29 Feb

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

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

{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.

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

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)

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

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.

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

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.

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

STEP SEVEN – Add cake topper of your choice

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini Cake

DIY {No Bake} Pretty in a Pinch Mini 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


Leave a Comment


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.

Reply 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

Reply 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



Reply February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Sharon SAYS:

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

Reply February 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

emily SAYS:

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

Reply 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!!!

Reply 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!

Reply 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!!

Reply March 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

antique engagement rings SAYS:

The mini cakes look so yummy!

Reply 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!

Reply 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….

Reply March 2, 2012 at 4:39 am

Briana SAYS:

This is absolutely gorgeous! Great job.

Reply March 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm

gwen SAYS:

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

Reply March 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

Rowaida Flayhan SAYS:

Looks amazing love it

Reply March 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Tawnya SAYS:

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

Reply March 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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