How to Make an Ugly Sweater Cake (And How to Tell If You Own One!)

Ho, ho, oooh! Guess what time it is? It’s ugly sweater season!

Sorry moms, but the sweaters you once wore with holiday pride are now the butt of the joke at ugly sweater holiday parties. It’s all in good fun, though! If reindeer and dancing snowmen are your thing, then rock that sweater with pride. Keep the party going by spreading a little tacky cheer with an ugly sweater cake to match!

Ugly Sweater Cake | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

How to tell if you’re wearing an ugly sweater:

  • It has trim in a bright and off-putting color. 
  • The sweater maker committed to a few bold colors, predominantly red and green. 
  • The appearance of winter critters like snowmen, reindeer, Santa, penguins, or any other woodland creature. 
  • Tacky repetitive patterns. 
  • Shiny, sparkly, impossible-to-replace buttons. 
  • Generally worn over a turtleneck in a complimentary color (mom jeans optional). 
  • High quality ugly sweaters will also contain an extreme element like jingle bells, lights or a button that plays carols. 

How to make an ugly sweater cake:

Ugly Sweater Cake | Erin Gardner | Bluprint


  • 6-inch x 10-inch cake
  • 1 cup each of white, green, and red buttercream
  • Red sour belts
  • Red and green gum drops
  • Red and green jelly beans 
  • Assorted holiday candy (mellowcremes, gummies, etc.)
  • Small offset icing spatula
  • Small knife

Step 1:

Turn your cake out of the baking dish and trim the top off so that when flipped over the cake will sit flat. Turn the cake over onto your serving platter.

Timing the cake | Erin Gardner | BluprintPhotos via Erin Bakes

Step 2:

Use the small offset icing spatula to ice a triangle of white buttercream on one of the short sides of your cake.

Adding the white buttercream | Erin Gardner | Bluprint 

Step 3:

Ice half of the cake below the triangle with green buttercream. 

Adding the green buttercream | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Step 4:

Ice the rest of the cake with the red buttercream. 

Adding the red buttercream | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Step 5:

Split one of your sour belts in half lengthwise. Place the cut pieces over where the white buttercream meets both colors. Trim off any overage. Lay an uncut sour belt over where the red and green buttercream touches to finish your sweater’s trim. 

Adding the sour belts | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Step 6:

Cut the rounded tops off of six gum drops. Use a dab of buttercream to attach the gum drop buttons down the center sour belt. 

Cutting the gum drops | Erin Gardner | BluprintAdding the gum drops | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Step 7:

Have a blast adding candy to your cake to create the yummiest, tackiest sweater pattern combinations you can think of. This is definitely not the time to hold back. When in doubt, more is more!

Ugly Sweater Cake | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

All that’s left to do is eat, drink and get ugly! Cheers!

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