Quick Cakes

Paw print cake
Jennifer Causey
Impress your guests with our creative candy decorations -- all completely doable in less than 30 minutes!
Johnny Miller
Johnny Miller

A-B-Sweet

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

Johnny Miller
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.

Looking for a birthday cake idea? Your little one will be over the moon for this delicious star candy creation at his party.

Johnny Miller
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.

Jennifer Causey
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."

Jennifer Causey
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

Parents' food editor Erica Clark demonstrates three easy ways to decorate birthday cakes.

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

Rainbow Cake

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

Jennifer Causey
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.

Jennifer Causey
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.

Jennifer Causey
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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