Imprint mats are a versatile tool that can be used with fondant, gum paste, buttercream, chocolate, and even gingerbread. They create gorgeous textured effects that add definition and detail to cake, cupcake and cookie projects with very little effort. Anyone who has tried to make an even three dimensional brick wall effect on a cake by piping it (such as for a wishing well cake or pretty magic princess castle) can breathe a sigh of relief because it is now possible to simple roll out this texture and apply it to the cake. Thanks to creative innovators there is a wonderful selection of textures to use for pretty much any project. For those who can't write evenly on cakes there are also lovely mats that have entire poems on them or cheerful happy birthday greetings. Some of the available options includes the following choices:
- Paisley floral
- Birthday designs
- Trailing vines
- Greek key
- Wood grain
- Polka dots
- Tiger stripes
- Leopard spots
- Basket weave
These versatile mats are made from plastic or even silicone and can range in size.Some of the more popular imprint mats are 20" x 20" and roll up for easy storage. Although the effect created by this tool is spectacular imprint mats can also be used in conjunction with over piping techniques if you want to add even more texture to your cake. Simply create the desired texture such as trailing vines or eyelet lace and then pipe thin lines using the pattern as an outline using a small round tip attached to a piping bag filled with royal icing. You can also apply a dusting of luster dust or stroke of color to pick up the details in the pattern and make it pop.
These mats are very easy to use even for beginners.
- Roll out your white or colored fondant to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. You do not have to dust the surface of your fondant because the mat will not stick to the fondant.
- Carefully place the desired fondant imprint mat on top of the rolled fondant.
- Take your rolling pin and roll the pin over the fondant imprint mat using a moderate amount of pressure. Do not press too hard or the fondant might tear or the mat might slip. If you are covering an entire cake take care to continue the pattern without any gaps and overlap. This will take a little practice if the pattern is dense such as brick.If you are covering cupcakes, cookies or using the patterned piece as a design element use the cutters after the fondant is imprinted. This will make the edges clean and the pattern will be clear.
- If you are covering a cake you can transfer the piece of fondant with the imprint mat still attached and then peel the mat off the fondant. Do not press the patterned fondant too firmly onto your cake or cupcakes because you can wreck the imprint.
Imprint mats are an invaluable tool for cake decorating and designers can look forward to many other textures being added to this already extensive list of possibilities. Many baking and cake decorating stores worldwide offer a range of imprint mats both in store and available online. You can look for imprint mats at the following locations: