Painting Marshmallow Fondant?

Decorating By hayleyfly Updated 6 Aug 2010 , 8:51pm by erichazann

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hayleyfly Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 11:46am
post #1 of 9

I'm looking for, at the very least, a sounding board so I can confirm my suspicions. Advice for my situation is also welcome.

I'm in the process of decorating my second marshmallow fondant cake. The first cake turned out great, it was white with colored polka dots. The cake I am now decorating is concerning me. I'm essentially painting a replica of a piece of artwork that a friend has (the cake is for the friend's birthday, the artwork in question is a painting of a tree that has sentimental value). After doing A LOT of research, I had arrived at the decision to purchase some Wilton Gel food coloring, mix the colors with vodka and paint the fondant.

I did my initial background colors last night, I plan on adding the details tonight. After a few hours of the first painting, I noticed that the fondant+paint was still considerably tacky and glossy. I left the cake in front of a fan overnight in order to encourage the drying process. As of this morning, the cake was still a tiny bit tacky.

I did a little bit more research this morning in an attempt to allay my concerns and I came across *one* website that said to ONLY use powder-based food coloring, not gel or paste. Oh ... well ... great! icon_confused.gif

A little tacky is no big deal, but I dropped $17 on gel food coloring for future cake decorating. Is that food coloring just going to sit in my cupboard for all eternity now? I'd rather not use it if, every time I paint a cake, it will be sticky. Should I have used powder-based coloring? (In which case ... does anyone want some barely-used Wilton gel food coloring? I have 13 colors, you'll get a considerable discount)

Also, will my cake eventually dry? I should mention that I live in the mid-Atlanic region of the US, where the summers are ALWAYS considerably humid and we've been experiencing temperatures between 85-95 lately. However, our central air conditioning has been working diligently and I often wake up with a sore throat because of how dry the cold air is.

Any help would be appreciated. This is not a disaster/emergency, so I would just like some guidance, helpful hints and/or words of wisdom (and, perhaps, someone who wants to buy barely-used food coloring).

8 replies
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TexasSugar Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 2:37pm
post #2 of 9

I like ucing airbrush colors to paint with because they do dry. Anytime I mixed gels with something they always stayed a little tacky for me. But there are people hat use it all the time.

Do you never color your icing or fondant? If so, then just use the color gel for that. Why wouldn't it get used up in other applicantions?

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hayleyfly Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 2:45pm
post #3 of 9
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Do you never color your icing or fondant? If so, then just use the color gel for that. Why wouldn't it get used up in other applicantions?

Well, I don't have a chance to bake very often. I do color fondant, but I'm kind of artsy so I really enjoy the canvas that fondant provides. So if using gel food coloring is going to result in tacky fondant, I'd rather make the switch to powdered and not have to worry about it. I suppose it's more buyer's remorse than anything -- I would have just stuck with powdered, had I known. Now it seems I'll have an overabundance of food coloring.

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Mae_mom Posted 5 Aug 2010 , 8:43pm
post #4 of 9

Your question has peaked my interest as well as I am concerned about the same issue with tackiness. I'm wondering...where might one find these edible airbrush colors?

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hayleyfly Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 1:08am
post #5 of 9

Well, I'm happy to report that my non-crisis has been averted. The coloring was finally dry when I got home from work today, a little tacky where it was heavy. So, for anyone who wants to know -- the vodka + gel coloring works, but go easy on the vodka!

As for the airbrush colors, I can't help you.

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CaSandra77 Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 3:55pm
post #6 of 9

What is the purpose of adding vodka to the gel? Do you have to add the vodka? I am new to all this coloring stuff and I planned on ording the gel to experiment on it, but didnt know about the vodka. I am doing a kids birthday cake, will they be able to taste the vodka?

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SoSasha Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 4:25pm
post #7 of 9

The vodka enables you to dilute the concentrated gel colors, while still drying very quickly. I usually use something with a much higher alcohol content purchased exclusively for this purpose (I think it's called Devil Springs LOL) because it evaporates even quicker.

CaSandra77- the alcohol evaporates into the air almost instantaneously which is why it dries so quickly, a must in caking- if you're uncomfortable with the idea of Vodka, a lot of people use Lemon Extract which also has a high alcohol content and will have the same effect.

My father's bday cake this year was garden themed and I hand painted a 3 tiered white cake with flowers and leaves until every inch was covered. What I found was that the *less* diluted the gel color was, the "goopier" the results would be, and the longer the drying time.

After I painted a tier and had let it dry for an hour, I very very gently powderpuffed on cornstarch then dusted it all away. This thin coat dulled the brightness of the colors ever so slightly, but left me with the smooth, dry, uniform surface I was after. I'm sure this trick wouldn't work in every application, but since I was after a "softer" background look, it was the perfect solution!!

HTH icon_smile.gif

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CaSandra77 Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 5:51pm
post #8 of 9

thank you very much for the reply. that is very helpful information. I am so new to all of this and no classes are offered where i live, so kind of teaching myself. Thanks again

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erichazann Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 8:51pm
post #9 of 9

Americolor makes airbrush colors, you can order them through most, if not all online cake stores.

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