Cake & Pastry Decorating Airbrushes & Equipment

So, why airbrushing?

Traditionally, decorating a pastry or cake was considered a very delicate and risky process because you had to make contact to some degree, whether that be layering icing or adding small decoration over the surface layer. The point being, you had to be extremely careful and gentle so as not to ruin the delicious dessert you just spent considerable time baking! The airbrush has changed this drastically-not to say that you don’t need to be cautious and pay attention to detail, but you have so much more freedom with how you decorate and reduce the risk of ruining a structurally delicate treat.

You also have more wiggle room to play around with style and colors, every stroke is not final. Airbrushing releases a fine mist of color and applies it gradually over time as the color concentrates on the layer of your pastry or cake. If you see something you don’t like or want to change a pattern that you started, all you have to do is go over a few more times and you can work a new design in.

Airbrushing allows you much greater versatility in your work as well. Depending on the needle size you choose, you can get extremely fine and detailed in your brush strokes! If you are a true artist, you can take your baking to the next level creatively, incorporating pictures and images into your finished products. You can really be as creative as you want here- if you feel uncertain about your creative abilities, you can even utilize stencil outlines to deliver amazing designs for cakes effortlessly.

What do you need?

  • An Airbrush
    • if you will be designing and decorating often (professionally or as a small business) then you want an ergonomic airbrush that is easy to use and will not tire your hands throughout the day.
    • Another thing to consider is the size of the nozzle. Generally speaking you would want to use an airbrush with a nozzle size of .5mm or greater to spray large areas, and a nozzle size of .25mm - .3mm for detail work.
  • A Compressor
    • Operating pressure of 30-35 psi
    • You have a choice between a tankless compressor and one with a tank
      • Tankless compressors take up less space and are great for the artist on-the-go, but they do not deliver as consistent of an air flow as a compressor with a tank. They will often have pulsations in the air flow which could lead to uneven distribution of the product being sprayed. These pulsations can be minimized with the use of a coiled air hose. The motor will run every time you press the trigger of the airbrush and shut off every time you release the trigger.
      • Compressors with a tank generally have a larger footprint, but deliver consistent air flow without pulsations. The tank gets rid of pulsations, but it also somewhat acts as a moisture trap stopping some of the unwanted moisture from entering your air hose. The motor will not run every time you press the trigger, but when it does turn on it will run until it reaches the "auto-off" pressure.
  • Food Dyes
    • you want to make sure the coloring you are using is food grade.
    •  make sure the product is for airbrush use.
    • if you are decorating a cake there are many specific paints for cakes, but any food coloring will work as long as its approved for airbrushes.