There are few things more iconic than a colorful, brightly-lit birthday cake. These days, it's so easy to buy a pre-made cake at your local grocery store or bakery that it's very appealing to skip the work of trying to find the perfect birthday cake recipe altogether. After all, why bake your own cake if you can have a professional make it for you? It's true that making a delicious dessert recipe from scratch can take a little more work than buying something, but it's often a much more rewarding experience (as an added bonus, it can save you some money, too). Even though cookie recipes or cupcake recipes can be tempting, there's nothing quite as special as a homemade birthday cake. And, hey, if you're so inclined, most birthday cake recipes can be easily changed to cupcake recipes with a few minor recipe alterations.
So in between writing the perfect birthday card and choosing the perfect birthday present, consider baking one of the following 33 birthday cake recipes for a loved one or friend. The person celebrating their special day will not only appreciate the delicious cake, but also the time, effort, and thought that went into concocting the perfect birthday cake just for them.
Choco-Berry Surprise Cake
This whimsical and elegant cake would impress just about anyone, and the gorgeous chocolate details just scream "party."
Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe
For the chocolate lovers in your life, try this recipe for a rich and indulgent birthday cake. Simply add sparklers or sprinkles for some color.
Get the Rich Chocolate Cake recipe.
Cupcake Queen Cake
Decorate store-bought cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, arrange them in a dress pattern on cardboard, and add candy flowers to fill in the gaps for this unique birthday cake idea.
Get the Vanilla Buttercream recipe.
Classic Vanilla Cake
If you're wondering what type of cake is best for birthdays, you can't go wrong with this classic vanilla sheet cake recipe. Plus, it's a great blank slate if you want to get creative with your own DIY decorations.
Get the Classic Vanilla Cake recipe.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cake
This cake looks like a traditional birthday cake on the outside, but keeps things interesting with a strawberry-rhubarb filling.
Get the Strawberry Rhubarb Cake recipe.
Pink Ombre Cake
This recipe creates the ultimate "impress your friends" cake. For a festive, fun, and gorgeous cake, this ombre cake recipe is a beautiful and delicious option.
Get the Pink Ombré Cake recipe.
Store-bought mix, with cans of frosting and a few strategic slices, creates a vanilla cake that morphs into the star summer melon. Have a wedge!
Get the Watermelon Cake recipe.
Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake
We all have that one friend who only wants the most unique, creative gifts (or cakes). For that friend, there is this textured and delicious chocolate meringue cake. It's as beautiful as it is different.
Get the Chocolate Meringue Layer Cake recipe.
When a friend challenged cooking duo the Casserole Queens to create a unique cannoli recipe, this layer cake featuring orange, ricotta, and chocolate was born.
Get the Cannoli Cake recipe.
Birthday Explosion Cake
Flour Shop's Amirah Kassem's signature masterpiece: six layers of colorful cake hiding a tunnel of sprinkles that spill out in glorious fashion when it's sliced. You can make your own wowza work of art at home with the Flour Shop Rainbow Explosion Cake Kit, available at Williams-Sonoma.
Sour-Cream Vanilla Pound Cake with Rhubarb Compote
For a cake that's as delicious for breakfast as it is for dessert, try this vanilla pound cake and rhubarb compote combination.
Olivia Muenter is a freelance writer and former fashion and beauty editor who writes about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, travel, home decor, and more for Woman's Day and beyond. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Refinery 29, Glamour, Byrdie, Apartment Therapy, Philadelphia Magazine, and more. When she's not reading (or talking about reading on Bad on Paper, the bookish podcast she co-hosts), you can find Olivia working on her first novel, curating the perfect playlist, or shopping online.
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