A digital bakery called “The Sugar Lab” is 3D printing candies that look and taste unique.
“There are things that I cannot make as a cake decorator that we can do here,” said head chef Victoria Rose Johnson.
Johnson spent years making cakes and now primarily works with sugar, the main ingredient in 3D printed candy.
“The beauty of it is that sugar has this incredible molecular structure,” said Johnson.
The kitchen uses special 3D food printers to create small, edible works of art. Founder Kyle Von Hasseln got the idea while in grad school.
“We wondered what it would be like to 3d print with sugar,” said Von Hasseln. He invented the 3D printers the Sugar Lab now uses to print one-of-a-kind treats.
“We print them at about 1 per minute, so that’s super-fast, there’s no other 3d printing technology that can go at that speed,” said Von Hasseln.
First, a design is loaded into the machine. Like sending a document to a printer, but this is a digital blueprint for the candy.
Instead of ink, the machine uses flavored, powered sugar to print layer after layer. Colors are sprayed on too.
The machine prints multiple candies at once. The final creations are “excavated” out of the machine and then blasted with air to remove any excess sugar powder. It’s quite dramatic to watch since the true vibrant design and color of the candy is finally revealed.
I tried a watermelon lemonade sugar cube that melted in my mouth. It tasted like a piece of gum that had been made into candy.
Next, I tried a bonbon, which had a lime salt shell with a caramelized pineapple ganache inside.
It was immediately salty, then sweet. And delicious.
In both, it’s the combination of the intricate design and the texture that strikes me most. They are light, sweet, melty, and unique.
“I’ve always loved beautiful things … things that you can use to decorate, design, and all of that and this just incorporated it in a whole new way,” concluded Johnson.
The Sugar Lab sells pre-made creations for about $18-26 for six. They can also create any custom design you want, but those orders are subject to a minimum spend which is about $1,000.