Painterly Watercolor Swan Cake

Pinterest is a fantastic place to source cake inspiration. This swan cake was inspired by watercolor multi-media wall-art. “We simply traced the outline of the swan from a tablet onto parchment paper and transferred the design directly to the cake. We emulated the watercolor paint by mixing edible dust colors with lemon extract to create a wash. A fine paint-brush can be used to outline the design with black food color, which will make the painting pop. To give a textural effect, we used several floral push molds to create edible flowers and applied them to the cake to replicate the inspiration picture. We then painted the flowers using the same technique as for the swan,” notes Sugar Stream.


Swan Picture courtesy of Pinterest

Parchment paper

White fondant

Selection of paint brushes

Roxy and Rich petal dusts: pink, orange, yellow, black, fuscia

Selection of flower molds



Cover and stack a three-tier cake and allow to set-up overnight ready for painting.

Trace over the outline of your chosen image. We used a pretty swan design found on Pinterest. If you have a large tablet, you can simply trace over the screen.

Place the parchment on the front of the cake and using a sharp pencil, go over the outline you just drew. This will leave an imprint in the fondant underneath that you can use as a guide for painting.

Mix some pink and orange petal dusts with some clear alcohol or lemon extract to create a thin paint. Begin adding paint to the swan using the inspiration picture as a guide.

Rebekah notes: We find that petal dusts make wonderful edible watercolor paints when mixed with clear alcohol or lemon extract. The paints dry matte, which gives a more authentic appearance. Any shiny areas can be mattified by dusting with corn-starch.

Make a very thin grey paint using some black petal dust and clear alcohol, use this to add shadows to the swan to give the picture dimension.

Outline the swan using some thinned black paint and a fine paintbrush.

Press some fondant into various flower molds and turn out. Attach the flowers to the body of the swan in place of the wings.

Rebekah notes: It looks nice if you use a selection of different flowers and overlap them slightly.

Using the watercolor paints you made earlier, begin to paint the flowers in the same way. We started with the lightest colors first and added deeper more concentrated shades and some black to create dimension.

Finally, thin the paints with a lot of clear alcohol until they are very runny, and using a paintbrush, add some drips to the bottom tier.


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