How to Decorate a Styrofoam Cake

Are you wondering how to decorate a styrofoam cake for your next special occasion? Styrofoam cakes serve as the perfect base for creating stunning and elaborate cake designs without the need to bake an actual cake. In this article, we will guide you through the process of decorating a styrofoam cake, from choosing the right size and shape to adding edible elements and preserving the finished product.

Styrofoam cakes are artificial, lightweight substitutes for traditional baked cakes that are commonly used in professional cake decorating, especially for display purposes. They provide a stable and sturdy foundation for intricate designs and decorations, making them an ideal choice for weddings, birthdays, and other events where a visually appealing centerpiece is desired. The benefits of using styrofoam cakes include their reusability, ability to support heavy decorations, and long shelf life.

When it comes to decorating a styrofoam cake, there are various techniques and tools involved to achieve a flawless finish. From selecting the right size and shape of the styrofoam cake to incorporating edible elements into the design, there are many aspects to consider when embarking on this creative endeavor. In the following sections, we will delve into each step of the process, providing valuable tips and guidance along the way.

Choosing the Right Styrofoam Cake

When it comes to decorating a styrofoam cake, choosing the right size and shape is crucial in achieving your desired aesthetic. Styrofoam cakes are versatile and come in a variety of sizes and shapes, making them suitable for a wide range of decorating needs. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best styrofoam cake for your project:

  • Size: Consider the dimensions of the cake you want to create. Whether you are decorating a small two-tier cake or a large multi-tiered masterpiece, there is a styrofoam cake size that will suit your needs.
  • Shape: Styrofoam cakes come in round, square, rectangular, and even custom shapes. The shape of the styrofoam cake should complement the design and theme of your decoration.
  • Purpose: Determine the purpose of your decorated styrofoam cake. Will it be used as a centerpiece for an event or as a display item for a bakery? Understanding its purpose will help guide your decision on the right styrofoam cake to choose.

When selecting a styrofoam cake for decoration, it’s important to consider how it will fit into your overall design concept. Always keep in mind the scale and proportion of the styrofoam cake in relation to other elements in your decoration.

Lastly, take into account where you will be purchasing your styrofoam cake. While they can be found at craft stores and specialty baking shops, some online retailers also offer a wide selection of sizes and shapes. Choose a reliable source that offers high-quality styrofoam cakes to ensure that you have the best base for your decorating project.

Remember, choosing the right styrofoam cake sets the foundation for an impressive and visually stunning finished product. By carefully considering size, shape, purpose, and quality, you can ensure that your decorated styrofoam cake meets all your decorating expectations.

Preparing the Styrofoam Cake for Decorating

Before you can begin decorating a styrofoam cake, it’s important to properly prepare the surface to ensure a smooth and even finish. The first step is to clean the styrofoam cake thoroughly using a damp cloth or sponge. This will remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated on the surface.

After cleaning, it’s essential to let the styrofoam cake dry completely before moving on to the next step. This will ensure that any moisture is removed, allowing for better adhesion of decorative elements like frosting or fondant.

To create an even surface for decorating, consider using sandpaper to gently smooth out any rough edges or imperfections. Be sure to use a light touch and avoid applying too much pressure, as this can damage the styrofoam. Once the surface is smooth, wipe away any excess dust created by sanding before proceeding with your decorating process.

Finally, consider adding a layer of primer or base coat to the styrofoam cake before applying decorative elements. This will not only help your decorations adhere better but also provide a more professional finish overall.

