Cake decorators are artists in their field with the colors, texture, three dimensional design elements and the unique vision they bring to this edible medium. So it is no surprise that cakes can be made to look like those breathtaking works of art that grace the walls of prestigious galleries all over the world. Icing can be used in the place of paint or if you are truly gifted you can actually paint on a fondant covered cake using a paintbrush and gel colors. Some artists work seems to transfer better to cake and frosting but with a little planning and research almost any artist can be duplicated or at least paid tribute to in your cake designs.
Impressionist cake by megpi, on Flickr
The paintings of Monet are breathtaking and he is probably most well known for the waterlilies series. Many of his paintings were created in the gardens he patiently nurtured himself. The best way to create a cake that looks like a Monet is with butter cream icing applied in thick piping that mimics his prominent brush strokes. If you study a Monet painting the texture is incredible so be generous with your icing. You can also hand craft a lovely gum paste waterlilies to top the different tiers of your cake in three dimensional glory. This look would be perfect for a birthday cake or even a wedding cake for couples that love this dreamy romantic look.
Margaret's Pollock Wedding Cake by Nonpareils Boutique Bakery
The painting style of this American artist transfers rather easily to a cake design and there is no set pattern you need to follow to create your own masterpiece in icing and sugar. The most effective way to make a cake with this signature look is to smoothly cover a tiered cake with white fondant
and then place your cake on newspaper or a plastic sheet.You might want to cover the wall behind it as well! Place parchment or foil around the cake board as well because this will get messy. Then tint melted white chocolate with an assortment of gel colors or melt candy coatings
in the colors you want for your "painting". Then using a fork fling and pour the melted chocolate colors onto your cake. You will create splotches,drips,drizzles and flicks of color in the celebrated Pollack style. You could use a piping bag and create a neater design but it will not look as authentic.
Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh by victoriabernal, on Flickr
Van Gogh created some of the most famous post impressionist paintings and many people are familiar with his work and troubled life. His painting style in oils is also full of texture and some of the best paintings to attempt to create in icing are Starry Night, Sunflowers, Irises and Poppies. One great way to make a van Gogh is to pipe the basic picture in thick butter cream and then take a real palette knife used for oil painting and create texture. You can also wait until the icing is slightly hardened and use a thick paintbrush to make real strokes. It does not have to be perfect to be gorgeous.
Demolishing Mondrian by Mal Booth, on Flickr
You can mimic this Dutch painter's style inside and outside the cake with stark straight horizontal and vertical lines accented with strong primary colors. If you want the inside of the cake to look like a Mondrian painting you must bake a vanilla base cake and several other cakes tinted blue, red and yellow. Stack them together with chocolate icing in straight layers cutting out sections of the vanilla cake and replacing them with square sections of tinted cake.
The outside of the cake can be done with cut strips of black fondant or icing in a grid pattern with squares of red, yellow and blue fondant like the paintings. Mondrian is actually one of the painters that even a beginner cake designer can mimic with great success.
Picasso cake by dannybirchall, on Flickr
Picasso was a Spanish painter who lived most of his life in France and had a widely divergent style of creating his art that makes for a wonderful range of possible cake designs. Different fully decorated cakes can be pieced together to mimic his surrealism period or you could cut out pieces of colored fondant and stick them together on your cake like his gorgeous collages. Study his work and pick the style that appeals to you most and let your creativity flow. Keep in mind that the cake doesn't have to be a perfect match to be recognizable as a Picasso influenced piece.