Buttercream Palette Knife Painting Cake. Using a technique that originated with oil painting, you can create a beautiful, textured cake design with buttercream, palette knives, and a few other basic cake decorating tools.
Before you get too far – I do not have a tutorial for you today – just a written explanation for how I made this cake. But maybe you’ll find some tips that will help if you choose to do this technique.
As you may know (or not?), Mississippi experienced a rare polar blast last week including temps in the 20s, snow and lots of ice. This is so out of the ordinary for us that we are quite simply not equipped to handle it.
Businesses shut down, schools closed, and life pretty much came to a stand-still for a few days. And then… a lot of people lost electricity and/or water. One local power co-op had 98% of it’s customers without electricity. That included our church.
Why am I telling you this? Well, there was a bridal shower scheduled at our church on Sunday and without electricity, it couldn’t happen. To keep from canceling, I offered to move the shower to my home and host it here. It was a last-minute decision but I was truly happy to help – especially since the bride is my cousin.
Anyway… I was already scheduled to make the cake for the shower so that ended up being a blessing. Anytime one of my cakes doesn’t have to be transported, it takes a little pressure off.
Buttercream Palette Knife Painting Cake
Now… let me tell you about this cake. My sister-in-law Ariel was coordinating the shower and she knows I love to make a cake design I’ve never done before. So when she showed me what she wanted – I was ecstatic!
I had actually made one buttercream palette knife cake a couple of years ago but the design was a last-minute decision and I didn’t have the time to really figure out how to do it. It’s here:
The cake ended up being pretty, but I wanted to do more. So this time… I prepared a little more by watching tons of Youtube videos and making sure I had the proper tools.
Now let me confess. I didn’t actually follow most of the Youtube advice or techniques. But I did get a better understanding of how the look I wanted was achieved.
And with that in mind – I laid it out and went to work! My final product was certainly not perfect and I have no mastered Palette Knife Painting on cake by any means… but I loved the final result and my clients loved it too!!
These are the colors the bride will be having for her wedding along with the buttercream palette I created:
I also had some black buttercream in a piping bag to add the flower centers and a few “dots”. Since I couldn’t actually make a true metallic gold buttercream, I painted on the gold accents after the cake was chilled for about an hour.
Here are the tools I used:
- Palette Knife Set – mine is almost identical to this one but I bought mine at a local hobby store.
- Small Spatula – just your everyday cake decorating spatula.
- Paintbrushes – any clean new synthetic brushes will work… just keep them designated for cake work obviously.
- Cookie sheet (or a plate or whatever you like)… I shared my favorite cookie sheets here.
- Gold Edible Paint
Colors mixed for this cake:
I will list the base colors I used but there’s no way to tell you how exactly I achieved the colors shown. I Just mixed and combined until I got colors I liked.
- Peach (I covered the whole cake in this color before I started decorating)
- Super Red
- Regal Purple
- Egg Yolk
- Leaf Green
- Forest Green
- Cocoa Powder (not gel color – actual cocoa powder)
How I decorated the Buttercream Palette Knife Painting Cake
Again – no step-by-step photos here… just a general summary of what I did.
- I baked two layers of Strawberry Cake and made a big batch of Cream Cheese Buttercream.
- I filled, stacked, and crumb-coated the cake – then chilled overnight. You can see step-by-step photos of how to do this in my book, Cake Decorating for Beginners.
- I made peach-colored buttercream, then covered the cake and smoothed it (again, full tutorial in my book). Then I chilled the cake for an hour.
- While the cake was chilling, I mixed up all of the colors above.
- Using a variety of palette knives, I started on the top and began creating flowers. I don’t have pics of this (yet) but you can search on Youtube and find several video demonstrations.
- Chilled the cake again, then got it back out to paint on the gold accents with edible gold paint.
And that’s it! I decorated this cake in about an hour, not counting chill time. And it was a huge hit at the bridal shower!
If you have any questions about this cake, please leave me a comment!