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Cake Ideas for All Occasions

Updated on February 1, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Whether you are a seasoned caker or just starting out, coming up with creative cake ideas can be a challenge. Sometimes you just need to take a look at what other people are doing and get a fresh vision.

There are so many things available now to help you to make your cake bigger, better, and more imaginative that it can be overwhelming. How do you use the glittery metallic sanding sugars? What are some things you can do with fondant? What is a good color for a wedding cake besides white? What buttercream should you use? What is the best recipe for birthday cake? By looking at what others are doing you can be inspired to create your own sweet masterpieces.

Don't be afraid to try something new. If you have a certain design in mind then go ahead and give it a try. Be fearless, it is, after all, only cake.

Child's Birthday

A child's birthday is magical. They look forward to their special day for months in advance and you don't want to let them down. There are children's cake ideas everywhere you look. Having a theme birthday is an easy way to decide on the type of cake. Consider your child's hobbies, interests, or even favorite characters.

For example if your little girl has her heart set on being a birthday princess then there are many "fit for a princess" cakes to choose from. From cowboys to robots, and ballerinas to ponies there is a cake that is perfect for your child.

If a tea party is what she wants then you need to look at these teapot cakes.

Take a look at this princess cake, complete with feathers and tiara. Cana nything be too pink?

A very simple, but beautiful cake for a child's first birthday..This cake is easy to make with the number "one" Wilton pan.

For a cowboy theme this western boot cake is fantastic.

A variation on a theme. The same number "one" cake pan as above with a totally different look.

Triple layer chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse via
Triple layer chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse via | Source

Cake Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A cake for a kindergarten graduation. Image: (c)MaryeAudetValentines Day is a great time to make a cake Image:(c) Marye AudetGrooms cake with poured chocolate details and monogram. Image:(c)maryeaudetImage:Morgue file(c)Marye Audet 2008Image: Morguefileprincess cake with sculpted shoe
A cake for a kindergarten graduation. Image: (c)MaryeAudet
A cake for a kindergarten graduation. Image: (c)MaryeAudet | Source
Valentines Day is a great time to make a cake Image:(c) Marye Audet
Valentines Day is a great time to make a cake Image:(c) Marye Audet | Source
Grooms cake with poured chocolate details and monogram. Image:(c)maryeaudet
Grooms cake with poured chocolate details and monogram. Image:(c)maryeaudet | Source
Image:Morgue file
Image:Morgue file
(c)Marye Audet 2008
(c)Marye Audet 2008 | Source
Image: Morguefile
Image: Morguefile
princess cake with sculpted shoe
princess cake with sculpted shoe | Source

Birthday Cake Ideas

Children aren't the only ones that like cakes! Adults like an unusual or creative cake, too.Here are some great ideas for general birthday cakes.

A stack of gifts is represented in this beautiful stacked square off-set cake. Fondant is not too hardbut you will want to practie with it before you do the real cake.

There are several ideas on this page from Gladstone Bakery, however I like the suitcase the best.

Just like your closet..the pile of shoes on this cake is fantastic..How to choose?

Here is an over the hill cake that is not black and gloomy. Perfect for a nature lover.

Another unusual over the hill cake..this time a roller coaster!

Kookerburra Cakes has so many that are wonderful that it is hard to choose just one to showcase.

OVer the hill or over the speed limit?

There are several over the hill cakes here, including a 3D beer mug with pretzels!

Perfect for the fishing enthusiast, this "hooked cake" is very...fishy.

Who doesn't like pizza?

There are a number of cakes on this page. Scroll down about halfway and there is a purse cake that is will make you look twice.

Flower Bouquet Cupcakes:Easy & Gorgeous!

Baby Shower Cake Ideas

A baby shower cake is a special way to welcome a new baby. There are so many themes possibilites that it is hard to choose.

Hot Breads has several baby shower cakes...take special note of the lamb baby shower cake. You can see larger images by running the mouse over the images..

Cutest Baby Shower Ideas has a number of cakes and cupcakes to get those creative juices flowing.

A gallery of baby shower cake pictures from LoveToKnow.

These cupcakes are easy to do and so cute! You would expect nothing less from WIlton.

This Onesie cake can be have the colors and details changed to personalize it more. It is cut from a 13 x 9 inch sheet.

