The Five Best Retro Sweets for Decorating Cakes

Image credit: Life is Sweet

Image credit: Sophellies

Baking has never been bigger than it is right now. What with the influence of the GBBO, and the long months of lockdown encouraging us all towards kitchen creativity, home baking has become a British obsession. It combines creativity and decadence, and is one of the nicest ways to enjoy a sweet treat. But what do you do if you want to make that treat even sweeter? You use retro sweets to decorate it, of course!

Retro sweets make the ideal cake decorations. Not just because they taste good, and look great with their array of colours. But because they are packed with nostalgia. And it’s that combination that guarantees smiles. So, the question remains, what are the best retro sweets for decorating cakes?

Our Top Five Retro Sweets for Cake Decoration

Love Hearts

Image credit: Wilton

Love Hearts are the ultimate choice of cake-topper for retro sweet lovers. They’re as ideal for adult Valentine’s Day and anniversary celebrations, as they are for children’s birthdays. With their pleasing fizz, they add an exciting flavour contrast when used as decoration.  They also give visual impact with their cute  little messages too.  But if you want to benefit from a true Love Hearts wow, you could also grind some up and mix the powder into the icing. It’s tongue-tingling-tastic!


Image credit: Home Cook

Now, you might be thinking that although they’re undeniably delicious, Refreshers are kind of chewy for a cake topping. But have you tried splitting them? That way, you get all of the lemony sherbety flavour and none of the chew! The ideal combination for cakes. You can mix it in with your icing. You can sprinkle it on top. Or you can use it to enhance chocolate ‘bark’, as they have done in the image above. Whatever your preference, you know that you’re in for a retro sweet treat!

Rainbow Drops

Image credit: u/Schwifty84 Reddit

Ah, who doesn’t love Rainbow Drops? Perfectly light and delicately sweet, they don’t just bring glorious technicolour to your bakes, but a great texture too. You can simply sprinkle them – liberally – on top for a multicolour delight. Spend time separating out the colours to make an organised rainbow. Or do something ridiculously clever with a Rainbow Drops cascade! Whatever your skill level, Rainbow Drops provide a whole range of decorative options for your bakes.

Fizzy Cola Bottles

Image credit: Lemon Thistle

If you were a child of the 80s, Fizzy Cola Bottles were serious business, and a cake like this would have blown your mind! It actually blows our minds a little bit now!  Not only is it incredible to look at, but you can just imagine how good it would taste! And the thing about Fizzy Cola bottles is that you don’t have to be a decorative genius to use them on cakes. Just line them up and stick them to your icing, and wham! You’re done. Or, if you want to go the full retro sweets trip down memory lane, why not add some other pick ‘n’ mix favourites? Milk Bottles, Juicy Lips, Fried Eggs, and Strawberry Tarts all very much look the part!

Parma Violets

Image credit: Ailidh Leather, Pinterest

The beauty of Parma Violets is that – assuming you like them! – they provide a whole range of baking options. Creating for an adult? Why not infuse your cake with Parma Violet gin? Baking for children? You could make a ‘pinata’ cake, where the sweets just spill right out. And they make a really great topping for vegan cakes too. Use them as decoration, or to spruce up your icing – they make a fabulous purple water icing, if you feel like giving it a try. Whatever your option, these most divisive of retro sweets make any cake sing!

The really great thing about using retro sweets to decorate cakes is that they’re accessible to all kinds of bakers. Whether you’re looking for an easy way for your kids to get busy in the kitchen, or you’re a professional baker looking for original ideas to wow your customers, sweets provide a smile-inducing twist on traditional cake decoration. And these suggestions are just the beginning!

Have you used Swizzels retro sweets for your bakes? We’d love to see the results! [social media links]

Looking for more ideas? Check out our recipe pages!

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