Colouring in Cakes!

For a woman of my age, I was far too excited when I got my full set of coloured edible felt-tip pens!  Well I’d only had a black one before!  If you have some artistic talent, you can create some wonderful designs on your cakes with edible pens.

Edible pen cake decoration by child

However, if your drawing ability hasn’t improved since you were ten years old, then that’s fine too because simple line drawings and some colouring in can make for a very fun and striking cake!

Edible pen cake decoration by child

Indeed, even a child could do it, and to prove it, my friend’s daughter created this adorable design last weekend on a cake for her au pair.  The result was a very personal cake, created by the hand of the person it was from (even though she’s only six years old) and designed from the heart.

The pens work very well on sugar paste but it is vital that the sugar paste is left to dry out – preferably overnight at least – otherwise the pens can drag and rip the icing. My pens are ‘Americolor Gourmet Food Writer’ pens. Their nibs are not too sharp and they write smoothly so they don’t damage the icing.

Edible pen cake decoration by child Edible pen cake decoration by child

Place a cake tin or something similar next to the cake to rest your arm on.  This will keep your hand steadier and help to avoid you leaning on the cake and squashing it, or smudging the wet ink with your hand.

Don’t press down too hard when using the pens. My pens create a fine line with a light touch and a bolder line with a firmer touch.

Practice first before you start on the cake – roll out an off-cut of sugar paste when you have covered the cake and leave this to dry.  You can then practice using the pens, try creating thick and thin lines, see how the different colours look on your sugar paste etc.  If you are drawing a black outline, leave this to dry for at least a couple of hours if possible before colouring in, to avoid the black smudging into the colour.

Edible pen cake decoration by child Edible pen cake decoration by child

To decorate cupcake toppers as shown in my pictures, just cut out circles of sugar paste and leave them to dry.  They are easier to work on than drawing directly onto a cake since they are flat on your work surface so it’s easier to keep a steady hand.  It’s also not quite as drastic if you make a mistake – you can cut out a few spares!  However, if you do make a noticeable mistake on a large cake, you could cut out a shape in sugar paste such as a heart or flower and stick it over the mistake with a tiny amount of water.  Decorate with the pens and make it a feature!

Colouring in my cupcake toppers!

Edible pens can make a great children’s party activity. Provide a plain cake covered in white sugar paste and let each child draw a design and sign their name on the cake.  You might want to divide the cake into sections first so that each child has an equal ‘canvas’ and no one gets carried away!

Alternatively, let each child design a few cupcake toppers – you can then stick them on top of ready baked and iced cupcakes for the children to eat at the party or take home.  Sugar paste can also be stuck onto cookies and decorated in the same way.  Another idea is to draw a bold design on the cake in black – think of a colouring book – then allow the children to colour it in.

Colouring-in fun with edible felt tip pens!

Hope this has given you some fun ideas! If you have created any edible pen designs, then please share! ♥


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Love love love this! I’ve just got into adult colouring books and would love to do some colouring on cakes. Do you think the pens would work on water icing?


Hi Cheryl. The adult colouring books would be great to get some design ideas to transfer onto cakes! I used a children’s colouring book for ideas for my cupcake toppers. The pens do need a firm, dry surface – as an alternative to sugar paste, you could use them on royal icing, but it must be very dry so leave it overnight before drawing on it. The pens also work on other food, such as marshmallows! If you leave the marshmallows out for a bit, they become drier on the outside, making them easier to draw on. Thanks for your question and happy colouring! xx


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