How To Paint On A Cake With Food Coloring

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Last Updated on December 9, 2021

You must be wondering how to paint on a cake with food coloring? Well, there are only two ingredients you need to make edible food paint. Gel food coloring, which I prefer because it is more pigmented and concentrated than liquid food coloring. However, the quality and the consistency of the food coloring will depend on the brand.

And the other one is Vodka; it is a better base than water because its high alcohol content tends to dry faster than water. Do not worry; it is non-alcoholic and safe for kids because the alcohol evaporates as the paint dries. If you are uncomfortable using Vodka, you may also use the lemon extract as a base; however, it will give a tangy citrus taste on the cake.

Use Gel Food Coloring

For the most part, gel food coloring is excellent to utilize in painting on a cake. Likewise, it is ideal for vibrant color frostings. Thus, it is perfect to use when you do not want to put liquid into whatever you are painting. However, I suggest you do not use it in dying cookie doughs because it is highly concentrated. In addition to that, it would not be easy to mix with cookie doughs.

Use Gel Food Coloring

Vodka For Painting On Cakes

When using Vodka, you should put another coat onto the cake in about a minute. Likewise, you will need to put a small number of Vodka drops to mix it from time to time. That is why it is perfect when painting a sheen with luster dust. After that, make sure to wrap the paint palette of luster dust with plastic wrap. It is exceedingly convenient; because you only have to add a small amount of alcohol whenever you want to use it again.

Purchase High-Quality Paintbrushes

Essentially, paintbrushes come in numerous shapes and styles, from ultra-fine to Japanese calligraphy brushes. For this reason, purchasing an excellent collection of paintbrushes in different sizes is important. Not to mention that it adds aesthetic details and designs to your cakes; with that, keep in mind that you should exclusively utilize these paintbrushes for edible materials and nothing more.

Layering is Key to Success

It will greatly help if you sketch out the silhouettes and shapes with a thin brush. It is the most effective approach, especially when you have a base color running through your design.

That is why it is always great to build up your work. In addition to that, start working small. After that, add bolder colors and details as your work dries. Sometimes, you will start to feel overwhelmed, especially once you try working excessively at the same time with the painting. So, it is best not to do it. 

Layering is Key to Success

What You Will Need To Paint On A Cake With Food Coloring


  • 1 tbsp of vodka or lemon extract
  • Gel food coloring


  • Paintbrush
  • Stirrer
  • Small mixing bowls

Wilton Cake Decorating Tools, 5-Piece Brush Set

Step by Step Instructions On How To Paint On A Cake 

Step 1

In a small mixing bowl, drop a half tablespoon of Vodka and stir in a teaspoon of gel food coloring.

Step 2

Then, stir until well incorporated. Remember that this ratio is for each color you will use. With that, make sure to stir it frequently.

Step 3

After that, use the paint near the edge of the bowl. Doing this allows you to press the brush up on the side of the bowl. Likewise, it will enable you to squeeze out some of the liquid.

Step 4

Finally, paint the cake with your desired colors and aesthetic designs.

Painted Cake

Tips And Tricks On How To Paint On A Cake With Food Coloring

Remember, you can use any brand of Vodka. Likewise, if Vodka is unavailable, gin is also okay. Because of that, you can only use alcohol, that is clear. Again, do not worry that much; it is safe for children to eat since the alcohol easily evaporates. In addition to that, you can use extracts like lemon. On the other hand, avoid extracts that have a color like vanilla.

Moreover, you can use water, but it does not evaporate as much. And it will end up disrupting the cake’s surface. It is better to use gel food coloring than liquid if you want the colors to pop.

Furthermore, the alcohol will not make the edible paint taste bitter. But if you use extracts like lemon, it will leave tangy flavors. Besides, you can use any brush as long as it is a clean food brush. 

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