How to Paint on Buttercream Icing

Written by amber bartlett-dinenna
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How to Paint on Buttercream Icing
A decorative cake makes the celebration special (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

As delicious as buttercream frosting alone can be, making it look pretty puts a dessert over the top. Whether it's a baby shower, a birthday party or an office celebration, painting buttercream frosting will make any dessert look attractive while tasting delicious. With a few supplies and a creative mind, beautifully painted buttercream frosting is easily within reach.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Edible colour gel
  • Vodka
  • Paint brush

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  1. 1

    Let the buttercream frosting dry after it's applied to the cake. If the frosting is too soft then the painted colours will run.Placing the frosted cake in the refrigerator for several hours will help the frosting to dry more quickly.

  2. 2

    Put a few drops of the vodka onto a plate or into a bowl. Avoid using paper products which will soak up the liquid and instead use glass or porcelain dishes that will not stain.

  3. 3

    Mix a small amount of the edible colour gel into the vodka.Stir the gel and vodka swiftly until they meld together and become a smooth texture.

  4. 4

    Dip the paintbrush into the coloured vodka mixture and begin painting on the buttercream frosting. Once it's on the frosting, the vodka will evaporate leaving behind the color.This allows the frosting to be painted without becoming mushy.

Tips and warnings

  • This method works best with large paint strokes versus fine detail; broad detail requires less repeating strokes in the same area which helps avoid soft and mushy frosting.
  • Dab the excess moisture off the paintbrush before applying the colour to the frosting.
  • Use multiple light strokes to develop a darker colour; pressing too hard will cave in the frosting.

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