This tutorial shows you how to get the hand-painted leopard print look as seen here and in my cake photos. I’m sure I’m not the first or the only one to do it this way, but after being asked by several people for tips I decided to put my method in writing. Feel free to credit or link to any other tutorials on this subject.

This technique begins with a fondant covered cake. I first brush the cake with vodka to get rid of any excess cornstarch and to ensure a smooth and flawless surface. Let the vodka dry completely before moving on to the next step. This should take about five minutes.

Mix your gold “paint.” I used some Super Gold Luster dust, a tiny drop of chocolate brown gel color and some Wilton copper dust thinned with a small amount of vodka to get it to a thin, easily paintable consistency. The brown and copper tones down the color and gives it an antiqued quality. You can eliminate the chocolate brown and/or copper if you prefer.

Using a flexible brush, apply the gold to the cake in a random pattern similar to the photo. Just smudge it on and don’t worry about making the shape perfect. In fact, all the shapes should be slightly different. Don’t over-think it!

Next, mix up some black or chocolate brown gel color and add a little vodka to thin it.

Paint the black color over the gold spots in a random manner like so. Again, don’t over-think it. Wiggle your brush a little to give it a more natural look. You don’t want it to be perfect.

Next, paint more black spots on the cake in the bare areas.

When you finish painting on the gold and the dark spots and they are completely dry, dip a wide, flat brush in your remaining gold paint that has been thinned with more vodka since it is probably dried out at this point. A fan brush is better for this but any wide, flat brush will work. Just make sure to fan the bristles out and ensure that the brush isn’t too wet, just slightly damp. You may want to blot your brush on a towel to ensure that it isn’t too wet. Using a back and forth motion, lightly swipe the damp brush across the cake while turning the turntable in one direction to blur and smear the spots. This gives the cake a more natural look.

I hope you enjoyed my first ever tutorial! You can find my newly launched Facebook page here: http://facebook.com/customcakesbykendra