Can you draw as good as a six-year-old?

Sure you can – and impress your kids at the same time.

Butterflies in Buttercream

This was my first attempt at a multi-tiered cake. And of course, I went mini. I used a 6″ inch pan, a 5″ pan and a ramekin dish for the top. The cake was made from this recipe. It was ok, but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect, easy, moist, delicious, no-fail, homemade, yellow cake recipe. (That’s not too much to ask for, is it?)

So, now that I had cake, I needed to decorate. (Here’s where your kids come in.) I used some more of my niece’s artwork as inspiration.


I used the same candy technique I showed you recently and it worked beautifully for her butterflies. But instead of using the candy melts and squeeze bottles, I used candy writers. Yep, I said candy writers. First an edible ink pen and now squeezable colored chocolate. These were perfect because I just needed a little of each color and didn’t really want to go to the trouble of melting bowls of chocolate. They’re really easy to use and no mess to clean up. You just rest them in a bowl of hot water and use your hands to knead until ready. For the rest of the cake, I just colored buttercream frosting to match the colors in her drawing.

Candy Writers

When my niece came over, she recognized her drawing right away and was so excited to see her art in icing. Yay, success! So get those pics off the fridge and make an edible, adorable memory.

Proud little artist

These can help you:
Candy Writers
6 inch Cake Pan
Multi-Tier Cake Pan Set (This would have been handy)
Wilton Icing Colors (To color your frosting)

Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1b. 10X powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream

1. Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla with a mixer until smooth.
2. Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
3. If you want it a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.

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73 comments on “Can you draw as good as a six-year-old?”

  1. hola tengo una duda compre un chocolate de la marca turin pero se pone muy duro en vez de hablandarse yle puse un poco de aceite pero no queda mas espeso que me recomiendas gracias.

  2. So adorable! I’ll definitely have to try this for my niece’s and nephews birthdays!

  3. Hello Bakerella! I tried this recipe, but I cut it in half, and all it tastes like is butter. What should I do?

  4. I want to make one of these with my daughters!!

  5. Woah. I love how you take a first-grade drawing and make it into a beautiful cake. hey by the way, how did you make those butterflies? piping candy-melts?

  6. Monica – it’s super-fantastic.

    Stephanie – Can’t wait to see it.

  7. Im going to try this for my nieces cake in feb im going to send you a photo ;)

  8. I made a 2nd birthday cake using this technique- and it turned out fabulously (if I do say so myself) :-)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Thank you!

  10. Perfect..<:) lovely…Wonderful

    My blog:

  11. lu ann – I have that book, so I will. Thanks.

  12. love – no – L O V E that mini layered cake idea, can’t wait to try it. thanks!

    re cake recipe: i had made a cake by scratch for dd’s very first bday (it looked just like those candy melt flowers btw) that you may want to check out. a moist and scrumptious yellow cake that family still talks about. see the genoise cake in The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. yummmm

  13. dawn in ca – thanks for this. I just read and bookmarked it.

  14. Okay, so I know this is an old post, but I was reading another food blog today – smittenkitchen – and remembered you were on the hunt for the perfect yellow cake recipe. The blogger tried a bunch before settling on this one for her friend’s wedding cake. She says, “It’s tender and moist with a most delicious batter and crumb…This might be one of the best yellow cakes to come out of my kitchen.” Scroll down about 1/3 of the way (the post is a long one) and you’ll find it. If you make it, let us know how it turns out! Here’s the link:

  15. kim s- do it.

    casserole – it’s not too hard. Just set aside some time and you’ll do fine.

  16. oh man, that’s cool! don’t think I’m brave enough to try it quite yet, but a mama can always dream…

  17. AWWW! I LOVE IT! (and have a 5yos bday party to plan for…. mind if i?)

  18. Yay! Fun for the first. It will make a great memory.

  19. This is sooooo perfect!!! I LOVE it!!!
    I want to do something fun to my daughter’s first birthday cake, and I have just been inspired….

  20. jordan – thanks so much for this recipe. I just printed it out to save.

    jillrae – Just saw your pics and you did some really great butterflies and flowers with or without colored candy melts. Very Cute!

  21. Bakerella..if you get a chance, I just posted my pics of cupcakes I made today. I have been waiting to try your cake and icing recipe. I thought I might as well try the little decorations made with chocolate wafers..I only had the dark and white, but they turned out sooo sweet. Thanks again for inspiration.
    OH and I bought the book you recommended…whimsical cakes..can’t wait to try some recipes out of that!

  22. I swear, this is THE BEST cake recipe I’ve ever tasted. It’s from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. This is supposedly their vanilla cupcake recipe that they use as the base of all their cupcakes, but I’ve made numerous cakes out of it. I used this as my default recipe and then swap out the extracts and add other flavorings, fruits, etc. The only changes I made to the recipe was to use cake flour instead of all-purpose, but that’s just a personal preference. If you do that, of course, you have to use 3 cups of cake flour + 1tsp baking powder and I usually throw in 1tsp of baking soda, too.

