Airbrush un-iced pieces of cake to look like mountains.
Airbrush a design on unbaked cookies, and outline the design with icing after baking.
Use stencils or cookie cutters to airbrush designs on top of iced products, such as large, round cookies.
After airbrushing the petals of several flowers, outline them with icing.
Color on decorated cakes and cookies is essential. One of the quickest methods of adding color is to use an airbrush. Among the benefits of airbrushing are saved time, labor and costs. The savings are well worth the investment of purchasing an airbrush kit.
Airbrushes are used for many different industries, so it is important to find an airbrush suitable for cake decorating. The most common airbrush in bakeries is a singleaction airbrush. It sprays color as soon as you press the trigger and allows you to adjust the amount of color and the span of spray.
After purchasing your airbrush, keep the manual in case you need to replace parts. I suggest keeping a spare needle on hand as well. A bent or burred needle will splatter the color or distribute it unevenly. Keeping an airbrush clean also is extremely important. Follow the manufacturer's directions on how to properly clean your airbrush. You must use edible food coloring specially formulated for an airbrush to prevent damaging it.
General airbrush guidelines
As with any other type of technique, the key to quality results is practice. To begin, practice on paper towels or with children's coloring books. Then, move to iced products, such as cakes, cookies and cupcakes.
When airbrushing, remember a few general-guidelines. For narrow, straight lines, hold the airbrush at a 90° angle close to the surface. But, be careful not to get too close and blow holes in the icing. For softer lines, hold the airbrush at a 45° angle.
For backgrounds, hold the airbrush at a 45° angle about 6 ins. to 8 ins. from the surface. Gently move your hand back and forth while spraying color to create a soft, background effect. For example, the mountains on the motorcycle cake are made with pieces of un-iced cake that are airbrushed. Pipe the grass bottom border with tip No. 233.
It is always a good idea to have some airbrushed, generic designs on display for customers who need decorated cakes at the last minute. The colorful swirl cake is suitable for any age and most events. Using several-different colors, airbrush swirls and dots on the top and sides of the cake. Pipe the top border using star tip No. 22 in an "eee" and reverse "eee" motion.
Another easy design is a whimsical floral pattern. Airbrush the petals of several flowers. Then, outline the petals with icing. Experiment with different color combinations of icing and airbrush colors.
Use stencils for easy designs
Another common decorating method when airbrushing is to use stencils. Stencils produce clean looking designs and prevent over-spray. You can purchase stencils or make your own designs using paper, cardboard or plastic. Cookie cutters also make good stencils for airbrushed designs.
Stencils work very well to decorate cookies. When airbrushing cookies, you can airbrush the design on an unbaked product, and then outline the design with icing after baking. Or, you can ice cookies and let the icing dry completely. Then, place the stencil on the cookie and spray the design.
Airbrushing is an easy way to add color to your decorated products and further enhance designs. It is fast, inexpensive and saves labor. For an investment of about $75 to $250, you can purchase an airbrush and compressor that will allow you to airbrush designs for several years.