When it comes to birthday cake ideas, there are so many choices! From a Galaxy Cake, a Taco Cake, Cake Pops, Ice Cream Cake, and yes, even a Cake Pie!
This long list of ideas for birthday cake will help inspire you to make a friend or loved one feel special after another trip around the sun.
Despite flavor, decoration, or style, any cake can be a birthday cake if used to celebrate a birthday!
Here are 40 cakes perfect for celebrating birthdays or any celebration!
Traditionally, we see a lot of bakery cakes in the window cases with frosting roses and “Happy Birthday” written in icing on top.
Some birthday cakes might just be a sheet cake with a few candles and sprinkles!
However, there are so many more options for unique and delicious cakes to fit everything the occasion calls for!
Some may like to celebrate their birthdays with something simple, without drawing much attention to their special day.
We recommend a classic Confetti Cake or Marble Cake for our minimalist friends.
Some may want something more extravagant like a Galaxy Cake or a Watercolor Cake with Macarons.
Maybe you need something that isn’t necessarily a sizable cake. Go for individual servings like Birthday Cake Pops, Birthday Cupcakes, or a Birthday Cake Pie.
Regardless of what you are looking for in a birthday cake or your skill level as a baker, there is a recipe here to make this year’s celebration the tastiest one yet!
1. Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake
This is one of the best birthday cakes for the chocolate lover in your life!
This is a go-to recipe since it gives you an excellent base for a chocolate cake that can have some adjustments made for all kinds of fun variations.
You can easily make this from scratch without worrying about messing up the steps, even if you are a novice baker.
2. Shag Cake
The raspberry and vanilla flavors in this cake are unique, but the part that will steal the show is the decoration.
It is much easier to decorate than you might think if you have a grass tip pipe for your icing.
Pull this out for your next birthday party, and chances are, no one will have seen a cake that looks and tastes this great!
3. Oreo Cake
This moist chocolate cake uses Oreo cookie crumbs to give you a fantastic tasting frosting with the familiar cookie flavor we all love.
Hot coffee is used in the cake, which gives an extra layer of depth to the flavor, but boiling water can be used instead if you prefer.
For extra Oreo goodness, save some crumbles from decorating your cake after it is frosted!
This no-bake cheesecake sits on top of a confetti cake crust for a moist, fluffy, and creamy birthday treat!
There are a few steps involved in making this cake, from the crust, the cheesecake, and the buttercream frosting, but it all comes together pretty quickly!
This birthday cheesecake will impress everyone who takes a bite without having you in the
kitchen stressing over making the perfect cake!
This cake is beautifully decorated and full of delicious and fresh watermelon flavors and a bit of tart lime curd!
If you are an inexperienced baker, there is no need to worry!
This cake recipe features basic techniques and can even be split up to be made in different steps over a few days.
This cake style is often nicknamed funfetti because there is no way to ignore how fun it is to prepare and eat!
There is a certain level of nostalgia for confetti cakes since many of us grew up enjoying vanilla cakes with sweet buttercream and tons of sprinkles on top.
No more making your funfetti cakes from the box!
Use this recipe, and you will get a fluffy texture with extra love baked in that can’t be replicated with the store-bought packages.
This cookie cake is a nice change of pace from traditional birthday cakes.
There is a thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie base with creamy vanilla buttercream smothered on top for an extra special birthday treat for any cookie lover!
If you want some unique cake ideas for birthday parties but don’t want to stick to a traditional cake, cookie cakes are a great option for satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth!
We all have a Dr. Pepper lover who would easily fall in love with this cake!
The ingredients included may seem a little out of the ordinary for a cake, including the prunes and dried cherries, but it all adds so much depth to the flavor of the cake.
Even the frosting includes Dr. Pepper, so every bite gives you the old-fashioned soda-flavored cake with some new techniques to add to your baking style.
9. Donut Cake
We have heard of cake donuts, but what about donut cakes?
This beautiful cake is perfect for celebrating any donut lover’s birthday and much easier to make than the appearance may have you believe.
With the sprinkles on top of the donut glaze and within the actual cake, you get an extra dose of birthday fun!
Something about combining rich chocolate with fresh strawberries tastes amazing and indulgent.
