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Your need to know cake decorating trends for 2021

Here's your ultimate guide to cake decorating trends for 2021 to inspire your cake creations throughout the year!

Image credit: Image credit: Caicai_Art (left), Emma Stewart (top right), Jay Davies (middle right), Loren's Cakes and Bakes (bottom right).

25th Nov 2020

When planning and designing future cakes, you will want to stay on top of key trends – whether that’s in the texture, pattern, theme or colour. So let us help! 

With the new year brings new trends, so here is your need to know handy guide to cake decorating trends for 2021, all in one place. 

2021 cake decorating trends

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Pantone - summer bouquet, intoxicating, power surge

Image credit: Pantone (left to right – Summer Bouquet, Intoxicating, Power Surge).

While the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2021 is both Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (bright yellow) which are centred around optimism, we can also look at the palettes of colour predicted to be popular, in particular for spring/summer. According to Pantone’s Colour Trend Highlights, there will be three shades of palette often referred to:

  • Summer Bouquet – consisting of fresh summer colours from nature, like pale petals combined with exotic pinks and herbal greens
  • Intoxicating – comprising of vibrant shades of yellow and aqua against sweet lavender, pinks and greens
  • Power Surge – empowering, rich and vibrant colours infusing glamour and contrast

Dried flowers

Emma Stewart dried flowers

Image credit: Emma Stewart. You’ll find the tutorial for this cake inside our January 2021 issue! 

With the surge of green succulents on cakes in 2019 and 2020, the coming year takes a turn and steers towards the addition of dried flowers in an arrangement on a simple, often plain, cake tier. These dried flowers are predominantly made up of eucalyptus, pampas grass and a single palm leaves – amongst others. 

Treat boxes 

Treat box by Loren's Cakes and Bakes

Image credit: Loren's Cakes and Bakes.

Becoming particularly popular throughout lockdown in 2020, sweet treats that were letterbox sized was a great way of sending something through the post to make someone smile. For birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, whatever the occasion, or even no occasion at all, opening a box of delights became the ‘in’ thing to do. So, why not make sure these treats looked spectacular too?!

Cakesicles and geometric hearts were the basis – the other little items could fill the space around them to coordinate with the theme. Decorated in marble with added sprinkles and gold leaf or kept simple, these treat boxes are now showing their staying power as not just a lockdown fad, but a wonderful gift to share.

Buttercream painting

Buttercream painting by Jay Davies Coopcake Cake Designs

Image credit: Jay Davies of Coopcake Cake Designs.

Making an appearance throughout 2020, the highly Instagrammable trend of painting buttercream with a palette knife is not going anywhere. In fact, it’s even bigger in 2021. Painting in a variety of styles, from flowers to marble effects, this is one skill to master. 

Arty effects

Arty effects by Jay Daviesof Coopcake Cake Designs

Image credit: Jay Davies of Coopcake Cake Designs.

A crisp and smooth cake tier will always be en vogue, but this year the finish doesn’t have to be so precise. A more rustic, ‘unfinished’ finish is becoming favourable, made with buttercream and arty elements added like gold leaf and sprinkles – but again, not precise. This is one to have fun with – less agonising over the lines and being ok with some bumps for texture. 


Isomalt by caicaicake_art  

Image credit: Caicaicake_art.

It’s not just flowers that can appear on top of a cake… isomalt cake toppers are making a big statement in 2021. Always impressive with instant ‘wow’ factor, they are certain to create a talking point! 

Now you're up to date on the cake decorating trends for 2021, don't miss this handy guide to the essential cake decorating equipment you'll find in every pro's kitchen!

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