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34 Easy Cake Decorating Ideas

Dress up your birthday or holiday cake with these easy decorating ideas. Some fancy up the outside of the cake with frosting, candy or fruit, while others use simple layering tricks to make the inside shine.

Chocolate Fruit Basket Cake

Basic ingredients jazz up this easy cake, one that’s sure to bring “oohs” and “aahs!” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Three-Layered Carrot Cake

My mom loved carrots so much she put them in various dishes at least five times a week when I was growing up. Her specialty was a homemade carrot cake that was requested for every special occasion. When I made this for her 70th birthday, she cried with each bite. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania

Fudgy Peppermint Stick Torte

I created this recipe based on a chocolate cake a friend made for me several years ago. It's a favorite around Christmas, not only because of the great flavors, but also because it makes a spectacular presentation. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma

Banana Split Icebox Cake

One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at your potluck can have a banana split, no muss, no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine

Creative Cake

If you have patience and strong hands, ready for kneading, I suggest making the fondant yourself. Whether you use store bought or homemade, this artistic cake will get rave reviews. —Katie Molitor, Cedar, Minnesota

Strawberry Walnut Torte

This is a special treat I love to make and everyone looks forward to a nice slice with lots of fresh berries. —Bonnie Malloy, Norwood, Pennsylvania

Chocolate-Mint Present Cake

The flavor of crushed peppermint candies infuses every forkful of this outstanding chocolate cake. It's a tasty surprise during the holidays. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Raspberry Fudge Torte

This special-occasion cake impresses all who see and taste it. People are surprised to hear this torte starts with a simple cake mix...they're sure I bought it at a bakery. —Julie Hein, York, Pennsylvania

Rainbow Layer Cake

Fruity gelatin helps create the rainbow effect for this pretty cake. Lemon frosting is a nice and springy finishing touch. —Dawn Shackelford, Fort Worth, Texas

Flag Cake

This patriotic-themed cake makes a stunningly delicious centerpiece on any summer celebration table. To honor our troops, pass it along to all your family and friends! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Decadent Fudge Cake

Everyone loves the rich flavor in this decadent cake made with four types of chocolate. —Anna Hogge, Yorktown, Virginia

Peeps Sunflower Cake

The inspiration for this cake came from one of my favorite flowers, the sunflower. The yellow peeps make eye-catching flower petals, and I carefully placed chocolate chips in a circular pattern to resemble the seeds in the middle of a sunflower. This cake is easy, but looks quite impressive. —Bethany Eledge, Cleveland, Tennessee

Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake

This luscious cake is really versatile for all-year fun. I've changed the design on top to a heart for Valentine's, a pumpkin for autumn and a tree for Christmas. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma

Cranberry Cake with Tangerine Frosting

This cake is tart and sweet and festive all at once. —Sandy Gaulitz, Spring, Texas

Cookies-and-Cream Cake

If you like cookies-and-cream ice cream, you'll love this cake. Chocolate sandwich cookies are mixed into the batter and pressed into the sweet and creamy frosting for a fun look. —Pat Habiger, Spearville, Kansas

Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake

A sweet treat in the summer, this patriotic poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York How to make candy stars >

Chocolate-Praline Layer Cake

For the chocolate-lover in all of us, this dessert is the one. Packed with pecans, the luscious layers are topped off with heart-shaped chocolate candies. Every day is Valentine’s Day with this cake!—Kathy Engler, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Candy Land Cake

My friend asked me to make her son's 5th birthday cake, and when I asked her what he wanted on it, she said, "Oh, just put on gobs and gobs of candy." Instead of piling on candy haphazardly, I thought it should look like the Candy Land board game. The birthday boy, his friends and family members loved it! —Pen Perez, Berkeley, California

Very Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Cream

Here's a way to take a simple cake mix and make it look spectacular! The filling and frosting are really quite easy to make so there's no reason to shy away from this dessert. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Marvelous Marble Cake

Pound cake and chocolate make the best marble cake. — Ellen Riley, Birmingham, Alabama

Rainbow Cake with Clouds

Some cakes stand on their own without icing. For this bright Rainbow Cake, use a little whipped cream to make fluffy clouds. —Janet Tigchelaar, Jerseyville, Ontario

Red Velvet Crepe Cakes

It's well worth the time to make this beautiful and delicious cake. Each moist layer is separated by a rich and creamy filling. Treat your family on special occasions with this cake. —Crystal Heaton, Alton, Utah

Confetti Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

This simple and tender cake has been celebrated in my family for years. Dressed up with tinted frosting and confetti, it becomes pure party fun. — Karen Berner, New Canaan, Connecticut

Chocolate-Strawberry Celebration Cake

Although I have some great "from-scratch" recipes, this chocolate strawberry cake uses a boxed mix with plenty of doctoring. It has become a popular groom's cake that gets more attention than the wedding cake. —Nora Fitzgerald, Sevierville, Tennessee

Mint Patty Cake

Each slice of this dreamy layer cake is full of cool peppermint. The chopped peppermint patties in the frosting are a refreshing surprise. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Peppermint Red Velvet Cake

A couple of years ago, I saw a recipe for a peppermint red velvet cake that called for cake mixes. I prefer homemade cakes, so I developed this one from scratch. It is a beautiful, elegant dessert. In the summer, I omit the peppermint and use fresh berries, adding them between the layers and on top of the frosting. —Aimee Fortney, Fairview, Tennessee

Chocolate-Raspberry Polka Dot Cake

You'll have people requesting seconds on this tender cake. Chocolate cake layers are filled with a delightful raspberry whipped cream and silky ganache. It's all draped in a rich chocolate glaze. Then to add some whimsy, it's decorated with polka dots. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Layered Peppermint Icebox Cake

Our home economists take four ingredients and turn them into an impressive, no-bake cake. Do-ahead desserts don't get any better! —Taste Of Home Test Kitchen

Giant Cupcake Pumpkin

Make a smiley statement by decorating a whole tray of cupcakes. Once everyone’s seen the big picture, they can all take a treat. —Gena Lott, Ogden, Utah

Ice Cream Birthday Cake

When we were young, Mom made birthday cakes with a small toy on top, chosen just for us. Now that I'm a parent, I go with jimmies. —Becky Herges, Fargo, North Dakota

Fudge Fantasy Cake

You'll catch everyone's attention when you present this showstopping dessert. This exquisite chocolate cake will have your guests saying,"Wow!" —Jannine Fisk, Malden, Massachusetts

Autumn Tree Cake

You can decorate this special cake any way you like for Halloween or the colorful autumn months. —Marie Parker, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mint-Frosted Chocolate Cake

I often make a peanut butter version of this cake but wanted to switch things up by introducing a new flavor. I tinkered with the recipe and decided mint was my new go-to ingredient. My son came up with the idea for the frosting. The rest is delicious history! The cake is fragile, so freezing the layers makes them easier to handle. —Melanie Cooksey, Monroe, Georgia

Chocolate Gingerbread Yule Log

If you’ve tasted a yule log sponge cake, you’ll love this version with fresh ginger and spices. The holiday stunner can be made ahead. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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