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Discussion Forum

Topic: Painting on Buttercream Icing
maryloucakes 05/06/2011 7:43 AM

I've been asked to paint woodgrain on a wedding cake. Can buttercream be painted on, or does it have to be covered in fondant? Also, what medium would be best? Cocoa with melted Crisco? Edible gel with water? Suggestions?

Mary Lou
jessiecakes988 05/06/2011 9:50 AM
i've never seen it done on anything other than fondant- not really sure though i would think it might be difficult to do on buttercream- HOWEVER you end up doing it would LOVE to see the end result good luck i'm sure you are going to create a beautiful work of art
maryloucakes 05/06/2011 11:03 AM
Thanks. My customer gave me a picture she tore from a magazine. No instsructions or website for info. Hmmmm.
jessiecakes988 05/06/2011 12:43 PM maybe this will help not sure....i've seen a lot of things that say make sure the BC is hard before you try to paint it hope it helps
maryloucakes 05/06/2011 1:07 PM
Thanks. Will check it out. The magazine article my customer gave me described the woodgrain cake as faux bois. Fancy term for fake cake? It's from a Martha Stewart magazine. I managed to find the article on her website, but no description of the cake other than that faux bois term.
Youtube has been helpful too.
ginnyl 05/06/2011 2:45 PM
Was it a tiered cake with woodgrain only on one tier..if so they may have combined cake and dummy to create it..
BlackWidowNor 05/06/2011 7:04 PM
faux bois means "fake wood" as in a painted wood grain. Not fake cake.
ginnyl 05/07/2011 6:33 AM
Thanks BWN, I have seen painted wood grain done on several food networks, but only on fondant, but I guess it can be done on buttercream..
maryloucakes 05/07/2011 6:56 AM
Ahhh. Thanks!
maryloucakes 05/07/2011 6:57 AM
3 tiers, all wood grain.
maryloucakes 05/07/2011 6:58 AM
When you've seen it done on food networks, what was the medium they painted with?
ginnyl 05/07/2011 7:32 AM
I've seen it done on fondant only..and they used food coloring mixed with lemon juice or vodka..also saw one done with powdered colors mixed with vodka..
MARIEJ 05/07/2011 7:45 AM
What about trying it using a fork?

I've done a 'log' using a fork, and it looked pretty effective - I guess how much of the grain you're really going to need, will depend on how you do the effect !!
maryloucakes 05/07/2011 8:20 AM
Thanks. I've done that too. But in the picture my customer gave me, it's definitely painted on.
ginnyl 05/07/2011 4:11 PM
And it was buttercream and not fondant...? will do some hunting for you..
maryloucakes 05/07/2011 5:22 PM
Well, the cake in the picture looks too perfect, like fondant does, but it doesn't have the rounded top edge that fondant usually does. A Martha Stewart wedding publication. I don't know what month or year....

Thanks much!
luvbakin 05/07/2011 6:30 PM
Welcome Marylou

Not sure, but I have heard that most of the cakes in magazine's are faux display cake's (dummies).

If I were you I would just try a trial run with the painting on BC. I would let it crust good and then LIGHTLY use a SOFT brush. Mix your colors with vodka....I would use the gel colors and make them as thin as possible to get the colors you need.

Your customer has got to realize that it will not look exactly like the pic she gave you. Just do your best. Another thought is if she wants BC after you get your trial done you could show it to her and have her decide....just a thought!

Hope this helps :
maryloucakes 05/07/2011 6:45 PM
Thank you! Yeah, the article said the cake was faux bois, and I thought maybe that meant fake cake. But someone said it means imitation wood grain. Also, I saw suggested to mix paste color with lemon juice. Would that, or anything else, work as well as vodka?