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Glycerine

Jan 3, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

HEATH QUESTION

Feedback: The site is fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to answer so many reader questions.

Mine is a little late - I made a traditional royal icing for Xmas cookies this year, and read that it remained shinier if you added a couple of drops of glycerin. So I bought some at the drugstore and (although it said 'do not ingest this') I put in a couple of drops. Well, EW. It tasted like plastic!

Is there a food-grade glycerin to be had? Or is there a better way to keep the icing shiny?

Thanks so much,

ROSE REPLY

thanks heath. i try to respond as soon as possible but starting january 18th i'll be travelling off and on for several months so may be harder to keep up quite as quickly!

i wouldn't use glycerine from the pharmacy especially if it says non-food grade. i got my supply from a wine making supply shop but they also have it at cake decorating supply places such as sweet celebrations in MN. it is a staple of candy making and rolled fondant. if you taste just a drop it does taste bitter but i find it's entirely over-ridden by all that sugar. if they don't carry the glycerin they will recommend other products that create the sheen in royal icing. i seem to remember when i studied at wilton that they had a product called numolene that helped to keep the icing soft as well.

Comments

Food grade Glycerin can be bought at cake supply warehouses and Micheal's Arts and Crafts... Probably ACMoore also.

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Annette Berry-El
Annette Berry-El in reply to comment from Helen Climie
04/ 4/2014 06:37 PM

Glycerin can also be found at Michael's craft store.
It is also online at Kitchen Krafts.

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I am an ethical vegan and the common sub for gelatin is agar agar. You can find the powder at Asian markets and most health food stores. There are recipes online for vegan fondants. Works like a charm.

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I am an ethical vegan and the common sub for gelatin is agar agar. You can find the powder at Asian markets and most health food stores. There are recipes online for vegan fondants. Works like a charm.

REPLY

Rose levy beranbaum
Rose levy beranbaum in reply to comment from Helen Climie
05/25/2013 06:25 PM

Wonderful news Helen. Thanks for sharing.

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Helen Climie
Helen Climie
05/25/2013 09:06 AM

After a long quest to find glycerin, I found it at Whole Foods Market. The glycerin from WF is indeed food grade, and it is safe to consume. Happy baking!

REPLY

Hi Mahfooz,
In The Cake Bible, the Classic Rolled Fondant on page 307, the glycerine is 1.5% of the total gram weight of the dough. The storage times are 1 month at room temperature and 1 year plus frozen. The glycerine is to keep the inside soft and chewy.
Rose & Woody

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mohamed gado
mohamed gado
01/ 9/2013 06:02 AM

i have a cupcakes shop , and i want to know the % of glycerine(food grade) in the dough

REPLY

julie white
julie white
11/17/2012 12:48 AM

all i know about glycerine bp is i use 2 drops in my royal icing to make the icing hard. with egg whites and 1 lemon juice. cheers!

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julie white
julie white
11/17/2012 12:46 AM

all i know about glycerine bp is i use 2 drops in my royal icing to make the icing hard. with egg whites and 1 lemon juice. cheers!

REPLY

Mahfooz Alam
Mahfooz Alam in reply to comment from Princess
09/10/2012 05:01 AM

What is the usage percent of Glycerine in the dough to extend shelf life by storing at ambient temperature for at least one month.

REPLY

As you all know, glycerine helps to retain the moisture of foods so it is very suitable to baked products. It is also used in food processing to extend the shelf life of the product; moreover it is food additive which is belong to humectants. Others may also used sorbitol.

REPLY

Thanks Rose,

All the tips I read about the use of glycerin was very, very helpful. My friend sent me a recipe for a rich black fruit cake and I was surprised to note that the recipe said to use glycerin. I looked up your website and it was truly helpful.

REPLY

Thanks a lot Rose and Woody. I will try finding it in the stores.
I was also wondering if I can use a wax-paper or parchment to make the chocolate fondant band for the la porcelaine cake? Will either of these work or should I just get the heavy-duty plastic sheet?

Thanks.
Sam

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Sammie
06/28/2012 12:22 AM

Hi Sammie,
We recommend this reliable substitute: kojel kosher gelatin.
Rose & Woody

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Hi,
I want to try making classic rolled fondant recipe from The Cake Bible. Is there a reliable substitute for gelatin, as I don't eat animal products?

Thanks,
Sam

REPLY

Hi Jinxy,
The gelatin gives the fondant its chewy texture. the glycerine keeps it soft and satin smooth.

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Jinxy
04/ 9/2012 09:30 AM

Hi Jinxy,
We can not think of a viable substitution for glycerine.
Rose always recommends, you should always make the recipe with exactly the same ingredients as called for by the author's recipe to establish your control. From there you can experiment by substituting one ingredient or adjusting one technique at a time to obtain results that match the control or to your preferences. We recommend that you contact the author for her/his suggestions.

