How to use food colouring and petal dusts!

The past few weeks have been interesting, I had many cakes to make and of course they were all completely different! One of these cakes was MOANA! Now I know what you’re thinking, Nelle, we are done with Moana, sick of it! Well the children of the world aren’t done with Moana yet so here we go again! I can’t get enough, there’s so much you can do with this theme and I had the opportunity to make something different which I love, I also got to play around with my airbrush and learn some new techniques and now I want to share some of them with you!

For this Moana cake, it was requested that her flag was included and I chose to add some cute little sea shells because you just can’t have a Moana cake without them!

My tips to achieve that authentic almost distressed/stained look to the flag is to use ivory food colouring! I used the americolour ivory food colouring, thinned out with rose spirit and a paint brush to use to coat white gum paste. I coloured the flag in layers, I painted a thin layer on and let it dry. This shouldn’t take too long if you’re using clear alcohol. I wouldn’t recommend using water as this will leave a sticky, shiny mess. I added the colouring on, layer by layer and I also added more food colouring as I painted. I also dabbed it on to create darker areas and further details. After it dried, I used brown coloured petal dust to dust the edges and in the corners to add further details.


Drug store edition!


Now if you only make a few cakes a year and don’t want to go all out buying these products which can become costly, you can use what you have at home! I’ve used coffee mixed with a little clear alcohol and I have tried it with water but it does take a bit longer to dry. You can also use vodka if you have that handy at home 😉

For the brown petal dust you can also use ground coffee but I found it to be a little grainy, so you can use cocoa powder! Works perfectly 😉

For the sea shells, I wanted it to look really authentic and as if they were real shells at the beach. I have to admit I wanted to go nuts and add more and more details but I had to be cautious and use self-control here (HA!) So I made the shells out of gum paste and then let them harden completely. Its best to paint them when they have hardened completely so that their little details aren’t compromised when your touching them and moving them around or poking them with the brush.


I also used ivory to paint the shells as I did the flag but I only did this very lightly. I used brown, orange and fuchsia petal dusts to colour these shells and I wanted to go with an orange/tan look to the shells. This was so the shells would blend nicely in with the colour of the sand, orange in the airbrush and also blend nicely with the rest of the cake.


I enjoyed making this cake so much! Happy 3rd birthday Tahlia!


Happy baking!

Love, Nelle xox


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