10 Easy Cake Decorating Ideas

Learn how to decorate your cake easily.

cake decorating© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Treating your special someone to a homemade, decorated treat doesn’t have to mean destroying your kitchen and your sanity. Make things easy for yourself by using your favorite boxed cake mix and having fun with store-bought frosting and homemade decorations. Here are a few simple ideas for decorations that you probably have on hand that will maximize the wow factor in your next celebration.

1. Jazzed-up frosting
Grab a can of your favorite store-bought frosting and give it a colorful punch by adding in food coloring. Make the frosting even more decadent by whipping in a few scoops of fresh cream cheese.

2. Sprinkles and edible glitter
Sprinkles come in a variety of shapes and colors. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to make a truly unique creation. Top it off with edible glitter for a cake that truly sparkles.

3. Candy
Jelly beans, chocolate candies, gummy worms, cinnamon candies, and more! Small, colorful candies can be used for eyes on a character, gummy worms can be used for a gooey treat, or grab fish-shaped candies for a deep-sea style cake.

4. Race cars
Check your local dollar store or the checkout at your grocery store for a small bag of toy cars. These can be used for race-car-themed cakes or city-themed cakes. The dollar store is a great source for other small toys for creating a variety of themes.

Plus: The Cake Boss’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

5. Fresh flowers
Head to your garden or the florist and pick out the freshest flowers, like daisies, violets, and carnations, to add a fresh look to your creation. Perfect for afternoon teas, a special birthday cake, or bridal shower, flowers are a beautiful way to make your cake truly unique.

6. Alternative candles
Of course you can still use traditional birthday candles, but have some fun with unscented votive and small whimsical candles. Votive candles can be placed around the cake for a romantic feeling and small animal shaped candles can give a fun look to your creation.

7. Cupcakes
Cupcakes are cakes, too! Try frosting and arranging cupcakes to look like a flower basket, a rainbow, a friendly caterpillar, or even a snake.

8. Plastic baggies pastry bag
As an easy to use, disposable alternative to expensive pastry bags, cut a small hole in the corner of a resealable plastic bag and fill with your favorite frosting. With a steady hand and some confidence, you can write names or phrases on the cake.

9. Ribbon
Left over holiday or birthday ribbon is perfect to add another layer of fun to your cake. Make simple bows or simply wrap the ribbon around the cake. Just make sure no one eats it!

10. Cookies and donuts
Character shaped cookies or animal crackers can easily make your cake’s theme come alive. Try adding mini-donuts for ears, eyes, or tires for the racetrack.

Sources: Wilton.com and TasteofHome.com

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest