Show your favourite handy guy or gal your appreciation with a home improvement-themed birthday cake. Home improvement cake ideas include options for both experienced cake decorators and novices. For example, you can keep your cake simple with buttercream frosting and tool decorations or go all out with sophisticated designs that use fondant and modelling chocolate. Multiple designs can easily be tailored to sheet or round cakes and be sized to match your birthday party guest count.
Frost a two-layer, 8-inch round cake with your choice of tinted buttercream frosting. Use a fine-pointed decorator's tip to outline various tool shapes on the top and sides of your cake in a differently coloured icing. Leave room to include a birthday message and the recipient's name. Fill in the shapes with tinted icing. Use silver edible dust to accent tools such as hammers and wrenches. If desired, add a simple scallop border to the top and bottom of the cake.
Bake two dozen chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. Sketch the shape of a hammer onto a sheet of posterboard and cut the shape out. Once the cupcakes have cooled, arrange them on top of your template. Ice the cupcakes with tinted frosting, using brown or tan for the hammer's handle and silver or grey for the hammer's head. If you prefer, you can use a colour mist spray to tint the frosting. This idea can be applied to any handyman-themed shape, including wrenches, nails and screwdrivers. You can also create a measuring tape shape with yellow frosting and a tube of black decorator's gel.
Tint a sheet of fondant a brick shade and roll it over a brick or stone texture sheet. Cut the fondant into brick-size pieces and use royal icing or buttercream to affix the "bricks" to the sides of a cake. For a larger, more elaborate look, frost a two-layer sheet cake with tinted icing, cut it into bricks and cover each brick with tinted and textured fondant. "Mortar" and stack the bricks together with tinted marshmallow fluff or buttercream icing to create the look of a partially finished brick wall. You can decorate either of these cake designs with tools, nails, measuring tapes and other handyman supplies made out of fondant or modelling chocolate.
Cut and stack a sheet cake into a toolbox shape, making sure to frost in between layers. Use buttercream frosting for a crumb coat, and then lay and mould red- or silver-tinted fondant over the shape. Use modelling chocolate to form a handle and toolbox latch. Tint a sheet of fondant bright yellow and cut out a long narrow strip. Use black royal icing to add in measuring tape numbers and tic marks. Once the icing sets, curl the "tape measure" so it lays in front and partially on top of the toolbox cake.