I think I found my calling in life as a cake painter! (Besides food styling and photography.) It blends my love of art, painting, and food into something incr-edible! Literally. And now I want to show you how to do edible watercolor on marshmallow fondant. It’s slightly addicting, so get ready!
This will for sure bring your birthday cake game up a level, or almost induce labor for your pregnant friend when you show off this cake at her baby shower. And don’t use the excuse, “I can’t paint!” That’s a stinking heap of rubbish. It just takes patience, a little bit of practice, and imagination. Oh, and time. LOTS of time. Carve out a two-hour chunk for this activity. I PROMISE it’s worth it, and painting is extremely therapeutic, so consider it your “me time” for the day.
How to Do Edible Watercolor on Marshmallow Fondant
You need a few simple items to get started: Wilton Primary Icing Colors, Wilton White White Icing Color, pure lemon extract, fine tip brushes (mine are a size 1 and 3), toothpicks, paper towels, and a plastic palette. I purchase all of my materials at on Amazon, but you can buy them at Michael’s or the grocery store. Your canvas is going to be fondant, obviously, and marshmallow fondant is the only way to go! (Super easy recipe below!)
So far I have only used the gel food color, but I am interested in working with the food coloring powder next time. Maybe it will be more saturated and give me a better range of colors? I will let you know. The important thing to remember is the lemon extract evaporates quickly, so you need to make sure you have enough of your color mixed and ready to go.
The white icing is going to thicken your paint so it goes on more opaque. If you want to do a lighter, transparent wash all over, just mix a small dab of gel food color into your lemon extract and paint that first. Truly, the options are endless! Also, here is a nice color wheel chart if you need a reminder for how to make your various colors and hues.
If I can do it, so can you!
I’ve included my Periscope video below if you are more of a visual learner and want to see the process! (And Benny the blind chihuahua. And my two-year-old almost knocking over my tripod multiple times. We are in the throes of the terrible twos! The part where he took a huge bite out of the front of the cake is not pictured, nor is my almost nervous breakdown as it happened. Hashtag mom life.)
Grab the marshmallow fondant recipe and detailed directions below. Happy painting!
How To Do Edible Watercolor On Marshmallow Fondant
For the marshmallow fondant:
- 10 oz bag mini marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the edible watercolor:
- Gel food coloring primary colors
- White icing color
- Pure lemon extract
- Fine point brushes
- Paper towels
To make the marshmallow fondant:
- Pour the marshmallows and water into a large, microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon, then microwave for 30 more seconds.
- Mix together the marshmallows until they are completely melted and smooth. Pour in 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix well. Add in the rest of the sugar until it forms together.
- Liberally grease the counter and your hands with vegetable oil, and turn out the fondant to the countertop. Knead it like bread dough until it is soft and pliable, about 8 minutes. Feel free to grease your hands and the counter as needed so it doesn't stick to your hands.
- Once the fondant is smooth and elastic, it's ready to use. Pull apart half of it and roll into a smooth ball. Place the ball on the well-greased counter top and roll into a circle, about 1/8" inch thick. Make sure there aren't any creases or air bubbles.
- Gently place the fondant over the top of your iced cake and adhere it to the surface smoothly. Cut off any excess edges and place it with your leftovers. Form the leftovers into a ball and place in a greased layer of plastic wrap. Store it in a sealed bag in the refrigerator up to one week.
To do the edible watercolor:
- Pour about 1 teaspoon of lemon extract into each well of your palette, based on how many colors you want. Start with the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and brown. Use a toothpick to mix in a glob of gel food color. Add white icing color to one of the wells, and begin mixing colors in the middle of the palette with the white icing and colors to get a more saturated, opaque color. Use the lemon extract and gel food color to do a lighter wash. Take note that lemon extract evaporates quickly, so make a large amount of your color if you plan on using it often.
- Practice your strokes and colors on a scrap piece of marshmallow fondant until ready to paint your cake. When ready to begin watercoloring your cake, work in layers. Start with the main focal points first, then go in and add the the accents and details. Allow about 5-10 minutes dry time between each layer before accenting.
- Once cake is decorated, allow it to set and dry for 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!