Last Christmas I was the lucky recipient of a Dinky Doodle* Airbrush. Thanks Santa (Mum!) I had admired airbrushed cakes & was keen to get into it and have a play…. so why did it take me 3 months to get it out of its’ box?
I admit, I was worried that this little machine may get the better of me and turn out to be a waste of Mum’s money. As much as I wanted to use it I pushed it to the back of my mind (and the cupboard) and to anyone who asked I was “too busy” to use it. That was until I went to the Cake, Bake & Sweet Show in Sydney. I watched Dawn Butler, the name behind the Dinky Doodle Airbrush, demonstrate the machine. In that 30 min demonstration Dawn answered all of my questions while showing some easy ways to use the machine. From then on I was hooked and vowed that when I got home I would crack it out of the box and give it a try.
I decided to try out all the colours that I received with the airbrush (clever Santa included a box set of colours with my pressie) & just play, no matter the result (no pressure!). So I pulled out an old display cake that had seen better days thanks to Brisbane’s hot humid rainy weather & my airbrush adventure began. I just went for it – the brighter the better. I played with stencils, stripes and free-hand designs. This is the crazy result:
I tried stripes on the above crazy colourful explosion & I loved them. So many possibilities were running through my head. Red & white stripes for a circus theme, horizontal stripes in navy blue with hot pink & red flowers & gold stripes….. I had gold airbrush paint & needed to make a wedding cake display cake for an upcomming QCDA (Qld Cake Decorator’s Association) display so an idea was born…
This is how I did it.
1. Set up the airbrush
It takes all of 30 seconds to plug it in, attach the spray gun & pop some colour in. The machine also comes with a DVD to explain the set up.
2. Prepare where you are going to spray
I spay under my oven extractor fan & use large sheets of styrofoam to protect the surrounding area. You could also use a large box. I also cover the turntable & cake stand with cling wrap to protect it from colour. Be prepared to get the colour everywhere including up your nose. I strongly recommend removing anything you don’t want to be coloured – especially cakes that you want to keep white!! (voice of experience talking)
For this cake I want stripes so I use low-tac painters tape to make the stripes. Make sure it’s attached well to prevent any paint sneaking under it. I also covered the top of the cake with a round piece of fondant to keep it free from colour.
3. Deep breath & start spraying
When I saw Dawn demonstrate the machine she encouraged us to keep the brush moving. You basically start spraying off the cake and then gently move your air gun back and forth and up and down while turning the turn-table to ensure an even finish.
Once you have an even coat my biggest piece of advice is “STEP AWAY!” Don’t touch, just step away & leave it alone! I usually start cleaning my air-gun and try to keep busy to prevent me from touching the cake. Once it’s dry gently remove the fondant from the top and carefully peel back the tape.
5. Finished product
I’m using this cake for a display as I mentioned before so I can’t show you the finished product yet but here’s a sneak peek. I added another tier with simple pipped royal icing dots. I’ll also be adding some ribbon and a big bold bloom… I’ll post a finished pic soon.
I’ve also used the airbrush to colour wood grain. I used an impression matt to make the wood look & then sprayed with a mix of brown & yellow to get the finish I was after.
My parting advice is be brave & have fun! Feel free to send me pics of what you’ve done with your airbrush.
*Dinky Doodle is one of many airbrushes on the market that are great for cake decorating. The Dinky Doodle website has links to tutorials & YouTube videos. http://www.dinkydoodle.co.uk/tutorials-and-Articles.html