8 Kids Birthday Cake Recipes You Can Make at Home
These kids birthday cake recipes are easy to make at home and will wow the guest of honor every time.
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13. Run a blunt knife all the way round inside the pan to make sure the cake is loose.
14. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and then turn the rack and pan upside down so that the cake drops out of the pan onto the rack. Carefully turn the cake over so it is right side up. Leave it until it is completely cold before you begin decorating it.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- 12 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3¼ cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1. Chop the chocolate into chunks using a sharp knife and a flat chopping board. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.
2. Add the butter to the bowl and then set it over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
3. Put the milk and vanilla extract into another bowl and gradually sift in the confectioners’ (icing) sugar, a little at a time. Stir until smooth before adding more sugar.
4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Let the frosting sit and thicken up slightly before you use it—it will be easier to spread.
Yellow Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon
Serves: 8 (one 9-inch layer cake)
For the yellow layer cake:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the vanilla buttercream frosting:
- 2 cups (four sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup rainbow sprinkles
For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper circles, and butter the parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the buttermilk and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and tap the pans on the counter several times to get rid of any air bubbles.
5. Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run the blade of a butter knife around the edges of the pans to release the cakes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack and discard the parchment. Let cool completely, approximately 1 hour. Wrap both layers in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
For the frosting:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, approximately 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium high, and beat until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and milk and beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Remove the frozen cake layers from the freezer and unwrap. Put one layer on a cake stand and spread approximately one-third of the frosting onto the top of the layer. Put the second layer on top of the first and top with another one-third of the frosting. Spread the last one-third of the frosting on the sides. Decorate with the sprinkles and serve.
Chocolate Buttercream: Sift 1 cup of cocoa powder together with the powdered sugar before creaming with the butter and salt.
Orange Buttercream: Add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the mixture.
Almond Buttercream: Substitute 1½ teaspoons almond extract for the vanilla extract.
Lion Birthday Cake
Recipe courtesy Betty Crocker
This Betty Crocker recipe is the perfect first birthday cake recipe, designed to be smashed and smushed to bits by your tiny cake monster.
- 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix
- 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (two medium)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1 container (6 oz.) vanilla yogurt
- Golden yellow gel or paste food color
- Orange gel or paste food color
- ¾ cup Cheerios cereal
- 6 pretzel sticks
- 2 brown candy coated pieces
- Brown decorating gel
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Using shortening or cooking spray, grease the bottom only of one (6-inch) round cake pan and place paper baking cups in 16 regular-size muffin cups.
In a large bowl, beat cake mix, bananas, oil, water, and eggs with electric mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth. Place 1¾ cups batter in the 6-inch round pan. Spoon remaining batter into 16 lined muffin cups. Bake round cake 35-40 minutes and cupcakes 18-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, approximately 30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and yogurt on medium speed with electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Stir in yellow food color until mixture is desired color. Place 3 tablespoons of yellow frosting in a small bowl; stir in orange food color until mixture is desired orange color.
4. To frost and decorate the cake, slice the 6-inch round cake horizontally to remove rounded top. Place cake cut side down on a plate. Use yellow frosting to frost top and sides of cake. Use orange frosting to make muzzle of lion. Place cereal around top edges of cake to form the lion’s mane. Add brown candy coated pieces for eyes. Insert pretzel sticks into cake near muzzle for whiskers. Use brown decorating gel to make mouth, nose, and whisker spots on the lion face. Use remaining frosting to frost cupcakes. If desired, use cereal to decorate the cupcakes. Store cake and cupcakes in refrigerator.
Recipe courtesy Big Book of Kids’ Birthday Cakes
- Deep 8-inch round cake pan
- 12-inch round cake stand
- Medium piping bag fitted with medium plain tube
- Large piping bag fitted with large fluted tube
- 2 batches Basic Butter Cake Batter
- 3 batches Basic Buttercream Frosting
- 2 ounces ready-made white fondant
- Yellow, blue, red, and pink food coloring
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 1 red lollipop
- Red sugar sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 360°. Grease cake pan; line bottom and sides with parchment paper, extending paper 2 inches above side.
