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30 Easy Birthday Cake Ideas for Kids

Elizabeth Sanfilippo
June 5, 2017

Get inspired to create your own personalized cake for your child's next birthday.



No matter what kind of birthday party you're throwing, there's a cake to go with it. Your kids will also get a kick out of a birthday cake that reflects what they love -- whether it be cheeseburgers, dinosaurs, princesses, or fire trucks.

Morgan Crane, a mother and photographer in Evanston, Ill., is doing just that by making a construction cake for her daughter, who is obsessed with trucks, diggers and all things construction. She plans to make a chocolate cake decorated in different trucks and use Oreos for "dirt."

Dawna Faught, a mother in Canyonville, Ore., made a similar "dig" cake by cutting off the corners of a cake and using those as "hills." She used Tootsie Rolls for logs and topped the cake with a toy truck she drove around to make tire marks. Her son loved it, and "he wanted to drive the truck on the cake before we cut it," she recalls.

Need more inspiration? Here top food bloggers provide a collection of great cake ideas to inspire your next bash.

  1. Cheeseburger
    This cake from Rose Bakes looks like a delicious burger, but trust us, it has plenty more sugar. It consists of two 9-inch cakes for the buns, fruit slices candy for lettuce, sugar cookies for tomatoes and a brownie for the burger.

  2. Castle
    Spoil your little prince or princess with a castle cake. This fairy tale cake is easier to make than it looks -- the base is just stacked with three layers of cake, and then topped with a cardboard cut-out and some paper towel rolls coated in icing to add the castle effect. Some sugar cones and toothpicks create the tower roofs.

  3. Basketball
    For an easy, but fabulous looking cake, get lots of Reese's Pieces to turn any kind of regular cake into an instantly customized basketball cake.

  4. Dinosaur
    If your child loves all things prehistoric, like dinosaurs, make this cake out of two round cakes, some rolled fondant, candy and lots of frosting. Half of the two round cakes form the body while the other halves are cut using an easy to follow guide.

  5. Flower Garden Cupcakes
    Brighten up the party with cupcakes that look like a bed of pretty flowers. Just take your favorite cupcake recipe and add mini marshmallows, colored candy chocolates and pearlized sprinkles.

  6. Microphone Cupcakes
    Does your kid love to sing? Have them belt a tune into these sparkly microphone cupcakes. It's simply a cupcake baked into a wafer ice cream cone. Just add sprinkles!

  7. Pińata
    Combine two birthday traditions into one with this creative, but easy, pińata cake, which guests can cut open to discover even more sweet goodies.

  8. Pizza
    Fool the kids by making a yellow cake that looks remarkably like pizza with just the trick of the frosting and some colored candies.

  9. Rainbow Doodle
    Your child will love helping you make a rainbow cake by doing all the decorating! In addition to fondant, you'll need some food color markers for a one-of-a-kind cake.

  10. Swimming Pool
    For your little athlete, have a Olympics-inspired birthday party, complete with a swimming pool cake made with pretzels for the swimmers in the water, candy necklaces for the swimming lanes and white chocolate bars for the diving boards!

  11. Willy Wonka Candy Cake
    A delicious chocolate cake forms the base for this case, but then it's decked out in a ton of candy for those with a major sweet tooth.

  12. Fire Truck Cake and Cupcakes
    No sirens required, just some half-sheet cakes, donuts and lots of fondant.

  13. Star Wars
    This dessert starts with a simple chocolate cake, and then layers of frosting turn it into something your young Star Wars fan will love. "May the Force be with you!"

  14. Construction Zone
    Make your little digger a cake that is sure to impress. Not only is it topped with some construction toys, but the inside of the cake can reflect the theme, too, with some slanted chocolate and yellow stripes.

  15. Fruit "Cake"
    There's no sugar added to this towering cake of fruit. Grab a bunch of toothpicks, watermelon, and your child's favorite fruits to make this healthy alternative.

  16. Strawberry Cream Cake
    Perfect for the summer, this is another semi-healthy cake recipe that looks so pretty, you might not want to dig in! (OK, that's a lie).

  17. Teddy Bear
    This teddy bear cake looks so lovable, make sure your kids don't give it a hug. It starts with stacking round cakes and lots of icing, and you'll need a icing tip to pipe the bear's fur.

  18. Piano
    For your musically inclined young one, make them a cake of their favorite instrument, like the piano. Warning: not all pieces are edible in this one.

  19. Butterfly
    Be inspired by nature and make a cute butterfly cake using heart-shaped baking pans.

  20. Fish Tank
    Throw a Nemo-inspired party and offer a fish tank cake, which includes making sugar cookies in the shape of fish.

  21. Fish
    For a slightly less labor-intensive cake, but still with an underwater theme, make this fish cake by carving away pieces of cake. Instructions included.

  22. Train
    If your little ones adore trains, this is the perfect cake for you. Even better, each train car can be decorated differently (with the help of your kids, of course), and be made of different kinds of cake, if you want.

  23. Rainbow Sprinkles Cake
    This fabulous cake requires minimal decoration, because you'll be using tons and tons of sprinkles!

  24. Snake
    Make a squiggly snake using a few Bundt cakes and covering it in green frosting.

  25. Football
    This cake isn't just for Super Bowl; it's also for anyone who loves the game of football. Hike!

  26. Polka Dot Cake
    Surprise your kids with polka dots inside their cake! To make this, you'll need a round cake ball pan to bake the polka dots.

  27. Red Velvet Funnel Cakes
    Throw a carnival party with this sweet twist on a funnel cake.

  28. Artist's Palette
    For your young artist, create a cake that looks like a painter's palette, complete with gel icing "paints" for the splotches of color.

  29. Cupcakes in a Jar
    Get creative (and portion controlled) with these tasty chocolate cupcakes in a jar.

  30. Monster
    If your kids loves the cartoon monster movies, this bright, goofy cake is sure to make them smile.

But don't get so caught up in all of the planning that you forget what the day is all about: your child. Veronica Descotte, baker and owner of Cakes on Wheels, thinks any parent can make their child's birthday even more special by having them help you and the nanny in the kitchen to make an extra-exciting cake. "That way you are spending time together doing something fun (and delicious)!"

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer in Chicago. Her work can be found here.

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