These are our favorite easy birthday cake recipes that anyone can make – even if you haven’t made a birthday cake before! With easy shortcuts and step-by-step instructions, anyone can make an awesome birthday cake for a special occasion.
When we were growing up, my Mom always made our birthday such a big deal. It was certainly a special occasion!
She would ALWAYS go out of her way to make our day special and one of the ways that she did this was by making us whatever kind of birthday cake that we wanted. Every kid has an assortment of favorite cakes, but my mom was a pro at making sheet cakes. Even though sheet cakes are simple, she always created the coolest cake design for each of the kids for our birthday parties.
When I was old enough to have my own cake I knew it was going to be a special occasion. I chose a fun cake, but I also wanted a plain cake. My favorite was a white cake and my favorite princess was Cinderella. My mom made me a beautiful Cinderella princess cake. Although my cake was plain on the inside, my mom knew all of the secrets to layer cakes. She would add in sour cream and fresh fruit as an easy way to create the perfect treat.
Now that my kids are getting older, I want to continue the birthday tradition of making them a special birthday cake, but my decorating expertise is definitely a beginner level. For my kids’ birthdays I always try to be creative, while producing a delicious cake. This is the reason I wanted to gather the best birthday cake ideas into one place – if you’re looking for the perfect birthday cake recipe, you’ll probably find it here!
What better way to say happy birthday than giving my children the perfect cake for their special occasion. Although it’s sometimes hard to come up with a delicious birthday cake recipe, I decided to put together a list so you can create the perfect cake for your child’s birthday.
That’s where these cakes come into play! Even if you are not a cake decorator, you will be able to bake these for your child’s birthday. All anybody wants are easy cakes to bake and that is what I am bringing you! Beautiful birthday cakes are fun, but your kids will really remember the love and effort that went into it.
These cakes are simple – you could make the cake from scratch or use a cake mix from a box. The frosting on each of them is just buttercream or whipped frosting (no complicated fondant in these recipes!).
Some of these cakes (like the Crepe Cake and Ice Cream Cake) are a fun twist on a traditional cake – my kids love to mix it up and try different things. Find your favorite easy birthday cake recipe and get ready for your next birthday party!
Click on the image or the words below the image for all the details and instructions on how to make each cake!
You might also like: Basic White Two-Layer Cake Recipe
1. Chocolate Cake with M & M Flowers
This cake was made using a cake mix, canned frosting, and flowers made out of M & M’s chocolate candies. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Try mixing it up with a rich chocolate icing or chocolate ganache to top it off!
2. Sprinkle Heart Cake
A simple frosted cake (a cake mix and canned frosting work great!) with sprinkles in the shape of a heart. You won’t believe how easy this one is to make! This cake is used with white cakes
or you can even use yellow cakes.
3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
This cake takes me back to my childhood days of being at the mall and seeing these delicious cookie cakes! Switch up your birthday celebration with one of these cookie cakes. I love using milk chocolate chips in my recipe!
4. Lion Cake
I love the idea of using cupcakes around a circle cake to be the mane of a lion! Such a darling idea and a simple way to make your guests smile. Try using vanilla cupcakes, funfetti cake mix or even mix it up with dark chocolate.
5. Easy Pirate Cupcakes
If you are throwing a pirate party any time soon, you have to check out these pirate cupcakes! So easy and so dang cute.
6. Swimming Cake
If you have a swimmer in your family or are hosting a pool party, this is the cake for you! Candy necklaces, peach rings, pretzels, and Sixlets bring these cake to life!
8. Basketball Cake
This one might take some time, but no frosting skills are needed – just Reese’s Pieces candies (or M & M’s). I made this one for my little boy’s basketball-themed birthday and it was a hit!
9. Giant Donut Cake
This cake is AWESOME! Such a great idea for a party and you can change out the color of the frosting to match your decor or theme.
10. Birthday Crepe Cake
Maybe cake isn’t your thing? This crepe cake is for you! Layers of crepes with a fluffy whipped frosting in-between – it’s so delicious! Similar to the crepe cake you can get at Mimi’s Cafe.
11. The Easiest Heart Cake
Who would have thought that this is just a cake mix baked in a square pan and a circle pan? Turn the square pan so that it’s a diamond shape, cut the circle cake in half and it suddenly becomes the top of your heart. This is genius!
12. Lego Cakes
If you have a Lego lover in the house, then this cake is for you! This one is also a simple cake mix with large marshmallows on top to turn it into a Lego!
13. Candy Cake
I love this idea for your child’s birthday – simply cover the cake in their favorite candies! And if you want a cute cake stand, check out this one.
14. EASY Ice Cream Cake
If it’s too hot to bake a cake, try this easy ice cream cake. The secret ingredient is ice cream sandwiches . . . and it’s incredibly good!
15. Kit Kat Cake
This cake could not be more simple – line the edges with Kit Kat Candy Bars and top off with M & M’s. She said that when she cut the cake, she just cut in-between the sections of candy bars. A few M & M’s spilled out, but it didn’t really make a mess. Such a fun idea!
