How to Make Edible Bubbles
For a special cake I made with my sister, Christina, we made edible bubbles to adorn it! She had seen some cute bubblegum-themed cupcakes on Pinterest and thought the “bubbles" would look good en masse, spilling over the cake. Admittedly, we could use a little more practice to really get these looking smooth, but we were quite pleased with how they turned out. Also, they’re technically edible but not delicious, so proceed with caution. Here’s how to make them.
Small balloons (water balloon-sized)
2 packages unflavored gelatin
1-2 drops liquid food coloring
4 Tablespoons cold water
1/8 teaspoon luster dust
Unflavored shortening or oil (for greasing balloons)
Inflate small balloons (water balloon size) to various sizes from 1-inch to 3-inch. Roll the balloon in your hand to round it out if it looks like an egg. Then brush each of the balloons with shortening to allow the bubble to release once dipped. After covering completely, wipe the whole balloon with a paper towel to leave only a very thin layer of shortening. The gelatin will not adhere to a balloon that is too thickly coated.
In a glass measuring cup, whisk the gelatin, food coloring, luster dust and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
After standing, the mixture will be very thick. Next, heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds. Keep heating at 5-second intervals until completely melted. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before dipping.
Hold the balloon at the knot the dip to coat all sides up to the knot, allowing the excess to drip off as you go. Carefully place the balloon into your cooling rack, knot side down, before repeating with the next balloon. If your gelatin starts to get too thick, you can just reheat it at 5-second intervals until re-melted. Dip for a second time if you wish to make darker, thicker bubbles.
Once all the balloons are dipped, allow to dry for several hours. They will be quite tacky after only a couple of hours but over time, they become hard to the touch depending on the humidity.
Once fully cured, poke a hole in the balloon to deflate it and carefully peel the balloon out of the bubble, which should keep its shape.
Attach your bubbles onto your decorated cake or cupcakes by pressing them into the buttercream or attaching with a bit of piped frosting.