    1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    2 cups sugar
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

  23. josephine – She is a great helper! And she loves to bake, too.

    erika – I just bought some more because they are just too handy.

  24. Nice work on the cake! I love the candy writers, definitely on my list to try and if you find that perfect cake recipe, please let me know!

  25. Hi Bakerella: You must be the most super cool aunt ever. I love that you bake with your niece. She must just adore you. (I’ll bet her mother does, too!) I you ever want more helpers, I will ship my kids over from Illinois….

  26. You can buy the melts in various colors so you don’t have to tint them.

    But for these I used Candy Writers because I didn’t need a lot of chocolate. There’s a link and picture in this post.

  27. Did you use melts for the butterflies? I had a hard time coloring melts today using Wilton colors. Any tips?

  28. sara –


    tspwlv – she was super excited. And had to eat all the butterflies.

    Mischa – You’re sweet… thanks!

    sarahmarie – thanks, the color came out pretty.

  29. very cute idea!!! i love the blue topper for the sky

  30. What a fabulous idea!

    Bakerella– you are the best!!

  31. This is so cute I just can’t stand it. Your niece must have felt like a million bucks!

  32. W

    At the amazingly beautiful cake (I’m sure the look on your niece’s face was priceless) AND
    to you replying to everyones comments! What a sweet lady you are!

  33. Sleepless – I didn’t use dowels for these because the cakes were pretty small. If you are doing a big cake and escpecially if you have to transport it, you might consider using dowels. Hope she has a Happy Birthday!

    Kristen – those looked fabulous! I love that your kids helped.

    Isa – thanks for saying so.

    Gaya – Make sure you tap the extra chocolate off or else it can look lumpy. While it’s in the spoon you used to dip, just tap it several times against the side of the bowl you dipped it in.

    Also, when you melt at 30 sec intervals, make sure to stir it in beween really good.
    Hope that helps some.

    Jennifer – see above. And glad you enjoyed them.

    Kerry – thanks!

  34. This is such a great idea, what kid wouldn’t love their art transformed into a cake!?!?

  35. I have a small question for you.

    This week, I tried my hand at both the oreo truffles (which my husband LOVED and is eating as we speak) and the cupcake pops which were a hit as well. My only issue was that when I dipped the oreo truffles in the chocolate, I couldn’t’ get the chocolate smooth around the truffle. They look sort of like blobs haha. I used a spoon to dip them… Any tips?

  36. Dear Bakerella,

    Your posts are very inspirational. Thank you for all your sweet recipes and ideas!
    Yesterday i tried to make the Oreo Truffles, turned out really yummy but only my candy melts didn’t melt all that well! I followed the instructions just as the cover(wilton’s) said, 1st it wasn’t all that smooth so i heated it for another 30 secs and it got hard, had to throw it away =(
    Any other techniques?
    Thanks again!

  37. You’re such a cool aunt and such a great baker!

  38. I love this idea! I wanted to email you, but can’t find an address, so I’ll put it here….I made some chocolate bee’s like your mothers day flowers and wanted to show you. I’m not as “neat” as you, but I was thrilled with out they turned out!

  39. Hi! did u use dowels to stack up the cakes? I’ve planning to make a tiered cake for my daughter’s bday this week. do u think it makes a difference or should i just stack it on? I plan to use yellow cake too ( i use a martha stewart recipe)

  40. Thanks Danielle

    lfamily5 – You’re welcome!

    Jack’s mom – thanks for the recipe

    Sophie – I’ll look for it

    RavingRecipes – don’t be scared. It’s just sugar

    Angela – you are sweet!

    Cheryl – thanks, but I’m the lucky one

    Saucy – thank you!

  41. Nice inspiration and a cute rendition a la pastry!

  42. That is so sweet!

  43. That is one of the cutest cakes ever! Does your niece know how lucky she is to have an aunt like you? Precious!

  44. You are brilliant!


  45. That is a beautiful cake! I can’t draw as good as a 6 year old, or a 2 year old for that matter, but this post really inspired me! It’s my dream to one day go full force and utilize my creative side with cakes and cupcakes, but there is a part of me that is still scared to take the dive. Now I feel a little more better!! Thanks for a wonderful post!

  46. I know Cook’s Magazine (or possibly Cook’s Country) just did a perfect yellow cake. Their stuff is always great and you even learn the science behind why it’s a great yellow cake.

  47. Love your ideas! I took a cake decorating class once and the teacher gave us this recipe for yellow cake. It is the easiest and MOISTEST yellow cake ever:
    1 box Duncan hines yellow cake mix (sifted)
    1/3 c butter
    1 1/3 c buttermilk
    1 tsp of vanilla
    Cream all this in a mixer
    At the end at three eggs, one at a time
    Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. You will get rave reviews!

