cake art tools food coloring

Today, after the last post, in which I made a detour to a culinary school, I am now back to blogging about cake art again.

I decided to write about my favourite cake decorating technique – oh yeah! Finally, !

I am going to share how I hand paint on to cakes using edible paint. The favourite part about this, it is fast, easy and fun.

Finally, today is going to be the day…so hold your seats.

If you are reading this then be prepared to read how to create customized cake colors using edible paint – my way 🙂

Fun! Fun! Fun!

I am not sure about everyone else, but I get so excited when I get to do hand painting…it is therapeutic and this, way of decorating, brings out all my creativity because unlike other techniques.

Getting Prepared

Remember how I mentioned in my very first article, about being prepared in your work station – if you never read it or forgot then click here.

I prepare my work area and get out all the required tools/utensils that I would need for this, specific cake decorating medium.

The other thing that you would need to remember is to make sure that your floors are covered if working from your own home. Warehouses or actual commercial kitchens are fine, but not when, like me, you have light colored woolen carpets.

Tools Required

I am just going to list the tools here that are required:

  • Paint brushes (craft ones – ahem, not house ones)
  • Edible dusts, or gels
  • My trusty Vodka – for removing smudges and to create liquid paint with the dust (or any other pure /alcohol/spirit in your house).
  • Food grade vinyl gloves – trust me you don’t want colorful hands, especially if you intend on going out sometime soon.
  • Glass bowls and a plastic art pallet to separate and mix colors
  • Last, you need to have cake frosted and covered in plain white fondant. Why white? because it is like a canvas ready to add your artistic creativity. What’s the fun in painting if you already have colored background? Also, it leaves you no limitations for your imagination to flourish.

May I remind you also, that before you even begin to paint, to prepare your work space. Make sure that you cover everything that you do not want color or paint on. Check here for see how I prepare my working area.

How To Create Edible Paint Colors

A basic understanding of colors and how they are created, is probably a requirement that all creative people need to have.

I remembered my first art class in high school. The very first thing we learned was about the color theory/scheme and how to use it to create fabulous colors.

The color theory can be broken down into the following:

  • Primary colors/hues
  • Secondary colors/hues
  • Intermediate/Tertiary colors/hues

In total are 12 different tones/colors displayed as a wheel like so:

A color wheel, is the most important tool an artist can have. I use this wheel to create anything I do with colors, and especially within my cake artistry.

If you don’t have one, and you are a cake decorator, I suggest getting one for yourself made as a small wall chart, so that you can refer back to it, when you create toppers, edible flowers, or air brushing.

Did you know that skin color is the hardest color to get? I am speaking from experience – when someone says give me a natural color tone – I say, Huh? there are so many skin colors, how can you claim one is natural over another?

These are just my thoughts anyway, but can be a great discussion for my twitter page. For now, I will just focus on this post and keep myself out of trouble.

Did you also notice, how the color wheel does not have black or white? or gray?
According to science – they are not actually colors per se. Black is the absence of color and is a combination of all the colors.

Well this brings me to further colorful points he he (pun not intended).

According to Popular Science, the beautiful array of colors presented in a rainbow are really an optical illusion, drawn from the refraction and reflection of white light. Light bounces off the droplets of rain to create prisms of wavelengths. These wavelengths reflect the different colors that we see, during a sun shower.

There you go, that is my two cents worth of science.

My Two Favourite Options To Create Edible Paint

Using Dust or Pearl Luster

Using your paint palette/glass bowl – add the amount of dust that you would like to use, then add your alcohol/spirit (as much as required) to create a paint like liquid.

That is all, and you just begin to paint.

I love using pastel or luster dust to create a shiny sheen to my wedding decorations, leaving a pearl like effect (especially when painted on to fondant/sugar paste beads).

Gel coloring

Again, use the palette or glass bowl.

Add a teaspoon or two of vodka or pure mixing alcohol, and a squeeze a bit of color gel in. Note, that gel colors are really vibrant and you only need to squeeze a tiny drop or two to get a lovely hue. The more gel you add, the richer the resulting colors.

Just use your brush or hand painting medium to apply.

If you find that the vodka is drying too quick, just add a little more to make your gel paint liquid.

Take Your Time And Enjoy It

Painting straight on to cakes can be therapeutic, especially if you add a bit of your favourite music in the background, you will be on your way to having an enjoyable experience, while you are being creative.


This was a cake ordered at short notice – literally the day before. I covered it in all white fondant, and used yellow color dust to create shades to highlight the frangipani arrangement, and added shades to the cake. This can save a lot of decoration time, when you are working against time. Simple yet effective.

I was asked to do a mother’s day cake three days before it was to be delivered. I know, it’s crazy, right? but when you are married to the person who requested it, and it was for his mother, I had no choice but to make it with love…

… As you can see, again the cake was covered all in white fondant. I used pearl dust and paint to create the appearance of, “hundreds and thousands” on the bottom tier, before adding the gumpaste flowers, dusted in red gold luster.


Get The Rest Of The Family Involved

When the children were much younger, I allowed them, to enjoy painting decorations on my cakes as well. We used sponges, hands, brushes and rollers.

My girls are much older now, and stay out of my way when they see me working. I do miss those wonderful memories, though. However, I will do my best to be around to share my art with my future grandchildren someday, just as my own Nana, had done with me.


I hope that you enjoyed my post and have learned a few tips along with how to have great fun with painting your cakes. If you have not tried it then I suggest, you go ahead and let loose, your creativity, and remember to share some of those moments with your loved ones, while you can.

Please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.

Enjoy and chat soon,

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8 thoughts on “How To Customize Cake Colors Using Edible Paint (The Easiest Way)

  1. This really looks like a fun and therapeutic hobby! I’m also thinking that it would be a fun group project, like the popular events that people go to for painting and drinking wine. I can see it as a fun teen cooking class, too. Since I’m not much of a baker, I’m even thinking that I could try it without the cake just for fun!

    1. Hi again my friend,

      so nice of you to visit again. You have actually given me some great ideas for what I can do in future…I am looking at one day running some training events for younger folk and it will be a fun thing to do. Thanks for the great ideas 🙂

  2. This is another insightful post from you. I give you a thumbs up. Seriously, this method could save a whole lot of time if applied because, you get to use your intuitions and creativity well while trying all possible best to make wonderful decoration of the cake. I’m a very great cookie lover a and I love cakes a lot and as such, we do make this most times at home. This could be a new approach to how its designed. Thanks for the post

    1. Hi RoDarrick,

      thank you for leaving me a a lovely comment. It is wonderful to hear that you also love creating cakes and that you also agree to this method saving lots of time. I would love to hear about how it worked for you also 🙂

  3. Thank you for this post. It looks so easy. I’ve been researching home made cakes in order to make some for my family because to be honest there isn’t much choice in colors or unique cake art where I live. At least not where I am from. Now I know that this can be done well. I will definitely try some of your tips! Keep up the good work! 

    1. Thank you so much for viewing my post and leaving me a comment. I used to run out of ideas as well, until I discovered how much quicker and easier it was to just paint my decorations on. I am glad that you found my article useful and that you will try my tips 🙂

  4. Wow!
    I really enjoyed reading your article. I must say you did a great job. I have become much more curious to learn more about it. Actually, my mom makes cakes in the home. And it’s so tasty😘
    But my mom doesn’t know the tips on how to paint on cakes.
    But your article solved this problem. I’m gonna share this article with my mom. But is it safe for our health?

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