Styrofoam Cake Preparation StepsRecommendation
Clean the surfaceUse a damp cloth or sponge to remove dust and debris
Dry completelyAllow the styrofoam cake to dry thoroughly before decorating
Smooth with sandpaperGently sand any rough edges for an even surface
Apply primer/base coatEnhances adhesive properties and provides a professional finish

Essential Tools and Materials

When it comes to decorating a styrofoam cake, having the right tools and materials is essential to achieve a professional and polished look. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced decorator, having the proper supplies can make all the difference in the final result. Here is a detailed list of tools and materials needed for decorating a styrofoam cake:

  • Frosting or icing: Depending on your preference, you can use buttercream, royal icing, fondant, or gum paste for decorating your styrofoam cake.
  • Piping bags and tips: These are essential for creating intricate designs and patterns on the cake.
  • Food coloring: To add color to your frosting or fondant for creating vibrant designs.
  • Edible decorations: This can include items such as edible pearls, sprinkles, edible glitter, or edible flowers to enhance the overall design of the styrofoam cake.
  • Decorating tools: This can include items such as spatulas, offset spatulas, palette knives, and decorating combs for applying and smoothing out frosting or fondant.
  • Edible adhesive: Used for adhering edible decorations and elements onto the styrofoam cake securely.
Cake Decorating Supplies at Michael

It’s important to ensure that these tools and materials are of good quality to achieve the best results. These items can typically be found at baking supply stores or online retailers. Investing in high-quality tools and materials will not only make the decorating process easier but also ensure that your decorated styrofoam cake looks professional and visually appealing.

Additionally, having a set of basic measuring and cutting tools such as rulers, scissors, and craft knives will also come in handy when working with fondant or gum paste. These tools will allow you to create precise shapes and designs for your styrofoam cake decoration. By having all these essential tools and materials at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to decorate a styrofoam cake that is sure to impress any audience.

Decorating Techniques

When it comes to decorating a styrofoam cake, there are several techniques that can be used to achieve stunning and professional-looking results. Whether you prefer using frosting, fondant, or edible decorations, the key is to have the right tools and skills to execute your vision. Below are some step-by-step instructions for various decorating techniques that you can use to bring your styrofoam cake to life.


One of the most popular ways to decorate a styrofoam cake is by using frosting. To start, make sure that you have a smooth and clean surface on your styrofoam cake. Then, use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire surface.

You can then create different designs by using piping bags with different tips or even stencils for more intricate patterns. Don’t forget to let your creativity flow as you experiment with different colors and textures of frosting.


Fondant is another versatile and popular option for decorating styrofoam cakes. To use fondant, roll it out into a thin sheet and drape it over the styrofoam cake. Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles, and trim off any excess fondant at the base of the cake.

You can then add more layers of fondant for texture or use special tools and molds to create unique shapes and designs. Fondant also allows for painting, dusting, and other decorative techniques that can turn your styrofoam cake into a stunning centerpiece.

Edible Decorations

Incorporating edible elements into the decoration of a styrofoam cake is not only visually appealing but also adds an extra touch of flavor and flair. Fresh fruits like berries or citrus slices can be strategically placed on top of the cake for a pop of color and texture.

Edible flowers such as roses or lavender can also be carefully positioned around the edges for a natural and elegant look. Additionally, consider using edible pearls, sprinkles, or glitter to add sparkle and dimension to your design.

By mastering these various decorating techniques, you will be able to transform a plain styrofoam cake into a work of art that is sure to impress guests at any event or special occasion.

Adding Edible Elements

When decorating a styrofoam cake, adding edible elements can take your design to the next level and create a stunning and realistic look. Whether you are decorating a styrofoam cake for a special event or simply want to showcase your skills, incorporating edible elements can truly elevate the overall presentation.

How to Incorporate Edible Elements

One of the most popular ways to add edible elements to a styrofoam cake is by using edible flowers. These delicate and vibrant blooms can be strategically placed on the cake to create a stunning effect. From fresh roses to dainty pansies, there are numerous options for adding floral accents to your styrofoam cake.

Additionally, consider using fresh fruits such as berries or citrus slices as decorative elements. These colorful and natural additions can bring a pop of color and freshness to your design.

For those who prefer a more decadent touch, consider incorporating chocolate or sugar art into the decoration. Intricately crafted chocolate curls, shards, or sculptures can add an elegant and luxurious touch to any styrofoam cake. Similarly, sugar art such as fondant figurines, bows, or lace pieces can add intricate detail and personalization to the design.

