Homemade DIY Birthday Cake For Childs Birthday

Beginner Cake Decorating Ideas to Wow Your Kids on Their Birthday

Birthday parties are always a special occasion, especially for kids who eagerly look forward to their big day with excitement and anticipation.

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child's birthday is a memorable one, and when it comes to the cake, surprising them with a visually appealing and delicious cake that they love is the goal.

Visually appealing and delicious in the cake world often means lots of $$, but it doesn't have to...

If you're looking to add that extra special touch to your child's birthday, why not try your hand at a DIY cake? Not only will it save you money, but it's also a fun and creative way to show your child how much you care.

In this article, we'll share some easy and impressive cake decorating ideas that will make your life easier and are sure to wow your kids on their birthday. So, grab your apron, roll up your sleeves, and let's get started!

Benefits of making your own cake vs buying it

Having a cake made is convenient and somewhat stress-free, however, making your own cake has several benefits too.

Firstly, it's a great way to save money, and we can all agree we need a bit of that right now! Speciality cakes can be expensive, and making your own allows you to create unique and personalised designs at a fraction of the cost. 

Secondly, DIY cake decorating is a fun and creative activity that can create lasting memories for both you and your family. 

Finally, making your own cake allows you to have complete control over the ingredients and edibles. Baking and decorating from start to finish gives you the confidence that it is made from high-quality ingredients and is suitable for your family's needs.

Essential tools for DIY cake decorating

Before you start decorating your cake, you'll need to make sure you have the right tools and materials. You can either source these from speciality cake decorating stores yourself, or purchase a cake kit with everything you need without the hassle of having to source all the bits. Either way, having a few caking essentials on hand will make the process easy.

Here are some essential tools and materials that you'll need:

  • Cake pans *
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Spatula or spreading knife
  • Cake board *
  • Cake scraper *
  • Decorating tools for your design * (Piping bag, Piping tip, Rolling pin, Cutters)
  • Food colouring *
  • Edibles *
  • Cake decorating turntable 

*Those marked with an asterisk are tools that we provide in our DIY cake kits.

Simple cake decorating techniques for beginners

If you're new to cake decorating, it's best to start with some simple techniques first to get the hang of things. Don't forget, we all start somewhere! The more you practice the better you get, so take the time to learn and enjoy the creative journey.

Here are three easy techniques that you can try:

Smoothing buttercream icing

Smoothing icing

Smoothing icing takes practice but with the right tools is a much easier technique to master. We use a cake scraper (also called smoother) to smooth out the icing on our cakes and provide small plastic, easily manageable ones that are perfect for beginners. 

Before you do your final icing layer be sure to do a 'crumb coat' to traps those pesky crumbs! 

When smoothing your icing, try to hold your scraper at an angle that’s almost parallel to the cake. Apply a moderate amount of pressure and scrape off excess buttercream after each pass around the cake. The goal is to move the buttercream rather than remove it. Removing excess icing from your scraper between strokes will give you a cleaner finish. Fill any gaps with buttercream and continue to scrape until you have a smooth even finish. 

Piping dots

Piping details

Swirls are a simple yet effective way to decorate a cake. You can make different swirls using a variety of piping tips. It's as easy as starting from the centre point and piping around the centre. 

Dots (or blobs) are another easy way to decorate a cake. To create dots, all you need is a piping bag, a tip-less piping bag or a small round tip. You can create different-sized dots by the size of your piping tip or by varying the pressure that you apply to the piping bag.

Working with fondant

Knead fondant until it is soft and subtle, this will make it easier to work with. Use a bit of cornflour to dust your bench if you find it's sticking and to prevent colour transfer onto your hands, I would recommend wearing food-safe gloves.

A minute brush of water can help stick pieces of fondant together in small amounts but we would recommend investing in 'edible glue' if you intend to do more work with fondant.

Creative DIY cake decoration ideas that your kids will love

Now that you've mastered some simple cake decorating techniques, it's time to get creative. Here are some DIY cake decoration ideas that are sure to wow your kids on their birthday:

  • Edibles that are fun for kids to eat like gummy eyeballs, chocolate boulders, lego bricks and cookie dirt
  • Bright coloured buttercream that pops
  • Licensed characters that bring their favourite TV show, toy or book to life
  • Sprinkles, because kids love them!
  • A themed cake topper for that ultimate wow factor

Tips for making your cake decorations stand out

If you want your cake design to stand out, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a contrasting colour for your decorations to make them pop
  • Use different textures such as buttercream, fondant, and sprinkles to add depth to your decorations
  • Use different piping tips to create different shapes and designs
  • Use edible gold or silver leaf to add a touch of elegance to your cake

How to incorporate your child's interests in the cake design

Incorporating your child's interests into the cake design is a great way to personalise the cake and make it even more special.

These cakes don't need to be technically difficult, and any cake can be made into a theme. Here are some things to think about:

  • Use colours that contrast and suit the theme or look you're going for
  • Use edibles that highlight the theme (sprinkles are great for this)
  • Add printed edible images that you can stick onto the cake
  • Buy ready-made fondant toppers to add to your design
  • Add a themed topper to a simple cake design to take it to the next level

Vegan and allergy-friendly DIY cake decorating ideas

If your child has a food allergy or follows a vegan diet, there are still plenty of DIY cake decorating ideas that you can try:

  • Use vegan buttercream made with plant-based milk and vegan butter
  • Use dairy-free chocolate chips and soy milk to make a vegan ganache
  • Use gluten-free and vegan (eggless & dairy-free) cake mixes or recipes
  • Fondant is a great edible to decorate with as most brands are both gluten-free and vegan-friendly 
  • Use gel food colours that are both gluten-free and contain no animal products for colouring cake batter, icing and fondant.

Food for thought!

DIY cake decorating is a fun and creative way to make your child's birthday even more special. With a few essential tools and materials, you can create unique and personalised cake designs that are sure to wow your kids on their special day.

You don't need to be an advanced baker to make an amazing homemade cake that your child will love. With money to save and plenty of easy cake decorating ideas to try out, there's a heap of reasons why you should give DIY cake decorating a go.

So, what are you waiting for?

Roll up your sleeves, put on your apron, and let your creativity run wild! 


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