There is nothing as simple to bake as a sheet cake. Whether you use a boxed mix or make your own, it comes together with just a few ingredients and a bit of mixing. And, best of all, sheet cakes are incredibly versatile, meaning that even beginner bakers can create awe-inspiring cake decor.
Here are nine hacks that will make everyone think you hired a professional to decorate the cake.
1. Unicorn Sheet Cake
The creative geniuses over at So Yummy have transformed a simple sheet cake into the most magical unicorn cake. As they demonstrate, it’s really quite simple. You just have to carefully the cut a sheet cake into squares: one for the head, one for the body and two small squares for the legs. Then use frosting to decorate a colorful mane and tail … and don’t forget the sparkly horn!
2. Thomas The Train Cake
Does your kiddo love Thomas the Train? Who doesn’t? So why not decorate their birthday cake like the Island of Sodor? This simple recipe from The Law of Cupcakes requires just two round cake pans. As you can see, half of the top layer is cut off in order to create the illusion of a train tunnel that’s actually made with chocolate fondant. How clever! And you can use one of your child’s many toy trains as a cake topper!
3. Jack O’ Lantern Cake
So, this recipe actually uses bundt cake pans (rather than sheet pans or round cake pans), but since it’s almost Halloween, this genius cake just had to make the list. With nothing other than two bundt cake pans, you can create this party-worthy pumpkin cake that will make all your guests say “Boo!” Find the spooky instructions on Mom Loves Baking.
4. Robot Birthday Cake
This ingenious robot birthday cake can be as intricate as you desire. If you want to follow the instructions from Meagan Makes Cupcakes to create the just basic block shape, you can, but you can also take it to the next level like Meagan does and make your robot downright Instagram-worthy.
5. 3-D Cat Cake
Here’s a cake design that is perfect for all the crazy cat ladies out there (self included!). For this design, you need two 6-inch round cake pans and a 6-inch oven-proof glass bowl. The video recipe from Laura Loukaides is easy to follow, and you can make your kitty any color and flavor you desire.
6. Halloween Graveyard Cake
Looking for a spooky and sweet cake to serve at your Halloween party? This super-easy decorating hack from Got Cake? is perfect. As you can see, a chocolate cake becomes the perfect base for a “graveyard.” You simply frost around a grave-shaped space, and then decorate it with inexpensive Halloween trinkets from the dollar store. Crumbled up cake or Oreo cookies on top make it look like “dirt” has been scattered across your graveyard. Love it!
7. Darth Vader Cake
If you don’t have a ton of time on your hands, but you want to create a fun cake for your birthday boy/girl, try this easy hack from Mom.Me. A Darth Vader design is dusted with powdered sugar on top of a round chocolate cake. All you have to do is cut out a Darth Vader stencil from a piece of paper (find an image you like online, print it out, and then cut out the design and lay it on top of the cake), and then sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cake. Voila! You have a perfect design in minutes. A cool dessert—whether your Star Wars fan is turning 6 or 60.
8. Super Bowl Cake
Football season is well underway, so if you have some pigskin fans in your family, then this football-inspired cake is perfect for any celebration. Cindy Cakes shows you how to make your own with this easy video recipe.
9. Tri-Color Buttercream Cake
If you want a design that is classic and chic enough to take center stage at a “grown-up” birthday party or even a wedding, then this absolutely stunning design is for you. Cake Style gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create this work of art in your own kitchen.