July is a big month for birthdays in our family. Two weeks ago, Levi celebrated his 4th birthday with a backyard adventure party, and today’s my husband’s special day! In honor of his birthday, I thought I’d share an easy way to decorate a store-bought cake because — let’s be real — some of us don’t have the time, interest, or culinary skills to bake a homemade cake.
(But if you do bake your own, here’s a lesson in how to frost a cake like a professional.)
This is actually the cake I decorated for Asa’s first birthday party back in February, which, I realize, I never shared here. Bad mommy blogger.
Since Asa is exactly one year and one day younger than his cousin, Max, my sister and I threw them a joint birthday party at our parents’ house. Although it was a relatively small affair, we ordered a sheet cake from Costco because you can’t beat the price. Plus, Costco cakes are really delicious.
Costco’s cake decorations, on the other hand, are pretty terrible. So we asked them to simply write “Happy Birthday Max & Asa!” across the bottom and leave off any smiling suns, rainbows, or balloons.
The scalloped stickers and colorful table confetti were generously provided by Minted, along with a few other pieces from their Barnyard Crew party decor collection. I think the stickers are supposed to be used for sealing favor bags, but since my sister and I weren’t planning on party favors, they became the starting point for my cake decorations.
Carefully lining up the scalloped edges, I attached back-to-back stickers to 12-inch bamboo skewers my mom already had in her kitchen. Then I cut some of the table confetti into smaller circles and glued the matching patterns together with skewers in between. All together, I decorated seven skewers.
Here’s a tip: An odd numbered grouping of anything almost always looks best, whether on a cake, a console, or a mantle.
I varied the height of the skewers in the center of the cake simply by sticking some deeper into the icing than others. I (gently) played with their height until I created a configuration I liked best.
If we had been working with a smaller round birthday cake, I might’ve stopped with just the bouquet of stickered skewers. However, as I was decorating it, I realized the large rectangular cake needed something in addition to the center decorations and the text at the bottom.
So, once again, I rummaged through my mom’s cabinets and found some blue sugar sprinkles and rainbow jimmies that I used across the top and partway down the sides. I was purposefully more heavy handed with the sprinkles around the edges and less so toward the center because I was trying to create an ombré design.
Want to decorate a store-bought cake of your own? Here’s a quick rundown of what I used:
- An undecorated cake
- Stickers or thick paper
- Scissors to cut paper into a variety of sizes
- Bamboo skewers
Do you usually celebrate birthdays with a homemade or a store-bought cake? More importantly, what’s your favorite flavor combination?
PS – The scientific way to cut a round cake and how to make a polka dot cake at home!
Lindsay - Shrimp Salad Circus
This is so cute, and I’m a HUGE fan of “halfway homemade.”
cute! I’m definitely all for decorating store bought cakes. Who’s got time to make one!?
Looks adorable! We did a first birthday party during a beach vacation. I ordered a cake from a local bakery and had them just do it entirely in white, with only blue writing (like the one for A & M). We decorated the sides with candy seaglass that I bought in advance on Etsy (in blues and corals to match the color scheme). Definitely a good way to do something special without having to bake or frost.
Love it girl!
Heather @ The Caterpillar Years
Cute!! And SO practical. I love it!
Alyssa from The Sparkly Life
i love this post so much! Love the idea of dressing up a store bought cake. I’m definitely all about the semi-homemade life. 🙂 And it looks so cute!