The Best Birthday Cake Trends!

wilton birthday cake idea

Since it's still my birth month, let's continue the birthday shenanigans with a fun birthday cake design! 

When it comes to baking, I always trust Wilton products - I've been using them since I was 12 and consider them the baking masters!  From various types of pans to Candy Melts, they have everything I need to create the best desserts. 

Wilton started an awesome page all about how to BAKE THE HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY CAKE EVER!  They reached out and asked what MY perfect birthday cake would look like, so I am excited to share it with you guys!

My favorite birthday cake trends definitely involve: a ganache drip, a little color, and some chocolate shard designs.  I'll be sharing some easy steps on how to get each of these looks!

Add Some Color with Paints!

edible cake paint wilton buttercream
how to paint buttercream cake

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I LOVE painting on cakes! Wilton has these Edible Metallic Cake Paints that provide a great accent of color, even on buttercream cakes!  You might think that you can only paint on fondant, but it is super easy to paint on a buttercream frosted cake, as long as it's smooth and chilled.

When painting on cakes, it is important to use food safe brushes, where the bristles won't easily fall off.  I like using these ones from Wilton because they glide on my cakes very easily and the bristles never come off!

Once your cake is chilled (not frozen) and smooth, shake the metallic paint color of your choice, and either pour the paint into a palette, or you can dip your brush straight into the paint pot.

How you paint your cake is entirely up to you.  Experiment, and see what feels and works best.  I like to load a lot of paint onto my brush to avoid harsh brush strokes on my cake.  Once the paintbrush touches the cake, I'll slowly and gently stroke from side to side. Repeat all around the cake, but if your cake starts to get warm and the buttercream melts, stick the cake back into the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before painting again.

Ganache Drip

how to make chocolate ganache drip cake

To add a white chocolate drip, check my easy recipe HERE!  This recipe works with white or any color Candy Melts.

Wilton has a wide range of colored Candy Melts, which is wonderful because you can really have fun and let your creativity shine.  One tip is to apply your chocolate drip on a chilled cake because this will help the ganache from dripping all the way down (unless that is the look you are going for!).

There are different ways to apply a drip, but my favorite is pouring a little bit on the top of the cake first, then pushing the ganache down slowly to the edges of the cake using a small spatula or spoon.  The look of the drip is up to you.  I personally like uneven drips that are a bit thicker in size, so I will usually let my ganache cool down a bit after microwaving in order to thicken, then I will apply onto my cake. 

Marbled Chocolate Shards

candy melts for chocolate shard recipe how to
how to make marbled chocolate shard sail topper

Chocolate shards are a great cake topper option.  You can use any colors you like, and also mold it into any shape.

To create a marbled chocolate shard, all you will need are different colored Candy Melts,  parchment paper, spoons, and a knife or toothpick.  Place each Candy Melt color into a bowl, and microwave for 30 second intervals until completely melted, mixing in between.  (TIp: Choose one color to be the base color - for me, I chose white.  For your base color, microwave twice the amount).

With your melted base color, spread it evenly over your parchment paper, making it as smooth as possible.  You don't want it to be too thin though, otherwise it won't be sturdy enough and will break easily.

Taking a spoonful of the other colors you chose, place small dollops randomly all over the base color, making sure to leave some space between each color to create a nice contrast.  Then using a knife or toothpick, swirl all the colors together.  An easy way is to keep drawing the number 8 all over. 

Once you are happy with the marbled effect, let it harden completely in the refrigerator.

You can then break apart the shards into various shapes, and place it on top of your cake or even the sides - have fun with it!

Tip: If you'd like to mold your chocolate shard into different shapes to give it more character and dimension, an easy way is to clip parts of the parchment together with clamps/clothespins/etc. and remove them after the shard has hardened. You can even place small cups or bowls underneath the parchment as well for a cool design.  

birthday cake how to

To assemble this cake together, I would recommend painting the cake first, applying the drip, allowing the drip to harden, then adding your chocolate shards!

Shop the Wilton products I used:

Edible Metallic Cake Paints

Candy Melts

Parchment Paper


Check out MORE birthday cake ideas HERE!

I hope you enjoy these cake designs and trends as much as I do!  What does YOUR ultimate birthday cake look like?  Leave a comment below!

**I would like to give Wilton a huge shout out and THANK YOU for providing these products. As always, the opinions are completely my own, and based on my experience.**

All photos by Alexander Tat.

drip cake marbled shard painted cake
birthday cake trends