DIY Candy Cake for Under $20

It’s my teenager’s birthday in just a few days and while trying to think of something fun do to surprise her instead of the same old balloons and flowers, my youngest suggested Candy. Yep just like most teenagers she LOVES sweets and treats. Sure candy sounded like a great idea but we needed something more fun. So we decided to attempt a candy cake. I say attempt because lets face it, a lot of my crafty ideas in my head don’t always work out when it comes to actually making them.

Best part is no baking needed, which is another thing that doesn’t always come out as planned for me!

My other thought was honestly I don’t want to spend a ton of money on candy so I set my budget for $20.

We were actually able to accomplish the candy cake which I must say looks pretty good for my not so creative self in $19 and yes that includes tax! Putting it together was also pretty easy and took us about a half an hour to get it all together.

A candy cake would also make an awesome center piece for a birthday party, especially for a theme like Candy Land. Another great idea for this super cute candy cake would be a center piece for your Candy Bar at a party!

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The two stores I shopped at for all the supplies were Dollar Tree and Michaels.

I LOVE the Dollar Tree, the possibilities are endless & oh course Michaels and their coupons helped me stay within my budget also.

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  • 2 Paper Mache Circular containers (I got these at Michael’s with the coupons) – Total for both was a little under $4 with tax
  • Candy from Dollar Tree – Any kind you or the recipient likes

(you will need at least 6 of the boxed candy, I also suggest airheads, laffy taffy, some sort of individually wrapped gum, lollipops, 2 bags of gummy bears/trolli candy)

  • Circle pieces of foam – (Dollar Tree Flower Section)
  • Square open box – (Dollar Tree Gift Wrap/Party Section)
  • Ribbon – (Dollar Tree Flower/Craft Section)

You are also going to need a hot glue gun and also a stick of hot glue or two. I had these at home already so I did not need to purchase them or add them into my budget.

Although I did not need to buy a hot glue gun or hot glue sticks I did see both at the Michaels (use a coupon) & I even saw hot glue sticks at the Dollar Tree in the craft section.

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Time to Build your Candy Cake

  • Start with the large circular paper mache container. You are going to set it on the table and hot glue the boxed candy around the container. Only put glue on the top of the container around the rim of the top.

**The less glue the better is going to be key for this whole project as you are going to want to be able to easily remove the candy and enjoy it. So just enough glue to hold it in place**

  • Now that the opened square container and Glue on the airheads or whatever candy you picked for that middle square. This piece will ultimately be placed upside down the the open side facing down so make sure you place your candy the right way. You can either do all the same candy all the way around to cover it or do different candies on each side. I did two sides of airheads and two sides I did Trolli Gummy candies.

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You are going to glue all of these on but remember it is very important to just use a very thin line of glue or a small dot or two. You want the candy to still be edible when the cake is taken apart. A small amount of glue will go a long way when holding the candy together.

They are going to stick over the top (bottom) a bit and that is ok.


  • Now with the smaller circle you are going to use your smaller candy and glue it on. Little line or a dot of glue will do the trick. Do not put the tip on this container. It will need to be left open

I used Laffy Taffy. If you want to go with Chocolate or other candies, most “snack sized” candy bars will fit great on this piece 

  • After you have the candy glued on your smaller circle piece you are going to stick the foam inside. You may have to cut it a little bit to make it fit.
  • Once you have the foam in place – stick in the lollipops.
  • Now you are going to stack the pieces together. Large Circle container on the bottom – Square container in the middle upside down so the open part is facing down – than the smaller circle container will be on the top. Use a little glue to secure the three pieces together. You should not be able to see any of the containers, candy should be covering all parts of all the containers.
  • Now take your individually wrapped gum or smaller individually wrapped candy and drop them on top of the foam and between the lollipops to cover any exposed foam. You don’t need to glue them, just set them on top.
  • If you have any left over gum, candy or lollipops glue them on randomly to make little accents. Tiny drop of glue on the wrapper will keep them in place and add a cute extra touch.
  • Once all your candy is in place take your ribbon and wrap it around your cake. Tiny dab of hot glue in the back to hold it all together

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If you happen to have a cake stand at the house than use it for presentation but the cake alone is eye catching and does not even need a stand! 

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I must say I am pretty proud of my Candy Cake! Surprisingly enough no burnt fingers and no crafty fails this time!

Easy, Quick and relatively inexpensive is my kind of craft & homemade gift!

I can’t wait to surprise my birthday girl with it this week!

Teenagers don’t like much but I do know they LOVE candy!

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.