This is my greatest accomplishment in buttercream. I’ve reproduced many images in my career out of icing, but no one has ever asked for a watercolor painting. I was very nervous when they asked me to take on this challenge because I knew it would take me hours to complete the image alone. Usually, once you explain the level of complexity involved in a chosen design, along with the cost, they almost always retract their initial idea and come up with something much cheaper. It actually makes me sad how many times I have heard “Why does it cost that much? It’s just a cake.” I quoted the customer at 3 hours of work and it only took me 2 hours.
This cake was for a wedding reception among close friends, and the customer that designed it tucked quite a bit of personalization into it. Paintings are incredibly complex to duplicate because the blending and dragging of the brush makes the colors take on a life of their own. Watercolor also bleeds in a way that icing does not. Every mixing and fading of a color spreading and bleeding into the paper has to be duplicated with a different color of icing. 32 different colors were used when everything was said and done.
I kept them in order of use to fix any errors before I considered my work finished. Here’s the original image so that you can decide how close I got.
I tried to match the colors as best I could, but buttercream changes color depending on temperature, amount of stirring, and color absorption over time. It was more important to get the shades and textures right. At the end of the day they were pleased with the work and willing to pay for the 2 extra hours. The smiles on their faces as they left the bakery let me know I did well.