We’ve been supplying crystals and rhinestones for over 10 years, to all sorts of people who bling anything and everything from the weird to the wonderful. And we’ve also helped out on a few of these projects too: full sized display mannequins, wheelbarrows for celebrities, animal skulls and even a Rolls Royce to name just a few. It is possible to add rhinestones to just about anything, but did you know you can also decorate cakes with them too? The art of crystal embellishment in the food industry is fast becoming a hot trend, particularly within the baking world. Who knows, we might see some crystal embellishment on the next series of The Great British Bake Off.
We were first made aware of crystals for cake trend through one of our customers Emma Jayne Cake Design – we’d worked with her on her various projects for Cake International, including the showstopping piece for ‘Wedding dresses through the ages’ where she used Preciosa AB crystals and navettes to decorate the dress.
We were recently approached by our very talented customer Alex Hughes, an award winning luxury cake designer, who was looking for some sparkly embellishments for her latest commission – a Rolex watch cake for a 21st birthday. We caught up with Alex after she’d completed this fabulous project, to find out a bit more about how she uses crystals in her work.CP. Why did you choose Preciosa clear crystals to decorate the cake?
AH. I had first heard of Preciosa crystals as they are used by the world-famous cake artist Emma Jayne, so I immediately Googled them and found Crystal Parade. The size choice, clear colour and quality of the crystals suited the design of the real Rolex watch, and I also wanted non-hotfix flatback crystals so I could use them without heat next to the icing base of the watch. I thought the flatback feature would give the best even and flush finish when attached to the icing watch face and strap.
CP. How did you apply the crystals and did you use any particular tools or sticking agent?
AH. I used the Crystal Parade wax pencil pick up tool and attached the crystals to the watch using Simply Making's Crystal Clear Piping Gel from the Cake Decorating Company. This is a really sticky edible glue and worked fantastically. Whilst the watch was made in mostly edible media, with just the crystals being non-edible, the watch could be removed from the rest of the cake before the cake was served.
CP. How long did it take and how many crystals were used approximately?
AH. The watch itself took 7 hours to make including 4 hours to add approximately the 500 crystals. The cake was made over the course of 5 days in total.
CP. Have you used crystals in any previous cake projects?
AH. I've used some other larger individual crystals on a cake from a different supplier, but didn't find them to be as good a quality as the Preciosa crystals. I've used crystal ribbon trim and a large crystal brooch too. I only use inedible items on cakes where they can be easily removed before the cake is served, for obvious reasons!
We think you’ll agree, the addition of Preciosa crystals really does bring the cake to life, and what a stunning creation it is! Find Alex on her social media platforms here: