How to Dress up a Store-Bought Cake

It’s no secret here on the DIY Playbook that we do everything we can to avoid spending time in the kitchen, unless we’re installing a new faucet or DIY-ing new backsplash. However, that doesn’t mean we still don’t love to entertain. And with any good party comes great food (and dessert!). Naked_Cake_decorating_ideas_made_easy

Today we are sharing a SUPER easy trick to dress up a store-bought naked cake so that you don’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen before the party. We promise this adorable cake will have your guests convinced it’s straight from a fancy bakery, but the real secret is that this cake takes less than 5 minutes to decorate… after you pick it up from the store.

1. Buy a Cake


You’ll need a naked cake to start out with. We bought ours from Whole Foods for $10. They don’t typically have these on display, but if you call them the day before and order a stacked cake without frosting, they will make you one no problem. You can imagine how awkward that phone call was when we called Whole Foods to order a “naked cake”. Technically that’s what it’s called, but we advise ordering a stacked cake without frosting to avoid that awkwardness on the phone. <– trust us!

This cake is the 5″ cake for $10 but there’s also an 8″ cake for $20.

2. Use a Cute Cake StandDecorating_a_naked_box_cake

When you get home take the cake out of the box and plop it on a cake stand. We kept the gold plate that it came on attached, but you don’t necessarily have to do that. We love that this cake can work for just about any occasion based on the style of your cake stand and which flowers you choose to add to it.

3. Pick up an Assortment of Flowers and GreeneryDecorating_cake_with_flowers

While you’re at the store picking up the cake, make sure you pick up an assortment of flowers and greenery. We chose pink flowers for this occasion but any flower/greenery combo could work!

4. Cut the Flower StemsCut_Flowers_Cake_Peonies

Lay out your flowers and choose which ones you want to use. Then cut the stems down so you can stick the flower on top of the cake or on the side of the cake.

The great news is that you only need a few flowers to decorate the cake, so you can then use the extra for your party/tablescape. Keep this in mind when cutting the flowers’ stems down. Only cut down the flowers you need so that you can add the extras to a beautiful vase when you’re done!

5. Add Flowers & Greenery

Once the flowers are cut down, have fun adding them to your cake! We like the look of adding some on the top of the cake (to one side) and the others on the base of the cake (on the other side). Although that’s the “formula” we use, there’s no right or wrong way! Add the leaves/flowers until you land on the look that you love.

DIY_naked_cake_decoratingLiterally 5 minutes later you are d-o-n-e!
cake_stand_cake_flowersIt’ll be our little secret that this gorgeous cake is store-bought and only took a few quick minutes to throw together! <—- our kind of “baking”!

6. Celebrate & Enjoy!

Naked_Cake_decorating_ideas_made_easyWe LOVE this feminine look for baby/wedding showers, a little girl’s first birthday, or girls’ night. But depending on the cake stand you choose and the flowers you add, this easy cake can work for just about any occasion. Heck for $10 and a quick 5 minutes of prep, we’ll probably be reaching for this trick at every chance we can get!  Decorating_a_Naked_Cake

Bridget & Casey

If you missed the full tablescape from this party, be sure to check out this post!

  • Thomas Fabio Odhiambo Omar

    Easy like a walk in the park.

  • I do love me a good shortcut, and this is a great idea! In the spirit of “no such thing as a stupid question”, did the cake come with the frosting between the layers? I have never ordered a “naked” cake before!

    • Not a stupid question at all! The cake did come with the frosting between the layers. I think the “naked” part is just that the outside isn’t frosted? But might be different depending on where you get it!

  • Pam

    Love this. Easy and it looks great. I love easy shortcuts that still look amazing.
    Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks so much Pam! So easy, but no one would ever know!

  • shawnna griffin

    hey girls- such a cool idea!

  • Kara D

    You’re making me wonder just how did that conversation go! Did they have to pull out some sort of “PG rating” on you? *muffled laughter*

    • hahaha…how about it?! So awkward to explain. I’m sure they thought we were straight-up crazy.

  • Ashlyn

    I LOVE this idea!! I bet this is such a cost saver as well as custom cakes are so expensive.

    • Thanks so much Ashlyn! Yes, definitely lots of savings from this trick!