Tag Archives: cake decor made simple

Cake Decorating Made Easy AND Personal!

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You don’t need a cake-decorating degree…

Tara asked me to make Kai’s 1st birthday cake.  She had no real cake design in mind (how unusual!), she just mentioned that there would be lots of colors and balloons and that it should be “fun.”

There was to be a “small” cake just for Kai, his first indulgence in sweet cake, and a bigger one for the guests (most of whom were doing Paleo, anyway, so not much cake going on). Kai, it turned out, was NOT a fan, which I reported previously {here}.


I decided to do rainbow-colored cakes using a basic vanilla recipe, with a cream cheese icing.  Very simple, stacked and pretty plain.  The beauty, of course, would be when we cut inside the layers: voila – an explosion of color!  But on the outside, very plain indeed.

Kai’s cake baked in 6″ pans, 6 layers (purple-blue-green-yellow-orange-red, bottom up) and was about 6″ tall.  The guest cake, also 6 layers, was baked in 10″ pans and was about 8″ tall.

Since the inside was going to be such a color explosion, I decided the outside, with that delicious cream cheese icing, did not need a bunch of embellishments or fancy-tip and bag decorating.  But it needed something….what was it?

I shopped for toys and looked in cake decorating sections at all the stores.  Couldn’t find anything exciting or cute.  Boo.  I came home with a very small blue-sparkly #1 candle and that was about it.  Except…

I had just purchased a multi-pack of craft foam at Michael’s for the grands, very fortuitously

So, I cut 2″ x 2″ squares of various colors and textures of craft foam, which is a DREAM to cut, btw!  Then I just cut rough letters out of them, basic shapes.  If you wanted a certain style, I am sure you could draw it on first, but I just did very basic cuts  in all caps and didn’t cut out centers.  Then I cut some balloons (I did draw a circle using a lid for these and then left a little “triangle” attached) and fashioned a 8″ tall #1 with contrasting colors of the foam.


With the hot glue gun, I attached each letter to a white stir-stick (the ones you use for stirring coffee).  I did the same with the balloons and the #1.


After simply spreading the icing on the cake,  I was able to just stick the letters and other shapes right into the cake.  SIMPLE!

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The cakes turned out cute and adorned until they could be cut into to reveal the real wow factor.  And I was thinking I just enjoyed the change from dragging out the all the usual cake decorating equipment.  Also a great alternative if you don’t have that stuff – you can still produce a great looking cake in whatever theme and colors you’d like and even personalize with a name or message very  easily!

Since I didn’t capture the actual process that day, I thought I’d replicate it yesterday to show more of the actual steps and seriously – I produced this little “hello” in five minutes flat!005


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I bet you could even cut scalloped edging to wrap the whole bottom of the cake.  This craft foam is so versatile!


  1. Select your foam colors and patterns
  2. Cut some letters and shapes
  3. Hot glue or tape to a stir stick (cocktail pics, skewers or disposable chopsticks would work, too)
  4. Arrange on iced cake
  5. Impress everybody with your mad skills!

And that is it.  Easy!


And good-bye.  :)