Do This Five-Minute Hack to Turn Any Store-Bought Cake Into a Birthday Masterpiece
When you follow these simple instructions, store-bought will be just fine.
Megan Baldwin and Sarah Burns
Thanks for checking out our product recommendations! Just a heads-up, Camp may make some money if you shop from any of the external links on this page. Pricing and availability may have changed since this page was published.
Fact: store-bought cakes are delicious. Also fact: it’s a whole lot easier to buy a cake than to create one from scratch. So logically, purchasing a store-bought cake from your local grocery store makes perfect sense … until the caregiver guilt kicks in. To save you from overthinking your kid’s birthday cake this year, we’ve put together a fairly foolproof guide that will transform any old (but shelf-stable) store-bought cake into a masterpiece that your kid will never forget. When in doubt, just add more candy.
Step #1: Remove Any Gaudy Grocery Store Birthday Decorations
Julie Thurston / Getty Images
Grocery store decorations are a dead giveaway that your cake isn’t a from-scratch creation, so clean off the toppers. Remove any sprinkles, colored balloons, and sad “happy birthday” messages and get your cake down to bare cake.
Step #2: Add Your Own Frosting
Tetra Images / Getty Images
Now that your cake is essentially in its birthday suit, it’s time for the frosting. Luckily, frosting is pretty much the easiest one-step, four-ingredient thing you can make from scratch. Plus, kids love frosting, so it’s a win-win. If you want to go fancy, try a chocolate ganache (which is basically a gooey chocolate frosting) or go the tried-and-true route with this classic vanilla buttercream.
1 cup (2 sticks)
6 to 8 cups
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter, four cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, three to five minutes.
Gradually add remaining sugar, one cup at a time, beating for about two minutes after each addition, until the icing reaches the desired consistency; you may not need to add all the sugar.
Step #3: Cover It in All the Candy
Harpazo_hope / Getty Images
From super-chocolatey Kit-Kat and M&M-covered confections to a super-weird Skittles and Nerds topped cake, candy makes everything (especially store-bought cakes) so much better. Pick your kid’s favorite candy (or four) and go crazy, covering every square inch with sugary treats.
Try these recipes for a colossal cupcake, an extra-big pretzel, and an epic pizza slice — all super tasty, and surprisingly easy!
Making an extra-big pretzel to fuel extra-big adventures make seem tricky, but don't worry, it's KNOT as hard as it looks!
Yep, that's a pizza slice the size of a kid's head. Life's dream: ACHIEVED!
Ever looked at a cupcake and thought: "Hm. Looks yummy. But what if it was ENORMOUS?"