Quick Cakes

Impress your guests with our creative candy decorations -- all completely doable in less than 30 minutes!

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Johnny Miller


Press gummy letters ($19 for a 5-lb. bag; amazon.com) into the frosting in colorful rows or spell out your child's name. Top your cake with giant 15" tapers for a dramatic birthday wish. Birthday Cake Tapers, $28 for 12; oliveandcocoa.com

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Johnny Miller

Super Stars

Unwrap and microwave five same-colored fruit-chew candies, like Starburst, for 5 seconds. Knead candies together with your hands, then use a rolling pin to flatten into a thin sheet. Cut out shapes of your choosing with cookie cutters and press candy into icing. Repeat with other colors.

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Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake

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Johnny Miller

Over the Rainbow

Starting in the center of the cake, overlap Necco Wafers to create a spiral pattern. Fill in the spaces between the spirals with confetti sprinkles.

Cakes A-B-Sweet, Super Stars, and Over the Rainbow are from Liza Jernow. Originally published in Parents Magazine in May 2014.

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Jennifer Causey

Mini Smash Cake

A mini layer cake for a first birthday is coated in frosting, edged in colorful sprinkles, and topped with the cutest little "cupcake." To make the topper, pipe a swirl of frosting onto a small peanut-butter cup and decorate with sprinkles and a nonpareil "cherry."

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Jennifer Causey

Birthday Buzz Cake

Create flowers on a sheet cake in seconds. Use a green food marker to transform the sticks of lollipops and adorn with gummy spearmint leaves. A yellow jelly-bean bee (flanked by two halves of a black jelly bean) gets its stripes from a black food marker and leaves a trail of chocolate sprinkles

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Quick Cake Decorating Techniques: How-To Video

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Jennifer Causey

Rainbow Cake

Simply press jelly beans into a frosted layer cake for this showstopping effect.

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Jennifer Causey

Confetti Cake

Carefully cut Airheads into strips and twist them around your finger to form streamers. Arrange them on top of a tall layer cake. Create spirals from colorful licorice whips and press them into the sides of the cake. Finish it off with a smattering of star-shaped sprinkles.

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Jennifer Causey

Woven Cake

Cover all surfaces with strips of rainbow sour belts pressed directly into the frosting. Use an over-under weave pattern to create the top layer.

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Jennifer Causey

Paw-Print Cake

Adorable animal tracks criss-cross this simple two-tier creation. Use colorful Necco Wafers and coordinating Smarties candies to make each print.

Cakes Mini Smash Cake, Birthday Buzz Cake, Rainbow Cake, Confetti Cake, Woven Cake, and Paw-Print Cake are from Amanda Kingloff, Taryn Mohrman, and Erica Clark. Originally published in Parents Magazine in May 2012.

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Super Cute Cupcakes

Looking for a sweet centerpiece for your child's birthday bash? Check... more
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