To Cake or Not

Coloring Choices

In my pursuit of cake knowledge one of things that always intimidates me is color.  Yes, I know it sounds like such a simple thing until your trying to put a project together.  Then I begin to doubt myself like I’ve never seen color before in my life.  🙂

I normally sketch things out in pencil and pen because I have no idea what the colors will it be until I actually start creating it.

Trying to make sure there isn’t one color overpowering another or that it complements the others. Then it doesn’t always come out the way you picture it.  It’s a daunting task sometimes.

An example would be my entry for OSSAS 2014.  I decided to enter the tiered category but really didn’t have a plan as to what it was going to look like.  I loved the look of the wedding dresses from India and that was partly my inspiration but then as I went along got sidetracked so it ended up being a bunch of different things on one cake.  Which was mentioned on the comment card, lol. 😀

OSSAS 2014 Tiered Cake Entry

The one thing that irks me the most is the green box next to the bottom tier.  It looked more like a Christmas decoration and I debated several times even taking it apart but eventually leaving it on because I was running out of time.  Oh well, live and learn.

So when it comes to adding color to a piece there are many choices and each has it own issues.

Painting with dusting powders

If you have dusting powders creating a paint by using lemon extract or any extract with a high alcohol content some sites say to use an alcohol such as Vodka or Everclear.  I haven’t tried this method yet. This makes the dusting powders versatile and good for small details. The downside is the object your painting and the material it is made of.  The example I used is a flower made from fondant mixed with Tylose.  I have also used it on gumpaste, pastillage and a 50/50 blend of fondant & gum paste.  The key is to ensure the object is thoroughly dried before applying the paint and to not apply it too heavily.  This is the flower I colored using dusting powder & lemon extract.

Painting with Dusting Powders

Dusting Powder Only

Dusting powders are great to add color but depending on how big the object is a lot of powder may be used.  Also, it does depend on the quality of the powder and how much coverage you can get out of it.  In this example I used a Wilton dusting powder on a a white base so I had to go over the piece more than once to achieve the desired shade.

Dusted only

Colored Fondant 

Coloring fondant is the best option if you are making large pieces, covering a cake, or making multiple items.   The only downside is ensuring that you have enough for your project otherwise trying to match the color exactly doesn’t always work.  Now, if you are using a coloring that can be measured out such as in a dropper bottle or powder keeping track of how much is used works best.  Here’s an example of using colored fondant.

Colored Fondant and Gum paste

All three items together and as you can see there is another downside to using colored fondant.  Fading or color change can occur depending on the objects exposure to sunlight or even artificial lighting.  The last flower was sitting on a table next to the window and it changed to a peachy orange color.

All examples


The last item that can be used for coloring large objects and is really versatile is airbrushing color.  It is one technique that I have only got to play with at a day of sharing and it was easy plus fast.  Hopefully one day I will actually get to purchase one and do some more practicing with it.  Here is my only airbrush example it was a creamy pearl color.

DOS cake

So hopefully you got some information out of this post.  These are just some of the things that I have experienced when working with the different coloring mediums.

Have a good first week of May!