20 Buttercream-Painted Wedding Cake Ideas Made With Palette-Knife Artistry

Turn your wedding cake into a work of art.

buttercream painted cake

Photo by Bon Photage; Cake by Cake Envy

There’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to wedding cake designs. From traditional white cakes to modern motifs, working with your baker to find the perfect style to fit your wedding is absolutely achievable. And for those hoping to incorporate a more abstract, artful touch to their cake table, a buttercream-painted cake may be the ideal fit.

“Buttercream-painted cakes are perfect for weddings that have an organic, natural feel, or weddings with a very romantic and soft theme. They are also perfect for relaxed or boho weddings,” says Randi Smith, owner of Sugar Euphoria.

Meet the Expert

  • Randi Smith is the owner of Sugar Euphoria, a custom wedding cake and dessert boutique based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Heather Leavitt is the owner of Sweet Heather Anne, a boutique cake studio based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

According to Smith, buttercream painting is the technique of using buttercream, whether American, Swiss, or Italian, to create motifs on a cake. Palette knives and piping tips are typically utilized by bakers to match the style of oil painting.

“A painted buttercream cake is perfect for a couple looking for something colorful and a little different on their wedding day,” says Heather Leavitt, owner of Sweet Heather Anne. “Because the technique is so versatile, it can add an artful touch to just about any wedding.”

While a buttercream-painted cake can display any design, Leavitt says florals are incredibly popular with this technique. “We often use our clients’ wedding flowers as a reference to create an original painting that fits their aesthetic,” she says. Smith notes that landscape and nature-themed painting is popular as well.

Choosing a buttercream-painted cake will allow you to truly display an artistic masterpiece at your wedding, and the design can be achieved no matter how small the cake. “There is something about a painted buttercream cake that makes you want to pause and admire it,” says Leavitt. “The variety of textures and colors you can achieve is stunning, and the fact that it is an edible piece of art makes it even more appealing.”

Think a buttercream-painted cake is right for you? Read on for 20 of our favorite designs to inspire your own wedding day cake.

01 of 20

Create a Color Statement

Abstract orange and pink two-tier wedding cake

Photo by Nicole Donnelly Photography; Cake by Nicole Bakes Cakes

Celebrate in color! Bright pink and peach tones were painted on this two-tiered cake in a beautiful, abstract design. We love the carefree, happy vibe this gives off. 

02 of 20

Incorporate Plenty of Texture

Light blue buttercream painted floral cake

Photo by Inly; Cake by Sweet Heather Anne

Texture on a cake adds such a romantic look, and this single-tiered confection displays that aesthetic perfectly. Not only do the buttercream-painted blooms provide interest on this cake, but it’s finished with a stunning gold-flecked border on top. 

03 of 20

Add Cherry Blossoms

buttercream pink wedding cake with cherry blossoms

Courtesy of Belsize Cakes

Hello, spring! We can’t get over the incredible detailing on this piece of art. With one square tier topped with a tall round tier and plenty of hand-painted cherry blossoms, this modern cake proves that cake decorating truly is artist’s work.

04 of 20

Make It Bright

Yellow buttercream palette floral cake

Courtesy of Sweet Heather Anne

Truly want to make a statement with your cake? Choose a bright, bold color of buttercream to serve as the perfect canvas. We love the way these charming florals pop against this sunny-hued backdrop.

05 of 20

Commission a Work of Art

Romantic pink, gray, and green floral buttercream cake

Photo by Brett Seay; Cake by Sugar Euphoria

“Buttercream-painted cakes bring an artistic, and possibly unexpected, element to the wedding,” says Smith. Multi-colored buttercream paired with painted florals is an awe-inspiring look for a romantic wedding.

06 of 20

Match Your Color Palette

light blue, pink, and peach buttercream painted floral cake

Courtesy of Beth Haxby Cakes

A buttercream-painted cake doesn’t have to be multiple tiers. It can be sweet and small, perfect for an intimate wedding. We love the idea of using multiple hues to dress up a confection, making a perfect match to a spring wedding color palette

07 of 20

Opt for Abstract

white, yellow, and blue buttercream painted cake with florals

Courtesy of Soul Cake

Choosing an art-inspired design may be the perfect fit for a modern wedding. We love the way this two-tiered confection is splattered with buttercream, with a consistent color palette and stunning blooms to match.

