Create your own GBBO-worthy showstopper with these TikTok hacks
By Hannah Ward, Food Expert for British Corner Shop
Whether you’ve had a last-minute baking accident, forgot a birthday, or think life’s too short to bake, the #storeboughtcakemakeover TikTok trend could be your saviour – proving you don’t have to be a star baker to create a masterpiece.
With over 6.5 million views on TikTok and counting, this trending hashtag sees creative people around the world share their best hacks for transforming plain old shop-bought cakes into Great British Bake Off-worthy showstoppers.
Here’s a shortlist of the best “cake makeover” tips from TikTokers that will seriously impress your friends, family or colleagues…
Top it off with a toy
If you need to transform a shop-bought cake into a playful showstopper, look no further than the toy box.
Whether your theme is dinosaurs, princesses or even cars, toys can add a fun, exciting and playful element to your bake. Create a backdrop with coloured icing and their favourite sweet treats, then fix the toy in place as an eye-catching topper.
If the toy isn’t new, wash it thoroughly will warm water and soap before adding it to the cake. And never use toys that are small enough to be a choking hazard to children or adults.
Why settle for one cake flavour when you can have many?
Experiment with layers of your favourite flavours by stacking different shop-bought cakes for a decadent taste explosion, as this TikToker tried. All you need is a thin layer of cream or fruit curd in between to hold the cake together.
Stick with tried and tested flavour combinations like strawberry, lemon and vanilla, or coffee, walnut and chocolate for a guaranteed win.
For that extra wow factor, hide an extra-sweet surprise within the centre of the cake, so that when it’s cut it spills out, like this TikTok user.
Simply cut a hole in the centre of your sponge using the rim of a glass and fill it with your treat of choice – it could be m&ms, Maltesers or Skittles.
Put the cut-out piece of cake back in the hole and smooth over the top with buttercream to hide your surprise.
Flowers make perfect cake decorations for those short of time – or inspiration.
Trail fresh, dried, silk, or edible flowers down a tiered cake for a more elegant look. For single-tiered cakes, you can bunch flower heads together, including some green leaves to balance out the arrangement for a more rustic look.
You can also decorate your showstopper with individual petals, mixing sizes and colours for a dramatic finish.
Who says cakes must be round? You can cut up your shop-bought cake to carve out any shape you please to create your unique showstopper.
For example, you can segment the cake and re-ice it to form a cute heart shape, as this TikTok mum did.
Alternatively, get inspiration from the sweet treat aisle, such as ice cream cones and smaller cakes like chocolate rolls or fondant fancies, to create more height and dimension – perfect for creating a castle cake fit for a princess.
If you’re looking to make a cake worthy of impressing the Great British Bake-Off judges, try topping your cake with nostalgic British classic confectionary.
KitKats are perfect to use for walling around cakes that need extra structure, especially cheesecakes.
Layer a combination of iconic British biscuits like Jammy Dodgers, Bourbons and Custard Creams as your cake topper – perfect for afternoon tea.
Or for a true showstopper, keep hold of your sweet packaging to create a gravity-defying cake with just a skewer, some icing and sweet of your choice.
Make it count
For a special birthday or anniversary, you’ll need a number on top. And it’s easier than you think to make your own and the best part is, you can eat it too.
According to this TikTok hack, simply melt some white, milk or dark chocolate, draw out a number while it’s still hot and cover it in sprinkles. Before putting it in the fridge to set, add a paper straw or an edible wafer to the bottom to hold it in place on top of the cake.