Friday, 29 April 2011

Cake Decorating 101 - Part 6: Intermediate Decorating Techniques

I've compiled an assortment of videos that demonstrate the next set of skills that you can use to make more professional looking cakes.  Truth be told, I haven't done most of these but I have seen them used (in person!) to create amazing results.

Simple Sugar Flowers

Ribbons & Bows

Buttercream trim & roses

Introduction to using royal icing & basic techniques

Piping messages on cakes

Crimping Tools

Using Dust - Petal, Pearl, Luster & Highlighter (Source:

Dusting powders are used to add a gentle touch of shading to all flowers and foliage, bows and frills, anything made from gum paste, floodwork, pastillage, marzipan, or fondant. These colors are applied to dry icing, using an art brush. In some cases, it may be applied to wet gum paste or fondant.

Petal dusts (or blossom tints) are used to achieve deep hues with a matte finish. They are used mainly for dusting flowers made from Gum Paste to make them look realistic.

Flowers can be dusted before or after they have dried by using different types of artists brushes.  The shape of the brush you use affects the intensity of the colour when you apply it.  If a strong colour is desired, then use a flat brush , but if you're trying to achieve a soft colour, then a soft round brush is best.  

Luster dusts give subtle colors with a high sheen metallic-like finish. They can be used either alone, or mixed with similar colored matte dusts to create a lustrous sheen, without lightening the color. Brushed on white, they create colour with a metallic sheen.

Sparkle dust is similar to luster dust in effect, but has a larger grain size & gives flowers a wet or dewy look, with just a touch of color.

However, petal dusts can also be used for painting on plaques and fondant. They are extremely versatile - they mix or match, complement or supplement and present a rainbow of colors that blend easily.  Pearl or luster dusts can be applied over or mixed with petal dust for a variety of effects. They can also be used to colour powdered sugar.

Dust colours intensify when mixed with liquid - it's recommended that you use clear alcohol (ie. vodka) or pure clear extracts (ie. pure lemon extract) for painting, highlighting or deepening your colours.  The liquid you use has to evaporate quickly so that it doesn't erode the fondant.

Up Last:  Advanced Decorating Techniques

- Jacs

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