Is it even a party if you don’t have a cake? Of course not! From birthday parties to anniversaries to retirement parties, a sweet treat is a necessity for your event. All of our special moments in life deserve a little sweetness!
There are so many ways to decorate a cake. Over-the-top designs are almost too pretty to cut into, not to mention the price tag. Cakes have evolved over the years and can be designed to match your theme. With an idea in mind and a little planning, you can create a fun and Instagram-worthy cake!
Generally, when we think of cakes, we think of a child's birthday party. However, every celebration from baby showers to graduations, weddings, and retirements needs a sweet treat!
If you are in search of inspiration for your next cake, our easy cake decoration ideas will get you started.
10 Fantastic Cake Decoration Ideas
You are probably celebrating a milestone, like a birthday or an anniversary, with a color theme in mind, so let’s jump into some easy cake decoration ideas!
If you are stuck on a theme and need some inspiration, take a look here, or if you only want to work with a specific color palette.
1. Stencil Number
A stencil number or letter cutout is an easy and cute design to add to a plain cake!
You could purchase a stencil or use materials at home, like cardboard, to cut out your desired number, letter, or design. You have the option to decorate around the outside of the number or use the cutout for the center portion.
Besides the fun part of creating your custom cake topper, the next best part is what decoration you choose! You can choose monochromatic sprinkles, colorful fruit, edible glitter, icing, and so much more! This option is easy for you to coordinate with the rest of your party theme and decorations!
Here is an easy DIY tutorial that shows you how to do a stencil number cake with the sprinkles being reversed from the picture above.
2. Fresh Flowers or Greenery
An all-white cake gives a clean template to work with. And it’s the easiest shade to coordinate with. An all-white cake can have a “naked” look to it or have a smooth fondant texture. Either way, your cake can be spruced up with fresh flowers and/or greenery!
There’s a reason a classic white cake never goes out of style, there are so many variations to make it your own! Your blank canvas can have added flowers that are in season, succulents, and more! Don’t forget about faux plants either! Faux greenery and florals are stunning and can be reused!
Cake design by @bestillbakery
If you happen to be planning a luxe 50th birthday or need a decadent wedding cake topper, give the cake that extra flare for a celebration you and your guests will remember! Added eucalyptus leaves would be a stunning addition!
If you are looking for some cute, faux palm leaves to add to your cake, check out our 10-pack here. We also have some beautiful, tropical party kits that would coordinate perfectly with your celebration!
3. Toy Figurines
If you are celebrating a young child's birthday, then a toy figurine birthday cake topper is the perfect option for your creative cake design. I am positive that you are living under a mound of toy cars, action figures, dolls, and more, so why not put them to use?
Let your toys take the show on top of a plain cake, the color of your choice, or you can add cookie crumbles for dirt, sprinkles, or other fun accessories to make the cake a little extra for your little one.
The toys will definitely give your cake lots of dimensions, perfect for pictures. Afterward, the toys can be reused, especially fun if you are purchasing new toys to add to the cake!
We don’t want to leave the adults out of this fun option! Say you are celebrating a bachelorette party or a 21st birthday… then add a fun barbie or ken doll on top with some added alcohol nips for a cake all may or may not remember.
4. Balloon Cake Topper
Not sure who thought of putting balloons on a cake, but we love it!
No matter the theme of your party, if you have a cake, then you can add mini-balloons to that cake! A balloon cake topper is very versatile and you can add as many as you want. No matter what, it will give your guests that WOW factor!
The balloon cake topper is perfect all on its own, or you can have it in addition to other decorations. If you choose to do the mini balloon garland by itself, here is some inspiration below:
This would be the perfect way to add some pizzazz if you are traveling and need a quick addition to your party supplies! Or if you think the cake looks a little bland and needs something extra!
We also provide a custom cake topper to match any event theme!
5. Face Cutouts
Celebrating someone special? From a first birthday to a 21st birthday to a 40th birthday, nothing will make someone smile more than seeing their face as decoration. This decoration is perfect for cakes or cupcakes, big or small!
