5 Simple and Modern Ways to Use Isomalt as Cake Decorations

It’s not often you’d hear the word ‘isomalt’, if at all, unless you are involved with cake decorating.  For those of you who don’t know, isomalt is a sugar substitute made from beets. It is primarily used in sugar-free candy production or sugar art.

Although it’s not as sweet as sugar, it’s physically very close to it except that it’s more “forgiving”, meaning it is a bit more stable against moisture and humidity than regular sugar. For this reason, isomalt can be heated to a higher temperature without losing its clarity. This makes it a popular choice among pastry and cake artists who want to take their creation to the next level. 

Working with isomalt can be a lot of fun.  It’s not as difficult as it looks or as intimidating as you think. Isomalt decorations can be the key to taking an already beautiful cake and transforming it into an absolutely breathtaking creation.

Here are 5 simple and modern ways to use isomalt decorations to enhance your cake and really bring in the WOW factor.


Clear Pulled Isomalt

The glassiness property of isomalt is probably its best quality and what better way to use it than in its purest form – clear. Pulling isomalt is a technique that allows you to shape it into various organic forms. The possibilities are only limited by what your hands can do.

A few small pieces of clear isomalt can add textures to enhance an existing design without overtaking its focal elements. Used in larger quantities, clear, flowing isomalt pieces can become part of the main decorations and add fluidity to your cake design. The best thing about clear isomalt pieces is their versatility. It can virtually complement ANY cake design from wedding cakes to birthday cakes or anything in between.

Don't Tell Charles wedding cake design with clear pulled isomalt at the bottom, fresh florals, and a gold focal layer
At the base of the topmost tier of this gorgeous wedding cake, pulls of clear isomalt refracts light for a subtle shine. On the bottom layer, more clear isomalt flows from beneath the orchids like a waterfall. The cake itself consists of textured ivory buttercream in lace and stucco designs with one gold focal layer.
Clear isomalt decorations gold chocolate cake
This cake is an explosion of golden chocolate sails. Paired with gold leafing and crisp lines of buttercream, this cake is a wonderful example of modern cake decorating. Clear isomalt is placed in between the chocolate sails and enhances the design and abstract energy of the decoration.
Clear isomalt cake decorations with monstera leaf
On this cake, the glassiness of the isomalt creates a wonderful contrast against the opaque chocolate shards on the top of the cake and behind the bright green palm leaves. It’s a simple use of juxtaposition that enhances the overall design. The main cake is frosted in ivory buttercream with green watercolour to complement the vibrant green leaves.


Clear Isomalt Bowl Sails

As mentioned above, keeping the isomalt clear ensures that it only enhances your existing focal design elements without overtaking them. However, sometimes, one large piece is all you need. Enter the clear, isomalt bowl sail.

The isomalt bowl sail design originated from the DTC kitchen and over the years has become one of the most popular modern cake decorating trends. Whether paired with cascading orchids or kept simple with some edible gold leaf accents, it is sure to make a wow statement. 

Clear Isomalt Bowl Sails with Purple Orchids on cake
Fully bloomed orchids are always a simple but impressive choice of cake decoration. The cake is made of concrete buttercream enhanced with gold paint. This cake is beautiful as is, however, an almost invisible glass bowl of isomalt adds a dramatic touch that moves this cake from beautiful to positively radiant.
clear isomalt bowl with gold flecks on cake
Clean lines and textured ivory buttercream are all this cake needs for a truly modern feel. A clear isomalt bowl reaches high above at the top for a striking enhancement to an already stunning cake. Flecks of gold in the isomalt adds an elegant touch to really make a dazzling statement.


Coloured Pulled Isomalt

Add a bit of colour and watch the isomalt transform your cake design in a completely different way. Coloured isomalt is FUN! You can use coloured isomalt pieces to lift any cake designs from kid’s birthday cakes to fortieth birthdays all the way to wedding cakes. The key is to use only one or two colours from the existing colour palette. 


