The most basic cake-decorating tool set includes an offset cake spatula, a piping or pastry bag with decorating attachments, and a sharp serrated knife for cutting cakes. Many decorated cakes use fondant, but if you are not comfortable working with it, skip it and pipe your decorations with icing instead. Likewise, homemade buttercream frosting yields the best results, but a packaged version may be substituted if necessary.
Cover a round or square cake with blue frosting or fondant. If desired, keep the sides of the cake white to represent the sides of the bath. Use a dab of frosting to attach a rubber ducky in the center of the cake. Pipe the shapes of other small bath toys around the ducky.
Cover a cake with green frosting or fondant. Stick a variety of the child’s favorite plastic animals into the top of the cake (be sure to remove them before eating). Either use plastic fences, or stick pretzel sticks into the cake around the animals to represent fences.
Bake two cakes, one for your base, and another small square one. Slice the small cake with a serrated knife into cubes for your blocks. Using an offset spatula, cover the blocks with buttercream icing on all sides except the base, then cut squares of fondant to attach to each side for a smooth finish. Attach fondant letters and shapes to the blocks, or pipe them on with icing.
Cover your cake with icing or fondant and decorate as desired, then attach the blocks to your cake using dabs of buttercream. You could spell out the ABCs, or the child’s name, or even “Happy 1st Birthday!”
Pastel Colors with Ribbon
If you don’t want a themed cake, stick to soft pastel colors and simple shapes. Yellow, pink, light green and light blue all work well. Use white or a light pastel color as the primary color of the cake, and wrap the base of the cake in a ribbon (or cut a ribbon out of fondant). Decorate the cake with colored polka dots, stripes, spirals, or another fun pattern. Add another bow on top.
Photo of Parents and Baby
If you are not up to decorating a cake, ask your baker or supermarket baking section if they offer custom cakes. Many are able to bake a cake to your specifications. A great way to personalize the cake is to send in a photo of you and your child to be put on the cake.
Cake decorating is rewarding and gives instant gratification when the party guests see the cake for the first time. The most important thing, though, is celebrating your little one’s first big milestone.