Baby Boy Shower Cake Decorating Ideas

Ideas for Using Edible Elements

When deciding on which edible elements to incorporate into your styrofoam cake decoration, consider the theme of the event or the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. For example, if you are decorating a wedding cake, delicate sugar flowers or elegant fondant lace may be more appropriate. On the other hand, for a whimsical birthday cake, colorful chocolate sculptures or playful fondant characters could be ideal.

Ultimately, when adding edible elements to a styrofoam cake, creativity is key. Whether it’s through intricate sugar work or simple yet striking fruit arrangements, experimenting with different edible elements can help you achieve a unique and visually appealing decoration that will leave a lasting impression.

Troubleshooting and Tips

When it comes to decorating a styrofoam cake, there are several common issues that may arise during the process. One of the most common problems is the difficulty in achieving a smooth and flawless finish.

To address this issue, it is important to use the right tools and techniques when applying frosting or fondant to the styrofoam cake. Ensuring that the surface of the styrofoam cake is clean and properly prepared before decorating can also help in achieving a smooth finish.

Another challenge that decorators may encounter is maintaining the stability of edible elements on the styrofoam cake. This can be especially tricky when using heavier edible decorations such as fruits or candies. To address this, using proper adhesives and support systems can help keep these elements in place without compromising the overall design.

In addition to troubleshooting common issues, there are also a few tips and tricks that can help decorators achieve exceptional results when decorating a styrofoam cake. Utilizing different piping techniques, experimenting with colors and textures, and incorporating unique design elements can elevate the overall look of the decorated styrofoam cake. Furthermore, attention to detail is crucial in creating a professional-looking design, so taking your time and being patient throughout the decorating process is key.

Troubleshooting TipsRecommendation
Achieving a smooth finishUse proper tools and prepare surface adequately
Maintaining stability of edible elementsUtilize proper adhesives and support systems
Enhancing designsExperiment with different techniques, colors, and textures for unique designs

Displaying and Preserving the Decorated Styrofoam Cake

In conclusion, learning how to decorate a styrofoam cake can open up a world of creative possibilities for anyone interested in cake decorating. Styrofoam cakes offer a durable and reusable base for creating stunning designs that can be used for display or special events. By following the steps outlined in this guide, individuals can achieve professional-looking decorations with ease.

After completing the decorating process, it’s important to consider how to properly display and preserve the finished styrofoam cake. This involves choosing a suitable location to showcase the decorated cake and taking measures to protect it from damage or environmental factors. Additionally, if the decorated styrofoam cake is intended for long-term use or special occasions, there are tips for preserving the decoration and keeping it looking its best over time.

Ultimately, mastering the art of decorating a styrofoam cake opens up a world of creative possibilities. Whether it’s for showcasing decorative skills, creating stunning centerpieces, or crafting unique displays for events and celebrations, the versatility of styrofoam cakes makes them an excellent choice for anyone interested in honing their decorating skills. With the right tools, materials, techniques, and know-how, individuals can create impressive decorative pieces that will be admired for their aesthetic appeal and attention to detail.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Get Icing to Stick to Polystyrene?

To get icing to stick to polystyrene, you can use a thin layer of royal icing or buttercream as an adhesive. Start by applying a thin layer of icing to the polystyrene, then place the fondant or frosting over it.

How Do You Frost a Styrofoam Cake?

Frosting a styrofoam cake is similar to frosting a real cake. You can use buttercream or royal icing to create a smooth base layer, then add fondant or additional decorations as desired. Just be gentle when handling the styrofoam to avoid damaging it.

What Do People Use to Decorate Fake Cakes?

People often use fondant, gum paste, and edible decorations like sugar flowers and pearls to decorate fake cakes. These materials allow for endless creativity and can help make fake cakes look incredibly realistic for display purposes or special events.

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