How to Decorate Number Cake

When it comes to celebrating special occasions, a beautifully decorated cake can make all the difference. The trend of number cakes has been gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Number cakes allow us to personalize our celebrations, whether it’s a milestone birthday, anniversary, or any other significant event. In this article, we will explore the importance of cake decoration and personalization, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to decorate a number cake.

The appeal of number cakes lies in their ability to convey a specific message or milestone. By incorporating numbers into the design, these cakes become more meaningful and tailored to the occasion or recipient. Whether it’s adding candles, decorations symbolizing hobbies or interests, or simply using the recipient’s favorite colors, decorating a number cake allows us to express our creativity and add a personal touch.

Before diving into the decorating process itself, it is essential to gather all the necessary supplies and tools. Buttercream frosting is often used as the base for number cakes and can be easily tinted with food coloring for various effects. Piping bags and tips are crucial for creating intricate designs and textures.

Fondant is another versatile tool that can be shaped into flowers, bows, or even numbers themselves. By understanding the significance of each item and its purpose in decoration, we can ensure we have everything needed for success.

In this step-by-step guide on how to decorate a number cake, we will cover each detail from selecting the ideal cake base that meets both flavor preferences and dietary restrictions to creating fondant decorations that enhance visual appeal. We will also discuss assembling and layering techniques for stability and evenly distributed fillings. Additionally, we will delve into different piping techniques that transform simple frosting into elaborate designs that truly make an impact.

With this comprehensive guide in hand, you’ll be able to create stunning number cakes filled with personal touches that elevate any special occasion. So, let’s gather our supplies and get started on the journey of turning a simple cake into a work of art.

Gathering Supplies and Tools

To successfully decorate a number cake, it is essential to gather all the necessary supplies and tools beforehand. Here is a comprehensive list of items you will need for this task:

  1. Buttercream Frosting: This creamy and versatile frosting will be the base for your decoration. It acts as an adhesive for fondant decorations and creates a smooth canvas for piping designs.
  2. Piping Bags: These disposable or reusable bags are essential for applying frosting or creating intricate designs on your number cake.
  3. Various Piping Tips: Invest in a variety of piping tips to achieve different effects. Examples include star tips for creating rosettes or borders, round tips for writing messages, and leaf tips for adding foliage details.
  4. Food Coloring: Use gel or paste food coloring to tint your buttercream frosting in various shades that complement your theme or color scheme.
  5. Fondant: This pliable icing can be rolled out and molded into shapes such as flowers, bows, or numbers. Fondant adds dimension and texture to your decoration.
  6. Cake Boards: Sturdy cake boards provide support while transporting and displaying your number cake.
  7. Offset Spatula: This angled spatula helps with spreading frosting smoothly across the surface of the cake layers.
  8. Dowels or Straws: If making a multi-layered number cake, these supports are needed to ensure stability by preventing the layers from sinking into each other.

Once you have gathered all the necessary supplies, it’s time to prepare them for use:

  1. Ensure that your piping bags are clean and dry before using them.
  2. Trim the tip of each bag according to the size of the piping tip you will be using.
  3. Fit each bag with its respective piping tip securely.
  4. If using multiple colors of buttercream frosting, fill each bag separately with their respective colors using a spatula.

5.Once filled, twist the open end of each bag tightly to prevent any frosting from leaking out while decorating.

By having all the supplies and tools ready, you will be well-prepared to embark on the next steps of the number cake decoration process.

Choosing the Perfect Cake Base

One of the most crucial decisions when decorating a number cake is choosing the perfect cake base. The cake base serves as the canvas for your decorations, so it’s important to select one that not only tastes delicious but also suits the occasion and meets any dietary restrictions. Here are some tips to guide you in making this decision.

Firstly, consider flavor preferences. Think about what flavors would complement the decorations and appeal to the recipient or guests. Chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, or even fruity options like lemon or strawberry can all work well depending on the overall theme and design of the number cake.

Secondly, consider size. Evaluate how many people you need to serve and choose a cake size accordingly. If you’re making a number cake for a large gathering, opt for a bigger base to ensure there’s enough for everyone. On the other hand, if it’s an intimate celebration, a smaller size may be more appropriate.

Lastly, take into account any dietary restrictions or allergies that need to be accommodated. If someone has gluten or dairy intolerance, consider using alternative flours or non-dairy substitutes in your recipe. There are many gluten-free and vegan recipes available online that can guide you in creating a delicious and inclusive number cake.

