custom cake

The Complete Guide to Making a Customized Cake

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  • Post last modified:August 19, 2023
  • Reading time:22 mins read

Do you want to make a personalized or custom cake for a certain celebration? Well, you’re in for a treat (pun intended). Whether it’s for a birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, or just an expression of love, a customized cake adds personal touches that uplift everyone’s hearts. 

Learn everything you need to know about customized cakes, from choosing designs to starting a custom cake business. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your apron, and let’s dive into the delicious world of personalized cakes!

What Is a Customized Cake?

As the term implies, a custom cake is made for a certain person or event. Unlike regular cakes with generic designs or themes, customized cakes feature many unique elements. These include personalized messages, the celebrant’s favorite colors or characters, and special flavors. In a gist, customized cakes make celebrations more memorable.

How Does a Customized Cake Differ From a Regular Cake?

Custom cakes stand out from regular cakes in many ways. 

For one, you can usually find regular cakes on bakery shelves. They’re delicious, but they usually don’t tell a story. Customized cakes, on the other hand, are all about personal stories. Bakers make them based on someone’s specific wishes, memories, or events.

In addition, customized cakes have special designs. While a regular cake might be round with simple icing, a personalized cake can look like a favorite character, memorable place, or memory. 

In a sense, a regular cake is like a ready-made dress, while a customized cake is a tailored outfit. The first one fits all, while the other fits just you.

How to Choose a Design for Your Customized Cake

how to choose a design for your customized cake

Do you want to know how to choose the right design for your customized cake? We got you, fam. Here are some tips and tricks for choosing the right design for your personalized cake: 

1.  Match the cake to the event. 

First, consider the event the cake is for. A child’s birthday might call for a character theme, while a wedding leans towards elegance and romance. On the other hand, anniversary cakes remind couples of their cherished memories. 

2. Think about the recipient’s preferences. 

Know more about the likes and dislikes of the person. Do they love roses? Are they fans of a certain movie or sports team? Use these hints to make your cake personal and special.

3. Brainstorm the colors. 

Think about the color palette. If it’s for a baby shower, pastel tones might fit the bill. On the other hand, a corporate event might call for the company’s colors.

Take a look at popular cake designs. Sometimes, a classic design with a modern twist can produce amazing results. Take a look at our TikTok cake ideas for inspiration. 

5. Think about the budget.

personalized cake

Custom cakes differ in complexity and price. So, set a budget (with your client’s help if needed) to make a cake that’s both beautiful and affordable.

6. Decide what shape and size to go for. 

Know whether you need to make a multi-tier cake, a sheet cake, or a more novel-shaped one based on the number of guests and the celebrant’s preference.

7. Pick a design that matches the flavor.  

If possible, the design should match the flavor of the cake. For example, a classic, flowery cake might pair well with vanilla or fruit-flavored cake. 

8. Put some personal touches.

Add elements that make the cake unique to the celebrant. These elements include an edible photo print, a personalized message from a loved one, a favorite character, or an inside joke.

9. Seek expert advice.

If you’re not sure how to complete a personalized cake, look for expert advice. Cake designers and bakers often have portfolios of their past work. These professionals can guide you or at least inspire you. 

10. Ask for feedback. 

Show the design to a close friend or family member before finalizing the cake. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes can give valuable input or catch something you missed.

How to Make a Customized Cake

how to make

We’re now on the most exciting part: making the customized cake. Here’s how to make the best customized cake for your loved ones or clients: 

1. Know the purpose of the cake.

Start by understanding the purpose of the cake. Is it for a birthday, anniversary, or another special event? 

2. Sketch a design.

Make a rough sketch of the cake based on your vision. Draw the shape, decorations, and any special elements you want to include. Then, color it. 

3. Pick a flavor (or flavors).

Choose the cake’s base flavor (or flavors). Vanilla cakes are the most common, but you can also do chocolate, red velvet, or any other flavor. Just make sure it matches the cake’s design. 

4. Choose a filling.

Choose a complementary filling based on the base flavor. Popular fillings include fruit jam, cream, chocolate ganache, or even an infusion like mint or citrus.

5. Prepare the cake.

Follow your chosen recipe to bake the cake. Make sure it’s cool before you decorate it. 

6. Level and shape the cake. 

Once cooled, use a serrated knife to level the top of the cake. If your design includes multiple shapes, cut the cake accordingly.

7. Layer and fill the cake.

If your cake has multiple layers, spread your chosen filling between each one. Doing so adds moisture and flavor to every bite.

8. Apply a crumb coat. 

Put a thin layer of frosting over the custom cake to trap any crumbs. Doing this ensures that your foundation is smooth enough for the final layer of icing.

9. Decorate the cake. 

Here comes the fun part! Use colored fondants, edible prints, piped cream cheese buttercream, and other decorative elements to bring your sketch to life.

10. Add personal touches.

Incorporate elements that make the cake personal. These include edible figurines, inscriptions, or small trinkets. Just make sure they’re safe for decorating. 

11. Store safely.

Put the cake in a cool place ( preferably a refrigerator) if you’re not serving the cake immediately. Doing this helps maintain the freshness and integrity of the design.

