19 Cake Decorating Ideas for Beginners That Look Professional

Planning a party or birthday bash? Learn how to decorate a cake with icing to put a creative spin on dessert. From sprinkles and frosting to fruit toppers and more, these easy homemade cake decorations are sure to result in a party-worthy creation that's much sweeter than something you'd pick up from a bakery. Don't be intimidated by going DIY—we have plenty of easy cake decorating ideas for beginners!

01 of 19

Balloon Cake

Balloon Cake

Echo the party's celebratory atmosphere via this simple cake decorating idea for birthdays. Bright and colorful frostings turn small wafer cookies into whimsical balloons, while sky-blue frosting and white sprinkles create a cloudlike backdrop.

Tip: Serve extra "balloons" on the side or as sweet cupcake toppers so each guest gets one. No more fights over the best slice!

02 of 19

Lemon-Lavender Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon-Lavender-Poppy Seed Cake

So fresh! Give a nod to the flavors inside with this easy cake decorating idea with icing. Pipe lemon buttercream flowers atop the lavender-poppy seed confection, then add color and a touch of tang with a lemon drop center. An offset spatula and a piping bag are the only tools you need to DIY!

Related: Even More Cute Spring Desserts

03 of 19

Cute Owl Cake

Cute Owl Cake

Hoo wouldn't love this charming owl cake? All you need is frosting, almonds, mini powdered donuts, and malted milk balls. Put a bow on this owl cake decorating idea, quite literally, with an oh-so-darling bow made from a pink chewy square.

04 of 19

Peaches and Cream Prosecco Cake

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake

Get the party poppin' with this sparkling wine-spiked layer cake. It features Prosecco (Italian bubbly) in the cake batter and the fresh peach filling. Top the tri-level treat with one of our favorite easy homemade cake decorations: a mock whole peach created with thinly-sliced fruit and a mint leaf stem.

05 of 19

Artist's Palette Cake

Artist’s Palette

Get artsy and create an adorable palette cake for your budding little Picasso. Start by trimming a 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. Chocolate cake decoration ideas are rarely this colorful!

06 of 19

Lollipop Cake

Lollipop Cake

Sweet and swirly, our playful lollipop cake makes a statement on a party table. To make the bright topping, twist 2-foot strips of multicolor fondant into one long rope. Complete this easy cake decorating idea with icing by adding a just-the-right-size pretzel rod lollipop "stick."

07 of 19

White Chocolate Layer Cake

Double-Layer White Chocolate Cake
Double-Layer White Chocolate Cake decorated with buttercream flowers.

Follow our step-by-step instructions to learn how to decorate a cake with icing in an ombre pattern. 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.

08 of 19

Tropical Fish Cake

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. This playful dessert swims ahead of the fish cake decorating idea competition when you add cupcake "bubbles."

09 of 19

Layered Blueberry Pan(Cake)

Layered Blueberry (Pan)Cake

Order up! Inspired by a diner short stack, this towering cake is an ideal easy homemade cake decoration to turn to for brunch parties and showers. It tastes just like a blueberry pancake—complete with a maple syrup drizzle!

10 of 19

Rainbow Pinwheel Cake

Rainbow Pinwheel Cake
Our Rainbow Pinwheel Cake pops with color. To get clean lines when decorating with nonpareils, use strips of waxed paper to provide borders.

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.

11 of 19

Vanilla Ruffle Cake

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. To get the hang of the technique, practice piping waves on waxed paper before taking your tip to the cake.

12 of 19

Gum Ball Machine Cake

Gumball Machine Cake
Gum balls are an appropriate candy choice for this creative cake. Get the recipe!.

No coins necessary for this chocolate cake decoration idea. 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 dessert.

13 of 19

Cherry Flower Cake

Cherry Flower Power Cake

This easy homemade cake decoration idea is blooming to be served at any spring or summer celebration! Don't be intimidated by the detail—the cheery cherry-flavored flower cake is easier to decorate than you think. Just use spring-color candy clay (we've got the four-ingredient recipe!) to shape the pretty petals and their spiral centers.

14 of 19

Opera Cake

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. Pull out this creative cake decorating idea for your favorite musician's birthday or post-concert celebration.

15 of 19

Red Velvet Heart Cake

Red Velvet Heart Cake

Don't reserve this easy homemade cake decoration concept for Valentine's Day alone! With so many deliciously-flavored toppings, we can't help but fall in love with this heart-shape cake any day of year. We used juicy cherries, fresh raspberries, almonds, and pecans to make these ravishing rows.

16 of 19

Sprinkle-Me-Happy Cake

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. Can't find the perfect color of sprinkles to match your party scheme? Try this easy cake decorating idea for beginners: Scoop sprinkles into a sealable container, add a drop of food coloring, seal, and shake to coat.

Related: Kids Birthday Party Ideas for an At-Home Celebration

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Celebration Cake

Celebration Cake Overall

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

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Orange Chiffon Cake with Marshmallow Flowers


Here's how to decorate a cake at home easily: 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. Feel free to use the same marshmallow-based topping to garnish a sheet cake or even a batch of cupcakes, if you like.

Related: Edible Flower Recipes That Are (Almost) Too Pretty to Eat

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Chocolaty Harvest Fruit-Topped Cake


Forget sprinkles and frosting—this easy homemade cake decoration is all about the fruit. Warm pears, apples, and cranberries give this dessert plenty of fall flair. Craving even more decadence? Shower the finished layer cake in a smooth and creamy caramel sauce.

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