Creating a watercolour cake for your next birthday party

A 'watercolour' style of cake is a unique and romantic way to personalise a birthday cake for your next celebration. Here are some tips on how to create a drool worthy and unique cake. 

Choose your cake centre

The watercolour is done on a hard fondant icing shell, which offers a lot of flexibility for your cake. You can choose centres of any type, including softer sponges or more dense mud cake or fruitcake. You can even layer different type of cakes to create a very tall layer. Many people looking to make a watercolour cake like to make a very tall cake to give more space to highlight the design.

Plan your design

There are a range of options for watercolour designs on cakes. If you want a precise design, it may be easiest to sketch out the design beforehand on a measured piece of fondant that can then be later wrapped around the cake. If you want a more abstract design, such as splatters of colour, you can opt for doing the design in situ to get an interesting effect from the dripping colour.

Create your colours

The water colours in a water colour cake come from watered down food colours. If you want to choose a more natural option, you can opt for natural colours or even make sure your own colours with berry juices and other natural colours. While you need to water down the colour, the colour will generally be less intensive than expected when it splatters onto the pure white background of the fondant shell. Lighter colours allow you to build up intensity with several passes to get the effect that you are looking for. 

Paint the fondant

Now it's time to rollout the fondant to a normal thin consistency. If you have opted to paint the fondant when flat, wait for the fondant to fully dry before you place it on the cake as the extra water in the paint can make the fondant less stable and rigid than normal. Join the sides to the top of the cake by rubbing with a hot spoon.

Of course if you find getting your ideal water colour design for your birthday cake challenging, it can be much easier to just head to a cake shop. Cake shop bakers are skilled at creating unique and striking designs, such as water colour cakes, which will taste as good as they look.