Cactus cake decorated with southwestern flare

Cactus Cake-Memories of Tucson

Sugar in Southwest

This cactus cake is a fun project dedicated to memorable times living in the great city of Tucson, Arizona.   The southwest is an amazing place full of amazing food and culture, but mostly amazing scenery.

Tucson Inspired

Tucson is just beautiful and I consider it to be more of a “green” desert where the saguaro cactus’ are just about everywhere you go.   One of the best sites that make this a beautiful place to live is Mt Lemmon.  Standing just over 9,000 feet located in the heart of the Santa Catalina Mountains was our picturesque doorstep view every day.  What an incredible sight it was.  During those hot summer desert days, retreating up to Mt Lemmon was a quick escape where temperatures were sometimes 10-20 degrees cooler.

Although you can miss the greenery the rest of the country has to offer in the form of trees and lawns, the desert certainly has its own beauty and draw including incredible scenery.  I remember being able to look up in the big Arizona sky and just being able to see for miles and miles.

From the Arizona Desert Museum on Saguaro Cactus, these are amazing up front and personal.

Also, the stars seem much bigger out in that amazing sky where you literally feel like you can reach out and touch them. 

With that, I decided to design this cake as a fun memory of our time in Tuscon.  It’s a super fun and easy beginner project and it comes together really fast without a lot of difficult techniques needed.

Come follow me on this journey crafting this fun cake.


 Here are a few steps in making the cactus cake:

First step of the cactus cake

First, I started off with 5 cake layers to give it the right height I was looking for, I used 10″ layers.  You can use any flavor you like.

Secondly, I started to carve the layers that resembled a cactus type shape.  Much like a dome type style carving downward at an angel.

Third step, gets a nice crumb coating of green buttercream.

Also, made two more cake layers for the bottom of the cactus to sit on acting as the “pot”.  I then covered it with some Terra cot ta fondant that I dyed to create the right color.  For fun, I took some orange food coloring and used a craft sponge and dabbed it into the color and dabbed it on the pot to give it that authentic rustic pot look.

I piped all around the cactus with green buttercream with a star tip till every space was covered.

The final cake!

I took small strips of white fondant and cut them to size and stuck them into all the individual “stars” of the cactus.

Finally, I made a flower out of pink fondant and decorated the base of the board with some southwest colors and designs with various colors of fondant.

What inspires you to transform into cake?

More fun cake ideas:


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