What exactly is piping gel, and does it harden?

What exactly is piping gel, and does it harden?

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Whether you’re baking a cake with basic or intricate design, you could come across the word “piping gel” in the recipe.

Piping gel is a transparent, colorable gel that is widely used to adorn cakes with writing or to impart stretch to buttercream. It never hardens.

Hello there! My name is Shea, and although I am now a seasoned baker, I wasn’t always. I had no clue what piping gel was or if it hardened when I first began creating cakes. Thus, if you’re unsure, you’re not alone.

The finest thing you can do is learn and improve your baking skills. That is precisely what this post is intended to achieve. Today, we spoke about piping gel, how to apply it, if it hardens, and some other useful information that every beginner baker should know.

Have your notepad and pen ready because it’s time to study.

What is Piping Gel?

Let us begin with the most important question: what is piping gel?

A piping gel, also known as decorating gel, is simply a clear and smooth gel that is applied to cakes and cupcakes using a piping bag, thus the term piping gel. (But other folks use Homemade piping bags fashioned out of Ziploc bags, wink wink. We will never reveal anything!)

In certain cases, this product is kept out of sight. When added to buttercream, for example, it provides additional flexibility. Whether used for writing or making decorations, it is simple to paint using dry colorants to get the desired shade (wet colorants can compromise the consistency).

What is Piping Gel Used For?

Piping gel is a handy item that every baker should have on hand, particularly for making stunning cakes and cupcakes. Below are the top five applications.

1. Writing

The most common use of piping gel is to write inscriptions on cakes. It’s ideal for writing letters and numbers since it has a sticky feel and won’t dry out. Always use a narrow nozzle, such as one or two, while writing notes with piping gel.

2. Water Effect

The piping gel’s fluidity is great for bringing water effects to life. Consider the gorgeous ocean-themed birthday cake you made for your nephew’s second birthday or the cup of coffee you made for a retirement cake.

3. Give Buttercream More Stretch

Working with buttercream may be difficult (think pickle-flavored buttercream, good or nay?). This is particularly true when creating more elaborate designs. Buttercream is stretchier and easier to work with when a pinch of piping gel is added.

4. Edible Glue

Do you need adhesive to assist your cake adhere to a board? What about some delicate blooms that need to be adhered to the top of your cake? When your cake adventures need edible adhesive, the piping gel may help.

5. Fruit Glaze

Have you ever seen fruit that was so glossy and polished that it looked to be unappealing? To glaze the fruit, the company most likely utilized piping gel. Decorating gel adds a lovely gloss to the outside. As an added advantage, it keeps the fruit fresher for longer.

Does Piping Gel Harden?

The piping gel does not solidify, which distinguishes it from other cake decorating materials.

But it’s a good thing. Since piping gel does not solidify, you may be more creative with your patterns without worrying about them drying out as you work. The softness also makes your water features look more realistic, so it’s ideal for that method.

What is Piping Gel Made of?

On the market, there are two types of piping gels: those manufactured with cornstarch (vegan-friendly) and those created with gelatin (not vegan-friendly). Hence, if you’re baking a vegan cake, go for the cornstarch version.

You may also produce your own piping gel. It’s fast and simple, and you may already have the items in your kitchen cupboard.

1. Gelatin Piping Gel

To produce a gelatin piping gel, combine gelatin, room temperature water, light corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Then proceed as follows:

Step 1: Combine two teaspoons gelatin and two tablespoons water.

Step 2: Let the gelatin to fully dissolve (approx. two minutes).

Step 3: Microwave on high for 25 seconds.

Step 4: Over a low heat, combine two cups of light corn syrup and a drop of vanilla essence.

Step 5: When the gelatin mixture is heated, add it.

Step 6: Mix.

Step 7: Transfer the contents to a bowl; it will thicken as it cools. If desired, add color.

2. Cornstarch Piping Gel

White sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and water are required to produce the vegan-friendly version. Here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: As previously said, dissolve two teaspoons gelatin in two tablespoons water.

Step 2: Warm a cup of sugar and a cup of water together over low heat.

Step 3: When the mixture is heated, add one spoonful cornstarch and four tablespoons lemon juice.

Step 4: Continue to stir until the mixture thickens.

Step 5: Pour and let to cool before using. If desired, add color.

If the piping gel is excessively thick, a pinch of hot water may be required.


Piping gel is a handy product that you may find useful in one or more projects, and it never hardens! Check out these helpful questions regarding piping gel if you want to understand more.

Does piping gel dry on cookies?

or carrying frosted cookies with decorating gel. If desired, use piping gel to decorate the cookies. But, just because you put it on cookies does not imply that it will dry. Since the piping gel will retain its soft nature, be extra cautious while storing and using it.

Does Wilton decorating icing harden?

The decorative gel from Wiltons does not harden.

Does piping gel need to be refrigerated?

Whether you buy pre-made piping gel or create your own, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly preserved, it will last around two or three months.

Final Words

Piping gel is required for specialized cake and cupcake embellishments like as text and water effects. It will neither harden or dry out, making it a feasible solution in the absence of time limitations.


Does piping gel set hard?

If you’re wondering whether piping gel hardens, you’ll be relieved to find that it remains rather soft almost eternally.

What is the purpose of piping gel?

Piping gel adds a sheen to fondant-covered cakes and decorations. You may use it as is or dilute it with vodka before brushing it on. (This gives your work a more consistent gloss and hides brush strokes.)

Can I use piping gel as glue?

Piping Gel is transparent and sticky, which makes it a versatile product. While dealing with marzipan and fondant, cake designers mostly employ the gel. Since the gel is an edible adhesive, it may be used to adhere fondant and marzipan to cakes and cupcakes.

What is the difference between edible glue and piping gel?

A sort of edible adhesive is piping gel. It’s more powerful than edible glue. It does not imply that it is superior than edible glue. Both goods have advantages and disadvantages.

How long does piping gel last?

Piping gel, in general, has a limited shelf life – I’d estimate approximately 2 weeks. As a result, I usually prepare a little quantity since I like to make it often.

Is hard gel harder than acrylic?

While harder than acrylic, hard gel is more flexible and stronger. Someone accustomed to acrylic may believe that hard gel is weaker, however this is not the case. Hard gel can sustain more pressure than acrylic and is less prone to shatter or fracture.

What can I use instead of piping gel?

Piping Gel Made at Home
13 cup sugar, granulated (67 grams)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (7 grams)
14 cup fresh lemon juice (59 ml)
14 cup of water (59 ml)

Can you mix piping gel with buttercream?

To give buttercream more stretch while piping leaves, for example, add half a teaspoon piping gel to one cup of buttercream frosting. Whipped Cream – Combine 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons icing sugar, and 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.

Does writing gel harden?

Does the Writing Gel harden and dry? No. Our Writing Gel never hardens or dries. Writing Gel is sticky and has a glossy, translucent look.

Does piping gel need to be refrigerated?

Piping gel should be kept refrigerated and will last for two months in a sterile, airtight container. To thin the piping gel, add little quantities of water at a time until the required consistency is reached.

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