How To Make Diorama Sugar Eggs
We had a request from a Kitchn reader for a tutorial on making sugar eggs like family members had made in the past. We’re always ready for a challenge and checked into assorted tutorials online. After multiple failed attempts (the tutorials lied) we have the method down pat and are here to share our simple secrets with you!
What You Need
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
Food coloring (liquid or gel)
Large Mixing Bowl
Pastry Bag + Tip
1 tablespoon measuring spoon
1. Mix Sugars: Combine both sugars in a large mixing bowl, combine with fork.
2. Separate Egg White: Mix in food coloring of choice to egg white, add more than you think you need (either 1/8 teaspoon gel or 20 drops liquid). Once combined with the sugar it will lighten to a pastel. Whip until combined with fork and slightly frothy (but not whipped).
3. Add Egg To Mix: Stir until combined. Use fork to press out small clumps of egg/coloring until color is completely even. Once you think you’ve stirred enough, stir a little more. The patchy-ness of the color will be sneaky!
4. Press Into Molds: We used a large plastic egg that originally held Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, it’s roughly 6 inches tall and already came with a flat back and bottom. You can find other molds at the craft stores (though we came up empty handed when we went looking… but we know they exist somewhere!). Pack sugar in tight so there’s no cracks or holes.
5. Scoop Out Middle: Now this is where it gets a little tricky. It’s not because it actually is, but because it’s something that has to be done when you’re calm and with a steady hand. Other tutorials said to let the mixture par-set and then come back to scoop, but each time we tried this method the structure crumbled in our hand (there were tears).
So… with the mixture packed into the egg, you want to scoop out using a small spoon or measuring spoon, just like you were scooping ice cream. After each scoop remove the sugar. Your goal is to make a hole in the back that continues down to what will be the front of the egg. Hollow things out and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Flip it out onto parchment or a Silpat and allow to harden overnight. Repeat the same process for the opposite side of the egg, but only make a hollowed area without going all the way through to the back of the egg (this side will be the back). Repeat same drying process.
Any additional sugar can be kept for 3 hours with a damp towel placed on top. Any longer and it gets a little smelly, but if you have a crack or a break, it makes it easy to just remold if you still have mix on hand.
6. Clean Edges: Once each egg is dry, you can rub the two halves together to smooth the flat sides so they’ll fit together easier. You can also use your finger to rub away small spikey bits of sugar to smooth out your opening.
7. Attach Halves: Using Royal Icing, we “glued” the two halves together and then piped a border around the seam and opening. Hopefully your line will be a little straighter than ours. If you have multiple small items to go inside your dioramas you can attach them with royal icing before you glue the halves together, though we found it easier to do this after.
8. Add In Figures: Using small toys, paper cut outs or whatever you want really… make yourself a little scene. We glued ours down with Royal Icing and added green coconut along the bottom (also attached with icing).
With care, these eggs will last many, many years and are a fun thing to make with kids. Although they probably can’t make them on their own, there’s several parts they would have a blast helping out with! Store with tissue paper and a silica packet if you have one in a sturdy box so your icing doesn’t get crushed. Make sure to send us pictures!
• Related: Spring Treat: How To Make Golden Chocolate Easter Eggs
(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)