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If there’s one thing most of us have learned in the age of Pinterest, it’s that cake decorating is definitely not as easy as it looks.

Okay, maybe it doesn’t even¬†look easy, but it does seem as if its something most anyone can do with a frosting applicator and some food coloring, right?

Well, if you’ve given it a shot only to realize your child is never going to ask you to make their next birthday cake, we’ve got some quick tips to make it a bit easier (if not professional) – and you don’t have to learn how to apply icing at all.

1. Use candy or chocolates.

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Not only is this a great option for adding color, texture, height, and flavor, I know you’ve already got a few kinds of candy hiding in your cabinets (away from your kids’ prying eyes).

You can use things like candy cane pieces, candy bar chunks, a pile of marshmallows, anything you like. Tap into your inner Willy Wonka and go hog wild.

Who doesn’t love a piece of bonus chocolate with their slice of cake?

2. Sprinkle on some nuts.

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Nuts can provide a lovely complimentary flavor and they’re totally simple to sprinkle on – but the resulting decoration is anything but boring.

If your dessert is going to sit out for awhile nuts might be better than candy since they won’t melt.

You can sprinkle them on top or, if you’re feeling just a bit fancy, you can press them around the outside of your cake for a more professional look.

3. Grab some edible flowers or herbs.

Image Credit: iStock

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of edibles like lavender and roses, and there’s a good chance you’ve got some good options closer than you’d think.

Research what flowers are edible and find some that will be a beautiful compliment to the flavor of your cake.

Herbs add color and fragrance, plus a rustic look that’s all the rage at the moment. Rosemary and lavender are popular options, though thyme and basil certainly have their places as well.

Just keep in mind that, like candies and chocolates, herbs and flowers will wilt quickly in the heat.

There you have it – your cake will look beautiful and they’ll also have some additional texture and flavors to boot.

If watching cooking shows has taught me anything, it’s that a little crunch is never a bad thing.