Simple Decorations for Easy, Beautiful Birthday Cakes


All you need are a few simple items to create a beautiful birthday cake that will wow your guests. “All you need are a few simple items to create a beautiful birthday cake that will wow your guests. Annabelle Breakey/Getty Images

Decorating a cake can be a daunting task for even an experienced baker, particularly when the designs down at the local bake shop are both elaborate and exquisite. However, buying a cake gets expensive, and it’s really unnecessary unless time is of the essence. With a few simple tricks it’s easy to create a stunning birthday cake that will make the guest of honor feel really special while also seriously impressing all party attendees. Starting with a basic box cake that is frosted, add some of these items for foolproof decorations that create beautiful and fun birthday cakes for all ages in just minutes. Use one of these ideas or combine some of them together for a more elaborate cake.

Fresh Flowers

There are few things lovelier than fresh flowers. Choose a large single bloom such as a hydrangea, sunflower or peony to place in the center of the cake for a simple but strikingly beautiful cake. For a more delicate look, use the petals of roses or peonies to sprinkle over-top the cake. And for those who are feeling really adventurous, create a full arrangement to place on top of the cake. While most flowers are simply for decoration, some flowers such as nasturtium, violets, and rosa rugosa are edible and would make lovely decorations.


Not only is it fresh and beautiful, but adding fruit to a cake also makes it seem less sinful. Top a cake with fresh berries, slices of lemon, orange or kiwi, or even canned cherries. The process can be as simple as piling the fruit on top of the cake or carefully arranging it in a chosen pattern such as a border of strawberries with mixed berries in the center or concentric rings of various fruits.


Everyone has a favorite candy and incorporating it into a birthday cake is a great way to personalize the cake for the guest of honor while also offering a simple decoration. Spell out a special message in chocolate candies, crumble a favorite candy bar on top of the cake, or just carefully place the candy pieces all over the top and sides of the cake for an over the top look that will have mouths watering.


It is virtually impossible to add sprinkles to a cake without success. Simply scatter the sprinkles over every inch of the cake to get the ultimate effect. For a fun and colorful creation use rainbow sprinkles and for a richer look use chocolate sprinkles. Individual color sprinkles are available in every color of the rainbow at specialty shops making them a great way to show off the guest of honor’s favorite team colors or other interests.


There are few people that can really re-create favorite items such as trucks, castles, television characters, or other hobbies using icing so rather than end up with cake decorations that aren’t quite recognizable, buy (or find around the house) small toys that represent the birthday boy or girl’s interests. Many favorite characters as well as vehicles, sports figurines, and other favorite toys can be found in miniature sizes that are perfect for cake toppers.

Chocolate Shell

That hard chocolate shell that many people put on ice cream can also be used on cakes. After frosting the cake, pour chocolate shell over top of it until it is dripping down the sides to a desired level. Then pop it into the refrigerator to harden the shell for a cake that will look incredibly decadent.

Fondant Dots

While fondant used to only be a common cake decoration for experienced bakers, it’s easier than ever to find now in craft stores, and it comes already colored and rolled out into sheets. Just use cookie cutters, silicone molds, or other shapers to create polka dots, stars, flowers, and other fun shapes and then arrange them as desired on an already frosted cake.


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