Unique Cake Toppings for Store-Bought Cakes

by Summer Hogan

Do you love entertaining but don't have the time or skill to make a delicious homemade cake? Not to worry! You can still get the look of a custom dessert on a shoestring budget by adding creative and colorful toppings to store-bought cakes!

Choose Your Cakes

Choose the type of store-bought cakes that you want to serve and purchase from your local grocery. Trader Joe's has a great selection of smaller cakes if you prefer a variety.

Add Frosting (Optional)

If you have a cake that doesn't fit your color scheme, add contrast by drizzling frosting over the top of the cake. A simple buttercream or whipped cream frosting is easy to make, or purchase a ready-made frosting from the store and heat it in a microwave-safe bowl until it is soft and easy to drizzle.


  • For buttercream frosting: use 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1 cup of confectioner's sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Choose Your Toppings

To achieve the look of a custom cake, choose toppings that complement the cake but are unexpected in color or type. Novelty items, flowers and toppings with bright colors are great choices for creating a unique cake.

For a lemon cake use whole lemons and fresh thyme. Colorful fresh flowers are a great contrast against a dark chocolate cake. Fancy macarons are the perfect compliment to a cinnamon coffee cake.

Prepare Your Toppings

Slice the lemons and remove the thyme from the sprigs.

Cut the flower stems so that they are just long enough to insert into the cake, approximately two inches long.


  • If you don't want to insert the flower stems directly into the cake, you can cut plastic wrap to fit onto the stems of the flowers and wrap them.

Assemble Your Toppings Onto the Cakes

For the lemon cake, place lemon slices around the bottom and in the center of the cake. Sprinkle with the thyme.


  • If this were a flat cake you could place the lemon slices on their side on top of the cake for a pretty display.

To create a whimsical look for the coffee cake, stack the macarons on top of the cake in a relaxed fashion.

Insert the cut and wrapped flowers into the chocolate cake.

Press the center of the flower gently with your thumb until you can no longer see the stem and the flower is sitting on top of the cake.

Put Your Cakes on Display

Display the cakes until you're ready to serve your guests.

You can even use any extra toppings as props for decoration.

You are sure to wow your guests with this unique display of desserts that took half the time and money to create than a homemade cake.

You Might Also Like These Other Sweet Ideas...

Easy to Make Whipped Cream Frosting Recipe

How to Make Glaze from Granulated Sugar

How to Make the Best Sugar Cookie Icing

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About the Author

Summer Hogan, a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with a degree in journalism, is the creator and voice behind the blog Simple Stylings. With a passion for DIY projects, home design and entertaining, Summer’s goal is to help you create simple style for your home and life.