Use the easy how-to instructions on the following slides to learn how to decorate some of our favorite birthday cakes recipes!
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My mom made this citrusy cake for spring gatherings and I've taken over. The cake always looks so big and bright. The best part is seeing the splash of colors on your plate. For a quicker lemon filling, use a cup of lemon curd from a jar. Click through to the next slide for more tips. —Leah Will, Bel Aire, Kansas
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This Sunshine Cake is amazing even without the window box decor, but you can dress it up as we did in the photo.
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Press wafer cookies against the side of the cake. Tie two shoestring licorice together to make a longer strand. Wrap and tie strands around the window box.
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Cut Fruit Roll-Ups with flower-shaped cutters. Sandwich cutouts around a lollipop, moistening edges with water.
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Insert straws in cake. Top with lollipop flowers. Cut leaves from green licorice and place them in the cake.
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For this cake, it's important to make sure the whipped cream cheese is truly at room temperature before you use it. If not, it chills the softened butter and makes for lumpy frosting. Click through to the next slide for more frosting tips. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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For a crumb-free finish, use an offset spatula to apply a very thin coat of frosting over the cake. Then pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes before covering with or piping on the remaining frosting.
For the nut edge, place strips of plastic wrap just under the edges of the frosted cake. Sprinkle chopped nuts on the wrap. Gently lift the wrap while pressing nuts into the frosting. Using a clean spatula to lift one side of the cake at a time, pull wrap out from underneath.
It's crucial to sift the cocoa powder to prevent tiny lumps in the frosting, which can clog the #45 petal pastry tip. Piping on the frosting in a zigzag motion creates a gorgeous ruffled effect.
Finally, the secret to blowing out your candles in one puff. "Blow hard at the base of the flame," says Tim Mooney, a nuclear physicist from the University of North Carolina. "You're not trying to cool the flame until it eventually goes out, you're trying to physically move it away from its fuel source."
The lemony yellow color of a daffodil reminds us of springtime and new beginnings. My grandma used to make this cake around Easter every year. In our family, we like to serve this cake cold, right out of the refrigerator. Click through to the next slide to learn how to make the pretty daffodils. —Lori Kampstra, Franklin, Wisconsin
Cut six Kraft Jet-Puffed StackerMallows into pretty shapes with a 1-1/4 in. scalloped round cookie cutter. Next, cut holes in the center of each small round with an apple corer or a 3/4 in. round cutter.
Using a painter's brush, brush tops and sides of marshmallow shapes with warmed light corn syrup. Dip in yellow colored sugar.
Cut 15 more marshmallows with a 2 in. teardrop-shaped cookie cutter. Again, brush with corn syrup and coat with sugar. Make your kids the happiest on the block by giving them any marshmallow scraps.
Assemble each daffodil by arranging five teardrop-shaped cutouts into a ring (pointy ends out). Stack two round cutouts in each flower's center so that they're just resting on the petals beneath to make the daffodil's cup.
Grab a fork and dig into a piece of this sweet-tart cake that's often on our birthday wish list. Click through to the next slides to learn how cranberries and tangerines dress up this simple frosted cake. —Sandy Gaulitz, Spring, Texas
For candied citrus, bring 2-1/4 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a boil. Add thin tangerine or orange slices; reduce heat to medium. Cook until slices are translucent, about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
With a slotted spoon or tongs, remove slices to a wire rack or parchment-lined baking pan. Let stand at room temperature overnight to dry.
For sugared cranberries, in small bowl, stir together 2 Tbsp. water and 1 Tbsp. liquid egg substitute. Lightly coat 1 pkg. (12 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries in mixture. Place cranberries on a baking pan and sprinkle with 1/2 cup coarse sugar and 1/2 cup superfine sugar until coated. Dry on rack at room temperature for 2 hours.
To add flair to frosting, press the back side of a small offset spatula against the frosting and gently drag in an upward motion. Repeat around the sides of the cake.
Cake Decorating Ideas
Decorating the Window Box
Making the Box
Making the Flowers
Making Stems & Leaves
Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Frosting the Cake
Adding the Nuts
Piping the Frosting
Lemony Daffodil Cake
Making the Daffodils
Making the Petals
Assembling the Daffodils
Cranberry Cake with Tangerine Frosting
Dry Citrus Slices
More Cake Recipes & Tips
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