Simple Birthday Sheet Cake

While I consider myself a hobby baker, I do have a lot of cake and cookie decorating experience. It’s all self-taught and learning from failures, but I love baking. Making sweets and special treats for family and friends is what led me down the road of hobby baking. I did sell cakes once upon a time, but it quickly took the fun out of creating; however, I love teaching others to create these edible themselves.

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Which brings us to this blog post and why you’re probably here. I promise this cake is easy to make, and even if you don’t add any elaborate decorations, it will still taste amazing and make your special someone feel extra loved.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, which allows me to provide all of this content to you for free.


First, let’s talk about recipes. I have always used cake mixes. Why go the extra step of mixing the dry ingredients when they have already done it for you? My favorite baking recipe book uses cake mixes as the base and dresses them up with other ingredients. That is how I have always made all of my cakes. 

My favorite recipes add sour cream. Give it a try. It’s simple and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already. For this cake, I added colorful sprinkles to the batter for a fun surprise.

When I sold cakes, I focused on fondant decorations. People said everything tasted great, but looking back, the buttercream I used under the fondant wasn’t the best. It was homemade, but it wasn’t anything special.

The new buttercream recipe I found is amazing! It is an easy to follow recipe and comes out great every time. The consistency was perfect for decorating this cake, and it was super easy to spread with a spoon. 

I baked the cake and made the frosting the night before the party. The next morning, when the cake was thoroughly cooled, I pulled out the frosting from the fridge and let it come to room temperature, or that was the plan. Of course, I didn’t allow it to sit out long enough, so I heated it in the microwave for ten seconds and mixed it. Then, it was time for my favorite part-decorating. 

Sheet Cake Decorations

I wanted to create a cake that would be simple for anyone to make at home with minimal tools and experience. I challenged myself with this cake to decorate it with only a spoon. Everyone has a spoon at home, right? Hopefully, you do because it’s so easy to decorate your sheet cake with one.

To color the frosting, I used gel food coloring, but you can also use liquid if that’s what you have at home. Once I had my pink, green, and plain white frosting, it was time to start decorating. Here are a few simple steps to achieve a simple and beautiful sheet cake.

Step 1:

Completely frost your cake with the base color. For my base color, I chose white. I left my sheet cake in the glass pan it baked in, but you can also put your cake on a cake board. If you do flip it out of the dish, you will need to frost the sides during this step as well.

With the spoon, I plopped big scoops of frosting around the cake, and then I started spreading with the back of the spoon. Make sure you don’t drag the spoon into the cake, or you will begin seeing crumbs in your frosting, which is why it’s crucial to have a lot of icing on the cake to spread.

Once the cake is frosted, take your spoon and drag it up and down in rows. This technique gives the cake a clean look for the base. When you’re satisfied with the look, place your cake in the refrigerator so the icing will set before you add the decorations.

Step 2:

After your cake has set in the fridge for about ten minutes, take it out and draw your simple design with a toothpick into the frosting. Since I was doing a cactus, I outlined one for my guide to use with the green icing.

As with step one, use your spoon to add scoops of frosting in your design. For this step, I used one of my daughter’s small spoons. I spread the frosting around filling in the design like I was coloring with frosting, and I tried my best to stay in the lines. After I filled in the cactus, I took the back of the spoon and created lines down the middle and the two sides like a cactus drawing.

I wanted to add a small pink flower to the top of the cactus for some color and feminity, so I did tiny drops of frosting and pulled them into the center of the flower with the back of another small spoon. My cactus was complete.

Step 3:

It’s sprinkle time. If you don’t feel comfortable trying a design shape, add sprinkles. They are so much fun, and they scream party to me. I added white sprinkles on the cactus for the thorns. Large white sprinkles are in the center of the flower, and a colorful blend of sprinkles is around the edge.

Add some candles, celebrate, and eat cake. A cake that you made! I hope this tutorial is helpful, and if you are more of a visual learner, I do have a process video for you. Now, pre-heat your oven and start baking. You can do it.

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