Watercolor Painted Pie Crust

I've found your new creative outlet: painting pie crusts! It turns out paper isn't the only thing you can water color - pie crust works just as well (and is infinitely more delicious!). I was inspired to create these floral pie beauties by the first sunflower blooms in my garden.

The instructions I've included below are for painted hand pies, but the recipe will work for a full sized, two crust pie as well.

Watercolor Painted Pie Crust

Yield: 8 scones

Total cook time: 2 hours


Pie Crust

  • Flour: 2 1/2 cups (315g)
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 tablespoon 
  • Baking Powder: 2 teaspoons
  • Table Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Unsalted Butter (Chilled): 8 tablespoons (1 stick)
  • Ice Water: 1/2 cup
  • Egg (Large, beaten): 1 (for egg wash)


  • Gel Icing Color: A mix of colors
  • Water: For dipping


A Few Notes:

  • This is an art, not a science. Experiment with how much gel to use to get the color and look you want!
  • I'd err on the side of using as little water as possible to preserve the flakiness of the pie crust. 
  • It's much easier to paint on chilled pie crust - make sure to put the crusts in the freezer before painting.
  • The darker colors (purple, green, blue) tend to hold their color after baking better than lighter colors (yellow, orange, pink)
  • I use Wilton Brand icing colors

Pairs Well With:

*Special equipment: Gel icing colors, fine tip watercolor paint brushes, baking sheet.

The How To (Pie Crust):

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter using your fingertips or a pastry blender. Drizzle in 1/2 cup ice water. Knead until it comes together in a shaggy dough, then separate the dough into two disks and refrigerate for an hour and a half. 

Roll out the dough disks and cut them into ~ three inch circles (I use a biscuit cutter for this). Pop the circles into the freezer to firm up a bit before painting (about 10 minutes). 

The How To (Painting):

Using gel food coloring, dip a fine tip watercolor brush into the color (you only need a tiny bit!) Dip the brush into a bit of water, and paint! Rinse the brush between colors, and remember that a little bit of color goes a long way. 

The How To (Filling & Baking):

Fill with any filling you’d like (I like to use fresh peaches with brown sugar and cinnamon!) Brush the rim of the circles with filling with a bit of water. Top filled circles with the painted circles. Seal the edge of the pies with the tines of a fork. Brush with egg wash, cut small vents in each hand pie, and bake for 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees F. 

*Keeps up to two days, covered (ideally refrigerated)