Ideas for Decorating a Chocolate Birthday Cake

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Ideas for Decorating a Chocolate Birthday Cake
Toppings made from fondant, candies and even inedible toys and gadgets can make your cake a memorable one. (chocolate cake image by Dmitry Grishin from

Create an experience in decadence as you prepare and decorate an impressive chocolate cake for your favourite chocoholic's birthday. Though you may feel limited as to how to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, the good news is your options are pretty much limited only to your own imagination. Because white frosting is traditional for most cakes made for special occasions, the bold use of chocolate already makes you a star. Don't be afraid to experiment.

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One method of decorating your chocolate cake involves using light-coloured icing as the cake's main decor, such as frosting made of white chocolate. This allows for the use of an entire palette of bright colours on the cake. However, since brown is considered to be a neutral even a traditionally iced chocolate cake can pop with icing colours of blue, yellow, white and red. In fact, the brighter the colour is, the more it tends to pop against a darker background. A simple chocolate layer cake with brightly coloured roses in red, yellow or pink can make a dramatic statement with a design that is not very complicated to make.


Moulded and shaped chocolates and chocolate shavings can add to the visual appeal to your cake while giving the birthday girl a double dose of her favourite flavour. Modelling chocolate is pliable enough to be moulded into different shapes and is available in various colours, giving you unlimited options as to how to use it. Often, these kits are sold with moulds you can use if you don't feel confident enough to sculpt your enhancements with a free hand. Larger chocolate moulds can be placed as the centrepiece of your arrangement, such as cars or a cartoon character for a child's cake. You can also arrange chocolate leaves and roses around the edges of the cake for a more elegant touch.


Another way to decorate your chocolate cake is to apply a "feathering" technique. To achieve this look, first stack and ice your round layer cake. After icing the top layer of your cake, pipe a contrasting icing around the cake in concentric circles from the cake's outside to its centre. Take a skewer and pull it from the outside edge in toward the centre in a straight line across the top of your cake. Repeat around the cake, changing directions from outside in to inside out with each stroke. This creates the illusion of "feathering" for an easy, dramatic effect.


Fondant is an edible smooth covering traditionally used over a cake that has already been iced. Though it can be any colour, fondant is also sold in chocolate flavours. You can either make your own fondant or buy it from a store that sells cake decorating supplies. Fondant is ideal to use when you are creating a stacked layer cake, as it provides a smooth, professional finish to your cake that you can decorate with buttercream or royal icing for an elegant touch.

Buck Tradition

If you would like a cake as unconventional as the birthday boy, opt to make an unconventional kind of birthday cake. Make "lava" cakes, which are individual concoctions that spill warm gooey chocolate from their centres and need only a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar or fresh fruit as decoration for their tops. Alternatively, make individual cakes in mugs with a hot cocoa theme. Top the cakes with whipped cream and enjoy them during those colder birthday months.

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