Novelty Cake Designs

Novelty cakes are fun for birthdays.

Using a novelty cake design is not only a great way to offer your guests a yummy dessert, but also a good way to create a focal point for the food area of a party. Smaller novelty cakes can double as a table's centerpiece, while larger ones offer guests an icebreaker topic as well as decorate an area of the room.

Novelty Cakes Offer Whimsical Appeal

With the proliferation of television shows like Ace of Cakes on Food Network and Amazing Wedding Cakes on WE tv, novelty cakes have become one of the hottest trends for parties, birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Even amateurs can create their own crazy cakes, by checking out cake decorating instructions found in the many books or cake decorating websites and classes offered to the public. No longer is a culinary degree necessary in order to create truly grand designs.

Decorating a novelty cake takes practice and patience, especially if you are new to cake decorating. Begin by decorating with buttercream frosting and work your way to fondant cake decorating. Depending on your time and talent, you may be able to create an intermediate skill-level cake without extensive skills or prior experience if you have a lot of time, patience and extremely clear instructions. For help, try using Wilton cake decorating tips found online.

Novelty Cake Design Ideas


Coming up with an unusual cake design might end up being the most challenging part of your cake decorating experience. Sketch out a plan on paper and then modify it to fit your skills and time. Get inspired by looking through galleries of cake designs or use free cake designs you have found online or in books.

Party Theme

The best source of inspiration for a novelty cake is to use the party theme itself. Consider making the following designs based on these party themes:

  • Tropical/Hawaiian Theme: Palm tree cake, ocean waves and shark cake, surfboard shaped cake, tiered cake with leis around each tier
  • Casino Night Theme: Decorate a simple sheet cake with poker chips and decks of cards, cut cake into squares for dice, sculpt a casino from the Las Vegas Strip
  • Animal Theme: For a barnyard animals, sculpt a cake to look like a barn and then place small animal toys on the table around the cake; use a shaped pan to make a lion, bear, giraffe face; use a transfer depicting a jungle scene with animals
  • Seasonal Theme: Cut the cake so it is shaped like a snowflake, leaf or umbrella; make a cake like a planter with icing roses, carnations, lilies and other flowers coming from the top; make a tiered cake that depicts something from all four seasons on each side

Career or Hobby

Alphabet block cake

A great idea for making someone's cake novel is to base the design on his/her hobby. Look for simple, free clipart online that reflects their career, such as a police hat or doctor's stethoscope. Make a piping gel transfer onto a cake and fill in with buttercream stars.

Alternatively, you could make a sculpted cake that reflects the person's career or hobby. For example, someone who makes model cars might enjoy a 3D cake in the shape of a car. A child who enjoys playing with alphabet blocks will be delighted to see large square cakes decorated to look like their favorite toy. Covering square cakes in fondant and using alphabet cookie cutters for the letters makes this an easy cake to create.

Television, Books or Movies

If you are hosting a viewing party for a particular television show or movie rental night, consider making a cake that reflects the main characters or theme. For example, expert decorators might be able to sculpt a replica of a statue given at an awards show. Airbrush artists might enjoy painting the face of a favorite character onto the cake.Books are another great source of inspiration for novelty cakes. Create the look of a pop-up cake by using a pan shaped like an open book. Cover in fondant and then make gum paste characters to stand on top. An easy alternative for beginner decorators is to bake a rectangular cake and then decorate it to look like the cover of the book. If you cannot easily recreate the artistry, simply write the name of the book on the "spine" of the cake and then use purchased supplies like edible images to finish the top of the cake.

Skip the traditional two-layer round cake or 9x13 pan-sized cake for your next event and serve up a delicious novelty cake design with a whimsical flair.

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Novelty Cake Designs