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How to Make a Watercolor Cake with Recipe

Watercolor art is a very powerful way to express your feelings.

In this post, you will learn how to make a Watercolor Cake that will encourage you to tap into your inner artist in order to create an edible masterpiece!

When I started out making this cake, I began with a color palette of teal, pink, white and red. I was inspired by vintage Christmas and new I wanted to make something in this theme.

I shared my inspiration with my friend Lynn at Fresh April Sprinkles.

Lynn makes custom sprinkle mixes and I asked if she could take this color palette and run with it!

After a few back and forths, deciding on color shade and sprinkle size and mix options… I finally decided on this:

This custom mix turned out so good! As soon as it arrived, I couldn’t wait to bake something and use these sprinkles.

Originally, I had wanted to make a striped cake with a drip. However, when I actually made the cake, the stripes weren’t working so I decided to pivot.

This beautiful watercolor cake was the final product!

How to Make a Watercolor Cake with Recipe by JavaCupcake.com

How to Make a Watercolor Cake

1.  Make the Cake Layers – Use your favorite cake recipe to make the cake layers. I use a basic white recipe, but any will do as long as you can color the cake. If you don’t want to make it from scratch, store-bought works too! Follow the recipe below for details.

2.  Make & Color the Buttercream – I always use my basic buttercream recipe when making layer cakes. I would not recommend using store-bought frosting for this cake as it tends to be too soft.

Again, follow the recipe below for details.

3.  Frost or “Paint” the Cake – Using an offset spatula, take large dollops of frosting to the side of the cake and smear it along the side. I recommend placing the color 7-8 times around the cake and then switch to another color.

Repeat until all three colors have been used.

There is no right or wrong way to do this. I do suggest not stacking the colors – meaning place them apart or next to because when you smooth it out, the frosting will smooth in the gaps and blend together.

Better to start with less frosting dollops and fill in as you smooth.

4.  Smooth the Dollops – Hold a straight edge (a bench scrape, cake smoother, or even a ruler) at a 90-degree angle to the cake and pull the frosting smooth.   After each stroke, wipe the edge off and add more frosting dollops as needed.

Less is more with this step, the cake will never have a perfect look as that is not the intention of this technique. Continue smoothing the side then the top of the cake until you reach your desired amount of blending.

5.  Swirls on Top – There is no right or wrong way to add swirls of frosting to the top of the watercolor cake.

My favorite is using a Wilton 1M piping tip to swirl towers of frosting around the edge of the cake. However, any piping tip and or style of swirl would be cute!

6.  All the Sprinkles! – Sprinkles add a little extra something special to the cake. For this particular cake, I had a custom sprinkle blend made by my friend Lynn at Fresh April Sprinkles.

I scattered the sprinkles on top of each swirl on top and pressed them into the bottom inch or so of the cake.

NOTES

  • When choosing colors for the watercolor cake, think about how they will blend together. Two colors that blend to make a brown would not be a good choice.

    Use tools such as this color wheel to help you decide.
  • Other types of frosting such as store-bought or swiss meringue, etc can also be used. However, I recommend if you’re a new baker to use the recipe listed below.
  • Reserve a bit of plain, white buttercream to add as needed after smoothing or if you over-blend.

More Cake Ideas

Watercolor Cake Recipe

Watercolor Cake Recipe

Yield: 4 8in round cakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 160ml
  • 2 cup granulated sugar, 400g
  • 1 Tbsp clear vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, 345g
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • gel food coloring (optional)

Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp clear vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • gel food coloring

Decorating Tools

  • Large & small offset spatulas
  • Wilton 1M piping tip
  • Piping bag (I use 12in disposable from Wilton)
  • Bench Scraper

Instructions

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease, flour, and line with parchment paper four (4) 8-inch round cake pans.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
  5. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Measure sour cream.
  8. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
  9. Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl.
  10. In a separate bowl with a hand mixer or another stand mixer, combine the egg whites and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  11. Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
  12. (Optional) Using a scale, weigh out two equal portions of batter. Gently fold gel food coloring into the batter until the color is incorporated.
  13. Using a scale, evenly divide each color of the cake batter into prepared pans.
  14. Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs (should not be wet). For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
  15. Cakes will be a light golden brown when done baking.
  16. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  17. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream:

  1. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Gently mix together on low-medium speed.
  3. Once the ingredients begin to come together, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the remaining sugar and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Mix on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Beat on high for 30 seconds. Check the consistency of the frosting. If it is too stiff, add 1-2 Tbsp of cream and beat for 30 seconds. Recheck the consistency. Repeat if necessary.
  5. Once desired consistency is reached, beat on high for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  6. Separate the frosting into three even amounts and place them in their own bowl.
  7. Leave one bowl white and color the remaining two in different colors.

How to Make a Watercolor Cake

  1. Chill cake layers for 30 minutes.
  2. Fill, stack, and crumb coat cake. (I used this video as a guide.)
  3. Using an offset spatula, take a 1-2Tbsp dollop of frosting and paint/spear it on the side of the cake. Repeat this 8-9 times across the entire cake with the same color. With the two different colors, repeat the process. (I used this video as a guide.)
  4. NOTE: Don't worry about filling in the entire cake with these dollops - when you blend it out, the holes will fill in.
  5. Using a bench scraper, blend the sides of the cake until smooth. Add additional dollops of frosting to fill in the holes and smooth again.
  6. Using a Wilton 1M piping tip fitted on a frosting bag, pipe swirls of frosting onto the top of the cake.
  7. Use your favorite sprinkles to finish off the cake.

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee

This post is sponsored by the © J.M. Smucker Company, all opinions are my own.

The rich aroma of coffee paired with delicate scent of spices will fill your kitchen with warmth and your heart with joy when enjoy this Dunkin’ Donuts® Spiced Gingerbread Coffee.

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Summer has come to an end in my house.

Fall is here and it is officially cozy sweater and rain boots season! 

One of my favorite things to do when the kids go back to school is invite a girlfriend over for coffee. 

As soon as I kiss Matty and wave goodbye as he goes to school on the bus, I hurry home to prepare for my coffee date! 

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Sometimes a cup of black coffee with a splash of creamer is enough. 

However with Fall approaching and the weather turning colder, I wanted make a special spiced coffee for this morning.  

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is a staple in our household. 

In fact, I used to send Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee to my husband when he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Dunkin’ coffee got him through some long nights!

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

For my coffee date with my girlfriend, I used Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee to make a perfectly seasoned Spiced Gingerbread Coffee.  

Putting this Spiced Gingerbread Coffee together is very simple.  I combined whole milk, coffee, maple syrup, molasses, and fall spices together in a pot a whisked until smooth. And, you can find the coffee and ingredients all at Walmart!

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

I let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes or until it reduced by a quarter.  What is left is a rich, creamy, smooth, perfectly seasoned Spiced Gingerbread Coffee that is out of this world delicious! 

In fact, it’s so rich and creamy that I have to sip it slow otherwise I’ll drink too fast and get a sugar rush! 

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

I got some pre-made gingerbread men cookies, whipped cream, ground nutmeg and extra cinnamon sticks to garnish.  However, all those things are optional!  

The Spiced Gingerbread Coffee is delicious even without all the toppings! 

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes

The rich aroma of coffee paired with delicate scent of spices will fill your kitchen with warmth and your heart with joy when enjoy this Spiced Gingerbread Coffee.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brewed Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish, optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, whisk together all ingredients over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook until it begins to bubble but not quite to boiling, whisking occasionally. (6-8 minutes)
  3. Once it bubbles, reduce to a hot simmer and let reduce by one quarter, whisking occasionally. (4-5 minutes)
  4. Strain coffee using a mesh strainer to get out the cinnamon stick and any other unwanted bits.
  5. Serve hot topped with whipped cream, ground ginger, a cinnamon stick and ginger cookie.

Instant Pot Soup with Pork, Smoked Sausage and Beans

Don’t wait hours for soup to be ready!  This recipe Instant Pot Soup with Pork, Smoked Sausage and Beans is ready in 45 minutes and is the perfect dinner on a cozy fall night! 

I don’t know about you, but on a week night I loathe cooking dinner.  By the time 5:30 pm rolls around, I’m tired, the kids are tired and my husband isn’t even home from work yet but dinner has to be started! 

