So you’ve made a vanilla tray cake from scratch…now what? We’ve got a whole post here of sheet cake decorating ideas! Let’s use up all that space in a cute, fun way—no matter what holiday is coming up.
Once upon a time, we used to make a lot of cakes. (We still make a lot of cakes, but we did back then, too.) A 13×9” sheet cake would give us nightmares because we didn’t know how to decorate it. We didn’t even know where to begin. If you think about it, it’s so much space!
Nowadays at Sweets and Treats HQ, however, we’re masters at cake decor. If you need to make a vanilla tray cake for a special situation, we’re here to inspire! Here are some sheet cake decorating ideas for you all, with a special focus on a Mother’s Day cake.
How To Make A Vanilla Tray Cake
We won’t spend too much time going over a recipe for sheet cakes in this post, since we’d much rather talk about cake decorating ideas! However, we do want to point out you’ll need to follow two recipes in particular…
What you’ll need:
- Our tried-and-true vanilla cake recipe: We’ve written before about this super-simple way to make a cake from scratch. Follow our foolproof instructions, use a 13×9 pan, and you’ll have a sheet cake in no time!
- Our buttercream frosting recipe: Did you know you can make frosting from scratch? And did you know it’s not even that difficult? Our blog has a post on making tasty, silky-smooth frosting right at that link!
You’ll, of course, also need all the tools and utensils to make the recipes above. (They’re listed in the blog posts!) Anything else, however, will depend on how you want to decorate your sheet cake!
How To Decorate A Sheet Cake
Here’s the fun part…how to decorate your sheet cake once it’s out of the oven and ready to go! We’ll go over ideas we have for certain occasions and holidays. Feel free to mix and match the techniques we describe in each section. Get inspired!
Mother’s Day Cake:
Our Mother’s Day cake is what’s featured in the blog post photo, and it’s the perfect way to show your appreciation to all the moms in your life. To get those beautiful swirling rosettes, we used buttercream colored pink, light purple, dark purple, and pastel yellow and followed our tray bake cake decorating tutorial. As for tools, Wilton 1M, 4B, 104, 21, and 199 tips fitted to piping bags did the trick! Be sure to use matching supplies and sprinkles to complete this feminine Mother’s Day look.
Girl’s Birthday Cake:
Need a cake for a little girl, or maybe someone who just loves all things pink? Use the tray cake decorating tutorial we outlined above, and use various shades of pink for your buttercream frosting. Add our Love Boat, Pinky Promise, or Pink Princess sprinkles for a super-cute, super-girly effect.
Boy’s Birthday Cake:
When you’ve got a boy’s birthday coming up (or simply know someone who’s super into dinosaurs), frost your sheet cake with orange buttercream, then decorate the sides with our Dino Stomp mix. Alternatively, use our whole dinosaur sprinkles set! It’s a colorful way to make someone’s special day even more special. Pipe dots of matching brown or green frosting along the edge of the cake using a cut Ziploc bag to add another layer of adorable.
If you use white, red, and blue buttercream and follow our tray bake cake decorating tutorial, the rosettes will look a lot like fireworks. Super festive! Top your cake with our red, white, and blue stars to mark each slice, as well as our Fire Cracker sprinkles mix, and your 4th of July party will go off with a bang.
For a spooky Halloween sheet cake, frost it with orange buttercream and line the bottom with your favorite whole chocolate candies. (We like to use Milk Duds or something similar!) Sprinkle your cake with Halloween Jimmies and mark each piece with our pumpkin toppers.
Think about the colors and themes used on any occasion and work them into your cake! You can find sprinkles and supplies for almost any situation out there, including grad parties, Cinco de Mayo, and even Earth Day. With gel coloring, too, dyeing buttercream for your cake is easy-peasy.
Did you enjoy these cake decorating ideas?
With just a little bit of creativity and patience, you can turn a simple cake into something extraordinary at any time of the year! Comment down below with your thoughts on our sheet cake decorating ideas. Do you have a reason coming up to make a cake? Do you enjoy the decorating process, or do you have trouble with it? We’d love to hear from you!
More cakes at Sweets & Treats!
You may think that there are times that don’t call for cakes…but you’d be wrong! (Just kidding!) Seriously, though, fun cakes make any occasion worthwhile, and we have a ton of recipes here on the blog: