As delicious as buttercream frosting alone can be, making it look pretty puts a dessert over the top. Whether it’s a baby shower, a birthday party or an office celebration, painting buttercream frosting will make any dessert look attractive while tasting delicious. With a few supplies and a creative mind, beautifully painted buttercream frosting is easily within reach.

Things You'll Need

Let the buttercream frosting dry after it’s applied to the cake. If the frosting is too soft then the painted colors will run.Placing the frosted cake in the refrigerator for several hours will help the frosting to dry more quickly.

Put a few drops of the vodka onto a plate or into a bowl. Avoid using paper products which will soak up the liquid and instead use glass or porcelain dishes that will not stain.

Mix a small amount of the edible color gel into the vodka.Stir the gel and vodka swiftly until they meld together and become a smooth texture.

Dip the paintbrush into the colored vodka mixture and begin painting on the buttercream frosting. Once it’s on the frosting, the vodka will evaporate leaving behind the color.This allows the frosting to be painted without becoming mushy.


  • This method works best with large paint strokes versus fine detail; broad detail requires less repeating strokes in the same area which helps avoid soft and mushy frosting.

  • Dab the excess moisture off the paintbrush before applying the color to the frosting.

  • Use multiple light strokes to develop a darker color; pressing too hard will cave in the frosting.

References and Resources

Baking 911: Decorating 101: Tinting