Birthday Cake Shortcut

Are you intimidated by the prospect of making your child’s birthday cake? I know the feeling. About 14 years ago, I just got sick of my ideas not coming to fruition because I was lacking some basic cake decorating skills. I ended up taking a course to improve but that’s not for everybody. So, for those who are not terribly confident of their skills in this area, I have a shortcut for you.


What could be better than cake? Cake with toys, of course! If you plan to make a cake, cupcakes, cookie cake, or even ice cream cake using a popular theme, the easiest thing to do is to decorate using little plastic figures associated with said theme.  If you go to the Walmart bakery and look through their cake design books, you will get ideas but also will see what kinds of decorations they use. They will actually sell these to you as a kit for about $5. Another option is to order the figures from or Amazon. Sometimes, you can even find used ones on Ebay.


Guardians of the Galaxy was the theme last week. The chocolate frosting was intentionally swirled to sort of imitate the moon’s surface, which also meant that it didn’t need to be perfect. The figures came from Amazon and I found super skinny blue glitter candles at the grocery store. They fit the space theme really well. To make the cake have more of a presence, I displayed it on a covered Styrofoam cake dummy leftover from my cake business days. The theme came across loud and clear without having to spend a dime on food coloring and piping bags. This time-saver is perfect for busy seasons, such as the end of the school year.