How to Paint a Watercolor Cake! A peek into the creative process using edible paints and lemon extract with our contributor, Allison Kelleher.
Lately, I’ve been playing around with ‘watercolor’ painting – the traditional technique – very much like you would do on paper – but without paper or water! When I came across this lovely Rex Ray painting, I knew it would be the perfect inspiration. The colors are so fresh and pretty, and they blend together beautifully.
It took a little trial and error to figure out how to create a ‘watercolor painting’ on fondant – in the end, I realized that the key to the process is drying time – and lots of it!
To start off, I rolled out a pretty thin piece of fondant and let it sit out a bit. I mixed lemon extract with edible petal dust in shades of fuchsia, two tones of yellow, bright green and a subdued lavender; then I painted. When you use a lot of lemon extract, you get all sorts of interesting shapes and colors. But it can take several hours to dry. While I chose to use lemon extract, any clear extract or clear alcohol like vodka will work as well.
When the fondant is easy enough to handle, cut into shapes and apply to your cake. Design-wise, I used a free-form, organic aesthetic but then contained it within the stripes.
I really enjoyed the process of painting – it was fun (and different) for me. It was a nice change from my more structured Modern Mosaic Cakes. With no rules, no right or wrong way to do it, there’s no need to be precise! I hope you give this watercolor technique a try.
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