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.

Make an entrance at your next holiday party with this easy Ugly Sweater Cake!

Easy Ugly Sweater Party Recipe

I wasn’t even going to share this on the blog. It’s not really even a recipe. However, my blog is also a journal of our food experiences and experiments over the years, so in that regard this cake I made for an Ugly Sweater Party totally fits.

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. It’s literally a box of yellow cake mix, some canned holiday frosting, and a bunch of candy decorations! However, when it’s put all together it’s the perfect storm for your next holiday party.

Make an entrance at your next holiday party with this easy Ugly Sweater Cake!

Ingredient Notes

  • Yellow cake mix – You’re going to bake the cake in a square cake pan according to the package directions. A white or chocolate cake mix would work too, or feel free to make your own cake from scratch to decorate.
  • Frosting – For my ugly sweater cake I went with canned red frosting and white tube frosting. You can change up the colors to suit your creative holiday vision. Green would be perfect as a sub for either the red or the white.
  • Holiday decorations – Winton’s makes lots of holiday icing decorations that make great ugly sweater cake toppers. Add candles to make this a birthday cake!

Step by Step Instructions

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!

Recipe FAQs

What kind of frosting do you need for this cake?

I went with canned red frosting for the base 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!

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.

Yield: 24 pieces

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!



  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 circle candy sprinkles as buttons and added some fun decorations. ENJOY!

Did you make this recipe?

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

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 14, 2016

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,

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