One of the best tips I can give you to help you take your cakes to the next level is to cover your cake boards.
I’m sure you have noticed that many of the professional cakes that you have admired from afar all feature a thin coat of sugar paste, but why stop there?
When I am creating a new cake design, the board and its covering always factor into the decision-making process and a well-covered, textured and decorated board will almost always feature.
One of my absolute favourite ways to finish my boards is to use a realistic woodgrain texture, and a quick scroll through my portfolio (hit the link at the top of the page to find your way there) will reveal that this is by far the most common trick I use to bring both my sculpted cakes and even the odd wedding cake to life!
Of course, you can buy embossing pins, stamps, mats and moulds to help you achieve a woodgrain texture, but I have found that I get much more realistic results doing this by hand and all you need are a humble dresden tool and a basic edge scraper or even a ruler. It really is that simple!
For this month’s free tutorial, I thought I would let you in on the secret of my favourite cake board effect and show you how I used just a few humble tools and my trusty Clairella Cakes airbrush kit to create the boards that have supported some of my favourite cake creations.
To create my Wood Effect Cake Board, you will need:
- A cake board of the size and shape to suit your project
- Enough sugarpaste to cover your board at a thickness of around 5mm (I favour Renshaw Extra Ready to Roll Icing)
- Rainbow Dust ProGel Concentrated Gel Colouring – Brown
- Rainbow Dust Airbrush Liquid Colour – Brown
- Some cooled, boiled water
- A rolling pin
- A dresden tool
- An airbrush and compressor kit (I use the Clairella Cakes kit)
- An edge scraper or (clean) ruler
- A kitchen knife
Begin by colouring your sugar paste using your brown gel colour. Start slowly as you only want a pale brown. Once you are happy with the shade, leave this to rest for approximately 30 minutes.
Roll out your sugarpaste, slightly larger than your cake drum. Brush or spray the drum with cooled, boiled water and then gently lay the paste over the board. Trim the edges with your kitchen knife (using only downwards strokes to avoid tearing) and then use a dresden tool to create multiple, parallel impressions into the paste – these don’t need to be too neat but try to vary the length and depth.
Using an edge scraper or a ruler, mark out the edges of your floorboards.
Use your dresden tool to add texture to the ends. Don’t panic if the sugarpaste pulls apart, you can guide the boards back together by adding more strokes in the opposite direction.
Trim the edges again.
Fill your airbrush with brown liquid colour and spray along the grooves between the ‘floorboards’ and all around the edge of the cake board. Take your time to build up the shade to ensure you don’t allow the colour to pool.
TOP TIP: If you don’t have an airbrush kit, you can recreate a similar effect using a wide paintbrush and some brown petal dust.
Finally, hold the airbrush almost horizontally and lightly spray across the whole board, perpendicular to the ‘woodgrain’. This will highlight all of the detail you worked hard to create by hand.
Leave the painted board to dry completely – ideally overnight – before placing your cake on top.
And there you have it, your very own wood effect cake board!
As always, if you have a go at my Wood Effect Cake Board, get in touch and let me know! I love seeing what you’re been making at home! You can contact me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Cake Chums – with Mr Baker’s Blog Facebook group, by emailing me directly or why not drop me a line at:
Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
Until next time, happy caking!