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Easy Birthday Cake Decorating Ideas That Only Look Complicated

Do you need to know how to decorate a birthday cake? These fun ideas are as beautiful as they are delicious. Unless you're a baker or short on time, a store-bought cake will look just as delicious and get lots of compliments with one of these decorating hacks. These are my favourite easy birthday cake decorating ideas that look difficult but are easy enough for anyone (including you!) to do.

Balloons Make Everything Better

I love that all it takes is a handful of tiny balloons and a few wooden dowels to make a white cake such a magical and lovely.

Turn It into a Unicorn

This magical unicorn birthday cake is as good as it gets. Baking in smaller pans creates impressive height, and a few simple cakes decorating tools will help turn it into an impressive dessert.

Comestible Flowers!

Edible flowers are all the rage, so why not use them in cakes? They provide colour, texture, and health. At least that's what I tell myself.

Add Mirror Polish

Bright orange mirror-finish icing tops a chocolate mousse cake to create a delicious and surprising dessert your guests will talk about for weeks.

A Cereal Lover's Dream

I can finally make my son's dream come true on the cake! And why not? It is colourful and does not require much precision. Then you can eat the rest of the box on the sly after the kids go to bed!

Rainbow Whistle

This Courtney Rich Buttercream Rainbow Cake from Cakes is the perfect way to add a little extra sunshine to a birthday party.

Make a Pattern With Pieces of Candy

Don't you like to mix icing, colour, decorate and then clean up? Me neither one day. Use candy pieces of different sizes to decorate a simple cake.

Try a Naked Cake

A naked cake is completely naked (or nearly so) on the outside. This works best on a layer cake, so it shows off the thick streaks of buttercream or chocolate ganache. Without the typical outer layer, the inside of the cake is completely exposed to show off all the delicious frosting inside.

Add a Drop

This is a soft, moist birthday cake with lots of sprinkles and whipped vanilla buttercream. It's almost impossible not to be happy when you see rainbow confetti bursting and light blue dripping down the side!

Ice Petals

Rainbows are simply the best. Rainbows in pastels are sublime. These rainbow sheets look so intimidating, but they're actually icing drizzles smoothed out in the right order. You can, I just know.

A Splash Cake!

My frosting isn't always the right consistency, but I'm pretty sure I can make the spray-paintable frosting. This unique cake will be the talk of the party until it's gone.

For Abstract, You Don't Need to be Exact

Art can be edible. Of course, this artwork itself won't last long enough to be in a museum, but that doesn't mean it won't be memorable.

Dust on the Decor

I realize this is a bow on a brownie, but imagine a cake frosted in a darker shade, including chocolate, with a pattern of icing sugar on top. It's like skipping all the detailed frosting decorating work! Surprise your guests and bake a brownie cake.

Create a Shape

I have to admit that I also love sprinkles. You are festive yourself. Instead of covering every last inch, use a stencil and make a crumble shape on top of a cake.

Cookies Crush Chips Ahoy

and let the dinosaurs rule the earth (or at least the cake).

Who would have thought that all a cake needs are some crushed Chips Ahoy cookies for the rocks and some chocolate ganache for the lava? Add toy dinosaurs for the finishing touch.

Turn Everyday Pancakes Into a Birthday Cake

Everyone knows that pancakes can turn an ordinary morning into a very special one. So imagine what a stack of pancakes with cake batter can do. Add a few sprinkles and more sprinkled icing and you have a candle-worthy birthday treat.

Add a Few Candles

Okay, even I can put a candle on a cake. So I'm pretty sure you could rock this super simple and over-the-top happy cake topped with a bunch of, you guessed it, different types of candles.

Cover Every Square Inch of Caramel

This is definitely one of those cases where more is more, so use ALL the extra Easter candy and cover that sucker from head to toe.

Go on With the Chocolate Ganache

The only thing that can make a beautiful confetti cake better is to add a layer of chocolate, in this case, dark chocolate and cream chocolate ganache.

Cut the Fruit at the Base for a Fresh Fox Pie

I tend to stay away from animal cakes because there seems to be a lot of room for error. However, this fox face cake is very simple, and if you can cut fruit by the foot and draw a triangle, you'll be good at decorating it.

For Kids Who Prefer Ice Cream

skip the cake altogether and combine ice cream sandwiches with croissants and upside-down sprinkles.

This cake uses only four ingredients (ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, caramel cones, and chocolate topping) and only takes minutes to make, but it would be a hit at any birthday party and one.

Use Candy Moulds for the Best Lego Cake

The secret to this Lego cake is simple: candy moulds filled with coloured melted chocolate for a cake that just looks difficult to build.

Get Into the Drama with Extra-Long Candles

What kid wouldn't love to blow out a candle set that's almost as big as they are? Plus, they feel very princess-like, perfect for a child (or mum) who wants to be understated rather than lively.

Add Jell-O Bubbles to Cupcakes

Remember how you used to make paper mache pinatas with flour, water, and newspaper? These cupcakes use the same gelatin and water technique for a pretty balloon effect that would be a hit at any princess party.

Add a Row of Dum-Dums for a Beautiful Fairy Cake

My children like to go to the hairdresser. I mean, they'll be talking about this for weeks before we leave, for one reason: the dum-dums pops. You'll sit still for your haircut and have a friendly chat with the barber, all for the promise of a lollipop.

Add Licorice to a Plain White Cake

At first glance, this cake looks really complicated, but if you take a closer look, you'll see that the flowers are made from different flavours of liquorice. Impressive right? And it would be so cute for a girl's birthday party.

Go for a Very Large Donut

I'm a big fan of oversized food (in fact, I've spent an entire breakfast on it), mainly because kids find it hilarious. Combine that giant donut with a bunch of extra-small items (say, DO in small cups) and she's got a birthday of books.

Add Toys and an Easy DIY

Bake a simple cake with toy animals and this simple birthday banner made with fridge magnets, straws, and pipe cleaners. While Oh Happy Day had a circus theme, it would be just as easy to put a princess or toy truck or any household toy on top, and voila.

Use Waffles, an Ice Cream Cone, and Nougat to Create a Circus Cake

This birthday cake is probably the most labour-intensive and of course, it will require patience and tools. But can you imagine how excited your two-year-old would be if the lion from his dreams came to life? I'll let you decide if that thrill is worth the pain the mane might inflict on your psyche.

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