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One of the things I held on to for a long time was making my kids birthday cakes myself. I try to make whatever we have at home for their actual birthday and in the past I used to make some of their party cakes too. Caveat – I am not a professional baker, not even by a long shot. But, I was determined and a few of these actually came out pretty awesome so I thought I would share them here.
The good news is you can make something special that doesn’t take a lot of skills, you can use boxed cake mix and store bought frosting if you want, no shame from me! (I know some of you are cringing right now, and that’s okay, make homemade if you are up for it, but I’m just pointing out you don’t HAVE to!)
Just remember the secret ingredients in these easy cakes is love and effort. Whether it is for a birthday party or just a small family birthday celebration, you will make their special day just a little bit more personal. It might even get you an extra BIG hug!
A few things you may need to have on hand:
- cake pans
- wire rack for cooling
- sprinkles if needed
- frosting spatula
- piping bag with tips
- cake board for transporting and presentation
- mixer, preferably a stand mixer, but a hand mixer will work too
This was a request from my daughter, she wanted a kitty cake. I showed her some pictures and we settled on something that looked manageable and cute! This one fit the bill and she was thrilled with how it turned out. It was pretty easy just a simple frosted cake, you could make any flavor cake layers. Then a minimal amount of artistic piping, and one large marshmallow cut in half and dipped in colored sugar stuck in with toothpicks for the ears. Tada – an adorable and fun birthday cake!
Number 5 Superhero Cake
Number cakes are all over Pinterest so templates on how to make each number shape are out there and easy to find. They usually just require a single layer cake that you cut into different shapes and attach together. That was the case for this number 5 cake I made. The assembly was the easiest part of the process. Of course my son was young and I made the mistake of letting him scroll through Pinterest and choose what he liked without restriction – but I promised I’d give it a try.
Honestly, it’s one of my proudest accomplishments. Parents at his party could not believe I had made it. Mostly the icing part was the most impressive and I won’t lie to you, this one took a while and my hand was sore from all that piping! It incorporated several different super heros on the one cake, it was truly next level.
Ombre Rosette Cake
This cake was so impressive looking, I had something similar at my baby shower before I had my daughter and this looks almost the same. I made this one for my daughter’s first birthday. There was also a matching mini smash cake for here as well – can you say cuteness overload?!
Figuring out the right colors of pink was probably the hardest part of this one aside from the actual rosette piping. But otherwise it was a simple white round double layered cake. I kept the ingredients simple since it was for a one year old, but next time I would use lemon curd or jam or something unique for the layer between the cakes. Also, I find if I add a little almond extract to white cake it takes the taste sophistication up a notch, it’s something that is usually used in wedding cakes I believe.
Inside Surprise Unicorn Color Cake
This is such a simple, classic birthday cake with just colored cake layers inside, and colorful sprinkles if you feel like it. This basic layer cake is just dyed by adding food coloring to the cake batter for each layer, it doesn’t have to be unicorn colors, you could really make this any fun surprise colors inside. Use it for a gender reveal, holiday, school colors, etc. You can use yellow cake but I would suggest a white cake base so that the colors come up true.
Rainbow and Clouds Cupcakes
These were so simple yet adorable! I used funfetti cake mix for the cupcakes. Mixed up some sky blue icing, then used white icing for the clouds but you could also use mini marshmallows and then about two inch pieces of rainbow ribbon candy.
Dinosaur Fossil Cake
A pretty simple cake with high impact. – especially for little one that are dinosaur crazy! Someone was giving away a dino skeleton mold that I snatched up for my dino loving son. I wasn’t quite sure what I would use it for but then I stubbled on this cake on Pinterest. I made the dino bones with white candy melts using the mold.
The base was just a basic chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I smashed up some Oreos to make ‘dirt’ and covered the whole cake with it. Then placed the dino skeleton on top of the cake and some extra bones on the sides. I obviously used round cake pans but this cake could be made in any shape or size you need. It was a big hit with my son, his friends and the parents! You could easily make cupcakes for this as well and put one chocolate dino bone on each cupcake.
Double Chocolate Cake
Where are my chocolate lovers at?! This one was actually for my Dad’s birthday, but if you have a chocolate loving kiddo you could decorate it more cutesy for them. This chocolate birthday cake was delicious though. I used this recipe for Ina Garten’s chocolate cake as well as her chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. With a little piping prowess and some gold sprinkles and mini chocolate chips this turned out to be an elegant cake and was delicious! My Dad gave it rave reviews, highly recommend
Give Them a Try
These are all some easy ideas for ways to make a special treat for a someone special or a big day without paying a fortune for a custom bakery cake, nor taking hours of time or special cake decorator skills. If I can make a unique birthday cake idea like these a reality – so can you! These have been some of my kids favorite birthday cakes and they still talk about them.
Remember they don’t have to be perfect, they just need to be heartfelt. One of the most important things is that they know you made it with love for them!