How to Decorate a Store Bought Chocolate Cake

The beauty of store-bought chocolate cakes lies in their convenience and variety. These ready-made treats save us time and effort while still satisfying our sweet cravings. However, sometimes we may feel that these cakes lack the personal touch or decorative flair that homemade ones have. That’s where this blog post comes in. We aim to provide you with creative and easy ways to decorate store-bought chocolate cakes, elevating them into picture-perfect delights.

Before diving into the decoration process, it’s essential to properly prep your cake. Leveling the cake ensures an even surface for decorating, while a thin layer of frosting acts as a smooth canvas for any designs or toppings you want to add later on. Chilling the cake after frosting can also make it easier to handle during the decoration process. With these simple steps, your store-bought cake will be primed and ready for some stunning decorations.

Choosing a decoration theme is an important step in creating a cohesive and visually appealing design for your cake. Whether you opt for floral elements, rustic charm, or modern simplicity, picking a theme will guide your decisions regarding color scheme, toppings, and decorative techniques. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with examples of popular themes and share tips on how to execute them flawlessly.

Join us as we embark on this journey of turning an ordinary store-bought chocolate cake into a work of art. From whipping up simple buttercream frosting to mastering advanced decorative techniques like fondant decorations or using stencils – we’ve got you covered. Get ready to unleash your creativity and transform store-bought chocolate cakes into showstopping masterpieces that both look and taste amazing.

Prepping Your Store-Bought Chocolate Cake for Decoration

Before you can unleash your creativity and start decorating your store-bought chocolate cake, it is crucial to prepare the cake properly. Prepping the cake ensures a smooth surface for decorating, enhances the taste and texture, and makes the decoration process easier. Follow these helpful tips to get your cake ready for its stunning transformation.

Firstly, level your cake. Most store-bought cakes have a slightly domed top, which can make it challenging to achieve an even and professional-looking decoration. To level the cake, use a sharp knife or a cake leveler to carefully remove the top portion of the cake until it is flat. This creates a stable foundation for your decorations.

Next, apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This crumb coat helps seal in any loose crumbs and provides an anchor for the final layer of frosting or decorations. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly on both the top and sides of the cake.

Chilling your cake is another important step that should not be skipped. After applying the crumb coat, place your cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow it to set. Chilling firming up the frosting, making it easier to work with during decorating. It also helps prevent any smudging or melting of decorations once they are added to the chilled surface.

By taking these steps before starting your decorative masterpiece, you ensure that your store-bought chocolate cake is in its best possible condition for artistic expression. These prepping techniques will give you a smoother canvas, making it easier to create beautiful and memorable designs on your delicious chocolate cake.

Unleashing Your Creativity

When it comes to decorating a store-bought chocolate cake, the possibilities are endless. One way to guide your decoration process and ensure a cohesive and visually appealing result is by choosing a decoration theme. Picking a theme provides a framework for your creativity and helps you make decisions about colors, shapes, and overall design. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect decoration theme for your cake.

  1. Consider the Occasion: Think about the event or occasion for which you are decorating the cake. Is it a birthday party, a wedding, or a holiday gathering? Tailoring your theme to the occasion can add personalization and make the cake even more special. For example, if it’s a baby shower, you might choose a theme centered around pastel colors and cute baby-related decorations.
  2. Find Inspiration: Look for inspiration in various sources such as magazines, websites, or social media platforms like Pinterest or Instagram. Browse through pictures of decorated cakes and see what catches your eye. Pay attention to color palettes, patterns, and textures that resonate with you. You can also draw inspiration from other sources like nature or art.
  3. Play to Your Strengths: Consider your own strengths in terms of design and artistic skills when choosing a decoration theme. If you’re confident in your piping skills, you might lean towards themes that involve intricate piping work or floral designs. On the other hand, if you enjoy working with fondant or modeling chocolate, themes involving sculpted decorations might be more suitable for you.

Once you have chosen your decoration theme, you can start gathering the necessary tools and ingredients specific to your design concept. Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to cake decorating, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new techniques to achieve stunning results with your store-bought chocolate cake.

Whipping up Simple Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream frosting is a versatile and delicious option for decorating a store-bought chocolate cake. It is smooth, creamy, and can be easily customized to suit your taste and style. By making your own buttercream frosting, you have full control over the flavors and colors that complement your cake. Here is a quick and easy recipe for homemade buttercream frosting:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened.
  • 4 cups powdered sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream.


