25 Cake Decorating Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

25 Cake Decorating Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

When you need a cake for a special occasion, it might be easier to buy something from the store, but we’re here to convince you to take on the challenge of making a stunning cake yourself. It will be rewarding for you and the recipient of your masterpiece.

We’ve sourced cake decorating ideas from some of the world’s best bakers and chefs. Some are elegant; others are fun; all are fantastic. These recipes cover how to decorate a cake like a pro, from getting the perfect frosting to balancing beautiful flavors and creating surprise designs that will wow guests.

So grab your mixing bowls, piping bags and spatulas – it’s time to get creative with your cakes.

Susan Power Photography

Amanda Rettke, food blogger behind I am a baker and the author of “Surprise cakes inside“goes beyond classic desserts with her creative ideas for making amazing overdone cakes. Here are her step-by-step instructions on how to make her awesome Surprise Rainbow Heart Cake Inside.

Red Velvet Layer Cake

Courtesy milk bar

The bold color contrast of the rich layers of ruby ​​red velvet cake and fresh white cream cheese frosting is a breathtaking sight. It’s like walking your taste buds on the red carpet.

Lemon Blossom Cake

Courtney Rich

This cake captures all the vibrant colors and fresh flavors of a spring garden in every sweet bite. The festive flowers and lemon-scented cake and frosting make it bright, lemony, and delicious.

Tickled Pink Cookie Dough Stack Cake

DO, Cookie Dough Confectionery

This one is a showstopper – gorgeous and delicious! It has the best of both worlds – edible cookie dough and soft cookies, plus frosting.

pancake cake

Courtesy milk bar

This breakfast-inspired cake looks and tastes like a big stack of pancakes. Layers of moist buttermilk cake and sweet maple frosting pack all the flavors of the morning favorite into one impressive dessert.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This recipe doesn’t add any unexpected extras or fancy new flavors. It’s a traditional, simple red velvet cake that showcases the unbeatable flavors and textures of this iconic classic.

Top secret chocolate cake

Ed Anderson

“As a middle-aged woman of the world, it’s no secret to me that you can whip up boxed cake mix to create a heavenly dessert,” says Ree Drummond. “This trend took hold in the 90s and gave masses of people permission to forego the measure and messiness of a cake from scratch. But just in case your generation hid this eternal truth about cake mix all your life, here I am lifting the veil.

“It’s an incredibly simple way to bring the era of cake mixes into your life: a rich, highly chocolatey cake that’s so easy to make, it could become your favorite birthday cake request.”

Chocolate cake

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Coffee is the secret ingredient to making this chocolate cake super moist and flavorful. It’s easy to make and can be decorated with plump berries and edible flowers when you need an easy cake recipe for a special occasion.

Vanilla checkerboard cake with white chocolate mirror glaze


This cake’s vanilla base can be a go-to base for just about any cake, whether you’re keeping the color as is or having fun with the food coloring. It’s not too sweet and it’s perfectly moist with a nice tight crumb. It freezes well and is a great base recipe to build from. Experiment with different mixtures like chocolate chips, blueberries, orange zest or sprinkles.

The ultimate cake for cookie lovers

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This is the perfect cake for the cookie dough lover in your life! You can use any cookie dough for the cookie dough layers and any color sprinkled in the cookie layers to customize the taste and appearance.

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

Courtesy of Trisha Yearwood

These days most people use angel food cake or pound cake for this dessert, but country singer Trisha Yearwood loves the old-fashioned mix of the not-so-sweet cookie with the sweetness of strawberries and whipped cream. . It’s an ode to her grandmother, who always used cookies instead of pastry in her recipes.

Classic Carrot Cake

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

The cake and frosting for this adorable carrot cake are incredibly simple recipes that are easy enough to make for a special occasion. And let’s not forget that it is a pleasure to eat!

ramen bowl cake

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This fun cake turns a classic bowl of ramen noodles into a fun and sweet treat. Glazed noodles and adorable decorations are surprisingly easy to make, but they look so impressive.

Lemon cream cake

Zach Pagano / TODAY

A dense, lemony confection, this cake is reminiscent of spring and the end of winter. It’s easy to mix up and get fancy with icing swirls and swirling lemon twists.

Caramel cake

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Bullock-Prado shares how to make homemade caramel for this gorgeous cake. “That simple act of heating sugar so much that it turns from a shiny white to a slightly golden, coppery brown is my weakness,” she says.

Mini Conversation Heart Cakes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Talk about showing some love! These adorable Valentine’s Day themed cakes are so much fun to bake, decorate and personalize.

Rainbow Explosion Cake

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Despite its incredibly awesome design, send your child to the moon on their birthday, this rainbow layer cake is actually very easy and mostly requires repeating a simple recipe for a simple cake and frosting several times.

Easter bunnies cake

Susan Powers Photography

“This is one of my favorite cakes of all time. I want to hold it close and never let go, but I might look silly with big pink and white melted chocolate ears stuck on my shirt. So if you decide to make this cake, know it’s an extension of my heart,” Amanda Rettke says of this cute button (or rather bunny) cake.

Christina Tosi's Valentine's Day Layer Cake

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any occasion that calls for chocolate (is there an occasion that doesn’t?), this cake is topped with pickled strawberry jam and runny milk cheesecake. In other words, it is divine.

Funfetti Cake

With Poulos

This cake is so fun they put it in her name! Rainbow sprinkles give this cake an undeniably festive air. Young and old will love this delicious multicolored cake.

Martha Stewart's Chocolate Vanilla Zebra Cake

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

A wild streak runs through this dessert under a layer of rich chocolate icing. Cut a slice and reveal zebra stripes of vanilla and chocolate cake. It’s a surprisingly easy trick to perform – just alternate dollops of batter in the center of the pan and create concentric rings.

Stripe Cake Lemon Cassis

Peden + Munk (C) 2017 / Sweet: Ottolenghi’s desserts in London

This cake is so impressive and enchanting when you slice it. The combination of tart lemon and sweet dark berries paired with the rich buttercream frosting make for a refreshing yet decadent dessert.

rainbow cake

Zach Pagano / TODAY

Drip cakes are super cool and surprisingly easy to make. Adding drops to a cake can really make your work eye-catching, and it feels like a therapeutic art experience – kids and hobby decorators welcome!

Martha Stewart Lemon Mousse Cake

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Lemon and meringue form one of the best culinary duos of all time. Here, they’re whipped into a light-as-air cake. A Swiss meringue frosting is applied and then toasted for a golden hue, to highlight her sultry curves. A big pile of raspberries on top seems to keep the whole creation from floating.

Mile High Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake from Martha Stewart

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Really, madly, and deeply chocolatey: Puddles of rich salted caramel separate layers of chocolate cake, which are then covered in dark chocolate frosting and sprinkled with flaky salt. Prepare the wonderful cake layers and caramel up to three days before assembly (chilling actually improves the texture for stacking), so you can make it look effortless.