29 Feb

DIY {No-Bake} “Pretty-in-a Pinch” Mini Cake

TomBoy Cake inspired by Miette

{DIY Tutorial by HWTM Blog Contributor, Jessica Kirkland of Pen N’ Paperflowers}

If you are looking for the BEST idea ever for a quick, charming cake…you are going to absolutely love me after I share this DIY with you.  For those of you who don’t like to bake…you are going to love me even more.

Remember the Fabulous Find I shared with you last week featuring the Miette baking book? Well it was the adorable “Tomboy” layer cake on the book’s cover that immediately caught my eye and I vowed to make the cake for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. Lucky for me, (yes, I said lucky), I ended up catching a cold two days prior to the party and seriously considered canceling because I had no energy and felt pretty miserable. Desperate to still pull things together, I had to get resourceful. 

Normally, I enjoy baking everything from scratch. Considering my circumstances though, I knew there would be very little chance of Ella even having a cake at all if I insisted on going that route. Remembering the other DIY cake I shared with you some time back, I was inspired to head back to the bakery at my local grocery store.  Here’s where the lucky part comes into play.  I discovered I could purchase an un-iced chocolate cake from the bakery. (And it was already pre-sliced into four layers – I only needed three). Are you kidding me?  So I did the unthinkable. For a little over $5 bucks, I purchased the un-iced cake and a tub of pre-made buttercream frosting *gasp* – and was out the door.

What you'll need

KEEP READING for the final results and step-by-step instructions. Trust me when I say…this was easy as pie cake.


SUPPLIES NEEDED to recreate this mini 5″ Tomboy Cake

• 5-inch un-iced chocolate cake (with three pre-sliced layers)
• 1/2 pound of white buttercream frosting (approx. 1-2 cups)
• piping bag (or ziploc bag)
• large french pastry tip (although the book recommends a star tip)
• icing spatula
• mini cakestand
• food coloring gel (I used Americolor Electric Pink)
• your choice of a cake topper (I used a flower from Maisey’s Daiseys Little Shop)

Prepare first cake layer

STEP ONE – Place one un-iced cake layer onto cakestand

STEP TWO – Add two small drops of Americolor Gel Paste to white Buttercream frosting and stir until well blended. (see below)

STEP THREE – Prepare piping bag with french pastry tip and fill bag with pink icing.

Ready the frosting and ice first layer

STEP FOUR – After spreading a layer of frosting on first cake layer using your icing spatula, pipe a decorative edge of frosting around the edge of the first cake layer.

STEP FIVE – Place 2nd cake layer on top and repeat process until you have a total of three stacked cake layers.

STEP SIX – Take extra precaution on the final top cake layer when spreading the pink frosting. You don’t want any chocolate crumbs mixed in with the icing. (so make certain you add a good “blob” and spread carefully). Finish it off by piping a decorative edge of frosting around the cake.

Three layers done. Icing for the top.

STEP SEVEN – Add cake topper of your choice

Add floral decoration of choice


Finished TomBoy Cake

I’ll admit that I’m no expert and that Miette’s version is absolutely more refined. However, you can’t beat the $5 dollars it cost to make it, the 15 minutes it took to assemble everything or the fact that the oven was never turned on. *wink* I like to call this cake “pretty in a pinch“…don’t you agree?

Photography: Pen N’ Paperflowers Studio & Design


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Jessica K.


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jennifer w. SAYS:

Will have to see if a local store has this option — so easy! Our favorite bakery does a version of this cake. The put sprinkles in a white cake batter, and then trim off the sides of the cake layers to expose the rainbow dots.

February 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Patricia SAYS:

Love this cheater cake idea. I have to confess I was delirious when I discovered my bakery sold UN-iced sugar cookies. For me at least, SO much more fun to focus on the decorations than hours of baking

February 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Jessica @ Pen N' Paperflowers Studio & Design SAYS:

Patricia…you are too funny! And I agree completely that the decorations are the part I love most!!

March 1, 2012 at 9:53 am



February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Sharon SAYS:

That is such a fabulous tip~ Thank you for sharing!

February 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

emily SAYS:

These are beyond adorable! Love love LOVE your blog.
Emily… thepostscriptofemilywilsondesign.blogspot.com

February 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Katrina SAYS:

Okay, this is seriously just GENIUS!!!! I don’t even want to get ready for work, I just want to run down to my local grocery store and see if this is something they can do for me. LOVE IT!!!

March 1, 2012 at 7:36 am

jessica @ Pen N' Paperflowers Studio & Design SAYS:


Oh I’m thrilled at your excitement!! You’ll have to let us know what your local bakery says.

March 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

Miss Margarita SAYS:

so cute and sweet!

March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

elissa @ one stone events SAYS:

i’m making a cake like this in 2 weeks. i may have to cheat!!

March 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

antique engagement rings SAYS:

The mini cakes look so yummy!

March 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Jessica W. SAYS:

What grocery store did you get this at? I’m hoping ours in Portland have them too!! I love this!

March 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

renee SAYS:

Brilliant. I’m pretty sure the font on that cake and icing is from Publix. I am soooo going to make one of these cakes for my little neighbor who is turning 5 soon! I have three children, and although I enjoy baking, I sometimes have no time to do so … and this is an excellent idea and such a pretty little cake. You are amazing, and I know your little 3-year-old LOVED it!

March 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Zsa Zsa SAYS:

I have been planning to make mini cakes for a long time. I think I’m try very soon. Now, if I can only get hold of a mini-cake stand….

March 2, 2012 at 4:39 am

Briana SAYS:

This is absolutely gorgeous! Great job.

March 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm

gwen SAYS:

Do you have to ask for this or is already available?

March 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

Rowaida Flayhan SAYS:

Looks amazing love it

March 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Tawnya SAYS:

Great Idea!. where did you get the cake plate?

March 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Connie SAYS:

Gotta keep this in mind next time! And if my bakery doesn’t offer the icing, I can make my own in about 5 mins! Adding that homemade/love touch!! Awesome

May 1, 2012 at 8:09 am

Dee Shore SAYS:

I'm in love with this cake. It's just so pretty.

December 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm
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