The eye eats, as is well known. Therefore, a beautifully designed cake, whether with fondant, marzipan flowers or cream, is equally appealing and appetizing. Within the last few years, a new possibility has emerged in the field of baking: Airbrush for pastry and cake design. In this guide you can find out what this is and how you can use airbrush to create beautiful cakes with food coloring.
- 1 You can use an Airbrush for Cakes and Pastries
- 2 What do you need to know about Food Colors for Airbrushing?
- 3 Advantages of Airbrush for Decorating Pastries
- 4 Step by Step Tutorial for Cake Airbrush
- 5 Further Ideas for the Use of Airbrush for Pastries
- 6 Airbrush Gun Cleaning
You can use an Airbrush for Cakes and Pastries
An airbrush pistol can be used in many different ways. You can use it not only to paint car parts or spray a tattoo, but also to decorate cakes. With an cake airbrushing machine you can basically conjure up any art form on a cake:
- Fine Ornaments
- Different Shapes and Patterns
- Pretty Color Gradients and Shades
- Complete Images such as Landscapes or Animals
All kinds of substrates can be sprayed, such as fondant, marzipan, flower paste or royal icing. However, white roll fondant is best suited for this airbrush technique.
It may sound difficult at first to decorate cakes or other pastries with an cake airbrushing machine, but it is not. In this guide you will learn what you should pay attention to.
Our Recommendation: Airbrush Kit for Cake from Watson & Webb
We have tested different airbrush for cakes sets. Our recommendation clearly goes to the Airbrush Kit for Cake from Watson & Webb. The set convinces with a good price-performance ratio and also contains everything you need to decorate food.
- Less mixing. More accurate colors. Perfect for use on cakes, gum paste, sugar paste, fondant, pastries, icing, and more.
- Stay in control and work at your own speed.
- 4 mm stayclean needle is perfect for large bake jobs or tiny detailing (down to just 1.6mm)
- Includes carry case, 13 colors, cleaning fluid, airbrush hose, compressor, cleaning pot, cleaning brushes, 5 citycape, stencils and color wheel.
We could not find any disadvantage with the airbrush cake decoration set from Watson & Webb. The price is justified for the scope of delivery and the quality of the set. The colors are very opaque. Therefore we give a clear recommendation to buy this set.
What do you need to know about Food Colors for Airbrushing?
Food coloring for airbrush cakes is characterised by some special properties. As with all airbrush paints, the paint must not be too thick in consistency, otherwise the airbrush gun will quickly clog. Therefore the paint should have a high pigmentation. If the paint is too thick, you can easily thin it. In principle, food coloring in paste or powder form can also be diluted and used. However, since especially beginners in the airbrush cannot judge whether these pigments are suitable for airbrushing, we would not recommend this. If the paint is not suitable, the nozzle may clog. We recommend that you only use liquid food coloring and preferably one that is designated for use in the airbrush gun.
Caution is required when using food coloring on fondant. Fondant consists mainly of sugar and is therefore softened by liquid colors as these dissolve the sugar. This causes the fondant to start “sweating” and may even partially dissolve. The airbrush paint is atomized very finely so that this problem does not occur. If you want to create more intensive colors, you can apply several layers of paint and let them dry before each new layer. Every fondant can withstand this fine spray mist.
However, the fondant only tolerates these colors if they are not diluted too much with water. By too much water, the sugar in the fondant is nevertheless dissolved. It is therefore advisable to use special airbrush food colors. The quality of the paint used is also crucial.
Our Recommendation: Food Color Kit for Airbrush by AmeriColor
This airbrush food color set contains twelve different colors and the appropriate cleaner.
- AmeriMist air brush colors are super strength, highly concentrated spray-on air brush food colors
- Extremely effective, even on hard to color non-dairy whipped toppings and icings
- Water spots will not appear and the icing will not break down
- 100% Made in the U.S.A. from FDA approved ingredients, kosher certified
All colors are of excellent quality and show a high color intensity. We can definitely recommend this food color set from AmeriColor and found no disadvantage.
Advantages of Airbrush for Decorating Pastries
Step by Step Tutorial for Cake Airbrush
Prepare Cake Airbrushing Machine
The construction of the cake airbrush set is very simple: First you connect the supplied hose to the airbrush gun and the compressor. Connect the compressor to the power supply. Often the compressor of airbrush sets for cakes can be adjusted in three stages, which makes it easy for you to work. How high you have to set the pressure depends on your desired creation.
Next, you can prepare your work surface and then fill the chosen paint into the paint container of the airbrush gun. Be careful not to fill in too much paint. Usually two or three drops are sufficient. If you put too much paint in the container, you have to pour away the excess paint. Therefore it is better to add a little paint and refill it if necessary.
