Your child’s birthday is approaching fast, and you want to bake a very special birthday cake that will make the day extra special. First you’ll need a good recipe so the cake will taste as good as it looks! Start with one of the cake recipes below, your own favorite cake recipe, or a mix to make a tasty foundation for your birthday cake masterpiece. Then, use our Buttercream Frosting recipe, food coloring, candy, miniature accessories, and our cake decorating ideas to bring your creative cake vision to life. The birthday cake ideas below are easy enough for all moms to make!
For more birthday dessert ideas check out our Cupcake Ideas and Recipes.
Birthday Cake Recipes
We searched high and low to track down the world’s best cake and frosting recipes and would like to share them with you! Click one of the links below to view the recipe.
- Yellow Cake Recipe: Try our Simple Yellow Cake Recipe, which includes tips for flavoring and tinting your batter.
- Chocolate Cake Recipe: This chocolate cake recipe is easy to make and contains no eggs. Oh, and it tastes amazing too!
- Rainbow Cake Recipe: Surprise your child with rainbow cake batter.
- Buttercream Frosting Recipe: Our creamy Buttercream Frosting Recipe can be tinted any color to fit with your cake theme.
Birthday Cake Ideas
If you’ve decided to build your own themed cake instead of using a shaped cake pan, you can use a sheet cake or a square or round layer cake as your foundation. With the right decorations, you can turn a simple square, rectangular or round cake into a variety of themed landscapes, animal faces and more. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Bake two 9-inch round cakes using either our chocolate cake recipe or our yellow cake recipe.
- Use our buttercream frosting recipe to make the frosting.
- Add 5-10 drops of yellow food coloring to the frosting.
- Using the yellow frosting, frost between the two cakes, as well as the sides and bottom of the cake.
- Use black icing to draw lines across the body of the bee. Then draw two eyes on the head.
- Place one large waffle cookie on each side of the cake (between the cake layers) to create the bee’s wings.
- Place two black licorice twists on the bee’s head to make the antennae.
- Bake two 8″ or 9″ square cakes, and stack them with frosting between the two layers.
- Frost the entire cake pale yellow or pink for a princess’ castle, or brown or gray for a knight’s castle.
- Frost four ice cream cones to match the cake, and set them upside down by the four corners of the cake to create turrets.
- Stick miniature flags on toothpicks into the ice cream cones.
- If your child has tiny princess or knight figures, stand them around the castle for added decoration.
- Cut a Bundt cake into four equal parts.
- Lay out the four segments in a wavy pattern on your cake plate, and then trim the front edge with a knife to make a triangular head.
- Trim the other end into a pointed shape to create the snake’s tail.
- Frost the cake with green icing or icing in your child’s favorite color.
- Pipe on stripes in a different color across the back, and use small chocolate candies, such as M&Ms, for the eyes.
- Cut a strip of fruit leather into a y-shape and set it in front of the head as the snake’s tongue.
- This cake will be scrumptious!
Football or Basketball Jersey Cake
- Bake two 9 x 13 cakes.
- Once the cakes are cool, frost between the two layers. Then carve the cake into the shape of a jersey.
- Frost the top of the cake and the sides using buttercream or white frosting.
- Pipe your child’s last name across the top of the jersey cake.
- Write their jersey number or the age they are turning largely underneath the last name.
Extreme Sports Cake:
- Use a rectangular sheet cake to create a snowboard or motocross park.
- Create trick ramps using cake squares cut in half diagonally.
- Ice the ramps with grey or brown frosting and the rest of the cake in the color that fits your theme – white with coconut flakes for snowboards, brown with cookie crumbs for dirt bikes.
- Purchase miniature bikes, skateboards, snowboards, or action figures to place on the ramps and around the perimeter of the cake.
- Start with any flavor cake baked in a 9×13″ cake pan.
- Let it cool and remove from pan. You’ll need two colors of frosting so that the fins and tail are a different color than the body of the fish.