08 of 20

Showcase Spring Blooms

Single tier buttercream cake with flowers

Courtesy of Lady in the Wild West

This single-tiered cake may be dainty, but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in personality. We love the way this Monet-inspired sweet incorporated plenty of abstract spring blooms for a beautiful design.

09 of 20

Decorate Blue With Blossoms

Light blue buttercream palette cake with pink florals

Courtesy of Sweet Heather Anne

This design is nothing short of romantic. With a light blue buttercream background and soft florals, this is such a beautiful motif for any outdoor wedding.

10 of 20

Get Garden-Party Ready

White two-tier cake with painted floral buttercream in red, green, and peach

Photo by Lavender & Light Photography; Cake by Delish Cakery

Get ready to celebrate in a beautiful garden setting with this design. According to Smith, the buttercream-painted technique is a great way to add a floral design without adding sugar flowers or fresh florals to a cake. This charming look pulls it off flawlessly.

11 of 20

Keep It Light and Airy

pastel buttercream wedding cake

Photo by Bon Photage; Cake by Cake Envy

A buttercream-painted cake doesn’t have to be all about color—the color palette can certainly be kept simple. We love the way this confection incorporated intricate buttercream blooms, with only a hint of soft gold and pale blue to round it out. 

12 of 20

Embrace Plenty of Bold Blooms

Brightly colored floral two-tier buttercream cake

Photo by Fabiana Skubic Photography; Cake by Miri Nadler of 10 Bloom Cakes

Say hello to bright, bold color and plenty of detail! This two-tiered confection stands tall to make a beautiful color statement, with an entire bouquet of painted florals on display.

13 of 20

Add a Bit of Drama

Black wedding cake with buttercream roses

Photo by Monisa J. Photography; Cake by Sugar Euphoria

This black three-tiered wedding cake definitely brings the drama. But paired with effortlessly light florals in a beautiful palette, the overall design of this cake displays nothing but romance and femininity. 

14 of 20

Keep It Small

single tier wedding cake painted with flowers

Photo by Peyton Rainey Photography

Buttercream painting can truly dress up any size or shape of cake in the most beautiful way. We love that plenty of romance was packed into the design of this single-tiered sweet.

15 of 20

Choose Pretty in Pink

pink peony buttercream cake


While some cake designs utilize buttercream-painted florals instead of live blooms, this charming sweet combines both concepts into one. The buttercream base was perfectly painted to match the fluffy petals of the peonies on top.

16 of 20

Make It Mountain-Ready

Single tier wedding cake with mountains

Photo and Cake by Lady in the Wild West

A buttercream-painted cake doesn’t have to be all about floral designs. This outdoor-inspired cake, designed to mimic a wildflower view of Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, proves that it’s a beautiful technique for any wedding theme or location. 

17 of 20

Embrace a Boho Vibe

Yellow buttercream palette cake with orange florals

Photo by Vafa Photography; Cake by Sweet Heather Anne

Just looking at a buttercream-painted masterpiece makes you feel immediately relaxed. We love this two-tiered design, with stunning blooms and greenery for a boho-inspired soiree

18 of 20

Filled With Pride

Three tiered buttercream cake with rainbow filling and blue base

Photo by Alexandra Lee Photography

For their garden wedding, two brides wanted to show off their pride in a watercolor-inspired buttercream painted cake with a surprise rainbow filling.

19 of 20

Make a Statement

White buttercream cake with pastel palette and "yippee!" on top

Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff

While painted buttercream in the wedding’s colorful palette already gave this cake plenty of excitement, one joyful couple decided to also have the word “yippee” iced on top of their three-tier confection.

20 of 20

Autumnal Tiers

Hadier and Mitch's four-tier burgundy and mauve buttercream cake decorated with flowers

Photo by Janelle Elise Photography

This cake at a Minneapolis wedding had buttercream painted in autumnal hues of burgundy and mauve to give the design a unique textural style.

Related Stories