How to Paint a Fondant Cake

Updated April 09, 2018

Painting fondant is a fantastic way to add a finishing touch and intricate detailing to your cakes and cupcakes. By using lustre dust, food-colouring powders, or other alcohol-based edible food paints, you can create a professional look to your cakes that will help to distinguish and personalise them. Painting fondant is also a good alternative to using edible pens or piping on messages in buttercream. In essence, painting fondant is an elegant way to express any message or decoration you'd like on a cake.

Plan a design for the painted cake. Draw it out with pen and paper, and include colour. Keep the design nearby for reference.

Use alcohol-based food colouring or edible alcohol-based paint. Alcohol-based colour will not melt the fondant icing, and the alcohol will evaporate quickly.

Another option is to use powdered food colourings mixed with a small amount of vodka. Mix until the colouring is smooth enough to paint but not too thin.

Mix every colour you will need for your cake right away so that you don't need to worry about replicating colours later.

Gather all of your supplies before you begin. Make sure the cake is already iced with fondant and that the fondant is secured with buttercream.

Use a fine paintbrush for painting the fondant. A watercolour brush or other fine-tipped brush will work.

Lay your fondant on the parchment paper (unless you are painting directly on the cake). Keep a steady hand when painting fondant. Paint as you would a watercolour painting, and keep a Kleenex or damp paper towel around to quickly wipe off any colour mistakes.

Work on the general shape of the design before handling the details or saturating the design with colour. Continue painting until the design is complete and each part of your planned paper design has been painted on the cake. Use a toothpick to fill in details and further saturate colours.

Let the designs dry before moving or serving the cake.


Keep fondant as still as possible while adding detail. Try to steady your arm while painting.

Things You'll Need

  • Rolled fondant
  • Edible paint (non-water-based)
  • Decorating paintbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Parchment paper
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Carly Schuna is a Wisconsin-based professional writer, editor and copy editor/proofreader. She has worked with hundreds of pieces of fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, feature stories and corporate content. Her expertise on food, cooking, nutrition and fitness information comes from a Level 1 personal training certification and years of in-depth study.