3 In mom life/ Recipes

How To Make Awesome Birthday Cakes [when you are NOT a baker]

how to make awesome birthday cakes
I am totally honking my own horn here because I’ve now made two birthday cakes that came out WAY better than I ever thought possible and it didn’t take a crazy amount of effort, time or skill!

Here’s how I did it…

Don’t be a hero – use cake mix! All the bakers of the world will agree that making a moist pound cake that everyone will love takes skill and a really good recipe. Unless you’re planning on making cakes on the regular, save yourself the trouble and get a cake mix that is sure to be a crowd pleaser and make you look amazing. 
cake ingredients

The second tip is about icing. Using store bought icing can be tricky because it is not thick or intended to be piped onto a cake. It is perfect for the icing between layers and for covering the cake however. If you will be doing any piping with store bought icing make sure you do it just before the party and keep the cake in the fridge to prevent the icing from melting into blobs. If you’re feeling ambitious or want icing that pipes very well and tastes delicious I highly recommend my tries, tested and true white chocolate cream cheese icing (the full recipe is included at the bottom of this post). Using other food products to decorate with is also a great solution, in this case I used oreo crumbs as the gravel.
Landon eating cake

Like anything, the LOOK, is what will really sets your cake apart. Again, don’t try to be a hero here… layers make a cake look fancy and are not difficult to assemble. Layers are also fun for using food coloring in your cake mix for a fun surprise when your party guests cut into the cake. And, the most important reason layers are awesome is it gives you less surface to decorate on the top of the cake (depending on the size you’ve chosen of course…).
layered cake

Last but not least, use props. Trying to draw a dump truck or sky would have been insanely difficult for me, but purchasing a little dump truck and a sky figurine was incredibly easy! Using a cake stand was another simple way to really spice up the presentation and the overall look of the cakes. I used the same one for both this year, it was $4 at Dollarama, so it was an affordable addition that I can now use over and over.
Construction Birthday Cake

Lastly, although I don’t recommend trying to draw on a cake some detail added with a piping bag can make a big difference. I looked on YouTube for a video on “how to pipe clouds on a cake” watched it and then gave it a whirl.
Paw Patrol Birthday Cake

In summary, here are the steps to remember:

  1. Find an idea / get some pinspiration
  2. Buy cake mix and icing
  3. Buy props and accessories to decorate the cake
  4. Don’t be scared, you’ve got this!

I can’t wait to see your next cake creations!

My shoes for that: Cake Decorator Kicks
cake decorator sneakers

*** BONUS ***
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

140g white chocolate squares
1/2 cup butter
4 cups icing sugar
1Tbsp lime juice (I don’t add this unless the cake goes with lime)
4 Tbsp sour cream

Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar slowly, mixing until well combined. Add the lime juice (optional) and the sour cream and mix until smooth. Set aside. Carefully melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool until just warm. Gently fold in chocolate.

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  • Reply
    Gina aka East Coast Mommy
    January 23, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I love making simple cakes too. Mine are never perfect, but my kids love them!

    • Reply
      Jenna MacDonald
      January 23, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      Having people, and especially your kids, love the cakes is the number 1 goal for sure!

  • Reply
    Cindy Doucet
    January 28, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Your own cakes are less cost and yummy ? Also that way you know exactly what ingredients are in the cake

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