Decorating Ideas for a 9 X 13 Cake


A 9-by-13-inch cake provides a large, blank canvas for your most creative decorating ideas. This rectangular cake supplies ample room to write a birthday greeting or another message in addition to the decor theme you choose. Line the 9-by-13-inch cake pan with overlapping pieces of parchment paper, allowing 1 or 2 inches to hang over the sides of the pan so you easily lift the cake out of the pan without cracking it.

Sports Theme

  • Turn your 9-by-13 cake into a soccer field or basketball court. Ice the cake with a layer of buttercream frosting in an appropriate base color (green for a grass field, brown for a basketball court). Attach a small novelty basketball or soccer goal, available at craft or party supply stores, to one end of the cake and sketch out the appropriate field or court markings using a pastry bag filled with more buttercream frosting. You can purchase a small plastic sports ball to adorn the cake or make a two-dimensional version with frosting.


  • Impress the NASCAR or horse-racing fan in your household with a 9-by-13 racetrack cake. Trim the corners and sides of the cooled cake so that it has an oval shape. Make a 4-inch-wide oval on the perimeter of the cake with gray or light brown frosting (ice the sides of the cake, too), then fill in the center of the track with green frosting. Attach a "fence" of graham cracker sticks to the sides of the cake, pushing the sticks firmly into the icing. Push ring-shaped hard candies into the icing between the track and the center area for a colorful barrier. Place toy cars or plastic horses on the track in race formation, and decorate the center of the track with other themed accessories.

Ocean Life

  • Make your 9-by-13 cake an underwater paradise that resembles an exotic fish tank. Ice the cake with a base layer of deep blue frosting. Pipe a 1/2-inch-deep layer of medium-brown frosting onto the bottom edge of the cake for the seabed. Pipe a few clumps of brownish-green sea grass on top of the seabed, and pipe on a few coral formations in red and yellow. Scatter a variety of gummy fish throughout the "seawater," and outline small, white air bubbles with a pastry bag and a small icing tip.


  • Use a 9-by-13 cake as a sturdy platform for one or more smaller cakes for an impressive 3-D effect. Bake your batter in a heat-safe bowl for a round cake that you can turn into a soccer ball or basketball; place it on top of an iced 9-by-13 cake for a sports-themed party. Bake heart-shaped cakes in multiple sizes and layer them in the middle of a 9-by-13 cake for a high-rise tribute to Valentine's Day.


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