Introduction: Custom Edible Doll From a Gelatin Mold | Moulid Doll

About: I like to tinker... Stop motion artist and a maker based in Cairo.

The Moulid doll is a traditional edible doll made in Egypt to celebrate the prophet's birthday. I made this project with "Zest" and you can read the story of the doll itself here.

Video above shows full process, it's in Arabic but it has English subtitles. We wanted to make a food safe mold that we can easily get the materials for in Egypt, in fact we wanted all the materials we use to be readily available to everyone in Egypt. We sculpted a taro veggie into a doll, made a gelatin mold and cast the doll out of white chocolate.

You can use this technique to customize and cast any sort of "sculpture" you make or use ready found objects and make them edible! And the best thing about the gelatin mold, you can remelt it and use it over and over again!


I used:

  • 3 cups glycerin
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 cups gelatin
  • food coloring (optional)
  • 1 empty milk carton
  • white chocolate

Mold ingredients quantities will depend on how big is the object you want to cast, but the ratio is 1:1 glycerin and gelatin, then half the amount for water.

Step 1: Using Veggies for the Doll

The object you cast can be made out of anything, we wanted this project to be as low tech as possible so we made it out of a taro veggie, because it's the biggest veggie we can find in Egypt. I also experimented with sweet potato which had better smooth texture but was smaller in size.

Important thing to note: the less water your veggie contains the better the gelatin mold will turn out. Gelatin absorbs water and hence would absorb the water in the veggie doll that you will carve and might distort it if you leave it for long and/or don't oil your object.

Step 2: Sculpting the Doll

I started off by turning the Taro into a block, then I used a doll drawing I drew in illustrator as a guide to carve the initial outline, then with just using regular knives and occasional carving tools I carved out the doll.

Step 3: Preparing the Gelatin Mold

Start by adding the water to the glycerin and stir until it becomes clear again. Then slowly add the gelatin to the mix and stir slowly a bit by bit so that it doesn't clump.

I melted the whole mixture in a microwave for 15 sec. intervals, in between each interval I would take the bowl out and give it a mix until it completely dissolved. I found out that when I over did this and the water evaporated a bit, it actually gave me a stronger mold.

Note: Microwave settings might differ from product to product, the most important thing is to never let your mixture boil.

Step 4: Prepare a Container

I used an empty tetra pack of a milk container, you can use a plastic container, or anything that would have a flat surface and is at least 2cm wider than your object from all around.

I poured a bit of the mixture first in the pack to create a flat surface and create a sacrificial piece that i can then cut to easily remove the mold, because this particular pack had flaps and the mixture would go in between and it was hard to pull the hardened mold out of the container later.

I left this part to harden for about 10min in the fridge. Meanwhile i remelted the rest of the mixture and added some food coloring (optional), but it helps you differentiate where each layer start so you can easily chop it off.

Step 5: Use Oil As a Mold Release (Important Step)

Use regular vegetable oil as a mold release to help you easily remove the doll and the mold itself from the container later. I brushed the inside of the container and the doll generously with oil. If you are using a vegetable like in my case it will also act like a sealer and help reduce the moisture absorbed by the gelatin from the veggie.

Then I placed my doll exactly in the middle of the container, remelted my mixture and slowly poured it over my veggie doll.

Tip: you can take your object and dip it into the molten gelatin mix then place it in the container, it will act like glue and fix your object in place so that it doesn't move when you pour the rest of the mixture.

Finally, place the mold in the fridge, mine took from 3-4 hours to harden. I also supported the top of the mold with tape placed across the sides because my box was not sturdy enough.

Step 6: Cutting the Mold in Half

After your mold hardens, take it out of the container, cut off the sacrificial part of the mold, then begin cutting your mold in half, but not all the way to the end. I made a mistake here and cut it from the top, but it's better to start from the bottom of the doll "dress" where you'll start pouring later.

Make sure to cut exactly in the middle, and you might have to cut the veggie doll in half, in my case, because the doll has her arms around her waist and you need to be able to pull it out later.

Last step take out your veggie and admire your mold!

Step 7: Making the Edible Doll

I used white chocolate, but you can use anything that can be in liquid form then hardens and that shouldn't be poured at a temperature more than 23 degrees celsius into the mold, otherwise the mold itself would melt and all you've done would go to waste!

I added a small table spoon of oil to my chocolate to lighten it so that it can easily flow in the mold and form the arms.

I added my mold back into the container to hold the two halves together and started pouring my chocolate slowly, not all at once, and tapped the first bit on the counter so that i make sure it all reached the head and the arms, and to also help eliminate any air bubbles.

I decided to add some traditional peanuts sweets (foleya) to the inside, and just placed bits of it inside and gave it a gentle push inside the doll.

Step 8: Take the Doll Out of the Mold

I left my chocolate doll to harden and then took the mold out of the container, opened the two halves and voila! My doll very easily came out of the mold.

Step 9: And It's Done!

You can decorate your doll as you wish, use food colorings to draw on the doll, or stick edible sweets to make her dress. It's a great activity for kids!

Or if you're an advanced sculptor, you can sculpt all these details in step one, the gelatin mold will pick up all details! (even the taro texture!)

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