Creative Cake-Decorating Ideas

Planning a party or birthday bash? Put a creative spin on any kind of cake with these fun and fuss-free decorating ideas, from sprinkles and frosting to fruit toppers and more. Many of these cakes start with a purchased cake mix so you can focus on the decorating. If you prefer, swap in your favorite chocolate or vanilla cake recipe for a from-scratch celebration.

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  • 1 of 22

    Balloon Cake

    Bright and colorful frostings turn small wafer cookies into whimsical balloons. Sky-blue frosting and white sprinkles create a cloudlike backdrop.

    Editor's Tip: Serve extra "balloons" on the side or as sweet cupcake toppers so each guest gets one.

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    Cute Owl Cake

    Hoo wouldn't love this charming owl cake? All you need is frosting, almonds, mini powdered doughnuts, malted milk balls, and a pink chewy square for that oh-so-darling bow.

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    Cherry Flower Cake

    This cheery cherry-flavored flower cake is easier to decorate than you think. Just use spring-color candy clay (we've got the recipe—it requires just four ingredients!) to shape the pretty petals and their spiral centers.

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    11 So-Cute Candy Decorations

    In two minutes you'll have 11 new ideas.

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    Artist's Palette Cake

    Go artsy with this adorable palette cake. Start by trimming your chocolate sheet cake into a jelly bean shape. A blend of vanilla and chocolate frostings provides the wooden palette look. Use five edible gels in your favorite colors to resemble paint, and as a finishing touch, add sprinkles for extra shimmer. Follow the recipe link for all the specifics.

  • 6 of 22

    Sprinkle-Me-Happy Cake

    All you need to decorate this life-of-the-party cake is a plethora of pretty-color sprinkles and our vanilla buttercream frosting. Sculpt the supersweet rounded toppers using candy clay, corn syrup, and sprinkles.

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    Lollipop Cake

    Sweet and swirly, our playful lolliop cake makes a statement on a party table. To make the bright topping, twist 2-foot strips of multicolor fondant into one long rope—it's easier than you think!

  • 8 of 22

    Orange Chiffon Cake with Marshmallow Flowers

    Coat citrus-chiffon cake in a light honey glaze and top with sugared flowers to create this in-bloom look. For the flowers we used marshmallow slices, colored sugars, and pearl candy beads.

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    White Chocolate Layer Cake

    Cascading rows of white chocolate rosettes create a dreamy effect for this pretty-in-pink cake. Be sure to use a decorating bag with a large star tip for that extra-luscious look.

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    Tropical Fish Cake

    Take the kids on an adventure under the sea with this bubbly, fish-shape dessert. All the pieces are cut from a single sheet of moist vanilla cake. Using a thin metal spatula, swirl frosting to resemble fins and scales. Cupcakes serve as the bubbles.

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    Celebration Cake

    This wedding-worthy cake gets its gorgeous look from glitzy decorations like sugar pearls, tinted frosting, and a cute-as-a-button bow. Use pastry bags with various tips to make fun floral, swirly, or simple line designs.

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    Rainbow Pinwheel Cake

    Whisk friends and family away with a colorful sprinkle-coated pinwheel cake. To achieve clean, defined lines, use strips of waxed paper to provide borders. The rainbow inside the cake comes courtesy of food coloring.

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    Vanilla Ruffle Cake

    Play dress-up with a plain-Jane cake by adding soft rows of sweet ruffles made with our cherry-almond butter frosting. Use a decorating bag with a petal tip for smooth and easy application.

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    Gum Ball Machine Cake

    No coins necessary here. Just bring your sweet tooth and a few fun toppers. Use gum balls, a thin chocolate square, and a scoop-shape corn chip to create this old-school, candy-theme cake.

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    Give Your Cake the Ultimate Smooth Edge (Without Fondant)

    Upgrade your cake from amateur level to pro status with this simple trick. The best part? You can use tools you likely already have in the kitchen.  

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    Opera Cake

    This delectable four-flavor cake is sure to make your taste buds sing. Use melted white chocolate for the musical topping, then sprinkle with edible glitter for a finish worthy of applause.

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    Red Velvet Heart Cake

    When it's topped with so many delicious flavors, you can't help but fall in love with this heart-shape cake. We used juicy cherries, fresh raspberries, almonds, and pecans to make these ravishing rows of toppings.

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    Chocolaty Harvest Fruit-Topped Cake

    Forget sprinkles and frosting—this cake is all about the fruit. We topped ours with warm pears, apples, and cranberries, all dripping in a smooth and creamy caramel sauce.

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    Rocky Road Cake Topper

    Three pantry ingredients—waffle cones, mini marshmallows, and peanuts—are piled high on a double-chocolate cake to make this sweet favorite the star of the party. Drizzle with chocolate syrup to finish.

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    Banana Split Cake Topper

    Topped with toasted coconut, sliced bananas, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries, a frosted banana- or vanilla-flavor cake takes on the flavors of the ice cream sundae treat.

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    Berries and Cookies Cake Topper

    Fresh fruit and cream-filled cookies add a summery touch to this chocolaty layer cake. Press halved sandwich cookies and sliced strawberries into the sides of a chocolate-frosted cake, then top the cake with additional cookies and a strawberry.

  • Next Slideshow Up Your Dessert Game with These Cake Pop Recipes

    Up Your Dessert Game with These Cake Pop Recipes

    The best part about cake pops, or "cake on a stick," is the ability to customize them any way you want. Whether you want red velvet cake pops, white cake pops, or chocolate cake pops, all it takes is a crumbled cake and frosting to do the trick. Cake pops are the perfect bite-size dessert for weddings, birthdays, and holiday parties.
    Begin Slideshow »
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