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33 Easy Birthday Cake Recipes That Will Impress Your Friends and Family

These stunning cakes will be the best part of your celebration.

Headshot of Olivia MuenterBy Olivia Muenter
birthday cake recipe ideas chocolate strawberry cake

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

birthday cake recipes  chocoberry surprise cake
Woman's Day

This whimsical and elegant cake would impress just about anyone, and the gorgeous chocolate details just scream "party."

Get the Best Choco-Berry Surprise Cake recipe.


Rainbow Cloud Cake

birthday cake recipes  rainbow cloud cake
Woman's Day

This is the brightest, happiest, most joyful looking cake around, and that's what makes it so great for a birthday cake.

Get the Rainbow Cloud Cake recipe.


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake With Strawberries

birthday cake recipes   lemon poppy seed cake
Woman's Day

This springy cake would be picture-perfect for a little girl's birthday party, or any party, really.

Get the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake recipe.

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Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe

close up of chocolate cake on table
Michelle Arnold / EyeEm//Getty Images

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

birthday cake recipes cupcake queen cake
Mike Garten

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.


Strawberry Ice Cream Cheescake

birthday cake recipes  strawberry ice cream cheesecake recipe
Woman's Day

We all know that one person who is obsessed with strawberry ice cream. This recipe is for them.

Get the Strawberry Ice Cream Cheesecake recipe.

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Classic Vanilla Cake

birthday cake recipes   vanilla cake
Woman's Day

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

birthday cake recipes  strawberry rhubarb cake
Woman's Day

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.


Neapolitan Brownie Ice Cream Cake

birthday cake recipes brownie birthday cake
Con Poulos

Using brownie mix instead of cake mix makes this easy cake extra chocolatey.

Get the Neapolitan Brownie Ice Cream Cake recipe.

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Coconut Cake

birthday cake recipes coconut cake

This cake is fun to just look at, but we promise it's even more fun to eat.

Get the Coconut Cake recipe.


Pink Ombre Cake

birthday cake recipes pink ombre cake
Woman's Day

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.


White Chocolate Lemon Cake

birthday cake recipes   white chocolate cake lemon cream
Woman's Day

Can't decide between citrus or chocolate flavors for a birthday cake? This recipe combines both perfectly.

Get the White Chocolate Lemon Cake recipe.

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Watermelon Cake

birthday cake recipes watermelon cake
Ann Stratton

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

birthday cake recipes chocolate meringue cake
Woman's Day

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.


Snake Cake

birthday cake recipes   snake cake
Woman's Day

Young kids would go wild for this snake cake — "dirt" and all.

Get the Snake Cake recipe.

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Cannoli Cake

birthday cake recipes cannoli cake
Steve Giralt

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

birthday cake recipes colorful layer sprinkle cake by  amirah kassem of flour shop
Henry Hargreaves/Flour Shop

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

christmas cake ideas sour cream vanilla pound cake with rhubarb compote
Woman's Day

For a cake that's as delicious for breakfast as it is for dessert, try this vanilla pound cake and rhubarb compote combination.

Get the Sour-Cream Vanilla Pound Cake with Rhubarb Compote recipe.

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Key Lime Poke Cake

birthday cake recipes   key lime poke cake
Con Poulos

For lovers of key lime pie, this key lime cake is soaked with lime juice and is tart, sweet, and completely delicious.

Get the Key Lime Poke Cake recipe.


Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

birthday cake recipes  rhubarb and almond cake
Woman's Day

Want to create an ombre cake without all of the work? This rhubarb cake is the answer to your wish.

Get the Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake recipe.

Headshot of Olivia Muenter
Olivia Muenter

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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