There are several milestone birthdays that most families celebrate with parties and cake, and sweet sixteen is definitely one of them. Gone are the days, however, of themed cakes or cutesy ideas; let these sweet sixteen birthday cake ideas inspire you to create something your teen will love.
Inspiring Sweet Sixteen Birthday Cakes
While your teenager once offered up several different ideas for what they wanted to see for their cakes, the most you’ll probably get out of them now is the desired flavor of the cake. The style or theme of the cake is still important, though, particularly if friends are invited to share it. These cake ideas are more grown up and sophisticated to match your teenager’s new maturity, but they still have some playful and fun elements to them to celebrate their youth.
Cake decorating classes will show you a number of different techniques you can use to decorate your cake tops. These few techniques will help get you started on the road to the perfect sweet sixteen birthday cake.
If your teen has a sweet tooth that they’ve never grown out of, or they have a playful and fun side that’s appreciated by all, consider making them a candy cake. There are many different ways to do this, including lining the sides of the cake with Kit Kats, making a large cake shaped like a peanut butter cup, or decorating it like a giant Skittle.
If your teen doesn’t have a particular candy in mind, however, you can also use fondant and gum paste to create a candy-like façade for any cake.
- Cover the cake itself in a single, bright color of fondant like pink or red.
- Roll out extra fondant into long ropes and fold them over on top of one another to create rainbow like waves that can surround the various layers of the cake.
- Either create fruit and candy pieces out of gum paste, or alternate gummy candies with gum paste fruit pieces to decorate the various layers.
Because gum paste is edible, you can easily intersperse it with the candy pieces to create a whimsical cake that will get everyone’s attention.
If your teen has an early summer birthday, consider celebrating with a patriotic red, white, and blue cake. While the traditional berry cake screams 4th of July to everyone that sees it, a more sophisticated approach is to decorate a white layer cake in red and blue icing.
- Cover the entire cake with either white fondant or icing, smoothing out the sides and top enough to handle more decoration.
- Pipe a large, decorative layer of red icing using a ribbon tool around the bottom of the cake, and a thinner layer of blue icing using the star tool around the top edge.
- Create some red swags around the top of the cake, and tie a red ribbon around the middle.
- Top with some streamers or sparklers on top to complete the celebratory style.
There’s no reason to do one cake when you have lots of guests – and lots of ideas. Instead, consider doing a tray of cupcakes, each with a slightly different decoration. To make sure that the cupcakes coordinate with one another, keep the icing color the same and mix up the toppings or application style. Examples of what you could do include:
- Piping the icing onto the cupcakes in alternating swirls to look like ice cream
- Sprinkling candy pieces onto the tops
- Sprinkling cookie pieces onto the tops
- Sprinkling coconut onto the tops
- Adding chopped fruit or maraschino cherries
- Decorating wafer cookies with the number 16 on them in a variety of colors and pushing one into the icing on each cupcake
If your teen would appreciate a more sophisticated approach to cake decorating, consider using whipped cream and fruit as the toppings for the cake. The key is to use the fruit sparingly, rather than covering the entire cake or even ringing the top. By placing just a few pieces of pineapple and maraschino cherry into the whipped cream on top of the cake, you add a little bit of color and fun, while also creating an exotic and polished appearance that will appeal to a more grown up persona.
To create this type of cake, combine a number of different cake decorations in one design. For example:
- Create some frosting roses in a few colors to place in various places around the cake.
- Create some streamers and small “presents” out of gum paste in a variety of colors to add to the cake.
- Include some sprinkles or crushed cookie pieces on the sides of the cake.
- Use a ribbon tool to pipe a thick layer of icing around the perimeter of the top and bottom of the cake, as well as to create a place for the candles or any cake toppers to rest on.
- Consider taking a leaf from a soap making course, and swirling your colors together on the top.
The end result of a jubilee cake should be slightly chaotic, colorful, and above all – fun. Any size, shape, or flavor of cake can be decorated using this method, which makes it very adaptable for several sizes of parties.
If your teen is having an over-the-top sweet sixteen party complete with dancing, dinner, and drinks, top off the evening with a romantically-themed cake to match. A tiered cake decorated with icing and fresh roses sends a signal that this cake – and party – are for an older, more grown up girl than the one who used to want a princess cake each year. To help complete the look:
- Pipe on strings of “pearls” around the bottom perimeter of each layer of the cake
- Connect icing swags around the sides of the cake, hanging from the pearls
- Use pale colors on the cake to allow the color of the roses to truly show up against it
Tips for Creating Sweet Sixteen Birthday Cakes
While the number of ideas you can use to create some one-of-a-kind sweet sixteen birthday cakes is endless, there are a few ways you can help to make your cake stand out from the crowd.
- Use Adult Colors: Unless you’re purposely making a whimsical cake, like the candy cake, avoid very bright or bold colors. Keep colors more natural, or use more subtle, adult versions such as peach rather than pink.
- Avoid Themes: While it’s fine to have a little bit of fun with the cake decorating, stick to more general toppings and decorations and avoid anything along the lines of a theme.
- Don’t Use Adult Flavors: While your teen is growing up and probably wants a more adult looking cake, stick to the old favorites of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry for the cake itself and avoid more adult flavors that might be lost on the teenage palette.
- Go Big: Never underestimate the size of the teenage appetite. Remember to step up the size of the cake, either in diameter or in height to accommodate the number of hungry teens you’ll be feeding that day.
Make the Cake of Their Dreams
No matter how old they get, your teen is sure to appreciate a well thought out cake. Whether you’ve taken a cake decorating course, or you’re just playing around with color and theme, it’s possible to create a sweet sixteen birthday cake that you’ll want to learn how to photograph and display on Pinterest. Consider any of these ideas for your teen’s sweet sixteenth and create the cake of their dreams.