How to paint a galaxy effect on cake

Learn how to create a galaxy effect cake with this quick tutorial from Zoe Burmester of Sugar Street Studios.

Brought to you by Zoe Burmester

If you've been wondering 'how do I create a galaxy effect on a cake?' then this tutorial is for you! Learn how to create this captivating paint finish, ideal for galactic and astronaut-themed cakes – or if you want to create the very cute Nebular Narwhal, pick up a copy of the September 2019 issue of Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft magazine! As creator, Zoe Burmester says:

These unicorns of the sea are as trendy as their galloping counterparts and make the cutest of novelty cakes. This stylised interpretation is a perfect starting point if you are new to cake carving, plus the impressive galactic paint finish is easy to achieve even for beginners!

Content continues after advertisements

You will need


  • Navy blue, turquoise, jade, neon pink gel colours (Magic Colours)
  • Food grade alcohol & dipping solution
  • White edible paint or white airbrush paint
  • Shell and Shine (Confectioners Glaze in spray can)


  • Assorted brushes (food use only)
  • Clean toothbrush
  • Palettes for mixing
  • Paper towels


To create the galaxy effect we need to make some ‘watercolour’ paints by mixing gel pastes with food grade alcohol or dipping solution. Choose a palette of four colours (I chose turquoise, navy, pink and jade). In another bowl with a separate clean brush, pour in a little alcohol. this will be used to ‘water’ down your paint solution should you need it.
Begin softly by painting on different colour washes from your colour bowls. The more alcohol you add, the more watery it becomes. This helps the colours run and bleed into each other as you paint them on the cake. Repeat until the whole cake is covered in its first layer of paint.
Continue to build up the colour, intensifying as you go. You can also use a clean paper towel to mop up any excess liquid or to help blend the colours together.
Repeat in this way for the next couple of layers. How dark you go is up to you, but assuming you want a rich galaxy effect you may need four layers of colour. Try not to paint evenly and intentionally, leave some lighter areas. I added in more blues to intensify the colour and at this point stopped as I didn't want to go too dark.
Place a little edible white paint in a bowl and dip a clean toothbrush into it. Tap off any excess paint. Hold the brush 10cm or so away from the cake and use your index finger to brush back the bristles allowing the paint to form little droplets or splatters over the cake. Repeat for the whole cake.
Once happy with the effect, spray the whole cake with a layer of edible glaze and allow to dry.

More in Hand Painted Cakes

More in Cake Decorating Techniques

Click here to view our range of subscription offers!

Click here to view our range of subscription offers!