- Make two batches of Basic Butter Cake Batter according to recipe. Combine and spread mixture into cake pan; bake approximately 1 hour. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
- To make sprinkles, knead ready-made white fondant on surface dusted with a small amount of sifted confectioners’ sugar until fondant loses its stickiness. Divide fondant into three portions and dye each a different color using yellow, blue, and red food coloring. Lightly dust hands with confectioners’ sugar; roll fondant portions, one at a time, into very thin ropes (cover fondant not being used in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out). Cut ropes into random lengths, leave to dry flat on baking paper.
- Brush lollipop lightly with water, roll it in red sugar sprinkles, and stand upright to dry.
- Make three batches of Basic Buttercream Frosting.
- Using small, sharp serrated knife, trim side of cake on an angle, to resemble the shape of a cupcake. Secure cake on cake stand with a little buttercream.
- To make the cupcake liner, spread side of cake lightly but evenly with buttercream. Fill medium piping bag with about half the remaining buttercream; using the picture as a guide, pipe vertical stripes up side of cake about ½-inch apart.
- Tint remaining buttercream with pink food coloring; fill large piping bag with buttercream. Starting from the outside edge of the cake, pipe a continuous swirl on top of the cake.
- Decorate cake with lollipop and colored sprinkles.
Giant Donut Cake
Recipe courtesy Big Book of Kids’ Birthday Cakes
- 12-inch savarin (ring) pan
- 14-inch round or square cake stand
- 4 batches Basic Butter Cake Batter
- ½ cup strawberry jam, warmed and strained
- 4½ cups pure confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup water, approximately
- Pink food coloring
- 6 yellow and pink Twizzlers
- Preheat oven to 300°. Grease and flour savarin pan.
- If you only have one savarin pan, mix two batches of Basic Butter Cake Batter to make one cake according to the recipe. Spread mixture into pan; bake cake approximately 50 minutes. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining two batches of cake mix to make the second cake in cleaned savarin pan.
- Cut Twizzlers into thin strips, then into ½-inch lengths.
- Using a serrated knife, trim the flat bases on both cakes so they are level; spread cut surfaces with warmed jam. Place one cake, jam-side up, on cake stand; place remaining cake, jam-side down, on top of the other cake.
- To make icing, sift confectioners’ sugar into large heatproof bowl and stir in enough water to make a stiff paste; tint pink. Place bowl over large saucepan of simmering water, stir icing until smooth and of a pouring consistency (don’t let water touch base of bowl—if it overheats it will crystallize, and you will have to start again).
- Quickly pour the icing as evenly as possible over the cake (avoid using a spatula if possible). Decorate with sprinkles immediately before the icing sets.
Ice Cream Cone Mini Cakes
Recipe courtesy Big Book of Kids’ Birthday Cakes
- 6-hole, ¾-cup Texas muffin pan
- 1 batch Basic Butter Cake Batter
- 1 batch Basic Buttercream Frosting
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Pink food coloring
- 6 square-based ice-cream cones
- 1½ oz. dark chocolate melts
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Red glacé cherries
- Crushed unsalted peanuts
- White chocolate chips
- Wafer cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin pan.
- Make Basic Butter Cake Batter according to recipe. Drop 1/3 cup of the mixture into each hole; bake approximately 25 minutes. Stand cakes in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
- Trim tops of cakes into a dome shape, as pictured.
- Make Basic Buttercream Frosting according to directions above. Divide buttercream into three small bowls. Leave one bowl plain, stir sifted cocoa into another bowl, and tint the remaining buttercream with pink food coloring.
- Using picture as a guide, frost the cakes with the different colored buttercreams.
- Top each ice-cream cone with a cake. Melt chocolate; cool slightly before pouring over top of one ice-cream cake. Using the picture as a guide, decorate the cones using the decorations listed.
Basic Butter Cake Batter
- 4 oz. butter, softened
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup milk
- Beat butter, vanilla, and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in sifted flour and milk.
Basic Buttercream Frosting
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Beat butter in a small bowl with an electric mixer until white and frothy. Gradually beat in half the sifted confectioners’ sugar, then all of the milk, and then the remaining confectioners’ sugar.