Impressive but Easy Cakes

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

By Amanda Kingloff, Taryn Mohrman, and Erica Clark from Parents Magazine

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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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Parents magazine.