Sunday, November 18, 2012

Decorated Christmas Sugar Cube- Tutorial

I'm still planning ahead for the Holidays and today I'm making royal icing decorated Christmas sugar cubes. They're easy enough to make ahead, and will add a little something extra to the homemade treats I am planning to give to family members this Christmas.

Some designs are easier for me to make as icing transfers rather than pipe directly onto sugar cubes, like these little bows for example.
I've designed and printed out my bow shapes onto a piece of paper with waxed paper secured over the top of it. 
Using a fairly thick, but not quite piping, consistency royal icing I begin filling in just the top part of my bow design using the print out as a guide. I let these sections set up a bit before piping the next sections.

After the tops of the bows are set so they won't run into the next section, I pipe the lower parts of the bows, and again let these set up just a bit.

 The center is added when the other sections are dry enough not to run together. 

I decided to add tails to these even though I didn't draw them on the original design. I'm doing one at a time and again letting them dry in between so they don't run together and lose definition.

After the last tail is piped, I let these dry completely before adhering each one to a sugar cube with a dab of icing.

Another design I prefer to do as icing transfers are these tiny gingerbread men. These are done without letting the sections dry in between because I want the piped sections to blend together seamlessly.
So I don't bore you by doing each step as a separate photo I show all the piping steps here in one photo. (last 4 gingerbread men in the bottom row)
I start by piping a line across where the arms go following the waxed paper covered printout I made ahead. Then I add the legs one at a time followed by the head. After all the gingerbread men are piped I let them dry completely.
Note: If you find your icing is running together too fast, let each piped section set up a bit before piping the next one. Pipe a row or two of just the arms, and then go back and add just a leg and so on.

Once the gingerbread men were dry I painted on the details with a tiny brush and food coloring. These are adhered one at a time to a sugar cube with a dab of icing when the details are dry.

These candy canes were easy enough to pipe right onto the sugar cubes. Using a thicker but not quite outline consistency icing, (I didn't want peaks) I piped red dots into a cane shape leaving space for the white to be added later.

When the red dots were dry I piped white dots in between.

This last design was also piped directly onto the sugar cube using a small leaf icing tip.
This design takes a bit of practice especially if you've never done this technique before.  Using a slight up and down motion while gently squeezing out the icing is only way I can explain how I do this.  Ending the leaf tip can be tricky, but with practice you'll find what works. You stop squeezing and pull away. Too fast and you might end up with a split leaf point. Too slow and the leaf point may elongate and fall over the side of the cube. Like I said, practice. I do practice runs on waxed paper every time before I pipe leaves until I get the look I want and a rhythm going.
These can be done as icing transfers as well.
 Once the leaves are all piped I let them dry before going on to the next step.

After the leaves dried I piped on three red berries to give them sort of a holly look .

 Here are my finished sugar cubes all snug in these cute little candy boxes. I found these boxes with the inserts at a cake decorating store that fit 16 cubes. That looks to me like the perfect amount for gift giving. I've tried to locate them online, but no luck so far. The box comes with a clear top so all I need to add is a bow and I can cross this item off my long Holiday to do list.

  ♥ Happy Decorating


  1. What an uber-cute idea! Love it!

  2. These are adorable, and are useful for many, many things, love it! How do you print so many of the same design on your guide sheet, without drawing it over and over?

    1. Sometimes I can "draw" a design in my came-with-the-computer paint program. Other times I'll draw my design and then scan to my computer to save. Then open it in my paint program and resize down to 1/2 inch retouching any lines that need it. Then it's just copy and paste a line of shapes onto an 11 x 8.5 inch sheet of virtual paper, then I'll copy a line and repeat it down the paper until I have a full sheet and print it out. I know that's more info than you needed, but I hope it made sense and helps.

    2. My son, who is a computer engineering student, will be home from college tonight. I will have him help me, thanks so much! Don't know if I have a built-in paint program, but he will know, and find it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Beautiful Mommy! I want some sugar!!!!! :)

    1. Alybeth saw them, loved them, and wants some for Christmas too. You might have to share.......