Some decorators had never heard of an extruder. Some were not sure what it was or how to use it. Others thought that you could do the same thing by simply rolling out fondant ropes by hand.
So - I threw together this quick post on 8 Ways to Use an Extruder for Cake Decorating!
Now I'm not going to get into any deep philosophical reasons - I'm just going to say that my extruder has saved me tons of time and I use mine almost every single week! It works for me in so many ways!!
So, I think you need one. But really... you can ignore me! What do I know? ha!! Okay seriously... I'm going to tell you how I use mine!
Just for reference, the specific one I have (pictured above) is the Makin Professional Extruder. I also have an extra disc set, but I only got it a few weeks ago and I could do most anything I wanted with just the original set!
Update: I just realized that I should note one more thing. My very first extruder was like this one... and it was a nightmare!! I do not recommend getting that kind! I bought it because it was cheaper and I'm cheap... but it's a waste! With it, you simply had to push the fondant out and it was awful! Maybe my fondant or gum paste wasn't soft enough or something, I don't know but I hated that thing!! I recommend that you get the kind that needs to be twisted!!
So, to show you how useful it is, I've added pictures of several of my cakes where I used my extruder (click on the photo or link to visit the post about that cake). This is only a short list ... I'm telling you - I use this tool all the time!!
Just be sure your fondant / gum paste is soft and/or warm and it should be a breeze to use! If it starts to get difficult to push the fondant/gum paste out of the extruder, I take it out, warm it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, then put it back in! Just be careful... hot fondant will burn you bad - I know from experience (that link goes to my old blog)!
The original set comes with four different sizes of multi-hole discs. Here are some uses for that disc...
1. Tassels. You can see it works great for tassels...
2. Hay. You see the hay I made on this barn cake...
and this farm yard animals cake...
3. A scarf. I used a slightly larger multi-hole disc to make the scarf on this Winter Snowflake Cake:
4. Grass. And then there's probably the most obvious... grass. Here is some on this LSU cake:
and on this soccer ball cake...
and even on this Hello Kitty Cheerleader Football Cake (for grass and pom poms!!):
5. And hair. I haven't done a lot of hair on cakes - but here's one of the mermaids I made:
Then there are several uses for the single hole discs (other than a tiara).
The Makin Professional Extruder comes with five different single hole sizes. I can honestly tell you I've never used that tiniest one... it's crazy-small!! But for the larger ones... here are some uses:
6. Tiara (see the full how to make a tiara tutorial here).
Anywho... other than the tiara... you can see how I use them here on the following cakes.
7. Trim on 3-D Cakes. For this dump truck smash cake, I used it to make all the trim!
I used the largest hole to do the loops for the spiral binding of the law books cake:
And one of the larger ones for the center line on the lady bug:
and to trim the Batman symbol on this cake:
Other than the single hole discs and multi-hole discs, the last ones I use most often are these clover shaped discs (for lack of a better word - how would you describe this shape?):
8. Ropes. I used a small hole disk to make 2 ropes and twist them together for the barbed wire on the top tier border of this western cake:
When you push out the fondant with this disc, then twist it, you get a fantastic rope look without having to try and twist together 3 separate strands! You can see it here on this nautical cake:
And that's all I've got for you tonight! I'll leave you by emphasizing again... there are so many uses for an extruder and honestly, I probably couldn't live without mine! If you do cakes like these at all, you'll find this to be an invaluable, time-saving tool!
So, do any of you already have an extruder? What do you use it for?
If you don't have one, do you think you'll be getting one? I'd love it if you'd leave a comment!