Due to its sturdy texture and sweet, simple flavor, pound cake is ideal for decorating. This traditional cake can be spread with icing, sprinkled with sugar and candy or baked in a beautiful molded pan that will shape your cake into, or imprint it with, decorative designs. If you make a mistake as you decorate, such as adding too much frosting or drawing an uneven line, never fear. Icing is very forgiving, and the density of pound cake allows you to pile on an array of decorations. Experiment with several designs and find one that suits the cake’s occasion and your personal style.

Things You'll Need

Using Decorative Pans

Spray your pan with vegetable cooking spray and preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Your pound cake batter should be prepared beforehand.

Pour your batter into your pan and bake according to your recipe. Your cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean.

Leave the cake in the pan and allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully loosen the edges of your cake from the pan with a dull butter knife. Be careful not to gouge the cake with your knife.

Turn your cake carefully onto your cooling rack or heat-safe plate. Your cake will be imprinted with the pan’s design. You may leave your cake as is or sprinkle it with powdered sugar, using either your fingers or a spoon.

Decorating with Icing

Scoop a large dollop of icing onto the center of your cooled cake with your spoon. Be generous with your icing — you can always scrape the excess away. Using your offset spatula, push the icing outward in all directions. Use a smooth, light pushing motion — do not pull your spatula towards you, as you may scrape the cake and leave crumbs in your icing.

If you’re icing a cake that was baked in a molded pan, you may use a smaller spatula, such as an angled spatula, or a butter knife, to smooth icing into smaller spaces. Use the same pushing technique you used with your offset spatula.

Cover the top of your cake first, then continue along the sides, using the same pushing technique. Once you’ve finished covering the cake, smooth any bumps or ridges in your icing by lightly passing your offset spatula over your cake.

Assemble your icing bag and tips according to the bag’s directions. Hold the tip end of the bag in your hand, and fold the open end of the bag down to form a cuff over your fist. This will keep the bag from flopping over as you fill it with icing.

Use your angled spatula to scoop icing into your bag. Use a second color of icing that will pop against the icing you used to cover the cake.

Twist the open end of the bag closed, then squeeze the bag until any excess air and a tiny amount of icing escapes from the tip. This step is called “burping” the bag.

Use your icing bag to add decoration to your cake. You can line the edges of your cake, write on your cake or draw simple pictures such as hearts or flowers. You can also experiment with various icing tips on your bag, using different tips to create smooth round piping, ruffles, flat borders or other shapes.

If you make a mistake, use your offset spatula to carefully scrape away your design and blend over the area with the icing you used to cover the cake.

Other Decorations

Press candies such as jelly beans, gummy bears or even chocolate pieces into the icing on your cake. The icing will help to hold the candies in place. You can decorate with candies in the center of your cake, along the edges of your cake or even along the sides.

Add sprinkles to your cake. You can do a light dusting of sprinkles all over the cake or concentrate them in one area, or you can experiment with several types of sprinkles on one cake.

Top your take with dried fruit or whipped cream. You may use raisins, dried cranberries or even dried apples and banana chips.


  • It may be wise to practice with your icing bag before it’s time to decorate your cake. Experiment with gripping high or low on the bag and squeezing with the appropriate amount of pressure. You can try practicing on a paper plate until you get the hang of it. It may take a little time to master, but your end results will be worth it.