Airbrushing a cake covered in fondant icing is one of the best ways to achieve spectacular designs. Whether you’re making a solar system cake for a little boy’s birthday or a multi-tiered wedding cake with a beautiful ombre design, investing in an airbrush pen is the way to achieve great results. If you’ve not used an airbrush machine for cakes before, you might feel a little apprehensive. So here are some top tips.
Choose Your Base Fondant Carefully
One of the best ways to achieve the design and colour hues you want is to cover your cakes in white fondant icing before you begin airbrushing. This acts as a blank canvas and will help you to create vivid colour contrasts and subtle shading that might be harder to see on a darker background. You can play around with this idea, however. If you’re creating an airbrushed galaxy cake, then black fondant would be the perfect base for decorating with brighter colours such as blue, purple, yellow or white.
Do a Practice Run First
Mixing colours to get the ideal shade is one of the most difficult parts of airbrushing. So with this in mind, always spray a white sheet of paper first to see if you’ve made the colour you wanted. Remember, it’s easier to start lighter and go darker than to go too dark to start with. Once you have the right colour for your cake, you can then start or continue the decorating process.
Spray at the Correct Angle
Buy an airbrush machine and start practising to see exactly how it works. There’s an art to getting the effects you want. To cover the whole cake, for instance, spray at a 45-degree angle as this will help to create a soft, even covering of colour. To create sharper lines and more precise details, spray at a 90-degree angle.
Spray at the Right Distance
It’s important to spray at a consistent distance otherwise your cake will be blotchy. This is because the closer you get, the darker the colour will appear as more pressure will be applied to the cake as you spray. The perfect distance to airbrush cake is about 6-8 inches away. It’s also a good idea to use a turntable as this will make it easier to spray the whole cake.
Check the Pressure Settings
Always check the pressure settings of your airbrush pen and compressor before beginning. For a nice, even spray, the trigger on your airbrush pen should probably be pulled back about half way but this depends on what you want to achieve so use the white paper again to check. If the pressure is too low, you’ll get a speckled effect which isn’t ideal.
If you’re airbrushing buttercream instead of fondant, always start with a low pressure setting to avoid disfiguring the buttercream and build up if needed. Another top tip is to leave the iced cake in the fridge for a few hours before beginning the airbrushing process as this will ensure it’s nice and firm. Don’t try to airbrush soft, warm butter icing.
Buy your airbrush pen today and unleash your creative, artistic side.