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How to Make Birthday Cakes Look More Impressive

The secret to a winning birthday cake is hiding in your toy bin


Published on: October 24, 2018

Dinosaur themed cake from iStock

We can’t all be Cake Boss, and yet every time one of my kids’ birthdays rolls around they sure expect me to be. Let’s just say birthday cake decorating is not my forte. Can you relate? Then these easy, affordable and adorable cake topper ideas are for you! And the good news? You probably already have them in the toy bin (just be sure to sterilize them first).

Ready for some fancy cake inspiration? Check out these super simple cake decorations from Barbie to Lego, Minecraft to Star Wars.

Dinosaur cake 

Can your kid name every dinosaur from the Cretaceous to the Jurassic period? Well, then we’ve got the perfect cake for you. This dinosaur cake looks complicated, but really all that’s required is making the base of the cake look like dirt (think crumbled peanut butter cups) and that I’m pretty sure we can all do. Then plop your kid's favorite T-rex or velociraptor on top.

Rocket ship cake

For your space-crazed kid, try this sparkly rocket ship cake. Just add cut-out stars and a sprinkling of "stardust" and a simple cake gets enough wow factor to blow your aspiring astronaut’s mind.

Doll cake 

If your kid loves to play with dolls, there are endless variations on this classic doll cake. Depending on your party theme, try topping your kid’s store-bought or homemade cake with a Barbie or their favorite Disney princess. Then, just add frosting.

Construction zone cake

Often the cakes I make my kids look like they’re still in construction. Luckily, with this cake that’s the idea! That "dirt" on top is cake crumbs that are scraped from the top of the cake and those sturdy looking walls are just KitKat bars. Simple but effective!

Pony cake 

If you’re new to this cake decorating thing, let me let you in on a little secret: Fondant is not your friend. And ponies? They’re kind of hard to work with. So, if your kid loves Rainbow Dash as much as mine, make life easy on yourself and sneak one out of their toy collection as a cake topper instead. Trust us — it’s better than being a cautionary cake fail tale. 

Star Wars cake

May the force be with you... but you won’t need it to make this super simple cake. Stick a candle in Darth Vader’s little figurine hand and call it good.

Lego cake

Sure, you could spend hours forming little candy Legos to make the top layer of your kids’ Lego-inspired cake or you could, you know, do any of the other a million things currently on your to-do list. Save yourself some time (and grief) by adding actual Legos to your cake. Trust us, the kids will not know the difference — just make sure they don't eat them.

Minecraft cake

Minecraft lovers rejoice! Now, you can buy mini-Minecraft figurines. They’re a perfect gift for your little Minecraft enthusiast. But before you gift them, add them as the easiest version of a Minecraft cake topper I’ve ever seen (and yeah, believe it or not, I’ve seen my share!).

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