When choosing between homemade options and store-bought alternatives, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and time constraints. Homemade cakes allow for complete customization in terms of flavor and texture, while store-bought cakes offer convenience if you’re short on time.

Regardless of whether you decide to bake from scratch or go with a pre-made base, it’s important to choose a sturdy cake that can withstand the weight of decorations without collapsing. A denser sponge or pound cake works well in this regard. Consider using supports like dowel rods if your number cake is taller or requires more stability.

By carefully considering these factors when choosing your cake base, you’ll set yourself up for a successful and visually stunning number cake. Remember, the base should not only taste good but also serve as the foundation for your creativity to truly shine through in the final decorated masterpiece.

Preparing the Piping Bags and Frosting

Preparing Buttercream Frosting

One of the key elements in decorating a number cake is the buttercream frosting. It serves as not only the base for your decorations but also adds flavor and sweetness to the overall cake. Preparing the buttercream frosting is a crucial step that requires attention to detail to achieve the perfect consistency and texture for piping and decorating purposes.

To prepare the buttercream frosting, start by gathering the necessary ingredients: unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Begin by beating the softened butter in a mixing bowl until it becomes creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture. This will help prevent lumps from forming.

Once all the powdered sugar has been added, incorporate vanilla extract for flavor and a splash of milk to achieve desired consistency. The amount of milk may vary depending on how thick or thin you want your frosting to be. Mix everything together until smooth and creamy.

Cake Decor Supply

Coloring Buttercream Frosting

To match your desired theme or color scheme, coloring buttercream frosting is essential. Gel-based food coloring works best for achieving vibrant colors without altering the consistency of the frosting. Start by adding a small amount of gel food coloring to your prepared buttercream frosting and mix well. Gradually add more coloring until you reach your desired shade.

Remember that gel-based food coloring is intense, so always start with a smaller amount and gradually add more until you achieve your desired color. If you need multiple colors for various decorations, divide your white buttercream frosting into separate bowls before tinting them individually.

Piping Techniques with Different Tips

Now that you have prepared your buttercream frosting and colored it as needed, it’s time to explore different piping techniques using various piping tips. The choice of piping tip can greatly affect the final look of your decoration.

For example, a star tip (such as Wilton 1M) can create beautiful rosettes or stars, perfect for filling up large areas on your number cake. A round tip (such as Wilton 3 or 5) is great for creating borders and writing messages. Leaf tips (such as Wilton 70 or 352) can be used to create foliage or add delicate details to floral designs.

When piping your decorations, always hold the piping bag perpendicular to the cake surface and apply consistent pressure while squeezing the bag. This will help you achieve an even and smooth flow of frosting. Practice different techniques on a parchment paper or wax paper before decorating your actual cake to gain confidence and control.

By mastering these piping techniques and preparing buttercream frosting with the right consistency, you are well on your way to beautifully decorated number cakes that will truly impress both visually and in taste.

Creating Fondant Decorations

Fondant decorations are a fantastic way to add a touch of elegance and creativity to your number cake. Whether you’re making flowers, bows, or numbers, fondant allows you to create intricate designs and textures that will wow your guests. In this section, we will provide step-by-step instructions on making fondant decorations and offer tips on coloring, rolling, and cutting out desired shapes.

Coloring Fondant

To begin creating fondant decorations, you’ll need to color your fondant to match the desired theme or color scheme of your number cake. Start with small amounts of fondant at a time and use gel-based food coloring for vibrant results. Knead the food coloring into the fondant until it is evenly distributed. Remember to wear gloves to prevent staining your hands.

Rolling Fondant

Once your fondant is colored, it’s time to roll it out. Dust a clean surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking. Roll out the fondant using a rolling pin until it reaches the desired thickness. For more intricate decorations, like flowers or bows, aim for 1/8 inch thickness. If you’re creating large numbers or cut-out designs, go for 1/4 inch thickness.

Cutting Out Shapes

Now that your fondant is rolled out, it’s time to cut out your desired shapes using cookie cutters or specialized fondant tools. Lightly grease the cutter or tool with shortening before each use to prevent sticking. Press firmly down on the rolled-out fondant with the cutter or tool and lift gently to release the shape.

Modeling Fondant

For more complex decorations like flowers or bows, modeling techniques are required. Take small amounts of colored fondanand shape them by hand to create petals, leaves, or other desired elements. Use tools such as ball tools and veining tools to add texture and dimension. Allow the fondant decorations to dry overnight on a foam shaping pad before placing them on your number cake.