  48. You are so creative and fun! Thanks for all your great ideas!

  49. I love the Buttermilk Layer Cake recipe from the Joy of Cooking. It’s always moist and tasty! I use basically the same buttercream recipe, except use half shortening and half butter, it’s less yellow and well, less buttery, which I prefer! Another adorable creation Bakerella! danielle

  50. Steph – thanks. I’m sure I’ll be trying it again.

    giz – Thanks!

    morgana – You’re always so nice.

    Nina’s Kitchen (Nina Timm) – I hope so

    cakerygirl s- thanks I’ll do it
    cakerygirl s- no problem

    Aunt LoLo – thanks I’ll look that up too.

    SwellCakes – I know!!!

    Priscilla – it is slighlty off white. If you want one white, find a recipe that uses shortening instead of butter. And, I just use scrapbook paper for the background.

    dobetter – thanks!

    PinkDot – I have her book and I’ve made one from there. Maybe I should try some more.

    Veronica – they come in handy

    NillaWafer – I’m not against a cake mix, so I’ll look that up.

    Tracey in WA – It sure would be!

    Jo-Ann – she would be thrilled

    Kelli – thanks!

    Melissa – Wow, I’m honored. Congrats on the first cake!

    Delaina – He’ll love it.

    lisa – I probably did eight or so butterflies and I still have some left in the tubes. They aren’t very big though. Bast used when you just need a little.

    Bridget – I just stumbled on them. And pretty happy about it.

    Jaina – thanks!

    kate – I’ve seen it and their candy techniques. It’s a fun idea.

  51. reminds me of the cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse. do you know that cookbook? they just put out a new one about tiny cakes and other small treats.

  52. How delicious looking! That is TOO cute!

  53. This is adorable!!! I’ve always wanted to make a tiered cake with cookies on the sides, but this looks really fun! I’ve never heard of candy writers before.

  54. Such a wonderful idea! I did some fun cakes for my son’s cake walk with the candy tech. you demonstrated and they were really cute, but you are right. It’s a lot of melting and switching. Then of course, you have to eat the leftovers..ahh. These are a great alternative. I’m wondering how many, say butterflies or the flowers you did before could each tube do? Just wondering how many to order! Thanks again! Lisa

  55. What a wonderful idea! My 4 year old will be SO excited!

  56. I just made a cake for my daughters first birthday, first cake I ever made I used your idea from the flowers with candy melts! You have such awesome ideas!

  57. perfectly cute

  58. I adore this idea! My 7 year old is an aspiring artist and would love to design her own birthday cake. Actually, my mother’s birthday is coming up. How sweet would it be to have her grandchildren design the cake.

    Thanks for another fantastic idea!!

  59. This is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to do one for my 8 yo!! What a very clever idea for Fahter’s Day or Grandparents Day!!!!

  60. I love your blog. Your creativity and enthusiasm are really inspiring.

    As far as a good cake recipe, have you tried the White Almond Sour Cream Cake recipe from Recipezaar?

    It uses a box caked mix as a base so it isn’t entirely from scratch. This cake is phenomenal. Every time I make it I get rave reviews, especially from people who claim they really don’t like cake that much. The recipe calls for white cake mix but I am sure it would work just as well with a yellow mix.

  61. How cute! What a great idea. I need to buy those candy writers…I have not seen them before.

  62. your posts are always so inspirational!

    For a GREAT set of recipes, (including the most delicious yellow cake recipe i’ve ever made!) check out The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. AMAZING!

  63. I feel EXACTLY the same way! Is it too much to ask for a no-fail, moist and delicious yellow cake recipe…no!

    Your cake is darling. I love the sizes!

  64. Oh yum. I’ve been looking for a good easy buttercream frosting recipe, yours looks delicious. One question…does it have a yellow tint to it? I have that problem with my buttercream frosting. I hope you don’t mind, but, what do you use for a backround in your picture taking? Thanks!

  65. What a great idea to get the kids excited about baking! Let us know when you find the perfect cake recipe!!! I have been looking for some time now :)

  66. Beautiful cake! I love the idea of doing it in miniature.

    I heard AWESOME things about Dorie Greenspan’s “perfect party cake” a few months back. Have you tried her recipe? (I’m almost positive it’s listed on Serious Eats.It was the March Daring Baker’s challenge.)

  67. Sorry I should learn to type before I post my message.

  68. HEy I saw you on Martha. YOu inspired me to Istart blogging! MIne isn’t really set up yet though. I really like all of your projects! If you want a good moist yellow cake recipe, you should try Toba Garrett’s recipe from the well decorated cake. It is WONDERFUL!!! If you do an epicurious search for toba garret and yellow cake it will come up.

  69. What a lovely idea!
    This cake will make every kindred heart happy.

  70. Cute, cute, cute… So naif… I love the idea, as good as all your ideas, of course.

  71. I can’t draw as good as a 6 year old and I’m definitely not as smart as a 5 year old. The one thing I do know is that the cake is so sweet.

  72. You rock. Love this idea!

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