Kids love to decorate cakes! Plus, cakes make great blank canvases for creativity. Here are lots of tips and ideas for kids’ cake decorating at different ages, toddlers through tweens.
Updated December 2022
We like our celebrations around here. And for us a celebration is usually a good excuse to bake a pie or decorate a cake. And then balloons, flowers, and a dance party usually get thrown in, too!
Birthdays are obvious celebrations. But half birthdays can get celebrated, too (a half cake is extra fun), as well as the first or last day of school, a big milestone (lost tooth or big kid bed!), or even just having visitors.
Other times we bake and decorate a cake just because, and then it turns a non-occasion into a celebration.
Because we just LOVE cake!
But baking cakes can be intimidating, especially with children. So here are our ideas, tips, and tricks for successful baking with children of all ages.
Kids’ Cake Decorating Ideas
MATERIALS (A few basic products you might want to consider as you begin your cake decorating fun)
- Writer icing
- Decorating tips
- Food coloring (or you can try these natural options: McCormick Color from Nature or Watkins Food Coloring)
- Wilton Beginner Basic Gel Icing Colors Set
- Disposable Decorating Bags
- Real kitchen tools for kids
We’ve baked all kinds of cakes, starting when our kids were young, and have decorated them lots of different ways.
Here are 6 cake decorating ideas that are easy and fun for children:
- Draw pictures on a frosted cake with writer icing (as with this outer space cake)
- Decorate a frosted cake with small items such as sprinkles, tiny candies, dried fruits, fresh berries, nuts, or edible flowers
- Add paper artwork to a cake with skewers (like this paper bird perched on top of a spring nest cake)
- Make a mini bunting and hang it over the cake between two bamboo skewers
- And, of course, kids can use a piping bag and decorating tips to make icing stars, flowers, and other piped designs on their cakes. Just remember this takes some practice, and no one (child or adult) should expect perfection their first few times!
- If you have multiple kids as for a party or large family, you can decorate cupcakes, mini cakes (baked in child-sized baking tins), or a single cake layer.
Kids Cake Decorating Tips by Age
Little Kids (Ages 2 to 5)
Little kids LOVE to help in the kitchen! They can help you bake a cake, they can help spread icing on the cake, and they can decorate the cake.
- Think of process over product, as we do with kids’ art. Let the kids enjoy the process of decorating the cake and don’t worry if the finished product does not look like it belongs in a magazine.
- Offer small amounts of the decorating supplies, whether it is a small bowl of candies, sprinkles, or berries. ALL of what you offer is likely to be used.
- You can also have the already cake frosted and let the kids use it like a blank canvas.
- Consider outfitting the kiddo with a cooking apron and real child-sized kitchen tools.
Bigger Kids (Ages 6 to 8)
Big kids can own the process of decorating their cake, including applying the icing, choosing the decorations, and executing their vision. Again think of process over product, as mentioned above. They may welcome help and advice, or they may want to try it all themselves.
- Let them decide on their own vision for the cake. You can help by providing the materials, tools, and (sometimes) advice.
- Kids of this age can make the frosting with your help, and tint it with food coloring if appropriate.
- Big kids can frost the cake themselves but may appreciate learning a few techniques or your help ensuring that it’s evenly covered.
- If they want to make flowers, stars, and other designs, they can begin to use decorating tips.
Preteens and Up
Tweens and teens can own the entire process, especially if they have some experience in the kitchen. They can test and tweak recipes, take photos, and plan ahead to next time they want to bake and decorate a cake. And they can watch cake decorating tutorials for specific techniques or ideas.
One thing we can promise you is that the kids will LOVE baking and decorating their own cakes! Probably as much as eating them.
More Baking Ideas for Kids
- The Best Cherry Pie Recipe Ever
- 5 Christmas Baking Ideas for Kids this Holiday Season
- Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- How to Make Teddy Bear Bread
- Spring Cake Decorating Ideas: Birds Nest Cake with Ice Cream Eggs
- A Rainbow Bundt Cake to Celebrate
Want even more creative ideas?
Check out our Cooking Creativity pack!
Have a budding chef in the family? This 35-page eBook is ready for immediate download and includes a Family Meal Planner, Tips & Tricks, Easy Recipes, and more!
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