DIY Abstract Watercolor Painted Cake

DIY Watercolor Cake — A modern and colorful cake decor idea, this Abstract DIY Watercolor Cake can be customized to any occasion or color theme.

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

Last weekend we hosted my lovely friend, Davina’s baby shower at the studio. So I felt like I could take it upon myself to make whatever kind of crazy cake I wanted to go along with it.

After all, sugar is in the name and I only need half a reason to bust out my next Picasso of cakes anyway! 

Plus, Davina and Kyle decided not to find out the sex of the baby early. This left me no choice but to use every kid-friendly color there ever was just in case.

All of that to say I ended up making this DIY abstract watercolor painted cake as a result. I also had at least five people at the party ask me if it was edible.

And yes, of course it is. (It’s practically criminal if it’s not!)

Plus, it takes almost no artistic skills whatsoever to decorate this baby. So you can line all of your big kids up and just let them have at it for their next party or occasion too!

DIY abstract watercolor cake |

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

Materials Needed To Make A DIY Watercolor Cake

  • Wilton gel-based food coloring
  • Clear vodka/liquor or clear flavored alcohol based extract like almond extract
  • Toothpicks
  • A food dedicated paint brush — This means any unused strictly for food brush.
  • Plain white iced cake — Any flavor will do. Just make sure the icing has hardened a bit.
  • Small bowl with water and paper towel

Can I Substitute the Clear Vodka Ingredient?

Rubbing alcohol can be used in place of vodka or clear flavored alcohols if you choose not to use such items.

A lot of bakers and how-to’s use the rubbing alcohol trick of the trade. Rubbing alcohol should NOT be consumed by mouth.

But when rubbing alcohol is used is very small quantities and mixed in with gel food coloring, it actually evaporates so quickly that it doesn’t cause harm when used correctly.

Please note that with all projects seen on Sugar & Cloth, you assume full responsibility when recreating tutorials at home.

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

How To Paint On Cake | How To Make A DIY Watercolor Cake

1 — Use several small bowls to prep for each color you plan to use, and fill them each with about a quarter inch of vodka or alcohol base.

2 — Use a tooth pick to drop a small dab of gel food color into each cup and use the pick to stir the color well.

The more gel coloring you add the stronger the color will show up. The less you add the more transparent the color will be. 

Adding too much also makes the food coloring stay a bit shiny so try to avoid excess if you can.

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

3 — Use a food dedicated painted brush  to paint on each color sporadically over the iced cake. Continue to do this until it’s as colorful as you’d like.

Just make sure to dip your brush in the bowl of water to rinse before each color. Be sure to wipe the water from the brush with the paper towel. Putting plain water on icing will make a sticky mess!

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

For even more unique colors, try painting a quick run over another color like pink and blue to make a rainbow purple.

Inevitably, kids will get this going right away, but I actually had to talk myself into letting the colors touch about.

Not OCD at all, you guys! Nothing to see here…

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

DIY Abstract watercolor painted cake |

I really love how it turned out. And now I’m just deciding on what other things I can paint edible watercolor on!

I tell ya, when I get on a kick I really like to run with it, you know?! Have you all ever painted anything totally random on your desserts? Let’s hear it!

The glitter cake topper letters are from The Bannerie // Cake stand from World Market

Cake Painting Tips And Tricks

  • Make sure you don’t overmix the colors while mixing them – this will give you a watery color and it won’t stick on the cake. Also, use just one brush at a time – don’t keep switching colors as this will also cause bleeding of colors.
  • Always clean your brushes with water in between to prevent the colors from mixing.
  • Paint in smooth strokes – never has harsh jerky movements as they will leave ridges on your cake.
  • If you want a smooth finish, go over the paint once or twice with a damp sponge to blend the colors well.

More DIY Cake Designs

Please note that we may earn a commission for some of the above affiliate links. However, products featured are independently selected and personally well-loved by us!

33 thoughts on “DIY Abstract Watercolor Painted Cake”

  1. Pingback: 6 DIY Watercolor Sweets - Sugar & Cloth Birthdays + Parties
  2. Pingback: Snowball Float Recipe - Sugar & Cloth
  3. Pingback: DIY Colorblocked Barn Door - Sugar & Cloth
  4. Pingback: How To Make DIY Watercolor Wall Art - Sugar & Cloth
  5. Pingback: 41 Easy Birthday Cake Decorating Ideas That Only Look Complicated – Decor Ideas
  6. Pingback: 4 Fun Ways to Make a Watercolor Cake With Artistic Flair
  7. Hi Ashley, this cake looks so beautiful. I want to make it for my daughters first birthday and did a trial run. I did a three tier layer cake but the icing was a bit of a disaster because it just wouldn’t really stick to the sides please could I ask for your icing recipe please? I just used icing sugar and water!!

    • Thanks so much, Dawn! I use this icing recipe , but freezing the cake and using chilled icing (not frozen) will help make it stick once you go to ice it! Hope this helps! :)

    • It has to something with a really high alcohol content that’s clear so that it doesn’t alter the color and evaporates quickly :)

  8. Pingback: 28 Most Creative DIY Cake Decorations | Hi Cydia
  9. Hi Ashley,
    I love this cake perfect for my besties birthday this week!!
    Can I ask what cake you used and your buttercream recipe please?
    Thank you

  10. Cute Cake? One quick question… I am under 21 so I cannot purchase vodka, and I dont know if thats safe to serve to my the younger guests eating the cake… Anyt other substitutes because I do not think parents would be okay with a 14 yr old eating a cake that has vodka in it. Thanks

  11. This cake is seriously gorgeous. There is so much sugar in the Sugar & Cloth studio – I feel like I would gain 50 lbs. just by being in the parking lot! Too fun. xo

  12. Looks great! I am however very concerned about using rubbing alcohol with food products, particularly if you’re letting little kids paint the cake. Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl alcohol, which is toxic if consumed, even in small amounts. Save the rubbing alcohol for disinfecting the kids’ skinned knees after they run around in the backyard on all that sugar; for the cake, stick with vodka.

    • Hey Elijah! Glad you love the look :) Flavored extracts and clear liquors can be used instead, but not everyone will want their kid drunk painting (though my earlier artworks as a kid look like it) with straight vodka, so I included the rubbing alcohol as a monitored option. I added the option of clear, alcohol based extracts too as well as a disclaimer at the bottom of the post to clarify for those that may be uninformed! Thanks so much for speaking up in case, virtual hugs to you!


Leave a Comment