Prepare work Surface
You should definitely use a revolving cake plate for your work on cakes. If you don’t have one yet, it is definitely worth creating one, as it will make your work much easier. You can save a lot of work by airbrushing the cake or by covering it with fondant.
An airbrush extraction system is also a sensible purchase if you plan to use the airbrush gun more often. If you don’t have an extraction system, you should protect your work area well by covering it with newspaper, for example, as a fine mist of paint is created during spraying. This will not only land on your cake, but also all around it.
You can also put your cake in a large box and spray it under the switched on extractor hood. This has a similar effect to the extraction system. To get a good grip on the cake, the box should be open at the front and top. The side walls and the extractor hood will keep your working area relatively clean. However, if you want to use the airbrush gun frequently, we recommend that you purchase an airbrush extraction system, as this will save you time when covering and cleaning the work area.
Spraying of larger Areas and fine Lines
You should not make your first spraying attempts right at the cake, but first familiarize yourself with the airbrush gun. For this you can spray your first large areas, fine lines and color gradients on cardboard or a cake board. The airbrush gun is easy to use, but a little practice won’t hurt. As soon as you have developed a good feeling for the airbrush, you can dare to touch the cake and spray your first motif. You can either use special templates or you can make your own templates from cardboard or kitchen paper.
Spraying patterns on the cake requires a steady hand and great skill. Especially spraying fine and straight lines is not so easy. Ornaments and larger flowers are not too difficult, even for beginners, as long as some things are taken into account.
By the way, spraying sharp edges is not possible with the airbrush gun. They will always look a little washed out. If you want to create clear, sharp edges, you have to use a stencil. You should also use stencils if you want to have difficult and detailed patterns on your cake.
If you succeed, you can spray any pattern on your cake without a stencil. However, the use of templates makes decorating your cakes much easier. They are available in all imaginable variations.
If your desired motif is not included, you can also simply make an airbrush template for your cake yourself. Just cut it out of cardboard. This is not as clean as with a special airbrush template for cakes, but it is definitely sufficient for the beginning. Most airbrush stencils are already available for a few Euros.
Further Ideas for the Use of Airbrush for Pastries
- One idea for cakes would be to design a wave or night sky cake. For this you can use a wavy piece of kitchen paper torn off. Place this on top of the cake and spray blue paint in different thicknesses over the top edge. You can create either waves or clouds.
- With an airbrush gun you can also create a Brush` n Wipe cake easily. Cover the cake with white fondant. Over the edge of the cake you spray colorful color gradients. Then dip a small sponge in some alcohol and use it to blur the color gradient upwards.
- The airbrush food colors can be used in many different ways and can not only be used for the design of cakes and pies, but also for other pastry specialities. For example, at Easter you can create egg-shaped biscuits with a colorful gradient or you can bake an Easter cake with marzipan rabbits, which you spray brown with the airbrush.
- You can also use the Airbrsuh gun to decorate small chocolates with squiggles of food coloring.
- You can airbrush the cream of cupcakes in bright colors and then sprinkle it with glitter particles.
- If you are artistically talented, you can also use the airbrush to create realistic 3D motif cakes, such as snakes or dragons. These are sure to go down well at children’s birthday parties.
Airbrush Gun Cleaning
You must clean your airbrush gun after each use and after each change of color. If you do not clean the airbrush after changing the color, the food colors will mix and you will no longer get the desired color. For this you should consider buying an airbrush cleaning pot. With this you can quickly change the color without having to clean the entire airbrush.
Since the food colors for airbrushes are water soluble, cleaning the airbrush gun is quite easy and you do not necessarily need a special cleaning agent. You can simply rinse the airbrush gun well under warm water. Then you can also fill the paint container with warm water. Spray with the airbrush until only clear water comes out of the gun. After there is no more paint left in the gun, continue spraying until the gun is dry and only air comes out.
Cleaning is easiest when the paint is still wet, so you should not postpone cleaning for long. If the paint has already dried up, it may not be possible to remove it at all, which will cause the nozzle to clog. To clean the airbrush gun particularly thoroughly, you can use a special cleaning agent. This is often included in airbrush cake sets, but you can also purchase it separately. Instead, you can also use high-proof alcohol. This thorough cleaning should be done after every third to fourth use and for this purpose the gun must be completely disassembled and cleaned with small brushes. The needle is particularly sensitive and can bend quickly, so you should be especially careful with it. If the needle is bent, it must be replaced, so it is recommended to have several needles for replacement.
Airbrushing cakes is not as elaborate as you might think. On the one hand this kind of design is fun and on the other hand you will earn a lot of admiration with your creations. Just try it out and enjoy your airbrushed cake.