  1. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy using an electric mixer.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  4. For a smoother consistency, add milk or heavy cream gradually until desired texture is achieved.

The benefits of using buttercream frosting are numerous. Firstly, it provides a smooth and even base for any decorations you wish to add to your store-bought chocolate cake. Its velvety texture makes it ideal for piping intricate designs or creating borders around the edges of the cake. Additionally, buttercream frosting can be easily colored with food coloring to achieve any shade you desire.

To make this homemade buttercream frosting truly unique, consider adding different flavorings such as lemon zest or cocoa powder for a citrusy or chocolaty twist. If you prefer a lighter frosting, you can substitute some of the butter with vegetable shortening or add whipped cream to the mixture.

With this simple recipe in your arsenal, you are ready to take on the challenge of decorating your store-bought chocolate cake with confidence and creativity.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softenedIn a large bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy using an electric mixer.
4 cups powdered sugarGradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
2 teaspoons vanilla extractAdd the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy creamFor a smoother consistency, add milk or heavy cream gradually until desired texture is achieved.

Essential Tools and Ingredients for Cake Decoration

Decorating a store-bought chocolate cake can be a fun and creative endeavor, but it requires a few essential tools and ingredients to achieve the desired results. In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to decorate your cake like a pro.

  1. Piping Bags: These are essential for creating beautiful designs on your cake. Disposable piping bags are convenient and easy to use, while reusable ones are more eco-friendly. Make sure to have different sizes available for various decorating techniques.
  2. Decorating Tips: These small metal attachments fit onto the end of piping bags and determine the shape and size of your frosting decorations. Start with basic shapes like round, star, and leaf tips, and gradually expand your collection as you become more comfortable with cake decorating.
  3. Spatulas: A good set of spatulas is crucial for frosting your cake smoothly. An offset spatula is great for applying an even layer of frosting on flat surfaces, while straight spatulas are ideal for smoothing sides and creating neat edges.
  4. Food Coloring: Add a pop of color to your cakes with food coloring gels or liquids. Gel colors offer vibrant hues without diluting the consistency of your frosting. Remember to start with a small amount and gradually add more until you achieve the desired shade.
  5. Palette Knife: This tool is perfect for smoothing out buttercream or ganache on the surface of your cake, giving it that polished, professional look.
  6. Fondant Tools: If you plan on working with fondant decorations, invest in a set of fondant tools that includes cutters, embossers, rolling pins, and smoother tools. These will help you create intricate designs and textures on your cake’s surface.
  7. Edible Decorations: Elevate the appearance of your store-bought chocolate cake by using edible toppings such as fresh berries, shaved chocolate, edible flowers, sprinkles, or drizzles of caramel or chocolate ganache. These toppings not only add visual appeal but also enhance the taste and texture of your cake.
  8. Non-edible Decorations: To personalize your cake, consider using non-edible decorations such as themed cake toppers, ribbon or lace accents, or decorative picks. These can help you achieve a specific theme or add a personalized touch to your creation.

By ensuring you have these essential tools and ingredients on hand, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle any cake decorating project. Remember to have fun and let your creativity shine through as you transform a store-bought chocolate cake into a work of art.

Decorative Techniques

Once you have prepped your store-bought chocolate cake and chosen a decoration theme, it’s time to explore the world of decorative techniques. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, there are various techniques that can take your cake from basic to breathtaking. In this section, we will start with the basics and gradually introduce more advanced techniques.

To begin, let’s start with simple piping. Piping is a versatile technique that allows you to create beautiful designs and add texture to your cake. You can experiment with different piping tips to achieve various effects such as stars, rosettes, or shells. Practice piping on a separate surface before moving onto your cake to get a feel for the pressure needed and the patterns you want to create.

Creating borders is another basic technique that can elevate the look of your store-bought chocolate cake. Borders not only frame the edges of the cake but also provide an opportunity to add additional details. You can use buttercream frosting or even melted chocolate to pipe borders around the top and bottom edges of your cake.

For those looking to explore more advanced techniques, fondant decorations or stenciling can be excellent options. Fondant is a smooth icing-like substance that can be rolled out and shaped into elaborate designs.

