For young and old alike, birthday celebrations revolve around friends and family, prettily wrapped packages and—most importantly—a scrumptious cake topped with candles!
Make someone's day extra special by taking a little time to prepare showstopping treats like Raspberry Fudge Torte, Cookies 'n' Cream Cake and Posy Cupcakes with Candied Flowers.
So read on and spread the fun with innovative ideas for fancy layered cakes, creative cupcakes and more!
Super Scaredy Cakes
For a fun treat that will have your kids screaming for more, try making Scaredy Cakes. Our Test Kitchen home economists guarantee kids of all ages will delight in these funny-faced cupcakes.
You can even enlist your little ones to help decorate them in the different ways shown below. Use the candies we suggest or other candies to suit your taste.
Frosting Layer Cakes
When frosting a layer cake, here are some tips that make the job quicker and easier. After the cake layers have completely cooled to room temperature, use a soft pastry brush to carefully remove any loose crumbs on the top and sides of each layer. Trim off any crisp edges with a knife or kitchen.
To keep crumbs from loosening from the cake and mixing into the frosting, first spread a very thin layer of frosting over the top and sides. If the frosting is very thick, it may need to be thinned with a teaspoon or two of milk or cream.
To keep the serving plate clean, line it with 3-in. strips of waxed paper. Center the first cake layer over the strips. To use frosting as the cake filling, dollop about 1/2 cup frosting over the top of the cake and spread to the edges. Repeat with the second layer, if frosting a three-layer cake.
If your cake filling is different from the frosting, it might spill out the edges and discolor the frosting. To prevent this, pipe or spread a 1/2-in. strip of icing around the top edge of each layer before spreading the filling in the center. This keeps the filling inside.
Top with the last layer. Frost the sides of the cake, building up the top edge of the cake slightly. Make large swirling strokes in a vertical. Spread remaining frosting over the top of the cake, smoothing right to the edges of the cake. Swirl top to match sides. Garnish or decorated if desired. Carefully remove waxed paper by pulling one piece at a time out from under the cake.