Brushstroke cake

Brushstroke cake

Social media is buzzing with brushstroke cakes and we love this trend as it requires little skill to create a masterpiece.

  • 2 hrs + cooling
  • Makes 1-tier cake
  • Intermediate



  • 560ml cake flour
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 3ml salt
  • 310ml plain yoghurt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 125g soft butter
  • 375ml sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 8ml vanilla essence


  • 250g soft white margarine
  • 8ml vanilla essence
  • 750ml icing sugar
  • 30ml milk or cream


  • 150g white chocolate, chopped
  • 5ml sunflower oil
  • pink and purple food colouring (or whatever colours you prefer)
  • edible purple glitter, gold and rose-gold dust (optional)


  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 x 17cm cake tins with baking paper. Sift
    together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the yoghurt and egg whites.
  2. Beat together the butter, sugar, zest and vanilla until creamy. Fold in the flour and yoghurt
    mixtures, alternating, until just combined. Divide between the prepared tins. Bake for about
    50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in tins.
  3. For the buttercream, beat together the margarine and vanilla until creamy. Add the icing sugar ½
    cup at a time until all is incorporated. Beat in milk or cream until a thick, spreadable icing forms.
  4. Sandwich the two cakes together with a layer of icing and place on a cake stand. Coat with a thin
    layer of icing to trap the crumbs. Set in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm.
  5. Keep aside 80ml of the icing to use as ‘glue’. Cover the cake with the remaining icing. Smooth
    the entire cake with a wet palette knife. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  6. For the shards, melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Divide the chocolate between 3 bowls, colour 1 pink and 1 purple. Leave the remaining chocolate white.
  7. Drop a heaped teaspoon of the chocolate onto a silicone baking mat or baking paper. Use a 2cm-wide brush to smear it outwards into shards. Don’t make it too thin or the strokes will crack later; you can brush over them to add more chocolate to make it thicker or longer. Repeat until all the colours have been used up. Set in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden.
  8. Dip your brush in water (shake off excess) and then into the edible dust and brush over some
    of the chocolate shards. Gently lift up with a palette knife.
  9. ‘Glue’ the shards onto the cake using the reserved icing, layering the shards. Press a few into the top
    of the cake.


  • Make a 2-tier cake, like we did, by doubling the recipe. Divide the batter between 2 x 21cm cake tins and 2 x 17cm cake tins until they are about 1/3 full (all need to be filled to the same height). Double up the buttercream recipe to ice cakes together.
  • Fill paper cupcake cases 3/4 full with the batter and bake for about 20 minutes. Pipe swirls of the icing on top and decorate each with a brushstroke.

Click here for a tutorial on how to make the brushstroke cake shards. 



Magazine issue date: November, 2017

Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.