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

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing those tips! Perhaps one will work for my daughter! My daughter wants a pink cake for her birthday. Can’t wait to try out this frosting recipe!! Do you have any suggestions for a soon to be 5 year old who loves anything girly? She wants a pink cake! LOL I just don’t know how to decorate!

  2. the urban baker says

    i adore you. i love everything you do! my sons bar mitzvah is sept 10 – i want cookies, lots and lots of cookies. start now! xx

  3. says

    I don’t care if I had the best icing bag, most fantastic #5 tip or world famous nine inch offset spatula, there’s nothing I have or could do that would have my cakes turn out as pretty as yours. Great tips and beautiful cakes Amanda. Love the shade of pink you used and envious of those who get to eat those three cakes πŸ˜‰

  4. says

    Love your “squiggly lines” cake. I have tried before and haven’t liked my technique. Maybe I’ll try it again. BTW, I recently used lemon flavoring in my buttercream, and I absolutely adored it! Generally I prefer almond buttercream (coconut is good too though), but lemon is easily as good as almond.

  5. Londa says

    I looooove polka dots! In fact, I thought my mom had made our 3-tier wedding cake covered in dots–until our 10th anniversary when I looked at the pictures and realized it was 4-tier with squiggles! Guess my mind was elsewhere–and guess I can’t keep wishing for polka dots after that fantastic tutorial! I’ll go forth and bake and polka …well, dots anyway. Happy Valentines Day! (and birthday first!)

  6. says

    Polka dots are my favorite cake decorating fall back! I like to dip my finger in cornstarch and pat down all the dots, so they look really smooth. I’ve never tried dragging the spatula through the icing like that. I’ll have to give it a try soon!

  7. Darla says

    These are the sweetest!! They’re all equally adorable! I love monochrome cakes with simple designs…sometimes I think they make so much more impact! Especially all three of these together! Love them! Thanks for the ideas!

  8. says

    That’s the recipe I use for my buttercream! Isn’t it awesome? I have to make a whimsical pink birthday cake for someone soon, and you have given me some great ideas. I just have to decide if I want to do the swirlies or the dots.

  9. Lisa Edwards says

    I’m gonna try it! How do you crumb coat a cake? Stick it in the freezer first?
    That’s a variation of the frosting I always use and get nothing but rave reviews on. I’ve found that 8 cups of powdered sugar is WAYYYYYYYYY to much and makes it much much MUCH too sweet (and I like sweet stuff). I tone it down to 6 cups, and it’s perfect. I also do 1 cup shortening, and 1 cup of butter instead. Those tweaks make a great recipe even better :)