With just a few ingredients and 45 minutes, this recipe for 
Instant Pot Soup is the best solution for those nights you just don’t want to cook!

One of my favorite parts about this Instant Pot Soup is that the pork is precooked and the tomatoes and beans come ready in a can.

All I need to do to prep this meal is saute the veggies and dump the rest in the Instant Pot! 

A few minutes of prep and only 30 minutes of cook time, this Instant Post Soup with Pork, Smoked Sausage and Beans is my go-to dinner on a cold Fall night! 

The pork, smoked sausage and beans are hearty and the broth is full of flavor.  I love taking a big piece of crusty bread and soaking up the broth. 

So yum! 

Instant Pot Soup with Pork, Smoked Sausage and Beans | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

To be honest though, this is the first Instant Pot Soup recipe I’ve ever tried.  In fact, this is the first Instant Pot recipe I’ve ever made period!  

I know, crazy, right?!  How I have survived this long without an Instant Pot? 

Must Try Instant Pot Recipes

What are some of your favorite Instant Pot recipes?  Here are a few I’m dying to try…

Shredded beef filling for tacos 
From Taste of Home: “Create a taco or burrito bar! For a variation, I make beef and bean burritos by mixing a can of refried beans into 3 or 4 cups of cooked beef filling.—Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio”

Pressure Cooker Shredded Beef Burrito Filling

Faux Rotisserie Chicken
From Cooking with Curls: ”
Do you ever find yourself at the grocery store buying a week’s worth of food, then reach for a rotisserie chicken because you no long have the energy to go home and cook what you just purchased? I admit it, I am guilty. But have you ever looked at the ingredients label on that chicken? Yikes! My Instant Pot Faux-tisserie Chicken is pure goodness…..”

Your family is going to love this Instant Pot Faux-tisserie Chicken just as much as the ones you buy in the store, but you get to control the ingredients | cookingwithcurls.com

Sweet Potatoes
From Add a Pinch: “Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes Recipe – Cooking sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker makes cooking sweet potatoes so quick and easy! Perfect for enjoying as baked sweet potatoes as a side dish or for cooking to use in sweet potato casserole and so many other dishes!”

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes Recipe - Cooking sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker makes cooking sweet potatoes so quick and easy! Perfect for enjoying as baked sweet potatoes as a side dish or for cooking to use in sweet potato casserole and so many other dishes! // addapinch.com


TJCB recipes to try as Instant Pot Soup!

Now that I have this Instant Pot, I think I need to reinvent my favorite JavaCupcake soup recipes to make in the Instant Pot! 

Instant Pot Soup

Below you’ll find my recipe for Instant Pot Soup with Pork, Smoked Sausage and Beans.  Let me know if you try it… I’d love to hear what you think! 

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

Cars 3 Play Date

This post is sponsored by Mattel. All opinions are my own.

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!| The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

What kid likes to do chores? My kids certainly do not. I definitively do not like chores either.

However, if someone were to offer me a lunch at my favorite restaurant or a massage to clean my room I would absolutely get my chores done! 

That concept of rewarding good behavior is exactly what I have done with my 6-year-old son Matthew this summer.

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

Matty loves his toys and Matty loves to make a mess of his toys.  I suppose that’s true of all kids his age.  

However, I’m trying to also teach Matty the value of cleaning up, living in a home that isn’t messy and cluttered all the time, and being rewarded for good choices.  

There are a lot of ways to keep track of your kids chores.   

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel by creating a new chart, however the internet is already full of some really great charts and trackers.

This website has some great ideas.

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

For Matty’s reward, he wanted to invite our new neighbor boys over for a Cars 3 Play Date! 

I called my neighbor Chelsea and we set a date for her two boys Grayson and Cohen to come over one morning.  

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

Mattel supplied us with so many great Cars toys from Walmart that Matty wanted to share them with his friends. 

Each boy got to pick their favorite Cars toys to play with and keep.  

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

The boy had so much fun shooting the cars out of the launcher! 

Cohen, the little guy, carried around Lightening Mcqueen like the car was his best friend.  So cute! 

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!| The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

The incentive for new Cars toys from Walmart has really encouraged and excited Matty to get his chores done.  

Of course, there are days where I have to ask him over and over to pick up his toys… but on a whole, the reward system really worked! 

