TKSST is taking a short summer break. Become a member to support our August return
The Kid Should See This

How to make a Renaissance sugar sculpture

Learn how to make a sugar sculpture, a small yet luxurious art spectacle from the Renaissance Period. Food historian Tasha Marks demonstrates how to create these displays from a sugar plate recipe in this episode of The British Museum‘s Pleasant Vices series.

The history of sugar sculpture is one of status, power and storytelling, so what forms you choose to make and what tales you choose to tell are up to you – but as Tasha will show you it takes just three ingredients to create a decoration that could last for centuries.

Recipe: 454g icing sugar, 28g gum tragacanth, 61ml rosewater.

The video is a follow-up to this sugar-in-history explainer in which Marks discusses the history of sugar in the United Kingdom, including its roles as a medicine, a luxury item, and an artistic medium. She also describes the inextricable link between sugar and slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the museum’s collection: Blue glass sugar bowl inscribed in gilt ‘EAST INDIA SUGAR/not made by/SLAVES’, circa 1820.

Next: Casdoce, a confection made for lords & emperors, Incredible Amezaiku candy animal sculptures by Shinri Tezuka, and Food of the Enslaved: Michael Twitty cooks recipes from American history.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Inventing flan paletas: Experiments with La Newyorkina’s Fany Gerson

Rion Nakaya

A Sekigahara Landscape painting, but animated with pixels

Rion Nakaya

Making LED rainbow cotton candy

Rion Nakaya

The amazing secret architecture of Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Rion Nakaya

Aunt Vivian’s Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Rion Nakaya

Ancient Egyptian Tombs Were Crammed Full of Snacks

Rion Nakaya

How do you make rainbow sprinkles?

Rion Nakaya

Graphite: Pencils, shiny rocks, and dead animals

Rion Nakaya

How to make a no-bake blueberry cheesecake

Rion Nakaya