Hand painted autumn cake tutorial

Learn how to hand paint a stunning autumn sunset on a cake in this easy-to-follow tutorial by Inga of Bella Baking...

Hand painted autumn cake Image credit: Inga Ruby-Burn

Make this pretty autumn sunset painted cake by Inga of Bella Baking for any celebration this autumn/fall that calls for a cake!

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You will need


  • Sponge cake 15cm (6in), covered with sugarpaste on a 20cm (8in) board
  • Vodka
  • Black gel paste food colour autumn leaf
  • Black powder food colour
  • Royal icing
  • Small piece of white sugarpaste


  • Icing smoother
  • Small circle cutter or the end of a large S4 piping nozzle
  • Scalpel or small sharp knife
  • Paint palette
  • Large glaze/wash artist brush
  • Small liner artist brush
  • Clingfilm
  • Black ribbon
  • Cocktail stitck
  • ST50 leaf nozzle
  • Piping bags
  • No.3 nozzle


Cut a circle of greaseproof paper 15cm diameter. Gently place it on the cake and mark all the way round with a cocktail stick at 1cm intervals – this will give an exact guide to paint within.
In a paint palette mix a small amount of autumn leaf colour with a little vodka. Dip a large flat paintbrush into the colour/vodka mixture and wipe away the excess colour on to the side of the palette to avoid any drips.
Paint a flat line across the circle about three-quarters of the way down. Lightly dip the brush in clean vodka and dab it on a paper towel. Repeat the brush stroke action (lightening the colour). Continue this way until you've painted a graduated colour fade for the top of the picture.
Blend in any hard lines at the joins of the brush strokes. Imperfections like small streaks, blurred lines, etc can be left because they will add to the effect of the final painting of the autumn evening.
Take a small piece of white sugarpaste and roll out 4mm thick. Lay a piece of clingfilm over the sugarpaste, place the base of a large piping nozzle (or small circle cutter) over this and press until it cuts through the clingfilm and sugarpaste.
Carefully tint the edges of the small disc with a tiny amount of the autumn leaf colouring.
Lay the disc on the centre of the painting and paint on the cake whilst it's still wet (so it adheres). Carefully tint the bottom half of the disc with autumn leaf/vodka mix so it blends into the evening sky (to give the impression of the sun setting) and allow to dry.
Dip a liner brush in vodka and black paste colour and outline and fill in the base of the circle for the foreground. On the right hand side of the painting outline and fill in the tree silhoutte, with one of the branches extending over the setting sun.
Paint a few leaves on the branches. Paint a few tiny simplistic birds in the background above the sun to add to the sense of distance and enhance the atmosphere of the painting.
Colour a small amount of royal icing with black powder colour. In a piping bag place an ST50 leaf nozzle along with black royal icing. Pipe a scattering of 3D leaves on the tree branches and a few falling below the branches. Allow to dry for a few hours.
Using a white royal icing, a piping bag and a No.3 nozzle, pipe beading or close together dots around the edge of the painting to give the edge a neat finish.
Pipe beading/dots around the bottom edge of the cake. Note: white royal icing can be tinted with gold lustre when dry if preferred.
Attach a contrasting ribbon neatly with double sided tape to finish off the cake board.
Last updated one year ago

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