Cake Decorating Ideas {Valentines Day Edition}

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With Valentines Day quickly approaching, I wanted to share with you three super easy, super fun, and totally do-able techniques.

Seriously, even my hubby can do these. 

And you can too!  These are very basic, very simple designs that have a wow factor.  It looks like you have spent lots and lots of time but in reality it takes less then 15 minutes!


Want to learn how?

All you need is a few tools.  These are readily available at your local craft store.


I used a disposable pastry bag with a #5 tip and a nine inch offset spatula.  You can certainly improvise and use a plastic baggy and knife if you want too!


We will start with our cake.  This is a white cake with the BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING EVER tinted a fun sweetheart lovey dovey shade of pink.  (will post recipe at end)

I did a crumb coat (or dirty iced it) then did another coat of frosting and smoothed it out.  You dont have to worry about perfection here… if there are wholes or bumps, we can cover them with our design!


When making a dot cake you can make very precise uniform dots that have a very specific pattern.  Or, if you are anything like me, you want to hurry up and decorate this thing so you can catch the end of your favorite TV show.

Hence, random dots.  Just place them any-old-where.


I got a little crazy with my dots.  If you want perfectly uniform dots you can do that too… just takes a few second more of your time and concentration.


I also added some smaller dots to fill in the space.  Then a little border around the bottom. 

You could re-create this cake in many ways if you wanted to personalize your Valentines Day treat.  How about white with red dots?  Or chocolate with white and red dots? 

I might have to make one like that next year!


Next up is the very technical and absolute term of "squiggly lines".

For this we will also be using the disposable pastry bag and #5 tip.  I have sorta used this design before… here and here… and used smaller tips.  (The first with with contrasting colors and a more specific design, the second is monochromatic and also a scroll type design.)  Here I did a whole cake in the squigglys and have been hooked ever since.


Start out with any random ole pattern.  Then just build around it!  I made one solid shape here, then sorta just squiggled my frosting all around it.


Can you see the original shape?  Fun huh?  Now just keep going around the whole cake! 


And now for our last design! 


Start out with a cake that has been crumb coated.  You can see that this is a rough stage and shows lots of crumbs and cake through the frosting.  Thats ok!


Create a generous layer of frosting around the cake. 


Once you get a nice thick layer on, gently smooth the frosting so you have a flat surface.  You will be removing excess frosting, but not too much! 


Place your spatula flat against the cake, then gently move up, applying even pressure.

For the next row, place the spatula on the line you have created making sure to overlap. 


Do this all the way around the cake.


Until you have this.  Pretty cool huh?


And remember that super amazing buttercream frosting recipe?  Be warmed… this is the sweet stuff.  Like, ridiculously sweet.  I just happen to be a fan of that.

(adapted from


2 cups shortening
8 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract
6 fluid ounces heavy cream
In a large bowl, cream shortening with mixer until fluffy.  Add confectioners sugar (2 cups at a time) until well blended.  If the frosting gets to thick at any time you can add some of your heavy cream.
Add salt, vanilla, and heavy cream and blend until combined, then blend on high until frosting is light and fluffy.  If you need to add additional cream you can. (up to 2 tablespoons)
You should end up with this amazingly luscious delectable stuff.  Well.  If you added pink food coloring that is.
Also, this was enough frosting to cover all my cakes, so I would recommend halving it.
Now go forth and bake!  And then, go forth and decorate!
P.S.  I posted a couple additional photos over at my flickr page.  I was getting a bit to frilly for my little baking blog! πŸ˜‰




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  1. says

    I made this buttercream icing for the second time, and it was leaps and bounds better than my first attempt. The first time, I made the entire batch in my stand mixer. It was just too much. It made a huge mess, and the consistency never got right. I don’t think there was enough room for everything to mix. The second time, I divided up the batch and made it twice. This worked perfectly, and the consistency was ideal!

  2. Marjolein says

    Could i substitute the shortening with butter? I live in holland and shortening is not an item that i can easily find.

  3. ts says

    What an excellent cake and it looking so nice and also it pink color looking very cool. It making very easy. It such a lovely cake.

  4. Christine says

    Your cakes are beautiful. I’m wondering if you have a reason that your prefer shortening in your buttercream icing instead of butter or half and half. Thank you for your time.

  5. Kelli Harvey says

    Does this buttercream recipe need to be refrigerated since it calls for heavy cream? I have always used the Wilton recipe, but don’t really like it. I do like that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Love your designs!!!

  6. says

    Here I am about to make this recipe for my Mother’s cake. The party is tonight, and I can’t seem to find “heavy cream” ANYWHERE!!!??? What percentage of cream do you use? My stores don’t seem to have anything higher than 35%… It’s probably no use asking you this late in the game, but I’m desperate so I thought I’d try.

  7. says

    Thank you for all your wonderful tutorials! Your cakes not only look fantastic but your recipes are delicious! Always excited to see what you come up with next :)

  8. Jessica says

    Cake Decorating Questions:
    Looking for help. I have been decorating cakes for over a year now and I love it. I have been ask to make a football field with a 3-D VTech Hookie Bird on top. I am up for the challenge but don’t know how to do the bird. Any ideas?

  9. Giota says

    Hi Amanda, beatiful cakes indeed! I would like to ask what should I use in place of shortening, because in greece, there is not such thing, and it’s very difficult to have the same result! There is only pure butter! thanks! You can send me a message at fbpage, as Giota Noutsi!kisses!

  10. bola says

    Came across your blog yesterday and it so happened that I needed a cake decorated for a friend today and so decided to try the squiggle. She wanted it purple but sadly I can’t upload the picture for you to see ;(

  11. Sarah says

    Does this buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated/ could it be used for a tiered cake that wouldn’t be refrigerated?