Inspirations for Customized Cakes

Are you looking for inspiration for your next custom cake? We got your back. Here are some cake recipes from our vault: 

Graduation Cake Recipe

graduation cake

A graduation is a momentous event deserving of celebration. What better way to commemorate it than with a delectable graduation cake? Use this moist and rich graduation cake recipe to craft the best treat for your loved one’s or client’s graduation.

Dream Cake Recipe

dream cake

This no-bake dream cake recipe has been a crowd favorite for some time now, especially among those with a sweet tooth. Its popularity has propelled many businesses to success using the iconic tin-can chocolate dream cake formula.

Durian Butter Cake Recipe

durian butter cake recipe

You might be raising an eyebrow at the thought of durian in a cake. But trust us, this durian butter cake recipe is a game-changer!

Rich in buttery texture and generously infused with durian, this cake offers a bold yet delectable flavor profile. If durian isn’t your favorite fruit, it might be best to pass on this one. But if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try!

Smores Cake Recipe

Smores Cake

Picture this: you take a bite of a lusciously moist chocolate cake packed with velvety chocolate fudge and smooth frosting. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? You no longer need to daydream because we’ve got an easy-to-follow smores cake recipe for you.

Valentine’s Day Cake Recipe

cake for valentines

Romance is blossoming, and what better way to convey your feelings than with a delectable cake? This Valentine’s Day cake recipe is beginner-friendly. 

In about an hour, you can create this cocoa-rich masterpiece using common baking ingredients

How to Start a Business Selling Customized Cakes

how to start a business selling

Now that we’ve covered how to make a personalized cake, it’s time to see how you can turn it into a business. Here’s how you can start a business selling personalized cakes. 

1. Know your market. 

Start by studying your target market. Understand the demand, potential competitors, and the unique selling points you can offer.

2. Make a business plan. 

Draft a business plan that outlines your vision, business goals, target market, pricing, and marketing strategy.

3. Take care of the legalities.

Register your business and get the necessary licenses. You should also be familiar with local health and food safety regulations.

4. Upgrade your skills if needed. 

This only applies if you’re not an expert yet. Consider taking professional cake decorating courses to enhance your skills.

5. Pick a location.

Are you going to operate from home, rent a commercial space, or open a store? Think about the pros and cons of each option. 

6. Get the right equipment and ingredients.

Invest in reliable baking equipment. Next, source the best ingredients (get them fresh if possible).

7. Have branding. 

Design a catchy business name and logo (or have a professional do it for you). 

8. Make a portfolio. 

Create a portfolio of your best work, which you can show on your website or social media to attract potential customers.

9. Have a pricing strategy. 

Determine a pricing strategy. Consider your costs, competitors’ prices, and the perceived value of your personalized cakes.

10. Market your products. 

Make a website and establish your presence on social media platforms. Regularly update them with photos, customer reviews, and promotions.

11. Do your finances well.

Track your expenses and earnings. Think about using accounting software or hiring a professional to make sure your business remains profitable.

How to Promote a Business Selling Customized Cakes

how to promote

Wondering how you can scale your personalized cake business? Here’s how to promote your products: 

Visual Showcase

Use high-quality photos and videos that show cake designs. Make sure every special detail stands out.

Engaging Content

Create videos showcasing the baking process, decorating techniques, or time-lapse transformations on social media and your website. 

User-Generated Content

Encourage customers to post their cake photos and tag your business. Repost these on your profile to build trust.


Partner with influencers in the food and event planning sectors for shoutouts. You can also host giveaways, expanding your audience reach.

Use popular hashtags to raise your brand’s visibility. You can also create a special hashtag to identify your brand.

Engage With Followers

Regularly reply to comments, do polls on new cake flavors, or go live to answer queries.

Promotions & Discounts

Announce special deals or discounts exclusively for your followers.

Tutorials & Tips

Share bite-sized tutorials on cake decoration or baking tips, so you can establish your expertise in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a customized cake?

A customized cake is any type of cake that is not the regular cake you find in bakeries and supermarkets. They’re baked for a specific event, like an anniversary, birthday, graduation, or wedding. A customized cake also includes extra details like personalized messages and characters that aren’t found in regular cakes. 

Why is a customized cake important?

A customized cake is important because it makes an event more special. Whether it’s a birthday, graduation, or wedding, a personalized cake is designed to make events more memorable. 

What are custom cakes made of?

Custom cakes are made of eggs, flour, frosting, and special decor. They’re like regular cakes but with personal touches and more details. Custom cakes are also made from scratch by hand. 


Whether you’re doing it for a loved one or a client, this guide gives you the ins and outs of making a customized cake. 

Make events more special with customized cakes that come from the heart. Happy baking! 


Over the years, HICAPS has helped bakers and businesses make delicious products by offering ingredients like ChiffonAide Cake Oil, Magic Whizk Whipping Cream, Red Velvet Flavor Emulco, and Instabake Brownie Mix

HICAPS also provides tools and resources to valued partners, such as the free “How to Increase Your Sales Amidst the Pandemic” E-book and free dealer locator that helps look for baking ingredients near me

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