Save on Pinterest

Cactus Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min.


30 servings

Updated: Oct. 16, 2022
My birthday cake was succulent! I "doctored up" two white cake mixes and baked them in 13- by 9-inch pans. When the cakes had cooled, I cut them into several pieces to put together a cactus shape.—Terri Newton, Marshall, Texas
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.


  • 2 packages white cake mix (regular size)
  • 2 envelopes whipped topping mix (Dream Whip)
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 9 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 to 10 tablespoons whole milk
  • Red and green gel food coloring
  • 1 each sprinkles and M&M's minis


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 13x9-in. baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Level cake tops if necessary. Cut a 12x3-1/2-in. strip from one long side of one cake. Place the larger rectangle on a 20x18-in. covered board for cactus stem; place strip below it for the base. Round top corners of cactus stem.
  4. Cut two 5-1/2-in. squares from second cake for cactus branches. Cut a 3-in. square from one corner of each 5-1/2-in. square. (Save remaining cake for another use.) Position one branch on each side of cactus stem. Round top corners of branches.
  5. In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Add vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cake base with 1 cup frosting. Tint 1/4 cup frosting red; set aside. Tint remaining frosting green; frost cactus.
  6. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip #3 and fill with red frosting. Pipe "Fiesta" and wavy designs on top and sides of base. Decorate cactus with chocolate sprinkles; decorate base with M&M's.

Recommended Video