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! 😉




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  1. TidyMom says

    Amanda you and Kristan are inspiring me to try a cake……I see one in my very near future!
    so what size pan(s) do I need for that smaller taller cake (like the first cake) and do you use one cake recipe for that? or is that size cake smaller? like 1/2 a recipe?……see lots of questions.
    you teach me cake…….I’ll teach you PIE!♥

  2. meaghan (the decorated cookie) says

    Oh, these are just wonderful. I posted a link on, of course, because you’re too brilliant not to share.

  3. SMITH BITES says

    big ole happy sigh . . . this just makes me all dreamy and happy . . . fairies all around kinda happy . . . and no, i am not on drugs . . .

  4. Georgia says

    Thanks for pointing us to your flickr page. I could spend all day looking at what you have created. My goodness, you have such adorable, photogenic children!

  5. says

    Wow… Those cakes look fantastic! Sometimes simple and easy is the best. I especially love the squiggly design (I know there is a name for it, but can’t for the life of me remember it at the moment)… Mine never turns out very well… But, I always just try to go top to bottom or something. Starting out with a random shape is a very good idea! Thanks :)

  6. Hannah says

    Actually, baggies DO NOT WORK! Do not use them in place of a decorating bag. I have had horrible experiences with that… but, great job on the cakes. My buttercream recipe is quite adaptable and very simple as below. (it triples nicely)
    1/3 cup butter
    1-2 T milk
    powdered sugar (you’re supposed to measure, but I NEVER do)
    1 tsp vanilla
    Combine all ingredients until smooth anf fluffy.