16. Butterfly Cake
The official title of this cake is “Butterfly Cake for Dummies” – which means it’s CRAZY easy! I love the idea of using a snack cake (Twinkie or Ho Ho) as a butterfly body).
17. Marshmallow Cake
Who would have thought that colored marshmallows could be such a cute cake topper? I love the simplicity of this cake – so darling for a first birthday!
18. Artist Palette Cake
If you have a little artist in your family, this is the cake for you! Such a fun and different idea – just buy canned frosting and divide into small bowls, then dye the frosting different colors to use as the paint circles on the top of the cake. Genius!
19. Pinata Cake
I loved having a pinata at my birthday party . . . but a pinata cake? Coolest cake ever! It’s just a cake made from a cake mix and she walks you through how to hollow out the center.
20. Camping Birthday Cake
What kid wouldn’t want the great outdoors on top of their cake? Those trees are made from ice cream cones and pretzel rods – I love it!
21. Mini Elmo Cupcakes
My 2 year old would LOVE these cupcakes! You can make them using a mini-muffin tin for small cupcakes or even make them regular-sized for big Elmo’s!
22. Fox Face Cake
This darling fox is made using FRUIT snacks – like a Fruit by the Foot or Fruit Roll-Ups. What a cool idea for such a unique cake!
23. Snake Cake
I think that this cake would be cute with or without candies on top – you could even just frost it and pipe on a stripes or a cool design.
24. One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Only one bowl needed for this moist and delicious made-from-scratch chocolate cake! Top it with your favorite frosting and sprinkles and BAM! Homemade cake for the win!
25. Dum Dum Sucker Cake
I love the simplicity of this cake! Here’s another tip – go to the bakery and ask for a plain frosted cake and then you could add your own cute topper, like these suckers!
26. Monster Eye Cake
If you have a monster party (or even a Halloween party!), this is the cake for you! These eyes are made with Oreos (both big and small). I love it!
27. Construction Cake
The dirt is made from Oreo crumbs! I know so many kids who would LOVE this cake.
28. Chocolate Caramel Toffee Crunch Cake
This cake is also referred to as “Better Than ____________ Cake” – you can fill in the blank with whatever you think this cake is better than. 😉 This is the cake that I request for my birthday each year!
29. Birthday Cake Pancakes
Maybe make the first meal of their birthday something to celebrate by serving some birthday pancakes!
30. Jersey Cake
If your birthday boy or girl has a favorite team, make them a jersey cake with their name on it!
31. Lemon Ice Box Cake
This cake could not be simpler – no cooking or baking required! It’s simply graham crackers with a lemon pudding in between and topped with lemon frosting. It’s a family favorite!
32. Farm Yard Cake
This is actually a cute cake that Kristen made – it’s just a simple cake with animal faces on cupcakes.
33. Fairy Princess Castle Cake
If you have a princess or prince living at your house, this is the perfect birthday cake! It looks complicated, but it’s basically 2 square cakes on top of each other with wafer doors and ice cream cone towers.
34. Dinosaur Cake
This is probably the cutest dinosaur cake I have ever seen!
35. Fish Cupcake Cake
I love that the body of this colorful fish cake is made of cupcakes! It’s so bright and colorful!
36. Robot Cake
People are seriously so creative! I love how they made a robot using cake baked in normal cake pans!
37. Sunflower Cake
I love that this cake uses gummy fruit slices and chocolate chips to make such a gorgeous flower. Perfect for a summer party.
38. Orange Crush Cupcakes
If you have an orange soda lover at your house, they will love these cupcakes! You can also use the batter to bake a 9×13″ cake!
39. Sailboat Cake
This is probably one of the most creative cakes I have ever seen! That donut life preserver is probably my favorite touch.
40. Gumball Cake
This would be so cute for a candy-themed party – it’s simply a round cake pan and square cake pan hooked together to make a gumball machine.
41. Number 3 Cake
If you have someone turning 3 years old in your family, you need this cake! It’s amazing.
42. Candy Bar Cake
In case you have someone in your family who doesn’t like cake, this is the option for you – it’s a cake made completely of candy bars! Also makes a great gift for a friend or even a graduation present.
43. Bowling Cake
Such a creative idea! This would be fun for a bowling birthday party.
44. Balloon Topper Cake
This idea could not be more simple – just frost a cake with whatever color you want and then use wooden dowels or sticks with small balloons attached to them.
45. Flip Flop Cake
Anyone with a summer birthday will LOVE this cake! Such a fun idea to make them look like flip flops.
46. Ho Ho Cake
If you have someone in your family who loves snack cakes, this is the cake for them! It’s simple to make and tastes just like your favorite Ho Ho Chocolate Snack Cake!
47. Rainbow Cake
This cake isn’t difficult, it just will take a little time. But it will amaze all your guests and make it a special day for your birthday kid (or adult! Ha ha!)!
48. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
This was one of my favorite treats when I was a little girl – I loved that the cake was cooked right in the ice cream cone!
49. Peaches and Cream Cake
For someone who maybe doesn’t like a frosted cake, this peaches and cream cake will hit the spot!
50. Sprinkle Cake
This cake is stunning!!! My kids would go wild over all the sprinkles!
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