Skip to main content

How to Decorate a Birthday Cake

If store-bought pastries have gotten a little stale, this guide will help you jazz up that birthday cake with real style.


  • Step 1: Prepare work area Lay out all your tools and decorations so that everything is easily accessible. Put on an apron, as things may get messy.
  • Step 2: Frost cake Apply an even coating of room temperature frosting using an icing spatula and a turntable or lazy susan to spin the cake around as you work.
  • TIP: Chill the cake in the refrigerator to solidify the frosting before adding more decorations.
  • Step 3: Etch words or designs Use toothpicks to gently etch designs or words into the frosting. If you make a mistake, just re-frost and start over.
  • Step 4: Pipe words and designs Use a pastry bag and piping tips to personalize your cake with words and original designs using different colored frostings.
  • Step 5: Cut out fondant shapes Cut shapes out of fondant using cookie cutters and attach them to your cake.
  • Step 6: Add candies Add candies, cookies, nuts, and even popcorn to create detail and let your creativity shine.
  • TIP: Avoid using inedible decorations, especially around small children, as these can be a choking hazard.
  • Step 7: Remember the candles Add birthday candles and you'll have a completely original birthday cake.
  • FACT: In 2009, geeks around the world celebrated the internet's 40th birthday – two computers at UCLA transmitted data through a 15-foot-long cable on September 2, 1969.

You Will Need

  • An apron
  • Frosting
  • An icing spatula
  • A turntable or lazy susan
  • Toothpicks
  • A pastry bag
  • Assorted piping tips
  • Fondant
  • Cookie cutters
  • Assorted candies
  • Assorted cookies
  • Nuts
  • sprinkles
  • or popcorn

Popular Categories