If you’re anything like me, you probably find it easier to outsource your children’s birthday cakes to the local bakery or to that one friend or family member who is a culinary wizard, rather than making one. However, there’s nothing quite like seeing the happy look on your little ones faces when you present them with a birthday cake you made completely by yourself.
That’s why I put together this list of easy birthday cake recipes for mums who don't find any joy in whipping up fondant, and don’t own cake tins in every shape and size. The cakes are simple but have enough wow factor to impress.
The reason this cake is so easy is because any number can be created by cutting shapes out of basic pre-made butter or sponge square cakes. You can Google instructions on how to do this for the number you need, and then all you need to do is smother the cake in icing (homemade or store bought) and decorate with cashews, sugar flowers or lollies. If you already feel the cake is sweet enough, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are bright and colourful, as well. I made a number cake for my daughter’s third birthday (photo below) who said eating it was her favourite part of her party, which made the effort of creating it completely worth it.
2) Cupcake tower
Everyone can make cupcakes and they’re perfect for little hands and mouths to eat. Creating a cupcake tower is easy, you just bake plenty of them and then ice them in different colours and place them on a cupcake stand. The sheer amount of cupcakes is what makes them impressive and you can dress them up by adding wrappers and toppers featuring your child’s favourite characters or animals, or even a photo of the birthday boy or girl!
3) Pinata cake
The pinata cake involves baking a few circle shaped butter or vanilla cakes, layering them on top of one another and then cutting a small hole inside the middle layer to add Smarties, M&M’s or Skittles, so that when the cake is cut down the middle, the sweets spill out. Children will ooh and aah over the surprise, especially if the cake is deceptively simple on the outside.
4) Rainbow sprinkle cake
Note to all mums - this cake is a great option for parties where the party theme is really specific or unusual, without having to go all out. All you need are cupcake shape cutters in the number or letter you want and plenty of sprinkles. You can make this cake gender-neutral by using white icing, or simply change the icing colour or adding a few cake toppers with your child’s favourite character, to easily tailor it to suit the theme.
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For little girls who insist on having Elsa, Dora or Barbie somewhere on their cake, the dolly cake is a great compromise. All you have to do is create a varden style cake, cut a hole in the middle and place the doll in the centre. The trick to making this look real is matching the icing colour to the top half of the doll’s dress and adding some ribbon or marshmallow to make the cake look like a skirt.