frost the cake, using my favorite method for sharp edges.
Now we come to the exciting part, the sugar sheet :-) The process is actually quite simple. You start by coloring sugar with paste food colors*. You simply put the sugar with a blob of food coloring into a plastic bag and mix it till it's fully combined. For my cake I needed about 250g sugar and colored it in teal*. On the pictures you can just see a portion of it, because I did some trials and didn't want to waste much if not turning out great.
Now mix the sugar with glucose syrup* (1 teaspoon per 100g of sugar) until a smooth mixture is obtained.
Spread this mixture on a silicone mat and roll it out about 2-3mm thick with a rolling pin*. I would measure the height and the circumference of your cake with a tape measure to adjust the shape of the sugar sheet accordingly. The edges do not have to be smooth, but you should cut the bottom edge straight.
Now put the sugar sheet for about 5-10min at 80°C in the oven. Afterwards it will be more firm, but still flexible so you can form it like you want but it will not break to fast.
The last step is the placing on the cake. Take the sugar sheet carefully, wrap it around the cake and press it lightly onto it. If you are using ganache as a base, you can spread some shortening or something similar on it before. Now you can decorate the cake further. I have decorated the edge of the sugar sheet with pieces of gold leaf sheets*. You could also add more decoration or drape the sugar sheet in another shape. I think this cake technique is so great and I am already curious to see which variations we will see in the next weeks and months.
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Jess (Saturday, 22 August 2020 10:59)
How should I store this cake, and how long before cutting can I assemble without the sheet drooping??
Bettina of thebakingjourney (Sunday, 23 August 2020 16:14)
I store all my cakes in the fridge till serving, as I mainly use dairy products for filling. The sugar sheet will survive in the fridge if the frosting or the cake is a buttercream or ganache. If the frosting is to moist like whipped cream or creamcheese it will draw to much moisture into the sheet and start melting. I kept mine always for 1-3 days in the fridge without issues but be carefully if you have high humidity and take the cake out. Condensation can destroy the sheet.
Lois (Saturday, 19 December 2020 23:30)
Your cake is beautiful. I’ve tried this 3 times and the sheet keeps breaking
Bettina if thebakingjourney (Sunday, 20 December 2020 12:32)
Thank you. I have had different feedbacks and to me it seems like it depends a lot on the brand of glucose syrup. Maybe you try a little more or less. It could be also depending on the weather condition, if it’s humid, hot or not. You can also vary the drying time. Hope that helps a little.
Meyra (Friday, 15 January 2021 08:18)
Should the sugar sheet be made on the same day or can it be made overnight before.
Will it melt?
Bettina from thebakingjourney (Friday, 19 February 2021 17:15)
it depends a lot on what you put it, moist frostings like whipped cream will make it melt but ganache or buttercream should be fine. It can be made in advance but I would put it right away on the cake because once it gets hard it will break if you try to bend it further.
Monique (Wednesday, 03 March 2021 20:47)
Hi Just a random question...do you eat the sugar sheet when serving the cake or is it strictly for decoration. I am assuming since it will harden that it cannot be cut so I am not sure what to tell anyone eating it lol. Please let me know...thanks!
Bettina from thebakingjourney (Tuesday, 09 March 2021 13:13)
I have not pulled it off completely before serving the cake, just cut through it. It’s not so hard that you can’t cut it, because it’s brittle. Eating is another topic, you can but it’s pure sugar and for my liking just to much. Some of my guests used it to sweeten there coffee.
Myriam (Monday, 22 March 2021 14:05)
Hi, I need some help with my sugar sheets. I have followed different recipes with or without Tylose, with and without cooking but my sugar sheets aren’t as pliable as some I have seen online and they keep wilting. I need to apply them to a fondant icing wedding cake. The last one I made I brushed the fondant with a small amount of piping gel for the sugar sheet to have something to adhere to but the top of it kept wilting and after a while it just kept breaking off. Any suggestions gratefully received as I must be going wrong somewhere. Thanks
Bettina from thebakingjourney (Thursday, 25 March 2021 18:27)
I figured out that glucose syrup varies quite a lot from brand to brand. Maybe you try to use a little less or more. Mine keeps drying super hard. I had a leftover piece for month laying in my baking cabinet and it was no change to recognize. Hope that helps.
Miss Penda (Saturday, 17 April 2021 22:18)
I came across your site while making some research about sugar sheet. I have a cake order in this design. I also use marshmallow buttercream in my cakes but I do want to know if you let your frosted cake firm up in the fridge before applying the sugar sheet.
Also how long do you think marshmallow buttercream can last out of the fridge?
Bettina from the bakingjourney (Sunday, 18 April 2021 10:07)
Hi Miss Penda,
yes I would advice to let the frosting first firm up before you attach the sheet. If it’s to cold you can warm it up a little from the pressure of your hands and the sheet will still stick. In regards of shelf live I can’t give an absolute answer as it depends in what ingredients you use. I mainly use dairy filling so it’s not an option for me to leave out cakes but if it’s butter cream with just ingredients who can stay out of the fridge I would say 2-3 days in moderate temperature. It also depends how firm your frosting is at moderate temperatures.
Lauren (Sunday, 20 March 2022 21:27)
Just wondering is the sugar sheet directly on your buttercream or did you place fondant on your cake first?
Can I use normal buttercream for it to stick on or will that make it melt?
If you used fondant what did you use to stick the sheet to the cake ?
Bettina from thebakingjourney (Sunday, 20 March 2022 23:40)
It’s a buttercream cake and the sugar sheet sticks very well if you just press it to the cake. If it’s a buttercream which is ok to use with fondant like American, Swiss Meringue, Italien or like the Marshmallowfluff buttercream I used the sugar sheet will be fine. It just shouldn’t get in contact with moist frostings like whipped cream or cream cheese frostings. Also be careful with buttercream which contains cream cheese or custard.