It provides a polished and professional look when covering larger areas of the cake or creating intricate decorations like flowers or figures. Stenciling involves using a stencil pattern and some powdered sugar or cocoa powder to dust over the design, leaving behind an elegant pattern on the surface of your cake.

How to Decorate a Strawberry Cake

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out exactly as planned. The key is experimentation and having fun with it. With time and practice, you will become more proficient in these decorative techniques, allowing you to unleash your creativity and transform any store-bought chocolate cake into a work of art.

In the next section, we will explore adding flair to your decorated cake with edible toppings and fillings, so stay tuned for some delectable inspiration.

Adding Flair with Edible Toppings and Fillings

When it comes to decorating a store-bought chocolate cake, adding edible toppings and fillings can take your creation to the next level. These delicious additions not only enhance the flavor of the cake but also provide an opportunity to elevate its appearance. From fresh berries to decadent ganache, there are countless options to choose from that will make your cake truly spectacular.

One popular choice for topping a chocolate cake is fresh berries. Not only do they add a burst of color, but they also provide a delightful contrast in texture. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all excellent choices that pair perfectly with rich chocolate flavors. Simply wash and dry the berries before arranging them decoratively on top of your frosted cake.

Another delicious option is to drizzle your cake with a luscious chocolate ganache or caramel sauce. This adds a touch of elegance and decadence to the overall presentation. To make a simple ganache, heat heavy cream until just boiling, then pour it over chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Allow it to cool slightly before pouring over your cake for a glossy finish.

For those looking for more whimsical decorations, edible flowers are an enchanting choice. Ensure you use flowers that are safe for consumption and have not been treated with any chemicals. Candied violets or pansies can be purchased at specialty stores or made at home by brushing flower petals with egg white and dipping them in sugar.

In addition to these ideas, you can also experiment with other toppings such as toasted nuts, crushed cookies or candies, shredded coconut, or even edible gold leaf for an extra touch of luxury. The key is to select toppings that both complement the rich flavors of the chocolate cake and align with your chosen decoration theme.

Edible Topping/FillingDescription
Fresh BerriesProvides burst of color and contrasting texture
Chocolate GanacheAdds elegance and richness to the cake’s appearance
Caramel SauceOffers a sweet and creamy contrast to the chocolate flavors
Edible FlowersAdds an enchanting and whimsical touch to the cake
Toasted Nuts/Crushed Cookies/Candies/Shredded Coconut/Edible Gold LeafProvides variety and allows for customization based on personal preferences or theme

Personalizing with Non-edible Decorations

When it comes to decorating a store-bought chocolate cake, there are so many options to consider. Adding non-edible decorations can be a fun and creative way to personalize your cake and make it stand out. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to add a personal touch, here are some suggestions for adding flair with non-edible decorations.

Themed Cake Toppers

One of the easiest ways to personalize your cake is by using themed cake toppers. These can be found in party supply stores or online and come in a wide variety of designs and themes. From superheroes and princesses to sports or milestone birthdays, there is a cake topper option for every occasion. Simply place the cake topper on top of your decorated cake and watch as it instantly becomes the center of attention.

Ribbon or Lace Accents

Another simple yet effective way to personalize your store-bought chocolate cake is by using ribbon or lace accents. Take a colorful ribbon that matches your theme and tie it around the base of the cake for an elegant touch.

Alternatively, you can cut lace into delicate shapes like hearts or flowers and carefully place them on the sides of the cake for a vintage look. Both options add texture and visual interest without altering the flavor of the cake itself.

Decorative Picks

If you want to add some height and dimension to your decorated cake, decorative picks are an excellent choice. These small, decorative elements usually feature phrases, images, or symbols that fit various themes or events. For example, if you’re hosting a baby shower, you could use picks shaped like baby rattles or onesies. Gently insert them into the top of your cake for an easy yet eye-catching decoration.

Remember that when using non-edible decorations on your cake, it’s crucial to let guests know which parts are edible and which parts should be removed before eating. Place a sign near the cake or inform guests verbally so that everyone can enjoy the cake safely and without any surprises. With these non-edible decorations, you can turn a simple store-bought chocolate cake into a personalized masterpiece that’s sure to be remembered.