You can have as much fun as you want with these cutouts. Take a simple photo where they are smiling or making a funny face and use it as the cutout. Or to spice it up a notch, add a fun party hat to their picture for the ultimate face cutout cake topper!
If you are celebrating a birthday, the clip art could be with a colorful birthday hat. Does their celebration fall on a certain holiday, like Cinco de Mayo or Christmas? Find a crazy sombrero or cute Santa hat to add on top!
This is an easy option to create on your computer and print out on good stock paper before cutting out. You, of course, can send to your local printer to have small and large images made if you want to go the extra mile. No time? Check out Etsy to customize your next party topper!
I guarantee that this birthday cake topper will be the hit of the party! Some might even want to take one home with them!
A classic (and easy) twist to the ever-ordinary cake.
When you are in a time crunch or just at a loss for ideas, an easy go-to option is adding fruit to your cake. Choose a cake with a solid color and then match the fruit using a complementary color, easy peasy!
If you have a picky person you are celebrating, then you will definitely want to choose their favorite, edible fruit. This would make your cake decorating so easy! Design the fruit in a shape or number, add sprinkles or candles, and drizzle a delicious sauce for added texture.
Depending on where you live, the fruit you want may not be in season. So, it may be best to have a backup option. You could layer several different fruits with the same color or stick with one color on a solid white cake and add some powdered sugar for a professional look that your guests will love!
What better way to celebrate than with fireworks? This is obviously an age-appropriate option so children (well, and some adults) don’t accidentally hurt themselves. Everyone loves flashy sparklers and is a great option for any celebration!
If you choose to go subtle with the frosting, then your guests will be in for a fabulous treat when the sparklers are lit!
Celebrating a 30th birthday? They have sparkler candles in the shape of numbers! No birthday? No problem! Just throw on a few regular sparklers for that Instagram-worthy moment.
Photo Credit: Ruth Black
If you are celebrating the funny one of the group, you could always go with the magical candles that never seem to blow out! These candles come in a variety of sizes and colors and are the perfect match for someone that can take a joke!
8. Wooden or Wire Number
A wooden cutout or wire number is such a cute option to add to your celebration cake! Whether the cake is plain or colorful, this is a perfect and easy addition to personalize.
Wanting to go the extra mile? You could always have a name cake topper or saying, like “Happy Birthday”, for the wooden or wire option. This is also great to use more than once and supports a local artist.
A wooden cutout or wire number will be such a luxe addition to your already fabulous cake! Keep it plain or bedazzled with extra accessories for a cake that your special guest will remember!
How about adding a cute balloon arch to your birthday theme? Check out this party kit here, a groovy addition that would match the cake above!
Just like the fruit option above, you also could do the less healthy option of adding candy to a cake. Cue the music “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and get to decorating!
If you are celebrating someone that is just TOO sweet, then this is definitely a perfect cake decoration option. Choose their favorite candy to display on top or around the entire cake. A little decadent, but it will definitely be picture worthy!
Maybe you are unsure of the favorite candy for the guest of honor, but if you know whether their sweet tooth leans towards the chocolate side or the salty/savory side, then you can go with a combo. Think of all of the different types of chocolate bars or go with the colorful gummy worms and starbursts.
With a crazy schedule and maybe multiple kids, you may not have time to create the cake you had in mind for that upcoming birthday party! And there is no shame in picking up one of those premade sheet cakes from your local supermarket or bakery and throwing some candles on them!
It’s always best to have candles in your party drawer (aka junk drawer). Some great candles to have on hand would be a set of colorful rainbow candles, silver or gold stick candles, and maybe candles that spell out “Happy Birthday” for backup moments when you’re in a pinch!
If you have time to order some fancier candles or stop by a party store for some more unique candles, then those will always be an extra fun addition to any cake as well! There are candles with glitter, others in the shape of letters and numbers, and candles in the shape of food or animals! There is truly something out there for everyone!
Depending on the celebration, you have a choice to do a trendy or classic theme. Whichever you choose… there is a cake that will be perfect for it!
We've discussed 10 easy birthday cake decoration ideas, so you have a variety of options to choose from for that special day.
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Happy Birthday Planning!