Recipe Alert! Learn how to bake in 3D printed pastry shells...

Recipe Alert! Learn how to bake in 3D printed pastry shells...

Sugar Lab Pastry Chef, Melissa Walnock, has been experimenting with our 3D printed pastry shells and her research has been blowing minds at the Lab! Her creative vision and technical expertise are taking sugar prints to a whole new level! Check out Melissa’s work on Instagram

For the past few years we’ve approached these pastry shells rather timidly, often filling them with mousses or something similarly easy to pipe inside. But with her background as an instructor at Culinary Institute of America, Chef Melissa realized right away that these pastry shells allow for all kinds of progressive, integrated, and delicious desserts. It made us realize we’ve got to get some of her ideas and recipes up here on the blog so you-at-home can try out her concepts.

Chef Melissa’s first instinct was to try baking with the pastry shells. Our team had tried this with mixed results in the past -- sometimes delicious, sometimes a disappointing lump! Whoops. It wasn’t clear to us why things worked sometimes and other times not. With Chef Melissa on the team, she set out to do basic R&D guided by her expert instincts. The result is this simple and easy recipe for pumpkin cake that you can bake right inside these pastry vessels. 

Ok! Without further ado please check out this delicious recipe for pumpkin cake baked right inside a pastry shell.

Pumpkin Cake for 3D printed Pastry Shells




Vegetable oil

65 g

1/3 c

Pumpkin puree

195 g

¾ c + 2 Tbsp


100 g

2 ea


50 g

3 ½ Tbsp

All Purpose Flour

125 g

1 c + 2 tsp


165 g

¾ c + 1 Tbsp

Baking soda

2 g

1/3 tsp

Baking powder

0.75 g

1/8 tsp


3 g

½ tsp


1.5 g

½ tsp


1 g

½ tsp


2 g

½ tsp



  • Place a ½ pan sized glazing/cooling rack into a half sheet pan. Place the vessels onto the rack, leaving their baking cups at the base. Set aside.
  • This cooling rack is the key step to prevent the pastry shells from collapsing! If you put the shells directly onto a baking tray, they may melt from the direct heat. (Update: Air Bake cookie sheets work great also!)
  • Pre-heat convection oven to 325F. 
  • Combine all of the dry ingredients and sift into a large bowl.
  • Combine all of the wet ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
  • Add half of the liquid base into the dry ingredients and whisk together.
  • As the mixture thickens, add the rest of the liquid base and whisk until smooth.
  • Using a piping bag or fondant funnel, fill the vessels half full (approximately 5g).
  • Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. The cake will be done if a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.
  • Please note that 1 recipe is enough for 27 pastry vessels. This is more than you need but it's tricky to make the recipe, smaller. We recommend baking the rest as cupcakes--but definitely don't eat the batter from a spoon!

Fill batter about half way.

After baking the cake batter will rise just above the cup rim.



Garnish as you wish, and serve. This video just shows how the cake looks inside the shell. We don't recommend cutting before serving. Simply pick it up and eat it.


Let us know if you like this recipe. Tag us if you try it! @sugarlab3d

Check in each week, we’re going to share images from Melissa’s other incredible dessert concepts she imagined with these pastry cups.

Check out Melissa’s work on Instagram