If you work in the confectionery and bakery business, you’re familiar with piping gel. However, you may not have a clear understanding of what it is and what it’s used for. Never fear – like most things in the baker’s repertoire, it’s a lot less complicated than people make it out to be. 

What Is Piping Gel?

From a purely functional standpoint, piping gel is a syrupy, often sweet, gel used primarily in cake decorating. The name comes from the technique typically used to apply it. It involves using an icing bag and an icing tip to “pipe” the gel in the desired composition. There are two broad categories of piping gel. Piping gel made with cornstarch as a gelling agent and piping gel made with gelatin. The key difference between the two is that the cornstarch recipe is vegan. Gelatin is of animal origin, so it’s not appropriate for vegan baking. Another small difference is the opacity of the gel. Gel made with cornstarch is a little more opaque, but that shouldn’t make a significant impact on the typical cake. If you’re new to piping gel, you’re probably better off buying a premade product. And, if you’re wondering Does piping gel harden?, you’ll be happy to know that it stays relatively soft pretty much indefinitely. 

What Is Piping Gel Used For?

Piping gel has many uses in baking. You’ll find it to be one of the most versatile tools in your baking toolbox. 

  • Glue – you can use it to glue components of a cake together. It’s entirely edible and it’s clear (unless you choose to color it) so it’s much more inconspicuous than icing or frosting. When you’re creating delicate elements for your cake, piping gel is one of the best ways to put them together. If you’re gluing larger components, you can mix sugar paste into it to make it a little tackier. 
  • Stabilizer – You can add piping gel to whipped cream to stabilize it. Essentially, you’re helping the whipped cream hold its shape longer. If your creations will sit at room temperature, this is a great way to keep the whipped cream looking fresh and attractive. 
  • Writing – the most common use of piping gel. Put it in an icing bag and use it to write messages on your cakes and other sweets. It’s easy to manipulate and releases steadily from the piping bag, making it simple to write legible messages with a little practice. 
  • Create shine – you can dilute piping gel with a little clear vanilla extract to make it shiny. Then, use it to add any kind of glistening decorations to your cakes. It’s excellent for creating water effects as well as glazing and adding a glossy shine to any part of your cakes. You can add food coloring and let your inspiration run wild. 
  • Soften your icing – mix piping gel into your icing to soften it up. This is a useful trick when you’re creating brush embroidery and other delicate elements.  

A Versatile Addition to Your Baking Arsenal

That’s just about everything you need to know about piping gel. There are plenty of simple recipes you can follow if you want to make it yourself. However, you can make it easier on yourself if you just buy premade gel from a wholesale piping gel supplier. You’ll know it’s the same consistency every time and it saves you a lot of effort. Medina Baking and Powder Products have been meeting customer’s baking needs for over four decades. Let us be your perfect baking partner and you’ll get high-quality ingredients and baked goods and affordable prices.