Creating fondant decorations may require practice and patience, but the end result will be well worth it. Remember to keep extra fondant on hand in case of mistakes or breakages. The beauty of fondant is its versatility, so feel free to experiment with different shapes, colors, and designs to personalize your number cake even further.

Assembling and Layering the Cake

Once you have gathered all your supplies, prepared the piping bags and frosting, and created your fondant decorations, it is time to assemble and layer your number cake. This step is crucial in ensuring stability, even distribution of frosting and fillings, and achieving a professional look. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to assemble and layer your number cake:

  1. Stack the Cake Layers: Start by selecting a sturdy cake base that can support the weight of decorations. Trim and level your cake layers if necessary to ensure an even surface. Place one cake layer on a cake board or serving plate.
  2. Apply Frosting: Using an offset spatula or piping bag, apply a thin layer of buttercream frosting on top of the first cake layer. Make sure to spread it evenly all the way to the edges.
  3. Add Fillings (optional): If desired, add fillings such as fruit preserves, whipped cream, or ganache on top of the first layer of frosting. Be mindful not to overfill the cake as it may become unstable.
  4. Repeat with Remaining Layers: Place the next cake layer on top of the first one, pressing gently to adhere it to the frosting and fillings beneath. Repeat steps 2-3 for each additional layer until you have stacked all your desired layers.
  5. Crumb Coat: To achieve a smooth final coat of frosting without any visible crumbs, apply a thin layer of buttercream frosting around the sides and top of the stacked cake layers. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to spread the frosting evenly while removing any excess.
  6. Chill in Refrigerator (optional): If desired, chill the crumb coated cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before applying another layer of frosting. Chilling helps set the crumb coat and makes it easier to apply subsequent layers without disturbing the cake layers.
  7. Final Coat of Frosting: Apply a generous amount of buttercream frosting on top of the crumb coat. Use an offset spatula or cake smoother to spread the frosting evenly and achieve a clean and polished look.
  8. Smooth and Level: Use a bench scraper or angled spatula to smooth the sides and top of the cake, ensuring that it is level and straight. Remove any excess frosting for a neat finish.

Now that your number cake is assembled and layered, you can proceed to the next section where we will explore various piping techniques to decorate your beautifully stacked cake. Remember, take your time during this process to ensure stability and create a visually stunning presentation.

– Cake layers (homemade or store-bought) – Offset spatula
– Buttercream frosting – Piping bags
– Fillings (optional) – Bench scraper
– Cake boards or serving plates – Cake smoother

Decorating with Piping Techniques

One of the most exciting aspects of decorating a number cake is using piping techniques to create beautiful designs. Piping allows you to add texture, depth, and intricate details to your cake, turning it into a work of art. Below are some popular piping techniques that you can try to elevate the design of your number cake:

  1. Rosettes: Rosettes are one of the classic piping techniques that can instantly make any cake look elegant. To create rosettes, use a star piping tip and hold the bag at a 90-degree angle to the cake surface. As you squeeze the piping bag, apply even pressure while moving in a circular motion. This will create layers of swirls that resemble blooming roses.
  2. Borders: Adding a decorative border around the edges of your number cake is an excellent way to frame and finish off your design. There are various border designs you can choose from, such as scallops, shells, or dots. To achieve clean borders, use a round or star piping tip and pipe along the edge of the cake while maintaining consistent pressure.
  3. Writing Messages: If you want to personalize your number cake with a special message or name, writing with piped frosting is an ideal technique. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with contrasting colored frosting and practice writing on parchment paper before moving onto the actual cake surface. Slowly pipe out your desired message or name by applying steady pressure.
  4. Creating Intricate Designs: Piping can also be used to create intricate decorations on your number cake such as lace patterns or filigree designs. Use a fine-tipped piping nozzle and steady hand to pipe delicate lines and shapes onto the surface of your frosted cake.
How to Decorate Cake Knife and Server for Wedding Cake

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to piping techniques. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out exactly as you envisioned-just keep experimenting and refining your skills. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at creating stunning designs on your number cake.

In the next section, we will explore some additional ways to add the finishing touches and truly make your number cake a visual masterpiece.

Adding the Finishing Touches

To truly elevate the appearance of your number cake and make it visually stunning, adding the finishing touches is essential. These final elements can enhance the overall presentation and create a memorable experience for both the creator and recipient of the cake. There are various options to choose from when it comes to adding those special touches, ranging from edible glitter and sprinkles to fresh flowers and chocolate shavings.

One popular option to consider is using edible glitter. This dazzling addition can instantly transform your cake into a sparkling masterpiece. Edible glitter comes in a wide array of colors, allowing you to match it with your chosen theme or color scheme. Simply sprinkle the glitter over the frosted areas of your cake for a mesmerizing effect.

