A few months ago, I got the opportunity to try this spatula painted buttercream technique on a wedding cake and it was so much fun! I had a beautiful buttercream color palette to work with (terracotta + blush + cream + burgundy) and wanted to create something eye-catching and different. Using this technique turned out to be so easy and beautiful and I couldn’t wait to try it again. So naturally, after getting my hands on this amazing AmeriColor Nifty Fifty color gel kit, the first thing I thought to do was create a spatula painted cake with another fun color palette!
I am absolutely over the moon for these color gel pastes and they deserve an entire post all their own. The kit comes with (you guessed it) fifty different colors, and they’re all so good that I probably will never have to spend time mixing custom colors ever again – something I had to do all the time before. Here’s a little video I whipped up to show you the color palette I chose with the spatula painted technique before you read all about it:
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You Will Need:
- A cake that’s been frosted with smooth buttercream and chilled
- A few cups of tintable buttercream (like vanilla or another light-colored flavor)
- Food color gels of your choosing
- Small icing spatula (I use this one)
Step 1: Start With A Chilled Buttercream Cake
This technique looks beautiful on top of a smooth buttercream surface, especially when you’re only doing it partially down the sides like I am. If you’re planning on covering the entire cake with swipes of buttercream, you could technically start with a crumb coated cake since the entire surface will be covered. Either way, starting with a chilled cake is essential.
Make sure the cake you’re decorating has been chilled for at least 30 minutes and is firm to the touch as a starting point. This way, the swipes of buttercream will adhere perfectly without affecting the buttercream underneath.
Step 2: Mix Up Your Color Palette
Divide your buttercream into separate bowls and tint them with food color gels until you achieve the perfect color palette. The color palette for this specific cake consisted of just five AmeriColor colors that I thought would look pretty together: navy, turquoise, lemon yellow, electric purple, and fuschia. I love the way it turned out!
Feel free to get creative with your color palette, because you can’t really go wrong with this technique! I’ve seen it done beautifully with a monochromatic color palette and the first time I created a cake like this I used varying shades of terracotta, blush, cream and burgundy. Total magic.
Step 3: Apply Your Paint Strokes
One color at a time, use your icing spatula to swipe paint strokes onto the cake in an upward motion. You’ll want them to overlap some, but all in a random pattern.
When you’re applying the buttercream paint strokes to the top of the cake, swipe the spatula from the outer edge toward the center of the cake and keep the strokes pointed toward the same direction. Like this:
In this particular cake design, I stopped my buttercream paint strokes halfway down the side of the cake with the exception of some smaller, random strokes further down. You can use this technique on the entire cake as an alternative, or just do the sides of the cake and decorate the top with other elements, like a floral arrangement. Whatever look you’re going for, this is such a fun and easy way to add an eye-catching artsy effect! It’s one of my new favorite techniques, and I can’t wait to try it in other color schemes.
Ready to give this technique a try? Tag me on Instagram and show me what you end up creating. I can’t wait to see what fun color palettes and designs you come up with!