The Best Birthday Cakes

Delectable, Homemade Birthday Cakes: Creating Memories

Birthday CakesHaving grown up within a family of bakers, I’ve had my fair share of homemade birthday cakes. Now that I’ve moved away from home (and don’t really want to bake my own cake), I finally tried the store-bought versions, and boy, did I have opinions about it! It was absolutely appalling that an event that’s meant to be memorable and special could be just as generic and tasteless as any no-name brand. What’s worse is that there are actually boxes of cake powder that you mix with other ingredients and you get a cake! If you’re going to put that much effort into baking, why not just actually bake? It would literally take an extra minute or two…ok, maybe 30 or 40.  Maybe a little longer if it’s a gluten-free birthday cake that requires a little inventiveness.

With the wonderful, magical thing called “The Internet’, you have access to hundreds of thousands of free, amazing recipes. Generally, what I do is go through the recipes, read the reviews, and apply what I think sounds good to the recipe; sometimes, I even add spices, creams, or frostings that weren’t even called for in the reviews! There’s no harm in experimenting, and if it goes wrong then it’s only half a buck’s worth of ingredients. Either way, the point remains: Anyone can buy a store-bought cake, but a homemade cake is special, it was made just for you. Therefore, it is safe to assume that your children, your spouse, and your parents will appreciate that personal touch of home-baked love that much more!

How to Make Your Birthday Cakes Unforgettably Flavorful

The interesting thing with birthday cake ideas is that you can just let your imagination wander and brainstorm through flavors you like, and then envision whether or not any two of them would go well together. Again, the possibilities are endless here: raspberry and white chocolate; pumpkin and cinnamon; apple and caramel; vanilla and lemon; strawberries and dark chocolate. birthday cake ideasPerhaps you noticed a pattern here, but if you didn’t then that pattern is that you generally want one “strong” flavor and one “subtle” flavor, with the second flavor enhancing the first one. Ideally, the flavors should complement each other, but sometimes a contrast gives a good burst of flavor, too!

For example, if you’ve decided to go for a roll cake, then you could spread a different flavor of jam or diced up fruit on each quarter of the flattened out roll (i.e. before you begin rolling it). Or to simplify things, if you have a layered cake, then you could have something different on each layer! This serves to be particularly useful if you’re having troubles settling on two flavors. Go ahead and make your loved one feel special by beginning to make unique birthday cakes for each person you hold dear to your heart—they’ll appreciate it more. As a bonus, you’ll probably even get better thought-out gifts on your birthday. (And maybe even a homemade one!)

Making that Birthday Cake Fun or Glamorous

Other than the tasting process, cake decorating is probably one of the most fun parts of baking a cake at home. I mean, think about it: do you really want a stranger’s handwriting on one of your wife’s 30th birthday cakes? (Assuming that your family is similar to mine and the guests feel like bringing a cake is a suitable enough gift — this should also be a telling sign that store-bought cakes are so impersonal!) birthday cake ideasPersonally, I don’t like the premade frostings that they sell next to the boxed cakes, they’re either too sweet or they just taste off. If you like them, then by all means buy it, but I’m going to give you a tip for frosting: If you buy whipping cream (not the bottled kind, but the one next to the heavy cream) and whip it, then add your flavor of choice (e.g. mashed strawberries, vanilla extract, or cinnamon) and a little bit of sugar, then you will have top-notch frosting. It does melt fairly quickly, so you’ll need to refrigerate it, but it’ll be worth it! Other than that, feel free to add edible pearls, mold fondant into a desired shape to place atop the cake, or write on it with gel. If you’re out of birthday cake ideas, then simply walk into a cake decorating supply store and they can definitely help you come up with a couple of birthday cake designs that you’ll find fitting! One thing is for sure, though, and that is that you now have the opportunity to make birthday cakes the highlight of your next party!

written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd

Check out our extensive Pinterest board on birthday cakes for tons of great ideas on cake decorating and themes for not only the cake, but the whole party!

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Comments: 15

  1. Sharee December 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm Reply

    The cake, indeed, holds the highlight of the party (well, second to the birthday celebrator) and it would be an added reward if the cake is made just for you. This post has encouraged me to make my own cake and design it myself on my daughter’s next birthday. Thank you.

    • Rebecca December 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm Reply

      I’m glad you’ve found some encouragement! I’m sure your daughter will love her special birthday cake. (:

  2. Jonathan Emanuels December 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm Reply

    I want to eat a cake now. :p
    Now I am thinking about making a cake. How hard would it be?
    I can make cookies, is making a cake as easy as making cookies?

    • Rebecca December 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm Reply

      In my opinion, baking a cake is much easier than baking cookies. For cookies, you need to make sure the proportion is right for each individual cookie (not to mention the spacing between the cookies so they don’t bake together). For a cake, you just dump the whole thing in a cake pan and you’re good to go after twenty or so minutes!

  3. Steven December 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm Reply

    I like this design. On my birthday i need a cake like that.
    Maybe I like more attractive design for my birthday cake.
    Thank you for your nice blog.

  4. Andrea W. December 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Such a good blog, thank you for posting. For many years I have taken to making homemade cakes and cake sculptures, but I have yet to use fondant on any of my cakes. Have you had much experience with it? Is it pretty simple to use, or is it an acquired skill? I’m so excited excited to bake a cake now, thank goodness it;s the holidays,

    • Rebecca December 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm Reply

      It really isn’t that difficult! If you want to cover your entire cake with fondant, just flatten it with a rolling pin and blanket the cake with it. Otherwise, you could make little shapes out of it to put on top of the cake or cupcake (you could even paint them with food coloring); it really could be a fun activity for you or with the kids. (: Happy baking!

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  7. hinakhu December 19, 2012 at 9:08 am Reply

    yummy yummy yummy ! the cake is definitely the star of the bday along with the bday girl/boy ofcourse 😛
    you cannot aford to have a disaster on a bday cake so if its home made on the last day u sure shud have some backup or really good skills so u know nothing would go wrong!
    im sure the blog would help us avoid any disasters with the tips specially on whipping cream

    • Rebecca December 21, 2012 at 6:16 am Reply

      It’s actually completely fine if you make the cake the day before and refrigerate it (this will ensure that the frosting sets, too). If you’ve decorated the top of it with gel writing or embellishments, a good trick is to stick toothpicks on top of the cake and then wrap it with plastic. This way, the plastic won’t ruin the decorations and your cake won’t taste like the refrigerator, haha! (:

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