★★★★★

Ugly Sweater Cake

Make an entrance at your next holiday party with this easy Ugly Sweater Cake! Using a boxed cake mix, colorful frosting and holiday garnishes, you can create a dessert that’s sure to turn heads. Or use all from scratch and take it next level!

Looking for more party treats? These easy chocolate peppermint grahams are great for last minute! Or make a batch of puppy chow and toss in some of your extra candy decorations from the recipe below.

White cake with red frosting decorated to resemble an ugly Christmas sweater.

Easy Ugly Sweater Party Recipe

If you’ve never been to an ugly sweater party, it’s exactly what it sounds like: everyone wears the ugliest Christmas sweater they can find. This time, I decided to go the extra step and dress up a cake for the occasion too!

This Ugly Sweater Cake is one of those things that just came together so easily.

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Canned holiday frosting
  • Candy decorations!

However, when it’s put all together it’s the perfect dessert for your next holiday party.

Want to make it from scratch? You can use our yellow cake recipe (or vanilla cake or chocolate cake)!!

Make a batch of our easy vanilla frosting and tint it red with some americolor food gel coloring!

Wilton makes a lot of holiday icing decorations that make great ugly sweater cake toppers! You can usually find these on Amazon or Target during the holidays.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make an ugly sweater cake.

This fun holiday dessert is so easy to make and customize with creative combinations and designs.

Start by baking your cake and letting it cool completely before you add the frosting. Then, turn your cake onto a cutting board and decorate!

Spread the red frosting all over the tops and sides, then use the tube frosting to pipe on a “collar” and a stripe down the center. Add circular candies for buttons then decorate as desired with your holiday garnishes.

Extra bonus points if you can decorate it to match your OWN favorite ugly Christmas sweater!

Ugly sweater cake cut into squares.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of frosting do you need for this ugly sweater cake?

I went with canned red frosting for the base of the ugly sweater cake and a store bought tube frosting to make the sweater lines. You could substitute a homemade vanilla buttercream, adding food coloring to half the batch and piping on the other half with a frosting tip.

Where can you find holiday shaped candies to decorate this?

I bought mine on Amazon. You can also check craft stores or specialty baking stores for fun cake toppings to match the season!

How far in advance can I make an ugly sweater cake?

This ugly sweater cake can be made the day before the party!

Slice of yellow cake with red frosting on a white plate.

More Easy Holiday Desserts

Yield: 20

Ugly Sweater Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes

Make an entrance at your next holiday party with this easy Ugly Sweater Cake! Using a boxed cake mix, colorful frosting and holiday garnishes, you can create a dessert that's sure to turn heads. Or use all from scratch and take it next level!

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (with ingredients on box to prepare)
  • 1 can holiday red frosting (I used Pillsbury)
  • 1 tube white icing
  • candy decorations

Instructions

  1. Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Prepare cake according to package directions, and remove from oven to cool completely.
  2. Once cake is cooled, remove from baking dish, and using a flat spatula, slide cake out of parchment paper and onto a serving plate (or cutting board).
  3. Spread frosting smooth onto cake top and sides.
  4. Pipe on icing to resemble sweater. I used M&M's as buttons and added some fun decorations. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Want to make it from scratch? You can use our yellow cake recipe (or vanilla cake or chocolate cake)!!
  • Make a batch of our easy vanilla frosting and tint it red with some americolor food gel coloring!
  • Wilton makes a lot of holiday icing decorations that make great ugly sweater cake toppers! You can usually find these on Amazon or Target during the holidays.
  • Store cake in airtight container or cake server at room temperature. Best eaten within one week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 111Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Everyone gets a kick out of a cake decorated to look like an ugly sweater. Make this easy Ugly Christmas Sweater Cake for your next party or just as a fun weekend project with the kids.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on December 20, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. This is too fun! I think I could even pull this off! I’m definitely challenged when it comes to cake decorating. Merry Christmas!!

  2. What a fun cake!!!! I know that a lot of people poo-poo on the ugly sweater trend, but i LOVE it. When else are you gonna get a chance to embrace your inner kitsch?

  3. That is just too cool! We are having an ugly sweater contest at our company party – tomorrow. Too late to make this, but it would be a great cake to make. Thanks for sharing your idea!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda

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