Another fantastic option is utilizing sprinkles. Sprinkles come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a versatile choice for decorating your number cake. Whether you opt for traditional rainbow sprinkles or more unique variations like metallic or shaped sprinkles, these delightful additions will add a pop of color and texture to your creation.

Fresh flowers are another fantastic way to enhance the aesthetics of your number cake. Using edible flowers like pansies or violets can add an elegant touch, while bold blooms such as roses or sunflowers can create a vibrant look. Make sure that any flowers used are pesticide-free and thoroughly washed before arranging them on the cake.

Lastly, if you want to incorporate some indulgent flair to your number cake, consider using chocolate shavings as a decorative element. You can use a vegetable peeler to create delicate chocolate curls or opt for larger pieces by grating chocolate with a cheese grater. Gently press these shavings onto the sides or top of your cake’s frosting for an irresistible finishing touch.

Here is some useful data regarding different finishing touches

Finishing TouchDescription
Edible GlitterA shimmering addition that instantly adds a touch of magic to your cake. Comes in various colors to match your theme.
SprinklesFun and colorful, sprinkles add a playful element to your cake. Available in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Fresh FlowersAn elegant choice for adding natural beauty to your cake. Ensure the flowers are edible and pesticide-free.
Chocolate ShavingsA mouthwatering addition that brings indulgence to your cake. Can be created using a vegetable peeler or grater.


In conclusion, decorating a number cake is not only a creative and enjoyable process, but also a meaningful way to personalize special occasions. By carefully selecting the right supplies, choosing the perfect cake base, and mastering various piping techniques, anyone can create a beautifully decorated number cake that will surely be the highlight of the celebration.

The joy of creating and enjoying such a cake lies not only in the final result, but also in the memories it creates and the joy it brings to others.

Throughout this article, we have provided step-by-step instructions, tips, and suggestions to guide you in your journey to decorate a number cake. From gathering supplies and tools to assembling and layering the cake, we have covered every aspect of creating a masterpiece that reflects your personal style and preferences. We have explored different piping techniques, discussed fondant decorations, and even delved into adding finishing touches to make your cake truly stand out.

However, beyond just following these steps, we encourage you to let your creativity shine through. Use this guide as inspiration but feel free to put your own spin on things. Every occasion is unique, so don’t be afraid to experiment or incorporate personalized touches that are meaningful for the recipient or align with the theme of the celebration.

Finally, we invite you to join our vibrant community by sharing your own creations and stories in the comments section. Let’s inspire one another with our beautiful work and spread joy through our shared love for decorating number cakes. Together, we can create unforgettable experiences by making every occasion extra special with a beautifully decorated number cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you put numbers on a cake?

Putting numbers on a cake can be done in several ways, depending on the desired result and the tools available. One common method is to use pre-made number-shaped candles or cake toppers that can simply be placed onto the cake’s surface. These are often made of plastic or wax and come in various sizes and designs.

Another option is to pipe the numbers directly onto the cake using icing or frosting. This requires a steady hand and some skill with piping bags and tips. Various types of decorations, such as fondant cut-outs or chocolate molds, can also be used to create number-shaped embellishments that are then placed onto the cake.

How do you keep a number cake from drying out?

To keep a number cake from drying out, there are a few techniques you can employ. First, it’s essential to properly store the cake by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or placing it in an airtight container. This helps prevent moisture loss and maintains the cake’s freshness for longer periods.

Another way to retain moisture is by brushing simple syrup or sugar syrup onto the surface of the cake before decorating it with frosting or fondant numbers. This adds extra moisture and prevents the cake from becoming dry during storage or serving. Lastly, if time allows, it’s best to decorate the number cake shortly before serving to ensure maximum freshness.

How do you pipe numbers on a cake?

Piping numbers on a cake involves using an icing bag fitted with a small tip that allows for precise control over the flow of icing. Before starting, it’s helpful to practice on parchment paper or a plate to get comfortable with maintaining consistent pressure while piping straight lines and curves that form each numeric shape. Start by outlining each number lightly on the cake using toothpicks or a food-safe marker if needed as a guide for accuracy and symmetry.

Then fill in each number by squeezing gently but steadily, moving at an even pace along your drawn outline until you’ve entirely filled it with icing or frosting. Remember to maintain steady pressure to ensure a consistent thickness of the piped lines. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to pipe beautiful and crisp numbers onto your cake.

Send this to a friend