Cake Painting

If you’ve found yourself here, you are probably looking for tips on painting cakes! You’ve come to the right place.

How to paint cakes

Cake Painting

I received so many questions and requests for details about the cake painting at my daughter’s Princess Tea Party that I decided to do a post here to help everyone interested in cake painting. I’m not a pro, but I will tell you what worked and didn’t work for our party.

First, let’s chat about what did not work.

I knew I wanted to have the girls paint little cakes at the party, but I wanted to practice beforehand to ensure it all went smoothly since we were dealing with 4 and 5 year olds. I grabbed an inexpensive little cake from the grocery store and diluted food gel colors with vodka (you can use lemon juice). The vodka evaporates so not to worry about kids, except that it was a disaster. The gel colors separated and left little dark bits and the kids brushes I grabbed at the craft store left bristles all over the cake. THANK goodness I practiced. Don’t make my mistakes!

edible cake paint

Here’s what worked:

If painting on buttercream, like we did, you must have your cakes cold. Keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to paint. You don’t want the frosting to be soft when you spread paint on it with a brush. It will lift up the frosting and make a bit of a mess. So be sure your cake is COLD. If you’re painting cookies frosted with buttercream, same thing. Cold!

Cake Painting Tips and Tricks

Cake Painting

Cake Painting Tools

food paint for cakes


“Edible Art” is the holy grail of food paint. You don’t have to mix it with anything else. It’s ready to go, just needs a lot of shaking right before you squeeze it out. The bottles are small but a little goes along way. I only needed one bottle of each color to fill 7 little palettes for the party.

It’s also 100% FDA -approved, food safe. They’re also gluten, dairy, soy and peanut free! You can also use these paints on

  • Fondant
  • Buttercream (not swiss meringue as it doesn’t take the paint well)
  • sugar cookies
  • marshmallows
  • macarons
  • ganache and modeling chocolate

I just poured them into mini artist palettes, similar to these.

Edible Art Metallic Colors

Edible Art Regular Colors


cake painting food safe brushes

I bought a few packs of these food-safe art brushes. They worked like a charm. No bristles came off!

paint sponges


I love the look of sponging on cakes so I bought these mini sponges for the little ones.

Then the girls went to town painting and sponging their cakes!

Cake Painting

Cake Painting Party

I love the cake painting idea, and think it would be so cute for not only birthday parties for little ones but also holiday occasions, craft nights with your girlfriends, you name it! It’s so easy. Plus, the paint does go a long way, I still have half a tube left of every color I used for the party.

The paint dries rub-free so you can gently touch it if you need to transport a cake. It won’t rub off!

Cake Painting

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them! To see more from the Princess Tea Party, click here!

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  1. Mary Evans says:

    What a great idea. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to tweet the idea to make it easier for us.
    This is the best birthday party I have ever seen for a 5 year old. What an event and she will remember for sure.
    You are so very talented.

  2. Oh wow!!!! Thank you so much for all the details on cake painting as well as what worked and didn’t work. The links are so helpful. You did an astounding job and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write this all down for us. I foresee a grown up girls party in my future with these cakes!!! Thanks Courtney!

  3. Beautiful party! Where did you purchase the little cakes from? Perfect size for a child’s party.

    1. Hi Danielle, they’re from a local bakery.

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE – Thinking this would be cute for a Mothers Day Kids activity with my small group at church – what size cake did you use??? Thank you for the amazing ideas and for sharing all of this with us!

    1. Thanks Joanna! We had 4″ by 4″ cakes. I’m sure it would work with any size!

  5. This is adorable! What size cakes did you use? Did you have small cake boxes for each girl to take their cake home?

    1. Hi Jessica! I believe they were 4″ cakes for the little girls and yes, we had small cake boxes for each little girl to transport her cake home.

  6. This is great! Would you mind sharing what colors you used in the edible paint? This looks like a perfect combination!

  7. Love Love! For the main party cake, was it also painted by the bakery where purchased or were the icing colors just blended. A friend is trying to replicate your idea and is looking to do as close to your party as possible.

    1. The main party cake was made by Copper Whisk Cakes in Nashville. She blended it.

  8. I absolutely LOVE this idea. Where did you get the mini tiaras for the cakes and the boxes to send them home? Can’t wait to see the 6th birthday party theme you come up with.

  9. oh nice! My daughter is turning 8 and I plan on doing that cake activity for hers. I will check hobby lobby for the boxes for the cake and the mini tiaras as well. Such a GREAT idea.

  10. Where are the little cake stands from?

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