Alisa Bangerter – Studio 5’s Party, Holiday and Idea Contributor has the scoop on the cricut cake machine and some creative ways to use it!
What is the Cricut Cake?
The Cricut Cake machine is a personal electronic cutter that comes in a beautiful red color and is like a nice kitchen appliance. It will cut edible items including gum paste and fondant. The blade on the Cricut Cake is made especially for cutting food items and images can be cut up to just over 23″in size. The Cricut Cake machine has been made with features and components that make it food safe and easy to clean. It comes with a cutting mat, a cleaning brush, a blade basket (which will hold the blade for cleaning in a dishwasher), and a dvd with tips and instructions. It also comes with a basic cake cartridge that has up to 600 hundred images (including a font and common phrases used in cake decorating). Just released are three other specific cake cartridges with images commonly used on cakes. ANY Cricut cartridge will work with the machine so the possibilities are endless. Other accessories and supplies such as tool kits, frosting sheets, gum paste, etc. made especially for the Cricut Cake are available or will be soon. The listed retail price is $399.00 however it can most likely be found at a lower price due to specials and promotions.
The Cricut Cake machine is very innovative and opens up so many fabulous possibilities for not only the professional cake decorator but for the average person with little or no cake decorating experience. Easily decorate cakes from scratch or embellish pre-made cakes and confections. Using the machine is really is fun (and addicting!) and the results are so stunning and time saving. Go to www.cricutcake.com for more specific information, tutorials and tips and tricks.
What will the Cricut Cake machine cut?
The Cricut Cake machine can cut a variety of edible items including fondant, gum paste, frosting sheets and molding chocolate – which work well and are beautiful on cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc. whether iced with buttercream or fondant. The machine can also cut other flat food items such as cheese, tortillas, sliced meat, puff pastry (roll and freeze), cookie dough (roll thin and freeze first), fruit leather, etc. Think of all the fun possibilities!! The food item to be cut is placed on a cutting mat that is brushed with shortening. The shortening adheres the food item to keep it stable while cutting. It is important that the item adheres well and is flat, thin and will hold its shape to be cut. You may need to experiment with different settings on the machine to get optimal results with different food items.
What are fondant, gum paste and frosting sheets?
Fondant is a thick sugar paste/dough type icing that can be rolled, kneaded, textured and formed. It is often used to cover wedding cakes and has a smooth and matte like finish. Fondant can be colored with gel or powdered food coloring. You can purchase fondant or make your own. Fondants vary in taste and texture.
Gum paste is also a thick sugar paste/dough type icing but has gum arabic in it that allows it to dry much harder than fondant. You can purchase it or make your own. Gum paste can be softened to work with by placing it in the microwave for a few seconds. This will allow it to be kneaded and rolled. Gum paste can be rolled very, very thin and is easy to color with gel or powdered food coloring. To adhere cut images to a cake, simply brush the back with water to adhere. Gum paste is not usually used to cover a cake because it dries hard. Since gum paste will dry hard, cut images can be formed to dry in a certain shape if desired (raised petals on a flower, butterfly wings, etc.)
Frosting sheets are pre made sheets of thick flexible icing that normally come with removable disposable backings. You can cut the frosting sheets, write or stamp on them with food safe markers, print on them with food safe ink (photos, patterns, motifs, etc. – bakeries can usually do this for you), texture them, etc.
Coordinate a party using the Cricut Cake machine and a Cricut electronic cutter.
Do you want to have a fabulous party and impress your friends? Simply use the images and fonts from any Cricut cartridge in a Cricut electronic cutter (such as the Cricut Expression) to cut paper to make custom invitations, thank you notes, party games, decorations, table décor, favors, etc. Then simply use the same cartridge in your Cricut Cake machine to use the same images to cut edible images to decorate the cake and party food with. A very simple way to coordinate the party from start to finish! Think birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, holidays, baby/bridal showers, weddings, dinner parties or for any type of special occasion.
Embellish gum paste/fondant cut images.
Embellish gum paste, fondant, frosting sheet, or molding chocolate cut images with edible pearls, sugar jewels, small candies, colored sugars, edible glitters, edible metallic sprays, edible metallic leafing, food color spray/mist, luster or pearl dust, edible food markers (write or stamp), etc. Gum paste cut items can be left to dry, draped or formed in certain positions to create 3-D images.
Some creative ideas from Alisa:
• Cut numerous significant dates (i.e. May 6, 1960, June 4, 1987, etc.) from gum paste and place randomly on the tiers of a cake. Place small cards around the base of the cake explaining the significant dates and the importance of them. This would work well for an anniversary, older milestone birthday, wedding etc.
• Place words describing the bride (from the groom) down one side of a tier cake and words describing the groom (from the bride) down the other side.
• Place quotes or poetry on a cake.
• Have family members submit words to describe a birthday person and place on a cake.
• Customize cookies or cupcakes with names to serve as a place card and favor, all in one.
• A great way to personalize team treats.
• Have a bakery print (take in a scan) the pattern from a favorite family quilt onto a frosting sheet. Using the Cricut Cake, cut flowers from the sheet. A grandmother would love this! Remember photos or any image can be printed onto frosting sheets using food safe ink.
• For extra dimension on cut images, embellish using a pastry bag and icing.
• Use candy and edible items to creatively embellish cut images. For example add edible diamonds or clear rock candy at the top of a chandelier image to create “lights” or use small candy balls to make an image have “polka dots.” Be creative – the possibilities are endless.
• Try experimenting with chocolate transfer sheets using chocolate or molding chocolate before cutting.
• Cut and place wafer paper with images or patterns onto fondant or gum paste cut shapes – very cool and trendy…
• Cut tortillas into shapes, brush with butter or oil and bake until crisp. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or savory spices.
• Cut sliced cheese into shapes and use to garnish salads, sandwiches, etc.
• Place a wood skewer or toothpick under a gum paste cut image (slightly press into stick) and let dry. Use as a pick in a cupcake or on a cake top.
• Use a pasta machine to get thin sheets of fondant and gum paste if you prefer that to using a rolling pin.