How to Dress Up a Cake Mix Cake

5:00:00 AM

Sometimes, you have the time, desire, and energy to bake from scratch.

And sometimes, you don't. That's when a cake mix is a girl's best friend.

Take my oldest's child's birthday party. I wanted to create a fun Tinkerbell cake. But she and her sisters were all sick the week before the party, and honestly, between taking care of all of them and still trying to get my work done, a homemade cake was not a priority.

But there are simple, inexpensive tricks to dress up a cake mix cake. Some take more effort than others, but all can be done without a cake decorating class!

A fun shaped cake pan

This can be a little bit of an investment, but with planning and a 40% or 50% off coupon at your local craft store, you can score a fun cake pan. If you keep it generic enough, you can also reuse it with a little bit of creativity. This flower cake pan was Lil Bit's first birthday cake, for a flower theme. We reused it for our Tinkerbell theme this year!.

Food coloring in the cake mix

Color adds some pizzazz to your cake, no matter what color you choose. Lil Bit's favorite colors include pink, so we poured half the cake batter into our prepared pan, then added a few drops to the remaining batter, mixed well, and then swirled the pink batter into the white batter. She loved the pink swirls!

Homemade Icing

I promise that if you have a stand mixer, you can make homemade icing almost as easily as buying it. Our favorite kind right now is marshmallow creme icing! When you make you own icing, you can mix up the color of your choice, too!


Your local grocery or craft store can provide you with sprinkles and other cake decorations. You can also raid the candy aisle for more pre-made decorations.

Cake Toppers

There are so many options here. This is where you can take a generic cake and make it special. Or in our case, take a simple flower cake and elevate it to a Tinkerbell cake. These came from the clearance aisle of Walmart and only cost $2. Because I wasn't sure if they were food safe, I wrapped all items touching the cake.

So this is the cake I made for her birthday...

No one is going to mistake this cake as decorated by a professional...and I am okay with that. Everyone loved the cake, and most importantly, the birthday girl was so thrilled with her Tinkerbell cake!!

I hope you enjoyed my types to make a cake from a box into something special!

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  1. That is ADORABLE! :) And it looks DELICIOUS! Stopping by from SITS.

  2. How cute is this! I'm glad she enjoyed it! Visiting from SITS!

  3. This is so cute, I know they loved it.

  4. Cute! Great job! I would love you to come join my Pin Me Linky Party that starts Friday morning at 8am CST.

  5. I can see why the birthday girl loved this! So sweet! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas :)

  6. That is so cute!! I found your blog on the blog hop and am your newest follower. Maybe you could pop on by and follow back?