Rather than enjoying individual chocolate-covered strawberries, turn that flavor combo into a moist cake topped with even more fresh strawberries for a fluffy cake everyone can share at the next birthday party!
11. Galaxy Cake
This beautiful cake is a lot easier to make than you may believe at first glance, and for that, it should be high on your cute birthday cake ideas bucket list!
The cake features funfetti flavors, while the frosting and sprinkles include various colors to replicate all of the colors in our galaxy.
If your little one is all about space, this recipe is an excellent opportunity for them to get involved in the kitchen and help make their own birthday dessert!
Enjoying s’mores with your friends and family screams summertime evening activity, but we can bring the fun into every season with this extraordinary birthday cake.
The marshmallow cream filling is a fantastic way to incorporate one of the vital s’more’s ingredients into every bite, but be warned; it will not last well on the kitchen counter.
The good news is, this cake tastes so great, you will not have to expect much to be left over after the birthday celebration!
When it comes to birthday cake recipe ideas, there is a reason bundt cakes are a classic choice.
They are easy to make, even when made from scratch, but they can last for a few days and taste amazing, especially with this white chocolate and raspberry combination!
If you want to turn it into a layer cake, so it is more fitting for a birthday, you can do that by making two layers and adding in the buttercream frosting.
Look here for more adorable bundt cake recipe ideas.
If you have a friend or family member turning 21, infusing alcohol into the recipe makes unique cakes for birthday celebrations.
This one, in particular, features tequila and lime flavors with a strawberry meringue buttercream to pull together the strawberry margarita flavors.
Using Swiss meringue buttercream rather than traditional American buttercream may be intimidating, but once you taste the mild flavor that lets the strawberries shine through and feel the smooth, velvety texture, you will understand why; it is so unique!
15. Earl Grey Cake
If you want your birthday celebration to be a weeklong event, try to plan an afternoon tea with this Earl Grey birthday cake included!
If you are a fan of Earl Grey tea, the flavors shine through throughout each bite of the cake’s layers.
A smooth yet straightforward vanilla bean buttercream frosting complements the black tea very well, so it is not overwhelming with overly intense flavors but provides a nice balance.
16. Marble Cake
Can’t decide between vanilla and chocolate cake for your birthday?
How about marbling it together into a delicious swirled cake!
You probably already have all of the ingredients for this cake in your pantry.
It is straightforward to bake, so marble cakes are an excellent choice for cakes for birthdays when you can’t decide between vanilla and chocolate flavors.
If you have a daytime birthday celebration or want something lighter to munch on, this lemon velvet cake is the perfect option!
Between the lemon cake, lemon curd, lemon cream cheese frosting, and lemon juice ganache, you get all types of lemon flavors in each bite of this unique cake.
You get a lovely moist texture that will melt in your mouth once it hits your tastebuds and won’t be overwhelming with all of the lemon added in.
18. Ice Cream Cake
According to Eat This, Not That, ice cream cake is one of the most popular cakes in many states.
Whether you are celebrating a hot summer birthday, want something classic that you know everyone will love, or are giving in to your little one’s request for their birthday, it is hard to go wrong with selecting an ice cream cake as your choice for a birthday cake!
Rather than buying a pre-made ice cream cake from the store, you can make your own at home with little effort and the option to pick and choose your favorite flavors!
If you love ice cream cakes as much as we do, you should check out our list of fantastic ice cream cake recipes.
19. Taco Cake
Do you have a friend who loves tacos?
Or maybe you want something a little fun and out of the ordinary to celebrate a birthday with.
This taco cake is unique, easier to make than you may think, and so much fun to serve and eat!
If you get a request for unique cake ideas for a birthday coming up, keep this cake in mind!
This delectable cake will have you reminiscing about times you may not even remember!
Keeping true to the retro fashion, this is made from scratch, but it won’t have you spending the entire day in the kitchen since it takes less than an hour to prepare!
Both the cake and the frosting utilize maraschino cherries and the juice from the jar, so you get a pretty pink color that tastes as great as it looks!
Red velvet bundt cakes are a classic and reliable choice for homemade birthday cake ideas.
The velvety texture is both creamy and silky and incredibly moist!
But the red velvet flavor is to die for!
It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what the flavors are in a red velvet cake, but whatever it is, it tastes incredible, especially when paired with the cream cheese glaze.