- You’ll also need Necco wafer candies to make the fish scales, one chocolate sandwich cookie for the eye, and a small piece of red licorice string to create a smile.
- Cut the cake as shown in our drawings and arrange the pieces on a cake plate.
- Frost the body of the fish in one icing color and frost the fins and the tail in the second icing color.
- Then put the cookie eye and the licorice string mouth in place.
- The last step is to arrange the Necco wafers over the body of the fish to resemble scales.
- Turn your cake into a seaside delight by icing half of the cake with blue icing and half with yellow icing.
- Draw a rippled edge between the two halves to create a wavy shoreline.
- Crush graham crackers, and sprinkle them over the yellow frosting to give the appearance of sand; or, use decorative yellow sugar.
- Set a miniature toy boat on the ocean side of the cake, and use different colors of food gel or decorator icing to draw seashells and tiny crabs on the shore side.
- Use drink umbrellas to add the finishing touches.
- To make a really cute flower cake for your garden birthday party, start by baking a standard 8-inch round cake for the center.
- For the petals, you can bake a sheet cake and cut petal shapes, or use Hostess Twinkies for a quick solution.
- Ice the flower’s center in yellow and the petals in pink.
- Place the cake on either a large cookie sheet or a piece of cardboard covered in tin foil.
- Use green icing to draw the stem and leaves onto the cookie sheet or cardboard.
- Use a dome-shaped cake baked in an oven-safe glass bowl to create the body of the bug and a cupcake top as the head.
- Frost the head with black icing and the body with red.
- Create spots or other designs on your bug cake by adding gumdrops, mini Junior Mints, or round wafer candies.
- Trim a straw to make two antennae, and top each with a gumdrop; press the bottoms of the straws into the cupcake head.
- Use Skittles or cut a gumdrop in half to create two eyes, and pipe on red icing for a smile.
Volcano Dinosaur Cake:
- Place a Bundt cake on top of a 9″ square cake.
- Next, completely cover both of the cakes with chocolate frosting, and then slowly pour orange frosting around the top to resemble lava flowing out of a volcano.
- Orange frosting can be made by adding red and yellow food coloring to a can of white frosting.
- Decorate a rectangular sheet cake to look like a racetrack or roadway.
- First, ice the whole cake with green frosting.
- Then, use a tube of black decorator frosting or chocolate sprinkles to draw an oval racetrack or a meandering road on the cake.
- Set a few miniature toy cars or trucks on the racetrack/road.
- You can also add plastic trees, miniature flags on toothpicks, and/or miniature signs to put the finishing touches on your cake.
- Bake a 9×13″ cake, and frost it with green icing.
- Use a tube of black gel frosting or chocolate sprinkles to draw a road around the cake.
- Then add a pile of crushed graham crackers as “dirt” in the middle of the cake, and place small toy trucks on the dirt pile.
- Add brown candy such as malt balls, junior mints, or peanut M&Ms for rocks!
- Turn your cake into a pizza pie by icing a round cake with red frosting, sprinkling some grated almond paste or coconut overtop to represent cheese, adding a thin roll of almond paste or light yellow icing around the perimeter to form the crust.
- Then add your toppings – red fruit leather cut into circles can represent pepperoni, junior mints for olives, and slices of marshmallows with the middles cut out can represent onions.
- For added effect, use a knife to make four shallow cuts across the cake that intersects in the middle, forming 8 pizza slices.
- Create a magician’s top hat using a rectangular sheet cake.
- After the cake is baked, trim off a long strip from one side.
- Set the two pieces together to form a brimmed hat.
- If necessary, trim a bit of the brim off so that it extends just a few inches past the left- and right-sides of the hat’s top.
- Ice the cake black, and then draw on a white frosting band a few inches above the hat’s brim.
- For added effect, you can add black sprinkles to make the cake shimmer a little bit.
Here are some more of our favorite cake decorating ideas. Use candy, frosting and cookies to make yummy decorations.
Sock Monkey Cake