As much as I love baking, I don’t always have time to make a cake and icing from scratch and decorate it extra special. As we all know, a parent’s party prep time is finite.

So as a shortcut, I searched for the very cutest cake makeover ideas (cakeovers?) for store-bought cakes, and OMG guys, I was blown away by the gorgeous, not-overly-intimidating cake decorating tutorials I found. Because if you can skip the baking, the rest is, you know, icing on the cake.

Related: 8 cool birthday cake ideas for teens and tweens.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: Cotton Candy Sprinkle Cake | Sprinkle Bakes

There’s something so whimsical and elegant about this Cotton Candy Sprinkle Cake at Sprinkle Bakes. Plus, it looks easy enough for even the most aesthetically challenged cake decorator. Dab the smooth white icing of a store-bought cake and add some sprinkled and cotton candy to be done.

While there, though, definitely check out the rainbow checkerboard interior of this cake, because if you’re feeling really ambitious, it’s truly a thing of wonder.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: DIY Wild Things Cake | Life on Waller

Not only is this DIY Wild Things Cake one of the simplest to decorate (although it may test your architectural skills), it’s one of the cleverest too. Check out the full tutorial — and other amazing Where the Wild Things Are party ideas — at Life on Waller. And psst . . . you can find yellow fondant at our affiliate Amazon.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: Edible Flower Cake | Design Love

This Edible Flower Cake is the quickest, easiest way to a gorgeous statement centerpiece. Bri from Design Love recommends perusing your local farmer’s market to find edible flowers in season in your location (hurry east coasters!). I’m hoping mine has half as many colorful varieties, because wow, that’s a beautiful cake.

Related: 18 more easy cake decorating ideas for a store-bought cake.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: Birch Log Cake | The Cake Blog

This Birch Log Cake looks advanced, but most of the decorations are store-bought once you get past the more technical (but totally straight forward) DIY birch bark. Spend your time making that instead of baking the cake, and this will come together way easier than you think! I have a feeling this twee woodland creature design would appeal to the sensibilities of many teens and tweens out there with winter birthdays.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: Candy Corn Cake | Love the Day

If you’re planning a Halloween party or have a late-October baby, check out the Candy Corn Cake at Love the Day. It looks impressive, but if you can artistically arrange candy (without eating too much of it), you can bring this cake to life.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: Melted Ice Cream Cone Cake | Studio DIY

What store bought cake couldn’t use a chocolate ganache topping? Especially when the effect is as clever and cool-looking as this Melted Ice Cream Cone Cake at Studio DIY. Plus, it uses your average supermarket cake: no trip to a boutique grocery store required.

Related: Super cool dinosaur birthday party cakes that are actually easy to make.


Ways to make over a store-bought cake: Unicorn Cake Tutorial | Craftsy

Okay, yes, this Unicorn Cake Tutorial at Craftsy can be time-consuming if you go all out, but it really simplifies the steps in making this internet sensation of a cake. And allow us to suggest a few additional simplifications, like staring with a store-bought cake, skipping some of those fancy icing rosettes (no one will notice!), and using a store-bought unicorn horn cake topper.

Just saying.

Or check out how Maggie Mason turned a store-bought cake into a fantastic unicorn cake. See? Totally possible in real life!