Get creative with cake! Try a new way to let your creativity flow… with buttercream! In this hands-on virtual workshop originally hosted on January 31st, 2021, Libby Brewer-Dulac (owner of Sift Baking Co.) introduced us to palette knife painting techniques using Swiss meringue buttercream. Libby also talked about finding inspiration for her cakes in all sorts of places, including in other works of art. You can watch the full recorded workshop below:
Try your hand at decorating a cake using Libby’s palette knife techniques! To follow along with the workshop recording, you’ll just need to collect the materials listed below.
- A baked, layered and crumb coated cake of your choice on a cake board or a serving plate – it could be three layers tall like mine, or it could be a simple single layer cake. If it’s tall, you can paint top and sides, if it’s short, your top is your canvas. Crumb coated: spread a thin layer of buttercream over the entire cake to seal in the crumbs and prepare for painting
- Buttercream (Swiss Meringue is best) or frosting – enough to cover the cake plus about half a cup for painting
- Edible colours – gel food colours like Wilton or Chefmaster are best for vibrant colours, natural powdered colours can also be used but sometimes impart their own flavours
- An offset cake spatula – alternatives: a butter knife, the back of a teaspoon
- Other food safe tools for making marks in your buttercream – examples: a silicone spatula, bamboo skewers, wire mesh sieve, your Grandmother’s cookie cutters
- A cake turntable or lazy susan – alternatives: the turntable from your microwave, a small bowl upside down, with a dinner plate placed on top
- Another dinner plate to act as your palette
- A soft cloth or kitchen towel for wiping off your tools
- Inspiration! Take a cue from artist Michael Lin and find patterns from textiles around your home, wrapping paper, your favourite shirt or throw pillow
Here is another cake that Libby created, this one inspired by Michael Lin’s work Archipelago (far left):
Here you can see some up-close demonstrations of icing techniques:
Laying on a base coat
Using a palette knife to apply your designs
About the Artist:
“Everyday design, art and architecture bring inspiration, and I’m lucky if they come together in cake form on my turntable.”
Libby Brewer-Dulac is a Toronto based, East Coast born multidisciplinary artist and self-taught baker. An artist and tinkerer since childhood, Libby found a playground in OCAD’s Interdisciplinary Studies program. There, she practiced making and breaking things in ceramics, metal, wood, glass, plastics, paper, paint, and digital arts. Because of the very nature of cake and its ability to bring joy, her current medium of choice is buttercream.
Libby found inspiration in Carlos Bunga’s cardboard constructions while visiting his 2020 exhibition at MOCA. She created an olive oil cake filled with blueberry hibiscus, iced in colour-blocked Swiss meringue buttercream. Libby shared the cake on Instagram and once MOCA saw it, we just knew we had to collaborate.
View Libby’s other cake creations at @sift.baking.
TD Community Sundays are made possible through TD Community Sundays by TD Bank Group through its corporate citizenship platform TD Ready Commitment.