Quick and Easy Cake Decorating- Edible Paper and Craft Punches

January 17, 2014

 Welcome to the new blog!


This is where you'll find more information on the topics covered on the YouTube channel videos! The latest one was an introduction to the idea of using edible paper and craft paper punches to make quick and amazing decorations for cakes and cookies.


The paper I'm using is not icing or frosting sheet paper. It's the regular edible paper that doesn't have a layer to peel off.  I like the super-sharp, crisp details you can get with this type of edible paper and I also find it easier to work with.


So of course the first thing you're going to want to do after punching out an amazing edible paper snowflake (or jewel shape or star or pretty much anything, really) is to find a way to make it SPARKLY! You might also want to add color, depending on your design. Here are some ways to do that.


First, you can lightly airbrush the paper with  airbrush color. These come in all sorts of colors, as well as pearl and metallic finishes.  Use smooth, light sprays and allow the paper to dry very completely before trying to punch anything out. This will need to be done well in advance of when you need to punch out the shapes to allow the color to really thoroughly dry. 


To add serious sparkle, lightly airbrush the punch-outs with vodka and then sprinkle with disco dust, petal dust, or edible glitter and allow to dry completely. The glitters and some of the dusts are food safe, but not meant for consumption, so keep that in mind when you're planning your design.  To keep the pieces from flying away while you airbrush, make sure to place them on a piece of parchment on top of a piece of styrofoam, and then pin those babies down with stick pins! I recommend setting up several small pieces of styrofoam this way rather than trying to use one large piece, because you'll need to dust with the glitter fairly quickly after airbrushing, and you don't need to blow the glitter from the first set all over the place when you move on to the the next set. It might be tempting to make your space look like the set of a Mariah Carey video, but that glitter is expensive!


Now although moisture is kind of the enemy of edible paper, you can use that property to your advantage for some cool efects...


...for instance, try punching out some five-petal blossoms and then use a slightly damp, rounded paint brush down the back of the petals. Watch them for a few seconds, and you'll see them curl in the opposite direction, giving your petals a pretty shape. It works the same whether you brush the bumpy side of the paper or the smooth side, so you can choose which texture you want to show facing forward. Let the curled pieces dry without picking them up because they can become sticky. If you can force yourself to leave them alone after they curl, you will be rewarded with cute, cupped flowers!


A really cool way to use the single-punch designs (like snowflakes, hearts, flowers, or circles) is to attach them to the side of the cake with a dot of icing, adjusting the size of the dot to make the punch-outs stand out away from the surface of the cake at different distances. How neat would snowflakes look 'floating' around the surface of a cake?! This is what I did for my niece's birthday cake in the (very terrible) still photo you see in my video. Really wish I'ld gotten a proper picture of that! In person, it looked so impressive.


Now, on to the the long cutters. These let you create the border pieces I demonstrated in the video. Try embellishing the cutout lacy bits by piping around them with royal icing.  Note: Do this AFTER the lace border had been applied to the cake, because it won't bend without shattering your work once it dries!! Trust me, it won't...*cue the sad montage of me spending hours over-piping a beautiful piece of edible lace, me imagining my client's joyful face when they see the results, me patiently letting it dry, then me trying to wrap the piece around a cake, watching pieces of dry royal icing pop off and shatter tragically on the table... The horror.


What a genius.


Soooo, don't do that. Instead, apply the lace piece to your cake, over-pipe the details and even add some of your own, let it dry, and maybe come back with some pearl dust mixed with vodka or lemon extract to paint the royal icing details and bring it all out even more. You could add color at this point, too! My head just kind of exploded a little bit.


Seriously, the things you could do with this by playing around with the materials and seeing what they'll do are nearly endless. So exciting!


I have to mention that I did buy these cutters myself and I'm always on the lookout for them on sale. As I mentioned, mine happen to be Martha Stewart brand and they are very high-quality as far as the cutting mechanisms are concerned. The details in these designs are gorgeous. There are other brands and if I pick any of them up and try them, I'll update you on the quality, and if you all try any, let me know what you think! There are also small punch cutters that you can find in many discount stores, and for small cut pieces they should work just fine. (I would stick with name-brand makers, just to help insure that the materials are lead-free). They would make pretty cupcake and cookie toppers, or side designs for cakes.  I'd really like to find a small-ish round cutter to use to make sequins.  Ahhhh!  (UPDATE: I found one and ordered it! eeeek!)


So I hope you enjoyed this first entry in the new Choux Cake Studio blog! Please subscribe to the YouTube channel and come back often to see what's new. Thanks for stopping by!


Till the next batch!



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