Troubleshooting Common Decoration Challenges

Addressing Cracked Frosting

One common challenge that many people face when decorating a store-bought chocolate cake is dealing with cracked frosting. This can be frustrating, especially after putting effort into creating a beautiful design. However, there are a few simple solutions to fix this issue.

If you notice cracks in your frosting, one possible cause is that the cake may have been too warm when you applied the frosting. To prevent this from happening, make sure the cake has completely cooled before adding the frosting. You can even place it in the refrigerator for a short while before decorating to ensure it is firm and less prone to cracking.

In addition, it’s essential to apply an even layer of frosting on the cake. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread the frosting gently and evenly across the entire surface of the cake. Avoid pressing too hard or applying too much pressure as this can cause cracks to form. Remember, smooth and steady motions will yield better results.

If cracks still appear despite taking these precautions, don’t worry. There are ways to salvage your frosting. One option is to use additional frosting to fill in the cracks. Simply take a small amount of fresh frosting and carefully spread it over the cracked areas using a spatula or piping bag with a small round tip. Gently blend it into the surrounding frosting for a seamless look.

Fixing Uneven Piping

Another decoration challenge that may arise when working with store-bought chocolate cakes is achieving even piping for designs such as borders or decorative patterns. Uneven piping can make your cake look messy and unprofessional, but there are techniques to help you achieve consistent results.

To start, choose a piping bag with an appropriate tip for your desired design. Practice your piping skills on parchment paper before attempting on the cake itself; this allows you to familiarize yourself with maintaining consistent pressure on the bag while controlling the flow of frosting.

When piping on the cake, use gentle and even pressure on the bag as you guide it along the desired path. Keep your hand steady and try to maintain a consistent distance from the cake’s surface. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempt isn’t flawless. With a bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to achieve smooth and even piping.

In the event that you encounter uneven piping, there are ways to fix it. One method is to gently scrape off the unevenly piped area using a small offset spatula or butter knife. Smooth out any imperfections in that section before re-piping over it. If needed, you can also pipe a decorative design or border over the imperfect area to distract from any inconsistencies.

Perfecting Color Shades

Achieving the right color shades for your decorations can sometimes be challenging when working with store-bought chocolate cakes. It’s important to remember that different brands of food coloring may yield slightly different results, so it’s essential to be patient and take time experimenting with colors.

To begin, start by adding a small amount of food coloring to your frosting or icing at a time; this allows you to gradually build up the desired shade while avoiding going too dark too quickly. Remember that it’s easier to add more color than it is to lighten an overly saturated shade.

If you find that your colors are not turning out as vibrant as you’d like or appear dull and lackluster, there are ways to enhance them:

  • Start by ensuring that your food coloring is fresh and not expired.
  • Try using gel-based food colorings instead of liquid ones, as they are more concentrated and produce more vibrant shades.
  • Add a tiny amount of white food coloring if you need to make pastel shades pop.
  • Experiment with mixing different colors together for more unique hues.
  • Remember that the color of your frosting or icing may intensify slightly as it sits, so consider allowing it to develop for a little while before deciding if it needs adjustment.

By following these tips and being patient with the coloring process, you’ll be able to achieve stunning and eye-catching shades for your cake decorations. Remember that practice is key, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with different colors and techniques until you find what works best for you.


In conclusion, decorating a store-bought chocolate cake is not only convenient but also a great way to unleash your creativity and create a picture-perfect masterpiece. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog post, you can transform an ordinary cake into a stunning centerpiece that will impress your family and friends.

Throughout this article, we have discussed the importance of prepping the cake before decorating, choosing a decoration theme, whipping up simple buttercream frosting, and gathering essential tools and ingredients. We have also explored different decorative techniques, adding flair with edible toppings and fillings, personalizing with non-edible decorations, and troubleshooting common decoration challenges.

The key takeaway from this blog post is to embrace your creativity and confidently decorate store-bought chocolate cakes. Whether you prefer a floral, rustic, or modern theme, there are endless possibilities for making your cake unique and visually appealing. With practice and patience, you can master various icing techniques and create intricate designs that will wow everyone who sees your creation.

So go ahead and give it a try. Have fun experimenting with different decorations, flavors, and styles. Remember that there are no right or wrong choices when it comes to decorating your cake – it’s all about expressing yourself and enjoying the process. With the convenience of store-bought cakes combined with your creative touch, you can easily turn an ordinary dessert into something truly extraordinary.

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