What is Piping Gel?

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Last Updated on August 6, 2022

Most people are familiar with buttercream and fondant for decorating cakes and other baked goods, but piping gel can also be used. So, what is piping gel? Piping gel is a product that many bakers use for decorating their baked goods.

Piping gel is something that you will often find in bakeries, however, many home bakers also use it as well. It is a great product for creating beautiful, elaborate designs on cakes. Though oftentimes bakeries will use store-bought piping gel, you can also make your own at home.

What Is Piping Gel?

Piping gel is a type of gel that is used for decorating cakes that is shiny, smooth and clear. Also known as decorating gel, its clear consistency allows it to be colored to any shade.

Piping gel is syrupy and sweet. It is designed to be used out of a piping bag to create different decorations. Piping gel does not harden, which gives it more flexibility when working with. In addition, since it does not harden it gives decorations a softness and makes water features appear more life-like.

Uses For Piping Gel

Piping gel has many uses and professional bakers often keep it on hand for decorating cakes. It is a versatile ingredient that has many uses when decorating a cake.


Piping gel is a great option for writing on cakes. Its tacky texture won’t dry out and it is the perfect consistency for writing letters and numbers. You can make it any color and for best results, you will want to use a thin, circular piping nozzle.


Piping gel can be used as a form of edible glue when decorating baked goods. It is great for gluing small objects such as wafer paper or gum paste to fondant, cookies, buttercream, dummies, or boards.

Liquid effect

Piping gel is a great option if you are trying to create a liquid effect on your cakes. It is great for making pools, lakes, drinks, and more.

Stained glass

You can use multiple colors of piping gel to create a stained glass effect on your decorations. By piping it thin using a small nozzle you can create this effect.

Giving buttercream more stretch

Piping gel can be added to buttercream to give it more stretch. A half a teaspoon of piping gel for every one cup of buttercream can help make buttercream have improved stretch which can be great for piping decorations.

Glazing fruit

By using piping gel on fruit, you can give them a nice sheen. The glossy, shiny texture gives the fruit a beautiful glaze while also locking in freshness and extending the fruit’s shelf life. You can use clear piping gel or you can use colored piping gel such as red if you are glazing strawberries.

Stabilizing whipped cream

Homemade whipped cream is absolutely delicious, however, it is often not that stable. By adding a small amount of piping gel to your whipped cream you can make it more stable and it will hold up better at room temperature.

Where Can You Buy Piping Gel?

You can buy piping gel at most craft/baking stores. In addition, many grocery stores and supermarkets will sell it as well. Piping gel is also readily available online too.

What Is Piping Gel Made Of?

Piping gel is generally made of a base of water, corn syrup and sugar. It also often contains other ingredients such as modified food starch,  agar gum, potassium sorbate, citric acid and sodium citrate. The exact ingredient will vary by brand, though they will often be pretty similar.


How To Make Your Own Piping Gel

You can make your own piping gel at home instead of buying it at a store. There are two ways you can make piping gel, with gelatin or vegetarian.

Gelatin piping gel recipe

To make piping gel with gelatin, add two tablespoons of gelatin to two tablespoons of water and let it sit for two minutes. Then, heat the gelatin mixture for about 20-30 seconds to dissolve.

Heat two cups of corn syrup with a dash of vanilla extract. Once the corn syrup mixture is hot, add in the gelatin mixture. Stir until combined and let the piping gel cool before using, as it thickens as it cools.

Cornstarch piping gel recipe

Dissolve one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water. Then, combine two tablespoons of water with one-third cup of sugar over heat until dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from the heat.

Add four tablespoons of lemon juice and the cornstarch mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until well combined. Stir the mixture until it is thick and allow it to cool before using as piping gel.

Using Piping Gel In Baking

Piping gel is a great tool to use when decorating cakes or other baked goods. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used for many things including writing, glazing fruit and creating water effects.

Do you have any questions regarding what is piping gel? If so, please ask any questions regarding how to use piping gel in the comments.


What Can I Use if I Don't Have Piping Gel?

If you don't have any piping gel, you can easily make your own at home. You can use gelatin to make piping gel or if you want a vegetarian option, you can use cornstarch.

Is Edible Glue the Same as Piping Gel?

Edible glue and piping gel are two different things, as edible glue is often made with egg whites. However, piping gel can be used as a type of edible glue for small to medium-sized objects.

Does Piping Gel Dry Hard?

Piping gel does not dry hard but instead remains flexible. This makes it great for giving decorations soft textures and is particularly great for making water effects.

Can You Use Piping Gel as Glue?

You can use piping gel as a glue for small to medium objects. It works great for gluing wafer paper or gum paste to fondant, cookies, buttercream, dummies or boards.

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