Jan 13

13th January 2020

Free Cake Tutorial: Palette Knife Painting

Palette Knife painting is a really modern and effective way to decorate your cakes! It is very on trend in the cake world and so is a great tip to learn, this is a free tutorial from Pretty Witty Academy.

In this tutorial you will learn how to make this stunning design on your cakes, just by using some buttercream and a palette knife. 

This tutorial is inspired by the impressionist period and is a beautifully simple way to decorate your cakes.

If you liked this, why not have a look at the full tutorial where Rachel shows you three different cakes, all that have been painted using a palette knife. This tutorial is over on the Academy!

Palette Knife Painting on Cakes from Pretty Witty Academy

Top Tips for Palette Knife Painting:

  • This is a technique that many artists have used, such as Monet and Sezane.
  • The beauty of Palette Knife painting is that it doesn't have to be perfect, you get a really organic look from it and that is why it is effective. 
  • The best kind of knives for painting have a cranked handle.
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream works well as it has an oily quality like oil paint and a smoother texture.   
  • If using Swiss Meringue Buttercream, put it in the fridge as if it heats it will get too sticky.
  • You can practice on a cake board before trying on a cake.

Products used for Palette Knife Painting:

Palette Knife Set

Purchase HERE

Square Board  - Great for practicing!

Purchase HERE

Edible Pearls

Purchase HERE

A Bit About Impressionism:

Palette knife painting was first used by artists such as Monet and Cezane, it's such an effective technique that makes beautiful paintings. It was the first step in the impressionist movement and was a step away from the very realistic and detailed paintings that you can see covering ceilings of stately homes.

Impressionism was all about light and capturing a fleeting moment and less about the specifics of a scene, a beautifully refreshing take on art that many people now know and love. 

Although we now can appreciate the works of impressionist painters, at the time, the painters were ridiculed. The term "impressionist" was actually meant as an insult by art critics and some went as far to describe the artists as lunatics, much to many peoples surprise today.

The impressionist artist did not paint in a studio and instead went outside to paint. They used large strokes of thick paint that gave an "impression" of an object and really focused on the ever changing to light to make a beautiful painting.

Here are some examples of impressionist art, ready to inspire your cakes.

Monet Lily Pond

The Water Lily Pond by Monet is one of the most famous of the impressionist paintings.


La Mont Sainte-Victoire by Cezane is another beautiful and bright painting from the impressionist period. 

Some Inspiration:

We love the impressionist period and it's even better when it can be portrayed in a cake!

Just a little buttercream and a palette knife and you can make a really beautiful cake. It's so simple yet really effective. Have a look at some of our favourites below.

Emma Page Cakes

This first cake is truly a work of art and is made by Emma Page Cakes. They specialise in buttercream cakes, she has developed her own stable recipe and loves all things buttercream.

This is an amazing cake, the way the buttercream is layered and mixed with bright colours, it looks like a painting! This is a stunning cake and one that would really impress at any party.

Sweet Bloom Cakes

This wedding cake is made by Dewi Kurniadi from Sweet Bloom Cakes. She is based in Sydney and is originally from Indonesia. 

This wedding cake is just perfect. The soft colours, the impressionist flowers and even the tiny nonpareils. We love it!

Clare Anne Taylor

This cake is by Clare Anne Taylor Couture Cakes. Clare Anne attended Ballymaloe cookery school and then went on to train further in the UK. She is now based in Ireland and makes couture cakes.

This cake has such beautiful colours and we love the finer details of the butterflies, and sugar flowers. The slight shimmer in the buttercream also adds to this amazing wedding cake.

A Sweet Life

This two tiered cake is from Leigh at A Sweet Life. Originally in technology, Leigh has now entered the world of cakes to satisfy her creative side.

The pink flowers are so perfect on this cake and the design is really clean. A very impressive triumph when working with buttercream! The sugar flower also sets off the whole cake really well.

Ponona Cakes

Ponona Cakes based in Spain is responsible for this buttercream masterpiece!

This final cake is a colourful masterpiece! The different bold colours and delicate layering of buttercream is so impressive and works really well on this two tiered cake. It would be perfect for any birthday or celebration.

Our Final Words:

We really hope you've loved this tutorial all about Palette Knife painting and the impressionist period. It's a great way to decorate your cakes and very on trend! 

Why not have a go at our main tutorial on palette knife painting and have a go at these cakes for your next birthday or celebration! We're sure you'll love the tutorial and the many others over on the Pretty Witty Academy.

Palette Knife Painting on Cakes from Pretty Witty Academy

Pretty Witty Academy has nearly 1000 cake tutorials showing you everything from different buttercream nozzles to wedding cakes and sugar flowers. ​

There is also a huge business section for those wanting to run a business or who are already running one. There are some great tips and tutorials.

Why not check out some of these amazing cake tutorials. See more at Pretty Witty Academy.

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