Fall in Maine means chilly, sunny days and beautiful colors... a perfect motif for a cake! I recently received a request for a fall-themed wedding cake, so I dug out my cookie cutters and my airbrush to make some simple fall leaves.
* Food-Grade Airbrush (If you don't already have an airbrush and you're considering purchasing one, I got my airbrush for less than $60 from Amazon, and it came with the airbrush, compressor, and four basic colors. It is a useful tool for practically any cake project, and it is definitely worth the investment!)
* Food-Grade Airbrush Paint (I used the Americolor Amerimist Cake Colors that came in my kit) red, yellow, and green - brown would also work, if you don't have green.
* Yellow Fondant or Gumpaste (I used Wilton Decorator Preferred Fondant mixed with a small amount of Gum-Tex tylose powder to help it harden)
* Maple Leaf Cookie Cutter
* Leaf Impression Mat or Impression Mold
* Egg carton (or something similar) to help shape the leaves
Tint fondant a golden yellow color. I used Wilton "golden yellow" and added a tiny bit of brown to tone it down. Then roll out your fondant onto a confectionary sugar-covered surface until the fondant is just thin enough to be able to see through it. Use the cookie cutter to cut out leaves.
Press each leaf onto the impression mat.
Place the leaves in a random arrangement on the egg carton. I pinched each of the stems to make them narrower, and I curled some of the edges of the leaves with my finger.
Next, use the airbrush to paint a layer of red on the leaves. I painted the tips of the leaves, and then lightly sprayed random wisps of red on each leaf. At this stage, the leaves look almost neon orange.
For the last step, either mix four or five drops of red with one drop of green paint, or just use brown. Spray around the outside edge of each leaf, and then go back and spray the contours.
Finished Leaves (Sorry for the poor lighting... This picture was taken under fluorescent lights.)
Note - If you would like your leaves to be brighter, or have more contrast, just add more red!