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typography cake


The only thing better better than a birthday cake, is a birthday cake that can talk! Why not surprise the guest of honor at your next party with this creative typography birthday cake? It clearly expresses why you are celebrating, in a fun and festive way. These cakes are perfect for the slew of graduation and birthdays coming this month. HIP HIP HORRAY!

To make the birthday cake you will need; 1 box cake mix, any flavor (we used white), edible dough (any color), mini alphabet cookie cutters (these will vary in size, make sure they are small enough that when your word is spelled out, it will fit in your pan), a 9×5 loaf pan (or any cake pan in which your message can fit; a bundt pan is a fun one to use), rolling pin, and confectioners sugar.

Take your edible dough and knead it into a workable, pliable consistency. Then sprinkle a little confectioners sugar on a clean surface and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Cut out the shapes of the letters you want to use in your message. For the cake in this tutorial, I used a whole package of edible dough and cut out the letters Y and A to spell YAY.

Make cake batter according to instructions on box. Grease your pan and pour enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom. Take your cut-out letters and place them in the batter, spelling out your word or message. Repeat this until you have crossed the length of the pan. Make sure the letters are lined up and straight.

Place the rest of the cake batter into a measuring cup (or piping bag if you want to really be careful) and pour batter slowly over the top of the letters, until they are covered and you have used up all the batter.

Bake cake in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes; check for doneness with a toothpick. Allow to cool before using a sharp knife to slice into the cake and reveal the surprise message.

This cake is a part of our creative cake series. Produced and photographed by Athena Plichta under the creative direction of Victoria Hudgins for A Subtle Revelry.


  • melissa
    May 7, 2013 at 7:13 am

    what is “edible dough”? fondant?

  • Victoria
    May 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Melissa, Hi! Edible dough is a a dough you can easily form. It is sold at most craft stores and looks like think:

  • Athena
    May 7, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I’ve also seen marzipan in cakes/cupcakes though I’ve not personally used it.

  • Jess @ Spool and Spoon
    May 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Holy goodness! That is awesome. Thanks for sharing. Now I just need to get my hands on the edible dough and miniature alphabet cookie cutters!

  • molly yeh
    May 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    how do you think of these things!!! i love this idea. it’s brilliant.

  • Carrie Rowe
    May 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Are you kidding me!?!?! This is ridiculously AMAZING.

  • Zahra
    May 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Hello, I was wondering what the dough that you put in the cake is made of?

  • Monica
    May 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Victoria you never disappoint! What an adorable idea!! I’m loving the new look on your blog also!

  • Harry
    May 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Very, very great Idea!

  • [email protected]
    May 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    This is so creative— was it difficult to cut the slices in precisely the right spot?

  • Victoria
    May 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Sue, Hi… Athena repeated the word over and over down the length of the cake (see photo above) so no matter where you cut the cake it would say YAY! It worked perfectly:)

  • My Love Wedding Ring
    May 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This is so cool and so imaginative!! Just imagine the fun you can have personalising cakes :D!!

  • Anne McCarthy Kennedy
    May 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I love this! But can you explain about the edible dough. The only thing I found was a German product called YummyDough that comes in different colors. Or do you mean fondant? That doesn’t seem quite right.

  • Leah
    May 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Ditto Anne’s question. What is “edible dough”?

  • Brooke
    May 11, 2013 at 9:37 am

    this is freaking amazing.

  • lyndsay
    May 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    OH.MY.goodness that is awesome!! never heard of edible dough before – just looked through the comments and saw that someone has already asked my question! oh, the words you can spell in CAKE! brilliant.

  • Lynn @ The Actor's Diet
    May 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    My mind is blown. This is so cool!

  • jamie
    May 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    instead of making it more difficult by individually cutting each letter, couldn’t you just make small skinny logs out of the edible dough and shape/cut the entire log into which ever letter you want? instead of having to individually cut them, try your best not to squish them while placing them, and placing them in the pan and pouring the batter in and making sure they dont fall over and stay aligned.

  • Chloe
    May 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    My edible dough melted in the oven and left the cake with black mush in it…

  • Peggy
    May 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    What a neat idea!

  • Leesalu
    May 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I wonder if you could use chocolate cookie dough?

  • Allie
    May 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Wow! This is so cool! Love this idea so much I had to share it on my facebook page immediately-and pin it, of course.

  • Tanya
    May 14, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    You can just use cookie dough – it works perfectly.

  • Lisa
    May 20, 2013 at 7:31 am

    simply, i love this! ;-)

  • Isabel
    May 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Great post!!!
    were can I buy the mini alphabet cookie cutters?

    May 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    LOVE this idea. I’ve seen it done many other places before and I as well have never heard of edible dough. The other places I’ve seen this concept they make the cake batter, however the recipe called for, and took a portion of it (depends on how much your making as to how much you need I suppose…), colored it, baked it up, let it cool and cut their letters out of this cake. Then they followed the rest of her tutorial of putting the white cake batter in, then the letters/shapes, then topping off with the rest of the white (or whatever color/kind/flavor you are using) and baked the cake off. Just a thought for those who said the edible did not work for them. I personally have not tried it yet, but would like to.

  • Terry Mahmoud
    May 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    You could bake a chocolate cake in a sheet pan, then cut the letters from it, freeze them and put them instead of edible dough, much like putting a shape in a cake. As long as the cake pieces are frozen, it will work.

  • Elizabeth Halle
    May 24, 2013 at 8:55 am

    This is SO COOL. I want this for my birthday tomorrow.

    xox Elizabeth

  • Cathy
    May 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday’s at midnight.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

  • Katerina
    June 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

    This is a wonderful idea!! I ‘d love to bake it but there are no stores that sell edible dough in my country.. Do you know any recipe of edible dough that i could make and use or had i used something else instead what should it be?

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    September 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    If you search for edible play dough it is basically the same thing.

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    January 23, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Great idea! :D

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