Graduation & Retirement Cake Ideas

Graduation cakes do not have to be boring. Consider the graduates hobbies and interests when choosing the cake design.

These edible grad hats are not cake but they would look great on a tray at a graduation party.

Another simple graduation cake that looks fantastic.

A package of happy retirement wishes here in this postal themed cake.

Military Retirement cake ...this is very elegant and creative.

This star graduation cake comes with instructions. It is easy because the figurine is purchased.

Keep in mind that there are a number of shaped cake pans that would be great for an easy graduation cake.


  • Star
  • Pennant
  • #1
  • Book

You can also make a plain sheet cake or layer cake and use purchased cake embellishments.

Wedding Cake Ideas

Wedding cakes are generally where bakeries and cakers either shine or they flop. Wedding cakes are not that difficult to make. Here is a wedding cake tutorial in six parts that I put together last spring:How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake.

This jade green cake is almost oriental in design. Very simple, and yet very striking.

A very elegant silver wedding cake with bows from Maisie Fantasie. Any of their cakes are worth looking at.

A beautiful cake that is hard to describe. Edible bronze lustre makes this cake look sculpted. Very baroque in style.

Using a wedding cake stand rather than stacking the cakes simplifies things a lot. These romantic, pink heart shaped cakes are covered in fondant but you could do butter cream.

The Cake Box has several unique designs. Take a look at the pine cone topped cake.

If you are looking for a simple but elegant cake, and you love chocolate, this chocolate wedding cake is beautiful.

Love, Honor, Cherish...these words are embossed on a white cake with white icing. Subtle and beautiful.

Websites with Many Cake Ideas

This section should probably come with a warning. There are literally thousands of cakes in these sites...

Coolest Birthday Cakes has..what else? ....the coolest birthday cakes. Hundreds of pictures are categorized for easy browsing.

Cake Central has everything....and more.


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    • gsandra12 profile image

      gsandra12 6 years ago

      I love all your cake Ideas! It really help when you're planning a party!

    • mojefballa profile image

      Ikeji Chinweuba 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Nice and very useful ideas on cakes especially for people that loves cake like me.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Interesting hub! Let me just tell you what I know about those glittery metal-looking cakes. They are just like any fondant cakes out there except that the outer surface is brushed with some edible pearl dust to make it shiny.

    • profile image

      Sandra  7 years ago

      Such a great hub! Thanks for sharing your ideas.


    • abczyxone profile image

      abczyxone 7 years ago from Township

      All my life i made cakes but never ever find anything like this :) you should start writing for some TV shows :)

    • Ambition398 profile image

      Ambition398 8 years ago

      Wow I didn't know there so different cake ideas. I was just looking for something different. I found it. Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      MrSmiley 8 years ago

      Great ideas. I must try the edible grad hats one day!

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 8 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      Great ideas, great info... I am always making cakes for my husband's employees, always looking for good ideas!! Thanks for a fab hub!!!!

    • teen_chef profile image

      teen_chef 8 years ago from edmonds

      all of ese cakes look so good i can't wait to ry them but first i have o find reason to make one...... hmmmm maybe a just because its sunday cake!

    • profile image

      Sassygals 8 years ago

      With the baptism of our first grandbaby, Andy, I had to be the one to make the cake. I used to do it years ago but I haven't done it in 13 years. I rummaged throught my old pans and selected the Wilton tee-shirt pan. I shortened the sleeves a little and at a slant. Then I decorated the cake to match his Christening gown to a tea! Perfect and it was a big hit. Try it , it's sooo easy.

    • SCStrat profile image

      SCStrat 8 years ago from Seattle

      I LOVE CAKE!!

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 8 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

      I am traing a student for a competition in cake baking and decorating . I will use some of your ideas. nice work a lot of thought and work went into this

    • Jesus_saves_us_7 profile image

      Jesus_saves_us_7 8 years ago from Seeking Salvation

      Great pics. Great hub!

    • Geordae profile image

      Geordae 9 years ago

      Cake is the last thing I should be thinking about, but these are great! Have to come back here sometime and try it out for myself.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 9 years ago

      Yummy! I'm drooling all over my computer right now. :-)

    • LouiseKnittel profile image

      LouiseKnittel 9 years ago from Ohio

      Very nice Hub!