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5 Special Occasion Cakes

Special birthday cakes are easier to make than you might think!
DCL

There are so many reasons to celebrate in life, and with each one comes an excellent excuse to indulge in delicious cake. We contend that cakes should be just as special as the occasion they are celebrating! But there’s no reason to fret that a beautiful and creative cake has to be difficult – or expensive – to make. These special occasion cakes are sure to impress without requiring any extra special cake decorating skills – or dips into your savings account.

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Create a spooky Halloween with cobweb cake.
Create a spooky Halloween with cobweb cake.
AForestFrolic/flickr

In addition to jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and goblins, Halloween is filled with cobwebs and spiders in creepy haunted houses. Make a round layer cake and frost it with buttercream frosting. Add orange, purple or green food coloring to the frosting to add a spookier effect. Then take black writing icing and starting in the center of the cake create either a spiral of the icing to the outer edge or concentric circles to the outer edge. Once that is complete, take a knife and lightly drag it from the center of the cake to the edge in a straight line. Repeat every few images to create the complete web. Then top the cake with either toy spiders or edible gummy spiders to complete the spooky cake.

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A harvest themed cake is the perfect way to top of a Thanksgiving meal.
A harvest themed cake is the perfect way to top of a Thanksgiving meal.
Lisa DeNardi/Recaptured Charm

It only seems appropriate that a Thanksgiving cake would celebrate the harvest which makes this pumpkin spice cake by Lisa DeNardi of Recaptured Charm the perfect way to top off a Thanksgiving meal. While it may look complicated, a simple bundt cake pan is the secret to creating the shape of this pumpkin and fondant gives it a smooth finish. The stem and leaf decorations can be made in many ways and can be as simple or as elaborate as desired.

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A valentine’s cake filled with love.
A valentine’s cake filled with love.

A simple white cake offers a big surprise on Valentine’s Day with a heart on the inside. Cake blogger I am Baker came up with this idea to carve out the layers of a white round cake and fill it with crumbled red velvet cake to create the heart interior. It’s the perfect way to show loved ones how important they are in a unique way, and the unexpectedness of it makes it both fun and special.

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A classic baby item becomes an easy-to-make baby shower cake.
A classic baby item becomes an easy-to-make baby shower cake.
aalphotos/flickr

Baby blocks are a part of every baby’s life and are the quintessential icon for expectant parents. Cut rectangular cake layers into squares and stack with icing in between each layer. Then frost the outside of the each cake block with buttercream icing or fondant. Decorate the cake with letters, numbers, and other baby themed items such as animals, vehicles, and baby toys. Another wonderful thing about a baby block cakes is that they can easily be customized in color if the gender of the baby is known and theme if there is something particularly special to the parents-to-be.

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A mortar board inspired cake says “hats off” to the new graduate.
A mortar board inspired cake says “hats off” to the new graduate.
Michelle Schrank/flickr

Students spend thousands of hours studying to get to the point where they can wear that cap and gown so why not make it the theme of the cake that celebrates all their hard work? Make two standard round layer cakes of varying sizes and stack the smaller one on top of the larger one. Then make one oversized cupcake that you put on top of the stack upside down. Frost the cakes or cover them in fondant. Then cut a piece of cardboard to size, cover it in fondant, and place it on top of the inverted cupcake to create a mortar board top to the cake. Use writing icing to create a celebratory message or to include the class year. If a smaller cake is all that’s necessary, simply make a basic round layer cake and top it with a fondant covered cardboard square with a center hole that holds the tassel.

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