7 Amazing Birthday Cakes You'll Want to Try ...

I love birthday cakes. It’s not just eating them, either…it’s everything from scouring cookery books and magazines for inspiration to painstakingly creating five million fairy wings or crocodile teeth from tiny strips of icing, and presenting the birthday boy or girl with something that they totally love. I’m definitely planning to make everyone a special cake this year, so here’s some of the amazing birthday cake designs I’m already eyeing up.

1. Piggy Cake…

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I made this for my little sister, but this is one of those birthday cakes that most people will love. Start by baking a small round cake. Chocolate is the natural choice, but it’s already a very chocolatey cake! As the cake cools down, break up kitkats into individual bars to make the fence. A tiny dab of icing will hold them in place if they won’t stand on their own! Next, pour chocolate icing into the gate. Apply a thick layer and smooth over, before making a few movement marks in the icing. Place fondant pigs into place, and tie a ribbon around. Then just leave to dry. Perfect!

2. Cars…

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For this one, bake a rectangle cake, and smooth the corners out once it’s cooled. Apply jam, and lay a thick layer of green fondant icing over the cake. Cut a stencil of a number out of paper, and use this is a guide to cut the number out of a sheet of gray fondant. Use white fondant for the road markings, and white and black fondant squares to make a start and finish line. All the additional details can either be made yourself or bought from cake stores, depending on your confidence; fondant cars, flowers and letters are inexpensive, and will finish the look perfectly.

3. Circus Cake…

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This is one of the first birthday cakes I made, and despite being pretty easy, it’s one that gets constant requests! Start by making four round cakes. Try to keep the surface of the cake flat while baking them, as it’ll make assembling the circus easier. Once the cakes are cooled, glue two of them together using jam. Measure an inch or so in from the edge of the third cake, and cut this border off. Then measure two inches or so from the edge of the fourth cake, and cut the border off again. Glue the third and fourth cakes onto the second, to create a cake with a triangle at the top. (Still with me?!) Next, lay a large sheet of white fondant over the cakes, and glue in place with jam. Add red stripes and blue stars, and use a lollipop stick to create a blue fondant flag. The animal’s faces can be bought from cake shops or made from icing, and a cooking pen will create the “Happy Birthday” banner. Finally, use thin stripes of fondant to create a colorful rainbow for the top of the circus. Perfect.

4. Princess Tower…

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I love this cake: it’s a hit with both boys and girls! Start with a large round cake for the base, and a much smaller round cake for the middle. You’ll also want two cake rolls – I made vanilla cakes, and used chocolate rolls, to provide different flavors. Allow the two circular cakes to cool, and cover in individual sheets of gray fondant. Cut the chocolate rolls into three sizes – one around half the size of the roll, two a little shorter, and two more a little shorter than that. They don’t need to be perfect, although symmetrical looks best! Next, roll the rolls in gray fondant.

Glue the smaller cake onto the back of the larger cake using jam, and apply the two medium-sized rolls to either side of the smaller cake. Then glue the biggest roll to the middle of the smaller cake, and put the smaller rolls behind it. Apply fake icing grass and pink windows to all the towers, and use circles of fondant on the biggest cake to create a path. A few select pink ‘bricks’ will finish the look, and creates a beautiful and easy cake.

5. Jungle Cake…

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This is one I’m working on at the moment, and boy is it a challenge! The only great advice I have is to buy both fondant stencils, which help to create fondant shapes much easier, along with buying pre-made fondant items whenever possible. I’m using a stencil for the tree heads, and have found chocolate shapes make the elephant easy. Mini eggs make great jungle decorations, and I love making the leaves and foliage…now we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out!

6. Train Cake…

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This cake is perfect for last minute requests, as you can knock it up in seconds. Simply cook two circular cakes, and cover both in light blue fondant. Draw a curved line down the middle of a sheet of green fondant and cut across it, making two pieces of hilly green fondant. Attach to the blue fondant. Next, use square and circle fondant cutters to make wheels and train parts in various colors of fondant. White circles can be easily overlapped to create smoke! Glue on using jam, and cut two white fondant strips. Glue diagonally so that they create a square, and use a cake pen to write a birthday message before gluing to the top of the cake using a lollipop stick. Perfect.

7. Fish…

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I have no idea what it is about this cake, but something seems to make everyone love it. Is it the random design, or the crazy pouty fish?! Regardless, make it the same way as the cakes above – cover thick cakes with blue fondant, and use stencils to create colorful pouty fish and air bubbles. The 3D fish can be made of balls of fondant or round cakes (think oversized cake pops). Add fondant details such as eyes, lips and fins, and adhere using glue. This is one of the most amazing birthday cakes ever.

Of course, there are a huge number of birthday cakes out there to try; I’m currently attempting a pirate cake and a princess, and I’ll be making a wedding cake very soon too. I also love playing with food coloring and shapes to make patterns – it’s a great way to add detail to a more understated cake. What would you dream birthday cakes be like? I’d love to know!

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