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I'm making Fondant ..
i have a recipe that requires the use of glycrine .
its unavailable in my vicinity
Rose , please suggest something that i can use as a substitution :(

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Anne Conley
Anne Conley
12/12/2011 03:12 PM

Our local food co-op sells glycerine. I just bought some last week. That would suggest it's possible Whole Foods does, too, although I haven't checked.

REPLY

hi Lois,
We do not have a nationwide suppliers list for glycerine and web searching is going to pull up the external use for health. You will need to check with local candy or cake supply retailers in your area.

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I am new with glycrine for making candy or fondant. I too want to know where to purchase it. I live in Villa Rica , GA 30180 . @ 159 Raven Rd.
I want some for making my homemade fondant and where to purchase it. I do not make candy very often , but I don't want it hard like a brick. I am interested in cake decorating and icicing as well. I only make candy @ christmas time for gift giving. Especially pecan rolls and creams. My center pecan roll calls for a lb of fondant to be used in the center candy. I want it smooth not hard or will harden quickly. The reason for the glycerin.
Thanks for providing a possible result for obtaining this product for my candy making efforts etc. I do want it smooth as possible and edible so it doesn't injure anyone.

REPLY

Hi Ruhma,
The external glycerine is not the same as sweet glycerine used for food recipes as stated above. You may want to check with some candy or wedding cakes shops to see if you can buy some from them.

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hey i'm from pakistan..i can't find glycerin..i dun noe what to do..i did find one for xternal use(i asked the man at the store if i cud use dat for cakes,he said yes but he luked really confused,inexperienced and a lamen).. what do u suggest i do?

REPLY

I read that you don't have to use glycerin, but you can just fix the cracks with a little bit of water.

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If you are looking for food grade glycerin at great prices checkout glycerindepot.com. We specialize in supplying customers the highest quality glycerin at the lowest prices.

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yes there is a glycerine sold in pharmacies DO NOT USE

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I would call Jon Stevens he is a Kosher food grade glycerine supplier he deals in pails to semi truck loads phone # is 1-513-608-3890

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People please, do NOT use non-food grade glycerine...i.e. the kind you get at the pharmacy. If it says 'for external use only' or 'call poison control if ingested, it's the wrong kind. The best prices on food grade glycerine are available on line at Netrition.com, brand name NOW.

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People please, do NOT use non-food grade glycerine...i.e. the kind you get at the pharmacy. If it says 'for external use only' or 'call poison control if ingested, it's the wrong kind. The best prices on food grade glycerine are available on line at Netrition.com, brand name NOW.

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Being that veg glycerin increases moisture. by adding 1 tsp per 500 gr of flour. Would I use the same in gluten free baking? As GF Baking is a dry bake, unless you use moisture ingredients to the receipe..
Also, veg glycerin increases the sweetness, would 1 - 2 tb = 1/4 cup of sugar for diabetic baking, as a sugar substitute?
Has anyone used vg, in Gluten free
receipes>Thanks for any suggestions.
Maggie

REPLY

cheyenne, i'm pretty sure they have it at the NY cake & bake supply.

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cheyenne banks
cheyenne banks
06/12/2010 03:37 PM

hi, where exactly can I find glycerin in New York City?

REPLY

gylcerine is vegetarian, even VEGAN. it come from a plant. maybe you are thinking of gelatin, which come from bone marrow, hooves, etc,?

REPLY

Isaac, you can get Vegetable Glycerine in NZ. The manufacturer is Lizzibee. I would try a pharmacy or the internet. Yes, you do need it for Royal Icing unless you want it to be like concrete!

REPLY

Just a note:
I'm in New Zealand so if it's hard to get I probably won't be able to get it.

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I'm wondering if there is any vegetarian substitute for glycerin? Or if I HAVE to use it for Royal icing? And please don't say 'oh, the animal's dead already'

PLEASE REPLY SOON

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Ashley Parks
Ashley Parks
11/16/2009 02:48 PM

Ok so I am new to all this fondant stuff.I am trying to get a degree in baking and pastry and I am trying to make fondant and a few websites are saying that you dont need glycerin for the fondant ( Just substitute it with light corn syrup) now i odnt want to mes up on this what do you say??

REPLY

I used regular vegetable oil, added to the melted chocolate. Its what they use to make chocolate softer anyway.

REPLY

Glycerin can be found at SteviaSmart. I need it for a recipe and this is food grade glycerin.

REPLY

The xmas cake recipe that has been passed down to me from my mum and her mum requires 2T glycerine. Up until now I didn't realise it was an 'odd' product to use. I did find it strange though when I first made the cake and found I couldn't buy it in the supermarket and had to go to the pharmacy!