The cherries, chocolate, and mascarpone frosting give you such a luxurious and indulgent treat to celebrate a new year!
There are a few different steps in putting together this cake, including the fluffy chocolate cake, the kirsch syrup, the mascarpone frosting, the cherries in kirsch, and chocolate ganache.
Still, they all come together so well for a delightful dessert.
What is it about getting personal cupcakes that make a birthday celebration a little bit more fun?
These cupcakes, in particular, are so decadent with the confetti cake, marshmallow meringue, and chocolate shell on top.
You can use any of your favorite confetti flavor recipes for the cupcakes or even switch to another flavor that you like more.
This is perfect for a kid’s celebration with the sweet flavors melding together, giving each attendee a personal cake to enjoy!
24. Tres Leches Cake
There are moist cakes, and then there are tres leches moist cakes.
This traditional Mexican dessert is made with three kinds of milk, so it is perfect for celebrating your friends who can’t find a cake that is moist enough for their tastes.
If you want your cake to soak up the different milk types, let it sit for a day before decorating or serving.
What’s better than a no-bake cake that combines fresh strawberries and strawberry Oreos?
A few things come to mind, especially when considering how easy these cakes are to make!
Keep in mind that although this cake will look amazing when it is all assembled, it is best to let it sit in the fridge overnight so it can settle in.
But this means that you have your cake ready to go on the day of your birthday party!
If you search for simple birthday cake designs, this almond layer cake topped with fresh fruits and plain cookies does the trick!
The taste is anything but simple.
The cake itself is moist and dense, while the frosting is fluffy and smooth with the right amount of almond flavor.
It is best to enjoy this cake the day it is assembled, but you can bake the separate layers the day before and assemble it the next day.
Rather than having a single-layer cookie cake, why not turn it into a three-layer cookie cake?
You can put your three favorite cookie cakes into one with this cake recipe!
This recipe uses a chocolate chip cookie, funfetti cake batter cookie, and a chocolate cookie cake, but you can use any cookie cake you like.
Oreos and peanut butter cookies are two deliciously sweet options!
Strawberries make every dessert better in the spring and summer, this vanilla cake included.
The cake itself is like a fluffier three-layer version of a pound cake.
The frosting uses fresh strawberries, giving the cake a bit of lightness and freshness.
Adding a little bit of cream cheese to the frosting helps it last longer from melting.
Of course, fresh strawberries on top pull everything together!
Even though there are three different flavors at work in this case, they all work together very well.
Nothing you buy from a store can make this peanut butter, chocolate chip, and banana mixture!
It is super simple to bake this special cake, so you can ensure your time is being spent celebrating the special birthday guy or gal!
If you have a classic yellow butter cake that you want to elevate to the next level, turn it into a cannoli cake with a couple of extra simple steps!
When you bake your layers, brush them with rum and put a layer of cannoli cream filling between them.
Top it off with whipped vanilla buttercream frosting and a generous amount of mini chocolate chips for a birthday cake that will impress even the pickiest of eaters!
This birthday cake may look complex and a little scary but don’t worry; it is a straightforward process!
If you don’t have dulce de leche at home, you can make it yourself with condensed milk or buy it online or in-store.
There isn’t any frosting on this cake, but the other ingredients are all rich and sweet.
And after all, if you already have a great combination of dulce de leche and chocolate cake, you don’t need to fix what isn’t broken!
Despite its name, a naked cake is not something inappropriate for only adults to enjoy.
This cake, in particular, is for anyone who is not a fan of frosting on the outside of their cake.
Sometimes the frosting can be overwhelmingly sweet, but in this case, a little bit of raspberry and strawberry compote filling is used to layer the inside of the cake together with a tiny amount of buttercream frosting on top.
Incorporating French macarons with your watercolor buttercream cake is a prime example of how to implement some trendy birthday cake ideas in one.
On the one hand, you get a beautiful color combination by blending different colored buttercream along the outside of your cake.
You also get a nice topping of French macarons that can be store-bought!
The inside of the cake can be any flavor you like, but in this case, the recipe uses a funfetti recipe, which makes it perfect for a birthday celebration.
This birthday cake is made for anyone who struggles to satisfy their sweet tooth!
What is there to not love about chocolate cake, vanilla, chocolate, caramel buttercream, frosting, sprinkles, ganache, caramel, and cherries?
