Hey, friends! So as I’m getting ready to make Easter and Spring treats this week, I was shopping on Amazon [as you do] in search of some small sugar eyes. Small ones. S-M-A-L-L. I have the regular Wilton Candy Eyes, I have the Cake Decor company ones, and both of those are far too big for what I need, so I spent £5 buying myself 48 edible sugar eyes and having them delivered through Amazon Prime. They arrived this morning….and they weren’t the size they said they’d be. So now I have even more in my big jar of eyeballs. So today I decided to take a stand and draw the line – I made my own….and so can you. Save yourself the £5 I wasted and follow me to the land of edible eyes in *any* size you want them to be.
If you’re wondering to yourself what you could possibly do with a whole jar of sugar eye decorations, you can either wait until next week or you can see the little chocolate butterflies I made here when I only had two children, neither of whom was in school and we could take time out to have little chocolate tea parties. They were fun.
What Do I Need to Make Edible Eyes?
The simple answer is sugar, water and food colouring. But for completeness, here’s what I used:
Sugar Eyes Ingredients
- Royal Icing or Icing Sugar and Glucose
- Piping Bag
- Piping tips #2 and #5 [the bigger the nozzle size, the bigger the eyeball can be]
- Black Food Coloring
- Baking Paper/Greaseproof Paper
How to make edible eyeballs
Wash your hands. Always worth saying. haha.
Battle Stations! Prepare your area. Lay out the baking paper on a tray or board. I used tape to secure my edges so the paper doesn’t shuffle about and cause havoc.
Sieve icing sugar into a bowl and add water and glucose, or add your royal icing with water and mix. Make sure you get the right consistency – see below, but you want it to have little peaks that disappear within about 8 seconds.
Split the icing in two parts and add black food colouring to the second bowl. You’re going to use less black than white, so portion your bowls accordingly. Make sure you mix enough food colouring in to turn the icing black and not just armadillo grey like the groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias. If you’re using gel colouring it shouldn’t make a difference to the consistency, but if you’re using water based ones be careful not to increase the runniness – or viscosity if you’re a science person.
Screw on the number five icing tip [or whatever number you need, I’m making my small eyeballs today] and fill the icing bag with your white icing sugar mix.
Pipe away! Make little dots all over your paper. I made 260 and it took me about five minutes. Some of them are a bit rogue, but who needs perfect all the time anyway?
Once you’re done, pop the black icing into a bag with a number 2 nozzle, and add the irises to the eyeballs. This part was the hardest in the piping process.
Leave them to set for 24 hours and then check the last eyeball that you piped – if it comes off easily, it’s ready, and so are the others.
Admire your work, cheer that you’ll never have to buy icing sugar eyes ever again, and pop them into a jar to make them look pretty!
Why Do I Need to Use Royal Icing?
Royal Icing dries hard – and we need our candy eyes to be hard so they don’t squish! If you can’t buy Royal icing, you can now buy little bottles of Glucose in the baking aisle at ASDA for £1 – add a teaspoon to your icing mix and you have glossy Royal Icing in seconds!
The most difficult part of making the eyes is making sure you have the right consistency of icing sugar. We’ve all made icing sugar that we think is perfect for decorating fairy cakes and then when we spoon it on, it runs off like water and your kids give you a withering look as their cupcakes are soggy and covered in what’s essentially a snail trail of sugary water. So, the right consistency for making these little eyeballs is easy to find with a spoon. Spoon some of the icing up and let it drip into the bowl again. Watch for the peak of the icing – it needs to take around 8 seconds to disappear and make the surface smooth again. Then you’re ready. If it takes longer you’ll end up with very shocked looking eye balls with irises poking out!
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