How to Make a Palette Knife Flower Cake


I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate my art background into my life today. So I made my first palette knife flower cake!

That’s right. I decorated this flower cake using a palette knife!

Make a Palette Knife Frosting Cake.
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A New Way to Decorate a Flower Cake

Palette Knife Flower Cake

Wow. A cake decorated with a palette knife.

Some of you may be wondering what a palette knife is!

Did you know I painted for 8 years with oil and acrylic paints and used a palette knife exclusively?

So I decided to buy some new palette knives (that weren’t covered in paint) and see if I could ice a cake the same way I painted canvases.

How to Make a Palette Knife Flower Cake

I must admit I love the end result and this cake was really fun to make. I tried really hard to make it more impressionistic and not get too focused on making it perfect.

Of course, that was easy to do since it was a bit harder to paint with a palette knife on an iced cake than on a canvas! (The paint doesn’t go on as easily. But who cares, right?)

So What is a Palette Knife?

How to Make a Palette Knife Flower Cake.

These are the palette knives I used. They are used for a lot of crafts and for painting. I like them because you can use the knife to add texture with paint (or frosting)! I probably didn’t need quite so many as I only used the four on the left. But they are very inexpensive and next time I will try some of the other ones!

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Buttercream Frosting

Palette Knives and Frosting

I used my buttercream frosting recipe but because of the heat (and the fact that our A/C was struggling), I added more powdered sugar. The frosting was melting a bit.

I mixed up four different shades of pink/orange and two shades of green for the flowers. I highly suggest you use food coloring made for frosting cakes that have many different shades of each color if you want to get shades as I used here. A simple box of primary colors won’t lead to these colors. Just mix the darkest color and lighten it for the different shades.

Once you frost the cake be sure to put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. If you take a break, put it back in the refrigerator. It makes it much easier to add the flowers.

How to Make a Flower Cake with a Palette Knife

I love using 6″ or 8″ round pans for my cakes. I usually make three cakes so it is taller than normal.

  • one -I made a gluten-free cake but you can make a homemade cake or use a mix. That is up to you.
  • two -I always cut a piece of waxed paper, put it in the bottom of the cake pan, and then spray the sides with spray cooking oil. The cake pops out easily every time!
  • three – Mix a double batch of frosting to ice the cake and mix the colors for the flowers.

I wanted to share my buttercream frosting recipe. The secret is the coconut milk. Of course, you can use milk or almond milk instead if you want.

Yield: 4 cups of frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Here is my buttercream frosting recipe. I made two batches of this recipe to make this cake.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 cup, two sticks, of non-salted butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 - 6 TBLcoconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen Organic)


  1. Cream the butter until soft in a mixer for about two minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and three TBL of coconut milk.
  3. Add the remaining TBL of coconut milk as needed. If you are making flowers, make sure the frosting is thick so it will hold its shape. If it gets too soft, place it in the refrigerator for about twenty minutes.
  4. When frosting the cake, place the cake in the freezer for about one hour before decorating.
How to Make a Palette Knife Flower Cake.

I decided to decorate the cake with roses and rose buds. They are very easy to make and don’t need any detail. I love creating a painting that requires the viewer to process it. So I purposefully left the leaves, stems, and flowers somewhat unfinished.

Decorating the Flower Cake

  • one – Scrape up a bit of frosting on the knife and gently lay it on the cake to make a petal.
  • two – Add another color to the other side of the first petal.
  • three – add the stem and leaves with green frosting.

Making a Full Rose with Frosting

  • one – Add frosting to the cake in a circular motion
  • two – add varying colors to add more petals.

Isn’t this a fun cake? You can make this too. And don’t forget to not worry about mistakes! Impressionism is a good thing. Even on a cake!

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How to Make a Palette Knife Flower Cake

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A handmade cake decorated with buttercream frosting flowers using a palette knife.

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  1. I am overly impressed by your many, many talents! Is there anything you can’t do?
    I truly enjoy your blogs. You are so diverse. It seems that no task is impossible for you. I appreciate the way you tackle everything with such enthusiasm and complete it to its end!
    I wish I could tap into just a fraction of your creativity.

    1. That is exactly how I feel about Leslie and her blog. It’s always so exciting to read because you never know what will pop up in your inbox.

  2. This has been my favorite post you’ve done. I’m not into baking but love the look of a “chic” cake. They certainly make a beautiful addition to a party or dessert table, and this one is truly a work of art. ❤️❤️❤️ Gorgeous.

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderful inspiration! I’ve been considering a new art form and the beauty of your painted cake just blew me away.

    Your shopping links make things so much easier too.

    1. PS: your Ventura beach house is making me homesick for Ventura County…the beaches have their own quirky fun vibe.

  4. Oh these roses remind me so of art class in your carriage house! Now that I know how to use the pallet knife to paint…will have to try a more decorative touch to my cakes! I think the pink/orange color should be called “Leslie’s Bloom”…

  5. Wow the detail in your blog is amazing
    Step by step plus more and more information..
    wow incredible!!

    Hopefully one day soon I can make such a beautiful cake !

    Thank you

  6. I love it Leslie! I’m currently at a weekend painting class and these are just the kind of flowers I hope to paint! Love this style!

  7. What a fabulous idea! I’m an oil painter and will definitely have to try it. You can also try adding a tablespoon or two of Wilton meringue powder (it’s GF) to stiffen your frosting. Thank you for sharing all of your amazing talents on your blog!

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