By Tonya Steward

No matter the occasion – a special birthday, a wedding or baby shower, Mother’s or Father’s Day, a holiday, or just because – a homemade cake is not only fun to make but also means so much more to the person receiving it. Making the cake is one thing, but decorating it can be another. Knowing this, we called on crafty blogger Tonya to help us with some tips and tricks of the trade. Happy baking! ~ Katie

You have not yet learned the art of cake decorating? Well, you can still create stunning cakes for your family. Try these ideas using either a homemade or store bought cake…


1 woodland cake 3_________Make a banner

A current trend in parties is to top a cake with a mini bunting. The classic pennant bunting will always be in style for parties, but banners can be made in other designs. Words such as “Happy Birthday” or names can be cut out of paper and glued to embroidery floss. Tie the embroidery floss to lollipop sticks. Or, you can use stickers as shown on this woodland cake’s banner.

2 swirl cake 2 __________Create edible art

This is a great project to do with children. Melt candy melts in desired colors according to package directions. Candy melts should be warm and smoothly melted but not too hot to touch. Spoon the candy melts into quart size freezer zip bags.Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Snip off one of the bottom corners of the zip bags and pipe out swirls and squiggles onto the waxed paper. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes until hardened. Peel designs off of the waxed paper and stick them on the cake.

3 beach cake 6________Cut out photos

Let a favorite photograph of the person being celebrated inspire a scene. Copy the photo onto cardstock. Carefully cut it out. Embroidery scissors are a good tool for this as they have very sharp, small blades. Then, tape a toothpick to the back of the photograph. For this cake a beach scene was created using brown sugar for sand and coloring a gumball with edible ink markers to make the beach ball. Edible ink markers can be found in the cake decorating section of craft stores.

4 bunting cake 9________Add a bunting

Cut a triangle template out of paper. Use the template to cut triangles out of fruit leather rolls with kitchen shears or very clean scissors. Then peel the fruit leather off of the paper backing and stick on the cake. If the fruit leather is difficult to remove from the paper, just put the cut out triangles in the freezer for one minute. They will then off easily.

5 pink and red cake 30______Fly some festive flags

One flag may be cute on a cupcake, but a field of flags makes a big impact on a cake. Use 5 inch long pieces of ribbon or pretty paper. Wrap around lollipop sticks and glue together. Thicker ribbon, like grosgrain, may need to be weighed down while the glue is drying. Seven different ribbons and 2 lengths of lollipop sticks were used to make 20 flags for this cake.

6 jellybean 2________Jazz it up with jellybeans

Using about a half pound of jellybeans, create swags and trims. Score the frosting with a knife or toothpick at regular intervals to help with layout. Note that for candy to stick to the sides of a cake, the frosting needs to be moist. If you are using a store bought cake, buy or make extra frosting and dab it onto each candy as your glue.

7 prince cake 9________Top it with Toys

Making the cake look decorated and not like toys were plopped on top of it can be tricky. Choose toys that match your party theme and color scheme. This prince cake has personalized flags to add more castle ambiance. The pennant trim on the cake stand was cut from cardstock and attached with double sided tape. It ties together all of the colors from the top of the cake.