How to make wood gaining on buttercreme icing!

For my first tutorial, I wanted to share one of my favorite cake decorating techniques.


   I discovered this technique by accident (as most of the best techniques usually are).  I found that there is a way to make life-like wood grain on buttercreme icing without piping awkward lines on to the cake. 


You will need:

  • a ready-to-decorate, buttercreme iced cake
  • a food color airbrush
  • water
  • a straight edged spatula or icing scraper
  • yellow, orange, brown and black airbrush food coloring
  • gloves (optional)



First, take your spatula or icing scraper and score the sides of the cake.  This is to represent the "panels" of wood that will make up the side of the cake.




Next, you will need to load your airbrush with water and thoroughly spray the sides of the cake with the water.You want the water to stick to the cake but not drip too much. (try to avoid spraying the top of the cake unless you want to wood grain the top as well)



Empty the airbrush reservoir of water and load up the yellow airbrush color. Spray the sides yellow over the water you have just sprayed.



Once that is done, clean out the airbrush reservoir and fill it with the orange color. Spray orange over the yellow you have just finished.



Repeat this process with brown.



Then with black.



After all the colors are on, fill the reservoir once more with water and spray the sides of the cake again. A little dripping is okay but don't add any more water if the colors start to run too badly..



Now, make sure your hands are very clean or that you have gloves on for this next part.  It can get a bit messy.  With the gloves, make sure that you stretch the finger of the glove that will be in contact with the cake so that the wrinkles of the glove don't dig into the cake. The results tend to be a bit nicer without the gloves, but some may not like the food coloring on their hands.



Start at the bottom of the first panel and gently drag your finger in a steady motion up the side of the cake. If you see a lot of white, use gentler pressure with your finger and try again.  Don't worry too much about excessive white showing as it will be sprayed over later.



When you are done with all of the panels, it should look something like this:



Then take your brown airbrush color and spray lightly over all the white and very light areas.



Then decorate as desired...



This has been a fun and different way to decorate with buttercreme.  I hope you have found it helpful and inspiring. Good luck and happy decorating!


-Caroline Chiaia