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Watercolour Effect Buttercream Birthday Cake

Watercolour Effect Birthday Cake

As you know, I am all about Floral Buttercream Cakes!

In the early years of my son's birthdays, I took creative liberty in incorporating my signature floral touch into the cakes. However, as he's grown older, his preference has shifted to cakes without flowers – definitely a challenge for me!

That's when this Watercolour Effect with Pretty Borders came in handy – a gender-neutral Buttercream Cake decorating technique that strikes the perfect balance between elegance and avoiding an overly 'girly' appearance.

For this tutorial, I've opted for a colour palette of pink and yellow buttercreams, but feel free to experiment with other Buttercream colours for your Cake Design.

Building upon the border piping skills we covered in the previous blog, you can integrate those piping skills into this design.

Materials Needed for Designing Watercolour Cake:

  1. Any Coloured Buttercream - We are using our Signature Buttercream here and I am using Colour mill oil based colours. If you prefer using Gel colours ,you can use them too. 
  2. Uncoloured Buttercream - For crumb coating and covering the cake.
  3. Palette Knife and Smoother for Cake finishes - Artistic Palette knife will help you spread and blend the buttercream and Smoother to smooth the cake
  4. Piping Bags and Nozzles - Fill and Prepare piping bags with coloured Buttercream and use tips - Wilton 1M and Wilton 104 to pipe different borders.
  5. Cake - Bake and layer your cake. Make sure it's fully cooled before applying the buttercream. P.S - If you struggle with Cake baking and want to learn how to prepare cakes , learn to bake perfect sponge cakes and cupcakes (With eggs and Eggless), check out our Science of Baking Online Class here >> Learn Science of Baking
  6. Cake Turntable - To turn the cake effortlessly as you smooth the cake.

Watch the Video below


Steps Involved in Designing Water Colour Effect Cake Birthday Cake:

  1. Crumb Coat and Cover the Cake:
    Apply a thin layer of buttercream to the entire cake as a crumb coat. This seals in the crumbs and provides a smooth surface for the watercolour effect. Now cover the cake with White (or uncoloured) buttercream.
  2. Mix colours to Buttercream:
    Tint your buttercream with the desired base colours using oil/gel food colouring. I am using Colourmill Pink and Yellow Oil Colours for my Signature Buttercream
  3. Apply Coloured Buttercream:
    With a palette knife apply small patches or blobs of coloured buttercream onto the cake in a random pattern. Remember, being random is key here - there are no patterns to follow. Explore the creative artist within you!
  4. Smoothing and Blending:
    Use the palette knife or offset spatula to gently spread and blend the colours together. This creates a soft transition between the different hues.
  5. Layering Colors:
    Repeat the spreading of Buttercream process with additional colours, layering them over the base colours. Blend them together with the cake smoother. Bear in mind to not over smooth the cake. We want to see the colours distinctly.
  6. Pipe borders
    You can pipe different borders at the bottom and top of the cake of your choice. If you need guidance on how to pipe creative borders, refer to my blogpost on How to pipe 12 different borders here.

Remember, practice and experimentation are key. Feel free to play with different colour combinations and borders to achieve the watercolour effect you desire.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial :)

Any questions, feel free to email me [email protected]

Much love,


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