Airbrushing cakes black?

Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Some of you may have seen one of my previous posts about how I have an upcoming wedding cake that will have all red and black fondant tiers. I have been looking for good deals on red and black fondant (the two colors I absolutely loath to color myself!) but I just had a thought that I would like to get some experienced opinions on!

Is it possible/easier to airbrush an entire cake black? Starting, of course with a darker base (maybe a gray or something). I just got an airbrush kit for my birthday from a lovely friend and I haven’t gotten the chance to play with it much yet. I would need to practice a ton but I’m curious if the idea is even worth chasing.

Can you airbrush entire tiers of fondant covered cakes black? Is it difficult to get a uniform shade? Can an airbrushed tier be stenciled with royal icing?

Any tips/tricks/thoughts/or feedback would be really appreciated! I may just try and run out and get some black airbrush color to play with this idea. Thanks in advance!

Tags: advice question cake airbrush black stenciling

Nikki, So Cal,


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10 Replies

Bakermama ...

I’ve airbrushed entire tiers before, and have airbrushed cake boards black when I’m too lazy to color the fondant. You have to be careful to get an even steady flow or you’ll get dark spots if you hover the airbrushed a second too long over one area. It works, but I have found that 1) it gives your cake a shiny look, which I’m not a fan of, and 2) the fondant never seems to fully dry, it stays a bit sticky ~ which I think might cause major problems with stenciling. If I were you, I would definitely work on a piece of practice fondant before doing this on a wedding cake.

Good luck, keep me posted on the results!

Nikki Belleperche ...

Thank you very much for the feedback! Those two things are exactly what I was worried about with this idea. I have only tried airbrushing on posterboard so far but I noticed that it stays tacky and that definitely isn;t going to work. Has anyone found any brands of airbrush color that do not do this? I also wouldn’t want the black to have a shiny look since the alternating red tiers will be with colored red fondant since I am doing a billow effect on them.

Darn! I may still try and play with this but its not looking like it will work for this cake! Back to fondant hunting!

Joyce Nimmo ...

If it’s for a wedding cake it might be worthwhile to spend a little extra and purchase red and black fondant. I have been pretty successful in making red and black with MMF as long as I add the color to the marshmallow before I add the icing sugar. But really for a wedding cake it would save you worry and produce a cleaner cake if you buy the already tinted fondant.

Nikki Belleperche ...

I have only tried making my own mmf twice and both times were a bit of a disaster unfortunately. I would be afraid of not getting to practice enough with it before trying to cover wedding tiers with it. My biggest concern will be, since I’m likely going to be using satin ice, the fondant drying out/cracking. I have used red and black satin ice before but I don’t think I have used it a ton to cover entire cakes. Mostly just in detail work.. So I’m a little nervous! But I am going to make sure I get a lot extra in case I need to re-cover any tiers.

Tiffany Palmer ...

You can spray the tiers, but as bakermama said if you are not even with your spraying you can get streaks which are a nightmare to deal with. I would definitely start with a pink fondant for the red and a chocolate fondant for the black so you don’t have to spray as much if you do decide to spray. I would also definitely try it out on a practice cake first. If you give it enough time, it will dry. You can also use the cool setting of a hair dryer to help speed along the process of drying. You also do not want to airbrush if you will be refrigerating the cake as the condensation can make the colors bleed. If you’re worried about the satin ice fondant (all I hear is bad reviews lately on them) then I would try out fondx…I have not personally used it but have heard a lot of great reviews. Good luck in whichever you do! <3

Nikki Belleperche ...

Thank you everyone for your great info, tips, and feedback!

Cakesbylala ...

Wilton sells big packs or red and black fondant, I am doing a 4 tier all black cake soon, and that’s what I will be using. I have found Wilton fondant works better for me than satin ice, but I know that’s not the opinion of a lot of people.

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

I’ve colored entire tiers with my airbrush, but if you need to keep going over it, it might make your fondant too wet. If you decide to airbrush the tiers, I’d wait until the fondant has had time to settle.

Having said that, my advice would be to purchase black and red fondant – I wouldn’t take a chance with a wedding cake. I agree with Cakesbylala – Wilton works better than Satin Ice, which tends to be too soft. I know most bakers think that Wilton’s fondant doesn’t taste good, but iI don’t find it that bad – I use it when I need better coverage on my cakes, or when I need a deep color. Keep in mind that most people eat the cake and leave the fondant on their plates – could it be because it’s Wilton’s?? LOL

Good luck!

Creative Cakes by Chris ...

I used Fondarific black fondant on a large tiered cake, it worked out but was really soft and I was stressed out by the time I was done. I use the “Mat” and it stuck to it every time I tried to roll it, so I just put it on the counter and rolled away. It came off the counter pretty easily. I have heard good things about Fondex, and I think Wilton is good for coverage but tastes nasty! I am not an airbrusher (yet) so I can’t help you out there. Good luck…can’t wait to see the final product.

Nikki Belleperche ...

Larissa, I believe Wilton only sells 2lb boxes of black and red fondant. I havent worked with their black or red fondant yet but I do use the white for all my cakes. But I would have to buy a lot of boxes for my wedding cake! and I only buy wilton fondant with a coupon from Michaels! So that would be a lot of trips lol. It’s a thought though.. I would have to do the math and see how much I might be able to save doing it that way.

There is a local cake shop I went to today that sells 10lb buckets of fondx in black and red for $50 a piece. Has anyone have any feedback on that brand? I have no worked with it and I wasn’t able to shell out the price for a 2lb tub to play with.

Still not sure what brand I will be going with but I know I wont be doing the airbrush idea for this cake. It is something I am still going to play with soon though! Thank you all for the advice and tips! You really are a big help!