Hey, Rookies! Today I’m going to show you how to decorate a personalized cake, which is a very good present for a friend—on their birthday or any day! I’ll show you a basic layout, but you don’t have to follow my guidelines to the letter. This cake is infinitely customizable.

What you’ll need:

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  • Small plastic toys. Try to find ones that correspond to your friend’s likes and interests. I got mine from a toy machine at a supermarket.
  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • A cake! I made this boxed one in a round pan, but you can use whatever cake/pan-shape combo you like.
  • Frosting (I chose vanilla.)
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Food coloring
  • As many kinds of fun cake sprinkles as possible!
  • Mini marshmallows (not pictured)

Step One

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Wash the plastic toys by hand, or in a bowl like I did.

Step Two

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Put the plastic toys on a paper towel to air dry.

Step Three

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Cover the cake with the frosting of your choice.

Step Four

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Spoon about two big globs of frosting into a plastic bag, then mix in food coloring. (I put a couple droplets of red food coloring in vanilla frosting to make pink.) When you’re done, seal the bag and squeeze the frosting toward one of the corners. Twist the corner, then cut a tiny hole through it.

Step Five

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Ice your friend’s name or a message for them into the middle of the cake by slowly squeezing the frosting-filled bag. Don’t worry about whether it’s perfectly centered because you can add cute drawings on either side to balance things out.

Step Six

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Repeat the frosting-making technique from Step Four to mix a new color of frosting, then use that color to draw a border around the cake’s perimeter. (If you squeeze the frosting very slowly, the line will look sort of frilly.)

Step Seven

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Now: Go wild with decorations! I made six more colors of icing—plus the blue I drew my border with—to concoct this li’l rainbow, then I added some tiny silver sprinkles as sky. The heart is the same color of pink I started with.

Step Eight

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Arrange a few (or a lot) of mini marshmallows at the end of the rainbow for clouds! This also will cover up any uneven ends.

Step Nine

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Sprinkle on as many other kinds of sprinkles as you’d like, and finish by placing the plastic toys! (Remind people before they eat the cake that the plastic toys are not edible!)

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All done! It’s almost too cute to eat. ♦