REPLY

Jim,
I saw a posting you placed a little over 2 years ago about a cough medicine you made using glycerin, honey and lemon. I wondered if you still had the recipe to pass on to me.

REPLY

Jim,
I saw a posting you placed a little over two years ago about a home made cough syrup using Glycerin, Honey and Lemon. I was wondering if you still had the recipe to pass on to me.

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Jim,
I saw a posting you placed a little over two years ago about a home made cough syrup using Glycerin, Honey and Lemon. I was wondering if you still had the recipe to pass on to me.

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Many years ago in Dublin, Ireland, I bought a bottle of 100ml GLYCERINE B.P. for my cracked dry lips. Very effective indeed compared to other lip balm. I asked the Pharmacist, what else do people do with GLYCERINE since 100ml is a lot. She kindly replied, it is used to moisten cakes. This is something new to me and have not tried yet, not until I can get hold of an edible one. Might be good for my chocolate cake since I live in a dry and humid country.

REPLY

Tristan Wibberley
Tristan Wibberley
06/28/2008 07:23 PM

In the UK, at least, it is available in all major supermarkets among the essences and colourings in the baking ingredients section. It comes in little colourless bottles with a red and white label, by supercook.

REPLY

The other day I was making rolled fondant and ran out of glycerin. I substituted for medical grade mineral oil (the one used as a laxative) and it worked pretty well. I would say almost prefectly. I did notice my fondant to be a little bit harder, but it may have been too much sugar.

REPLY

Heather Buller
Heather Buller
04/ 2/2008 11:17 AM

Thanks for all the good comments about glycerin. The grocery store where I live told me they pulled it because it is used in meth labs! They also didn't have it at the cake supply store. I am using a new fondant recipe and it sounds like it's imperative that I use it. So, I called the local health food store and they have it! Thanks for the advice!

REPLY

glycerin is used in wine making so look for a store that sells supplies for home wine-makers.

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I think USP stands for United States Pharmacopoeia, which provides standards for pharmaceutical chemicals. My guess would be that since Glycerin, USP is meant to be applied to the skin, it meets the standards for this application and not necessarily injestion. I'm also finding it difficult to find food-grade glycerin; I even went to a cake supply store and they still didn't know what I was talking about!

REPLY

Vegetable Glycerine can be purchased from Azure Standard, a growing truck delivery company servicing mostly western states. I just received mine today. Now I can't find the recipe on the web for the sugar-free protein brownie that called for the glycerine!

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Vegetable Glycerine can be purchased from Azure Standard, a growing truck delivery company servicing mostly western states. I just received mine today. Now I can't find the recipe on the web for the sugar-free protein brownie that called for the glycerine!

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This is in regard to your comments on glycerine. For food use, I have found it in a health food store at a reasonable price. It tastes sweet, not bitter, and is a low-glycemic sweetener.

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DaC - do you know what the USP stands for? My bottle doesn't have this listed on it. It contains 100% glycerine.

Does anyone know if there are non-edible kinds of glycerine?

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Well I have read that USP Glycerin is eatable. It is a vegtable Glycerin

REPLY

You can order edible glycerine from Sweet Celebrations in MN (USA). There may be other cake/candy supply businesses too, but I know SC carries it.

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sharon walker
sharon walker
11/15/2007 01:29 PM

i have a dark chritmas cake recipe that has 1 level tsp glycerine. This ingredient is a new one to me and im so glad that i looked it up on the net.
Its a real lovely cake and i was unable to find any eatable glycerine.
regards s.w.

REPLY

Is Glycerin USP edible????

Someone respond quickly for me plz : )

REPLY

An invert sugar should also work well.

REPLY

on second thought, you could try liquid lecithin--it just might do the trick!

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there is no subsitute i know of and it won't be smooth without it.

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Hi, what can i substitute for glycerine while making rolled fondants?

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i've only ever used glycerine in rolled fondant where it is indispensible for creating a smooth product. i think it's a terrific idea to use it in a cake especially a layer cake that tends to get dry after one day. do report back if anyone does any experimenting!

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Maccy - if you can't find glycerine at cake or candy stores, try asking a bakery if they will sell you some.

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Maccy, have you tried a cake supply or candy making supply store? They usually sell glycerine.
Rozanne

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Hi Nushera & Patrincia

Batter ingredients as follows: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 3 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 3 oz butter, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 3/4 cup boiling water, 1 tsp glycerine.

Thanks for the info Nushera - I guess, as you say, it must have been to keep the sponge moist, and the recipe really does make a lovely moist cake; but it's so difficult to find edible glycerine that I haven't used the recipe for years. I'll have to be adventurous and give it a try without the glycerine!

