No matter the celebration, this airbrushed 'Orchidelirium' Orchid Cake from Lisa Munro at The Airbrush Company can certainly fit the bill. Though the cake in the tutorial is intended for Mum, there's no reason why you can't swap out the lettering stencil. Grandmothers, aunties, sisters - this cake is the perfection celebration treat for anyone in your life!
You will need...
For the cake:
- 25cm (10in) tall round sponge cake
- filling of your choice
- 2.7kg (6lbs) white sugarpaste
- 200g (7oz) white flower paste
- royal icing
- KopyKake airbrush colours: pink, brown, black
- Magic Colours airbrush colours: Fiesta Yellow, Party Purple, Jungle Green
- 33cm (13in) silver petal cake drum
- petal former
- small plastic flower picks
- Squire's Kitchen orchid moth silicone veiner - phalaenopsis wide petal 8cm (3in)
- 20g green floristry wire
- edible glue and glue brush
- airbrush and compressor
- no.11 X-Acto craft knife
- masking tape or micro-pore tape
- florist tape
- foam pad
- kitchen roll
- a piece of lace - an off cut will do
- satin olive green ribbon
- rolling pin
- ball tool
- sturdy A4 card
- Pavoni silicone pearl border (Windsor Cake Craft)
Covering the cake and drum
- Cover the cake and cake drum with white sugarpaste. While the icing is still soft, insert two flower picks at the top of the cake and leave to dry overnight. Do not assemble together as you need to airbrush the drum and cake separately. It may help to position the stencil on top of the cake before making the holes, so you can see where the sugar orchids will go.
Cutting the templates
- Cut out the paper templates, enlarge to your required size, then position on top of an A4 piece of sturdy card and draw around each template. Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the templates from card.
- If you own a Cameo/Silhouette cutting machine, then contact [email protected] for the free template files, which can be emailed to you, ready for you to cut out on your machine.
Airbrushing the cake drum
- Add pink to the airbrush and position about 7.5cm (3in) away from the cake drum. Working from left to right, airbrush layer upon layer until you have achieved a solid pink colour covering the entire drum. Top Tip: It is not always necessary to clean the airbrush between colours, especially when going from a light to a darker colour. Simply flush through the excess colour and add in the next. Stronger colours like black and blue do need cleaning out with clean water or airbrush cleaner first, in order to remove any stubborn paint that’s in the bowl or around the nozzle and needle.
- Flush through the pink colour and add in purple. Position the airbrush a little closer to the drum to direct the spray just at the edge. Airbrush just around the edge of the drum, following the petal shape.
Airbrushing the orchid
- Remove the flower picks from the cake. Place the stencil flat on top of the cake and centre up so all of the design is kept within the cake and not going off the edges. Top Tip: You may want to protect the cake from over-spray using sheets of paper around the templates.
- Add pink straight to the airbrush and, starting with the petals of the orchid, airbrush a very light layer working from the centre outwards. Do not spray right to the edge of the petals as we want these to appear lighter (as if fading off into the background), the over-spray will naturally colour the edges in so they are not pure white. Also add a hint of pink to the buds. Top Tip: When airbrushing through stencils, position the airbrush perpendicular to the stencil to avoid over-spray or under-spray creeping over/under.
- Add purple to the airbrush and position it very close to the cake surface to control the spray more easily. Airbrush the four larger sections in the centre of each orchid, but avoid the very centre pieces! Don’t worry if a slight bit of over-spray lands on the petals as this will actually add to the effect.
- Clean the airbrush and add in a few drops of yellow. Position the airbrush very close to the cake surface and spray the three smallest dots in the centre of each orchid. Also spray a hint of yellow on the buds and the stem attaching them.
- Switch colours to green and spray a hint of colour on sections of the buds, the stem attaching them and the branch. These should now appear a very subtle shade of pink, green and yellow.
Switch colours to brown and airbrush the entire branch. Start with airbrushing a light layer and then repeat the layering until you have a dark brown shade. If you want it to appear even darker, then spray a little black on top of the brown, but I would do this only on a few sections.
- Position the ‘Mum’ stencil flat on the top of the cake where you would like the text to be. Protect the cake from over-spray using sheets of paper around the stencil. In a clean airbrush, add a few drops of pink, position the airbrush close and spray inside the stencil.
- Switch colours to purple, position the airbrush very close to the cake and spray along the left side of the letters to add a bit of depth.
Switch colours back to pink. Taking your piece of lace, hold with your spare hand flat against the side/base of your cake. Lightly airbrush through the lace, lifting and repositioning the lace as you work around the entire cake. You do not need to be too precise when airbrushing this as we’re aiming for a subtle and sporadic lace pattern.
Apply a dab of royal icing to the centre of the cake drum and carefully position the cake in the centre of the drum. Attach an olive green ribbon around the cake drum. Alternatively, use any colour of your choice.
Dust the pearl mould with cornflour and press icing to fit inside the chosen row. Flex the mould and carefully tease out the icing. You will need to make about three rows using the medium sized pearls to wrap all the way around your cake base. Apply with edible glue and fix in place.
Continue this tutorial with the second part, available here.