Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked November 21st 2019

Airbrush and piping

Wow!! New gingerbread tutorial is fantastic, what a fabulous cake, well done Paul 🏡
Few questions if I may as I think amateur me might attempt this one for some staff at a local hospital..

Could I use fruit cake and if so, would marzipan and sugar paste work ok instead of ganache?
I have absolutely no experience in airbrushing or piping, is it as easy as Paul makes it look or are there any tips to keep in mind?

Thanks very much, great tutorial,
Natalie Kingsmill x x


Hi Natalie Kingsmill

Yes, fruitcake can be used. I would recommend freezing it before carving to avoid a crumbling mess. Use a sturdy serrated knife, one which is smooth serration and not spiky. Carve slowly without a sawing movement. Sawing movement can cause fruit to dislodge which is hard to replace. Stick all the components together with boiled apricot jam. If it contains bits, sieve the jam first,

Cover the cake in panels as Paul has done in the tutorial. Let the marzipan dry for at least three days before icing. This will seal any oils which the marzipan might excrete and will dry to give a smooth, stable base for the icing. Before icing, moisten the marzipan either with a little boiled sugar water or with vodka to help adhesion. Don’t saturate the marzipan, just moisten it.

Paul has suggested using teddy bear brown sugar paste if you don’t have an air brush. To lessen the flat look, dust the cake with light brown or caramel edible dust. Use a puff powder brush , make light circular motions over the surface the cake to mimic gingerbread. Steam the cake gently from a boiling kettle to set the dust.

Piping is not really very difficult to do. Follow Paul’s instructions on a coloured chopping board or another surface as a practice run. You’ll be surprised how quickly the technique comes together.

I’m off to watch the tutorial in full! Hope the above helps. 😀. Post back if you need more information. 😀


Ahhh this response is so great, really appreciate it thank you so much 😊 will follow all this advice to the dot...other than using airbrush alternative, I’ve just bought a rather cheap airbrush for the job so I’m hoping it’ll be ok 😬😬 (Voilamart Airbrush Kit with Compressor 0.3mm 7cc Dual Action Airbrush),,,,no idea what any of that means but it’s an ‘Amazon Choice for beginners’ so Fingers crossed!

Thanks again for your time and lovely suggestions/ advice,
Natalie x


Natalie, you are welcome! I have Dawn Butler’s dinky doodle airbrush which was put away in the cupboard three years ago. I prefer to hand paint. I know absolutely nothing about Airbrushes. However, I know lots of people who are more than happy with less expensive, unknown brands. It’s the best way to learn before splashing out on something more expensive.

I meant to to mention in my last post, if you wanted to leave off the sugar paste, you could just cover the cake in marzipan and colour it once dry. That’s your choice, I just wanted you to be aware of choices. You’d need to roll marzipan out thicker than what would be for a base layer. Good luck with your gingerbread cake. Would love to hear back how you get on. 👍😀


Fruit cake now carved into shape!
Quick question, is Paul’s star nozzle open or closed for the piping work?
Many thanks 🎄


Hi Natalie

I can see the nozzle from the tutorial picture and it looks very much like an open star nozzle number 6.

Hope this helps. 🙂


Huge fruit cake shaped into a gingerbread house now complete! Just sent the outcome to Facebook cakeflix on messenger. Amazing tutorial thanks so much xx


Oh! I'll go and look now. Hope I can find it. Well done you 🙂 xx