One of the reasons many parents end up buying professionally made cakes is because they feel it would take too much work to create something that looks appealing... and is tasty, too. If you have an oven, this should be, well, a piece of cake for you. Here are a few ideas to help you create a cake that will thrill your child and your party guests.
Use a few pieces of professional equipment
Find cake pans in the shape of whatever you want, like lady bugs, cars, and castles, etc. etc. etc. Choose sites like Wilton.com to find videos and articles that share tips on how to make and ice your specialty cakes to look just like a real professional baker created it.
Most specialty pans cost less than $15 and come with complete instructions for how to decorate them. You may need to spend an additional $20 for decorating supplies and icing kits. But, once you have them, they will last for several cakes which makes it even more affordable. Specialty baking pans can also be found in your local thrift stores for a lot less. Do the research and you'll find what you need.
Learn how with a few lessons
Most cities have classes where you can go to learn how to decorate like a professional baker, or you can watch videos online and practice on your own. Start with your favorite characters or objects because that's going to be where your heart is. You'll feel creative and have fun at the same time.
If you get good enough at baking and decorating, you may even get calls from other parents for orders when they have a party. Many cake creators started out by impressing their friends at birthday parties for their kids.
Ask other creative people
You can always ask your friends and family if they ever decorated cakes. Or, go online and find recipes and instructions from other parents who have discovered ways to make cakes look professional. For instance, there are always fun, inventive ways to create cakes without a designed cake form. As a simple example, a ladybug can be made with a round cake pan for the body and a cupcake for the head. Then add red food coloring and mini chocolate chips and you will have what you need to create a ladybug.
Creative people often start simply, then build on a theme to create a professional looking cake. For instance, make or buy a simple sheet cake with icing. You may want to purchase one cake topper with your child's birthday party theme character, then use objects you already have, like toy people, houses, cars, or whatever fits to finish the theme. Now, you have an entire themed cake without a professional bakery getting involved.
Simple is good and cheap
There are many decorating tips you can find and implement to make the simplest cake look like a professional made it. Using what you have around the house will not only keep costs down but allow you to explore your imagination and come up with adventurous cake ideas your child will want to share with everyone.