This makes for a delicious birthday treat that you can enjoy guilt-free because it is a special occasion!
There is no such thing as too much chocolate, and this birthday cake proves that!
Start with a chocolate layer cake, top it with chocolate buttercream frosting, and surround it with Kit Kat bars with M&M’s poured all over the top!
A ribbon wrapped around the outside adds some extra pizzazz.
The ribbon and M&M’s can even be color-coordinated, so you use the birthday guy or gal’s favorite colors!
As much as we would love a full-size cake for all of our birthday celebrations, sometimes it isn’t reasonable, but that is where these cake pops come in.
These are portable, bite-sized versions of your favorite birthday cake!
This is especially great for beginners since adding in your candy coating will help cover any imperfections while shaping the cake balls.
We’ve got more cake pop recipes here if you’re looking for more inspiration.
This picturesque cake can be made with good quality store-bought mix, making it more manageable.
The chantilly cream is the real star of this cake.
Chantilly cream is just a whipped cream from Chantilly, France, but this recipe uses a little bit of almond extract to play on the vanilla flavor in the cake and the berries on top.
Pull together your favorite mixture of berries and layer them in between the cake and on top with some of your favorite jam for a cake that tastes as great as it looks!
After trying the combination of lemon with blackberry, you will find yourself craving the flavor combo, and luckily this birthday cake will satisfy just that.
Interestingly enough, adding some lemon juice with baking soda will make your cake a little airier while adding just the right amount of lemon flavor.
Your blackberry buttercream frosting can be used as a wall to prevent your lemon curd from spilling out or soaking too much into your cake.
If you have extra lemon curd, it can be thinned out with some heavy cream to make a beautiful and tasty glaze to drip along the sides of the cake.
The older we get, the more and more we find ourselves needing coffee!
This cake has coffee included in the actual cake for a little extra boost of caffeine on your special day.
As you frost the outside of the cake with chocolate sauce and chocolate fudge-flavored frosting, you can decorate it like a glass of iced coffee.
A Birthday Cake Pie is excellent for looking for cake ideas that aren’t necessarily cakes!
There is no baking involved with the batter, but the crust does need some time in the oven to get a golden color.
The pudding filling is full of birthday flavors with the vanilla pudding and cake mix with an abundance of confetti sprinkles.
This is an excellent choice for celebrating a slightly non-traditional birthday.
The bottom line
Making a birthday cake from scratch can be a scary thought, especially for new bakers, but these 40 birthday cake ideas do a great job of explaining how to show your love for your friends or family with a homemade treat that is made special for them.
Whatever your cravings, skill level, or goal may be, there is a type of birthday cake out there to help you celebrate!
Looking for more birthday ideas, we’ve compiled a list of the best 27 Birthday Cocktails that you should definitely check out!
Top 40 Best Birthday Cake Ideas 🎂
Here are the best 40 Birthday Cake Ideas perfect for celebrating birthdays or any celebration!
- Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake
- Shag Cake
- Oreo Cake
- Birthday Cheesecake
- Watermelon Cake
- Confetti Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- Dr. Pepper Cake
- Donut Cake
- Chocolate Cake With Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Galaxy Cake
- Deconstructed S’mores Cake
- White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake
- Strawberry Margarita Layer Cake
- Earl Grey Cake
- Marble Cake
- Lemon Velvet Cake
- Ice Cream Cake
- Taco Cake
- Vintage Cherry Chip Layer Cake
- Red Velvet Bundt Cake
- Black Forest Gateau
- Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes
- Tres Leches Cake
- Strawberry Oreo Chocolate Icebox Cake
- Almond Cream Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cake
- Fresh Strawberry Cake
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cake With Peanut Butter Frosting
- Italian Cannoli Cake
- Dulce De Leche Chocolate Cake
- Raspberry And Strawberry Naked Cake
- Watercolor Cake With Macarons
- Sundae Birthday Cake
- Kit Kat Candy Bar Cake
- Birthday Cake Pops
- Berry Chantilly Cake
- Lemon Curd Cake With Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
- Vietnamese Iced Coffee Cake
- Birthday Cake Pie
- Skim through our Birthday Cake Ideas list.
- Select the cake you’re looking for.
- Prep the ingredients as instructed.
- Spill your thoughts on our Facebook page!