TIP: Use gel colours to colour isomalt as they are water based. Oil based colourings will not disperse properly.

blue isomalt on concrete buttercream cake with a chocolate sail in marbled blues and greys
Soft blue splashes over concrete buttercream look like water lapping over the shore while touches of gold hint at the majesty of the ocean. A spectacular chocolate sail in marbled blues and greys ties the whole colour scheme together. Pulls of strikingly blue isomalt create a dazzling effect that completes the overall design like crashing waves.
Pink and green isomalt on multi-coloured buttercream cake
Forty is the new thirty, right? With fun and funky colours splashed all along the sides and a few bits of gold leaf, this cake is a celebration of life! Pink and green isomalt waves complement the colours from the buttercream and adorn the top and to create movement and excitement on this masterpiece.
Pink isomalt on mermaid cake with pink chocolate sails and moulded chocolate shells
Any little girl would be over the moon with this adorable mermaid themed cake! With a base of pink, purple, and white buttercream, this cake uses purple and pink isomalt in various shapes and pieces to create an entire grotto for its sweet little mermaid. The coloured isomalt pulls enhance the colour palette and when paired with pink chocolate sails and moulded chocolate shells, completes the design of the cake.
pulled blue isomalt on two tier square concrete cake
This cake is a modern design in practically every way. The uneven tiers and splatters of blue, black, and bronze across the buttercream already give the cake a very abstract vibe. However, the way the pulled blue isomalt bursts from the midpoint of the cake gives the overall design movement and electrifying energy.
blue isomalt with gold chocolate sails on blue cake
There is a lot of motion in this cake with shards of coloured chocolate with blue isomalt poking in between flowing from the top and down the side. The cake itself is simply frosted in pale blue buttercream but the way the isomalt pulls take that colour and enhances it in a more vibrant shade, ties the entire design together for one cohesive look.

Learn how easy it is to create stunning isomalt decorations using the pulled, bowl sail, shards, and shapes techniques in our course Easy Isomalt Decorations.


Marbled Isomalt Bowl Sail

Unlike the clear sail, the marbled isomalt bowl sail was born to stand out. It IS the focal design element. If you use it, make sure the rest of the cake design remains minimal and colour cohesive. You want to give this beauty the stage it deserves to shine.

marbled orange isomalt bowl on concrete buttercream cake
This cake is a classic DTC concrete buttercream design but with splashes of orange and dark grey across the center. The base of the cake itself is fairly minimal to allow the magnificent bowl of marbled orange isomalt to really stand out. The marbled effect of the isomalt gives the bowl a fiery design that fully catches the eye.
marbled pink isomalt bowl on concrete buttercream cake
Similar to the cake above, this is a concrete cake but with pink and grey splotches and black paint splatters. The marbled effect in this isomalt bowl has various concentrations of colour throughout the marbling that reflects the black paint across the pink buttercream.
magenta, pink, and shades of blue isomalt bowl on square cake
In this two tiered concrete cake, the bottom tier is coloured with magenta, pink, and two shades of blue crossed with splatters of rose gold. The isomalt bowl is made with a blend of pink and blue to match. After creating the bowl, extra isomalt pulls were used to decorate the space where the two tiers meet so nothing is wasted.
blue, yellow and magenta isomalt bowl on top of neon pink and purple paint splattered cake
This is another concrete cake in a sharp edged cube shape. Neon pink and purple edible paint is splattered across the whole cake and the cake tray to create an abstract, graffiti effect. At the top, the bowl is an uneven blend of blue, yellow, and magenta through clear isomalt. The colours aren’t fully mixed together to create an even more dynamic colour effect and create a truly eye-catching cake topper.


Isomalt Shards

Isomalt shards are a great way to add textures to a design. It is extremely easy and quick to make. The pro: you can make it from leftover isomalt pieces. The con: it is not as easy to use it as a focal design element; it’s more of a supporting act. However, don’t let this deter you from trying your hands at making isomalt shards, especially where an ‘under the sea’ theme is involved.

Green isomalt shards as coral reefs and seaweed on chocolate dripped striped cake
Isomalt decorations don’t always have to be perfectly clear as this cake design playfully proves. The cake is frosted with pale blue and white buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache dripping down the edges. Green isomalt shards are artfully placed to simulate the look of coral reefs or seaweed. The bubbly, opaque design of the isomalt solidifies the underwater look.
Blue and purple isomalt decorations on square concrete cake
The use of isomalt with this cake creates a great deal of movement as if a snapshot was taken as soon as the concrete cake block was dropped into water. The coloured isomalt bowl at the top was created with swirls of pink and blue throughout clear isomalt. Pulls and shards of what wasn’t used on the bowl, lines the bottom of the cake creating the splashing movement.

Isomalt is such a fun and versatile medium. It seems a bit intimidating at first but once you get started, it is so much fun! From elegant sails to twisting shards to bubbling coral reefs, isomalt is a great way to enhance your cake decorating skills.


Learn how easy it is to create stunning isomalt decorations using the pulled, bowl sail, shards, and shapes techniques in our course Easy Isomalt Decorations.

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