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

I also made jumbo blueberry muffins for the kids to snack on.  Grayson and Cohen weren’t fans, but Matty and Chelsea loved them!  Get my bluebery muffin recipe here

So if you’re looking for a way to reward your kids for good behavior, make a chore chart and then head to Walmart to let your kids pick out some super fun Cars toys! 

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars

This post is sponsored by OXO, however all opinions are mine.  

The marriage of crisp almonds and chewy cake bring these Swedish Visiting Cake Bars to life making them a classically delicious dessert!

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

I’m thrilled to be participating in Cookies for Kid’s Cancer again this year!  

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by two OXOnians (OXO employees) who were inspired by their son Liam’s battle with pediatric cancer, a disease which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides inspiration and support to allow anyone to easily get involved in fundraising to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

OXOnians regard each other as family. The news of Liam’s diagnosis hit them hard and they have been personally involved with this worthy organization from the beginning.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

As part of Cookies for Kid’s Cancer this year, OXO selected group exclusive group of bloggers to to receive an exclusive recipe and a set of coordinating baking products and tools to make that recipe.

For each blog post and recipe shared, OXO will donate $100 to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer (up to their $100,000 commitment).

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

How incredibly awesome is that!

The recipe I was given to recreate is Dorie Greenspan’s Swedish Visiting Cake Bars.

Dorie shared her thoughts on particiapting in Cookies for Kid’s Cancer saying,

I have been a supporter of Cookies For Kids Cancer from before Day 1 and with good reason: It’s a targeted source of funding for research into pediatric cancer treatments. That pediatric cancer is so prevalent and so poorly funded is a terrible paradox. Cookies for Kids Cancer is changing this and I love helping them reach their goals.

These are a mash-up of two recipes I love: almond-meringue topping, which I usually use on fruit tarts and (a variation of the) Swedish Visiting Cake, which is usually unadorned. I can no longer remember when or why I married these two, but once I did, the knot was tied for life — the crisp almonds and chewy cake make a perfect couple.

The cake is supremely satisfying and the topping is unusual in that it bakes to a meringue finish, but there’s no whipping involved. You just mix egg whites and confectioners’ sugar together — I do it with my fingers — swish sliced almonds around in the mix and spread it over the batter. The oven does all the work.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Since 2011, JavaCupcake has participated in raising awareness and money for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. 

We started with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and now we’re working with OXO!

Thanks to OXO for providing me the following products: 

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

It’s a fantastic way to give back to the community with my fellow bloggers. 

OXO and it’s chef-supporters of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer hope this inspires people to host their own Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales! 

Join in the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer challenge by registering your event online.  If you mark that you were inspired by OXO when you register, we’ll match proceeds from your bake sale up to our annual commitment.

Check out these cookie recipes from past Cookies for Kid’s Cancer fundraisers! 

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! | JavaCupcake.com
2013 – Apple Snickerdoodles

This is a sponsored post on behalf of OXO. 

Back to School Pencil Pops

These uncomplicated Back to School Pencil Pops are a delicious treat to kick off the school year! 

Back to School season is always exciting in my family.  My kids LOVE going back to school and seeing their friends and getting back into the swing of things. 

This year, however, the weather still feels like it’s summer outside because the weather has been in the 90s! 

To keep cool, my kids love popsicles and ice cream.  However ice cream has so much sugar that I find it hard to justify eating ice cream every day during summer. 

So, I make popsicles! 

These simple to make Back to School Pencil Pops are low in sugar and high on flavor!  

Using a pencil shaped popsicle mold gives an extra layer of fun to this sweet treat! 

To make these fun Back to School Pencil Pops you’ll need:

  • pencil shaped popsicle mold
  • juice in yellow and orange
  • popsicle sticks
  • foil
  • freezer

If you don’t have a pencil mold, I’ve seen these made in regular popsicle molds as well and they’re still super cute! 

The sky is the limit when it comes to color combinations and popsicles.  Use your imagination and have fun! 

Here are some more cute, fun ideas for back to school treats! Enjoy! 

Back to School Sugar Wafer Pencil Cookies

Back to School Candy Pencils

Back to School S’mores

Back to School Crispy Rice Treats

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