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Thanks Nushera - I figured it had something to do with retaining moisture, but it's so hard to believe 1 teaspoon of glycerine can make that much of a differnce (but then again, I don't live in a dry climate).

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Hi Maccy and Patrincia- perhaps in uk using glycerine in the cake batter is/was not an odd practice. my mom was a subscriber of a woman's magazine published from uk(probably Women's Realm)in the '60s and still keeping those treasures for knitting pattern ideas! those old but full-of-surprises issues includes a lot of baking discussions and recipes. one thing i can remember: the prescribed amount of glycerine in the cake batter is 1 tsp for 500gm flour(apprx) which is supposed to prevent the cake from losing moisture in dry weather.

u know very-moist-mud cakes are extremely popular in DRY Australia and store-bought muds(with or without icing) is so likely to have glycerine. one of the best food-chemical brands in Australia makes edible glycerine and suggests using it in both cake batter and icing(for a shiny one, too). i found their claim to be true.

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Hi Maccy - did you say the glycerine is an ingredient in the cake batter??? That is very odd.

When glycerine is added to frosting or fondant it adds plyability and longevity (keeps things from hardening or drying out so quickly). As long as your cake recipe is a fairly normal in every other way, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't try it without the glycerine. It's worth a shot at least.

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Years ago my mom passed on the recipe for her delicious chocolate cake which she had learned to bake at the Woman's Institute in her little village in England. The recipe for the otherwise pretty standard cake batter contains 1 teaspoon of glycerine. Can I leave out the glycerine or substitute it with something else - I've never seen another recipe for cake batter containing glycerine and can't think why this one does?

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i don't use it in icing i use it in rolled fondant. without the glycerine it would crack and not be smooth.

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what does glycerine do in an icing and is it necessary? can you subsitute anything for it?

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Arnold Thompson
Arnold Thompson
05/24/2007 12:52 AM

I just looked at a recipe site. I asked for glycerine. Look here
http://www.recipesource.com/side-dishes/jams/00/rec0091.html

REPLY

Arnold Thompson
Arnold Thompson
05/24/2007 12:48 AM

I also asked at a pharmacy and they looked at me like I was crazy too. I was told it is a laxative. The advised me not to eat it. I have heard of using wax in making bon bons and I have eaten wax many times. Little bottles of fluid in wax bottles and wax lips and once even accidently ate a wax Easter Bunny. It was supposed to be a display. I doubt wax absorbs into your system. Not sure what it does inside your intestines.

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I should have mentioned if you get the glycerin at a pharmacy, read the label to make sure it's edible. Also, call a local bakery and see if they will sell you some.

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Tara - I've purchased glycerin at a cake/candy making supply store. 2 oz cost $1.90. I've also seen glycerin for sale in the pharmacy section at places like wal-mart and k-mart. You might try looking in the candy/cake section of a craft store too.

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I need to know what places here in Florida I can find the glycerin for making fondant. I have asked numerous people about it an they look at me like I'm crazy! Somone please help! Is there another name it is sold under in stores?

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i know nothing about chocolate fountains but i can tell you this:glycerine has a bitter flavor which you don't notice in rolled fondant but might in chocolate.

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I was told that I could use Glycerin USP to thin out my chocolate for my fountain? True or false... I am using Good quality chocolate and want a smooth run of chocolate in the machine?

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i wouldn't want to eat wax! a little glycerine might work but glycerine can be bitter. in royal icing there's so much sugar it's not noticeable. tempering chocolate is what gives the best sheen.

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Valarie Coyle
Valarie Coyle
09/22/2006 09:02 AM

Good Morning - My neighbor makes chocolate covered peanut balls and uses paraffin wax to keep them shiny. I told her she could use glycerine that you can get at Kitchen Conservatory. Is this sutiable for all chocolates or just royal icing. Your assistance is appreciated and have a great day. Valarie Coyle, Bowling Green, VA

REPLY

it's always best to use products that are labeled food grade because, among other things, they are produced under strict cleanliness and lack of contamination supervision. food grade glycerine should be available in pharmacys and definitely in wine making supply places.

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JIM STAMPNICK
JIM STAMPNICK
04/30/2006 10:00 AM

SEVERAL WEEKS AGO I PREPARED A HOME MADE C0UGH SYRUP WHICH INCLUDED GLYCERINE, HONEY AND LEMON JUICE. THE STUFF IS REALLY SOOTHING TO THE THROAT AND EVEN SEEMS TO LOOSEN PHLEM. AFTER USING IT FOR SEVERAL DAYS I NOTICED THE GLYCERINE LABEL STATED THE GLYCERINE WAS GRADED AS USP AND FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY. IS THERE CAUSE FOR CONCERN HERE???

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