Polka Dot Chocolate Cake

Ordinary liquid food coloring is great but it has its limitations, so I picked up some gel colors a few weeks ago for my first attempt at macarons. Macaron mix is such a finicky thing the extra water in regular food coloring can ruin it.

After having fun making (and eating) macarons I realized the gel color would also be perfect for coloring white chocolate. Mixing even a tiny bit of water into chocolate turns it into this sticky paste that’s good for nothing, so regular colors won’t do.

Melting white chocolate to color with gel food coloring on handfulofsunshine.com

I decided the best way to experiment would be to start with colorful chocolate cupcake toppers. Something I could make and keep until needed and then just stick into frosting for an instant upgrade.

I melted a bar of white chocolate and then separated a little into a smaller bowl to mix up with a few drops of my first color. I had a sheet of baking parchment ready on a tray so I could drizzle the chocolate into whatever designs took my fancy. As you can see, I experimented with quite a few different ideas!

Coloring white chocolate with gel food coloring on handfulofsunshine.com

I’ve always found white chocolate annoying when it comes to getting it to that perfect drizzle-able consistency and I still had that same problem here. Keeping the chocolate hot by sticking the small dish back into hot water periodically helped a lot but it wasn’t enough. In the end my favorites were the simple polka dots which I spread with the back of a teaspoon instead of trying to drizzle.

Colorful white chocolate cupcake toppers on handfulofsunshine.com

Once I finished making a mess creating my designs I put them in the fridge to set completely. They were surprisingly easy to remove from the baking paper but I did find they melted very easily. I had to store them in the fridge until I was ready to use them because they got too soft too quickly if left out of the fridge for any length of time.Frosted chocolate cake ready for decorating on handfulofsunshine.com

I decided the dots were more suited to decorating one large cake instead of cupcakes and I thought they’d look best against the dark brown of chocolate (or maybe it’s just because I love chocolate!). Anyway, it was my friend’s birthday earlier in the week so I figured this was my perfect opportunity to put my polka dots to good use! (I’m still waiting for the right project to use the other designs on.)

Using colored white chocolate polka dots to decorate a chocolate cake. Tutorial on handfulofsunshine.com

I baked up a cake (if she likes it, I’ll put the recipe up next week) and frosted it all over. You could use any frosting you like, I used a ganache made with 2 oz coconut cream, 2 oz dark chocolate and 1 tbsp powdered sugar. While the frosting is still wet (but make sure it’s not warm) just stick the chocolate dots to it. As they warm up and soften a little you should be able to gently flatten any curled-up edges so they all sit flush on the cake.

That’s it! Pretty polka dot cake ready to eat!

Colorful polka dot chocolate cake tutorial on handfulofsunshine.com. Perfect for birthdays or parties.



I was happy to be invited to participate in ‘Our Growing Edge’ this month. It’s about connecting food bloggers through sharing our learning and experimenting, inspiring each other to try new things.

This month the host is Pia from Joie de Vivre and Cupcakes and the theme is ‘Party With Friends’ so this polka dot birthday cake seemed like the perfect contribution!

2 thoughts on “Polka Dot Chocolate Cake

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