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30 Creative Birthday Cakes

From cute critter cupcakes to candy-topped cakes, surprise the guest of honor with one of these fun birthday cake recipes.

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Homemade Butterfly Cake

Impress guests by making an adorable and delicious cake. It is actually easy to put together. —Bonnie Jost, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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Candy Land Cake

My friend asked me to make her son's 5th birthday cake, and when I asked her what he wanted on it, she said, "Oh, just put on gobs and gobs of candy." Instead of piling on candy haphazardly, I thought it should look like the Candy Land board game. The birthday boy, his friends and family members loved it! —Pen Perez, Berkeley, California

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Birthday Clown Cake

I baked this cake for every one of our two sons' birthdays until they became teens. Kids and adults alike love it! —Marlene Dick, Oakville, Ontario

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Dump Truck Cake

Gearing up to host a construction-themed birthday? This hauler will get your party on a roll! Using packaged cake mix, easy-to-mix frosting and basic loaf pans instead of a special mold to form the truck's shape, we made this cake speedy. You can pave the way for your own big rig, too, by following these simple instructions. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Birthday Blocks

Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in this simple pound cake recipe. It makes the cake firm for cutting—and easy to frost, too. This cake can be baked ahead and frozen, then thawed before the party and decorated, leaving you with plenty of time for other preparations. — Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina

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Lady Bug Chocolate Cupcakes

Who wouldn't smile when they see these fun little treats sitting on the kitchen table? They're as much fun to make as they are to eat! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Miniature Castle Cakes

You can easily make several of these pretty palaces with a boxed cake mix, canned frosting and a few common confections. Grab a goblet of milk and enjoy one with your prince of princess. &dmash;Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Happy Clown Cake

Children will find this colorful cake irresistible! It's a snap to put together when you use a cake mix to bake one round cake and a dozen cupcakes. To serve, first pass out the cupcakes, then cut up what's left. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Rainbow Cake with Clouds

Some cakes stand on their own without icing. For this bright Rainbow Cake, use a little whipped cream to make fluffy clouds. —Janet Tigchelaar, Jerseyville, Ontario

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Sunshine Cake

I brought this cake to the county fair for 4-H and easily took home a purple ribbon. For a quicker lemon filling, use a cup of lemon curd from a jar.— Leah Will, Bel Aire, Kansas

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Monkey Cupcakes

Kids' eyes will light up when they see these cute jungle goodies. The cupcakes never fail to make my grandkids smile, and they're always a huge hit at bake sales. —Sandra Seaman, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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Chocolate-Mint Present Cake

Wrap up this outstanding chocolate cake as a tasty birthday surprise for someone special. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Caterpillar Cake

This cute, colorful catepillar is easy to make with a boxed cake mix and prepared frosting. To save a step, tint the frosting and omit the coconut. —Lee Dean, Boaz, Alabama

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Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake

A sweet treat in the summer, this poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York

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Puppy Birthday Cake

I made this cute pooch from crispy rice cereal, and his doghouse from graham crackers. Our son's face lit up when I presented the finished cake at his second birthday party. —Elizabeth Isch, Gridley, Kansas

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Ocean Cake

This fish-themed cake will snag smiles from kids of all ages at a birthday pool party! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Chocolate-Raspberry Polka Dot Cake

You'll have people requesting seconds on this tender cake. Chocolate cake layers are filled with a delightful raspberry whipped cream and silky ganache. It's all draped in a rich chocolate glaze. Then to add some whimsy, it's decorated with polka dots. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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Sunny Flower Cake

I made this flower cake for my niece's 4th birthday party, and again for a baby shower. It was the hit of the party! —Debra Haraszkiewicz, Cement City, Michigan

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Treasure Chest Birthday Cake

Swashbucklers of all ages were eager to seize a chocolaty piece of this birthday cake, although some guests thought it was too cute to cut! Folks were impressed with this edible pirate's treasure chest and loved the rich chocolate icing. —Sharon Hanson, Franklin, Tennessee

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Pumpkin Cake

A slice into this fun pumpkin-shaped dessert reveals a moist banana cake inside. A tempting nut filling joins two cakes to form the pumpkin. Decorating is easy with orange-tinted frosting. We use it as a birthday cake, but it also would be nice following a special fall meal. —Julianne Johnson, Grove City, Minnesota

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Flip-Flop Cakes

I made this cake for a summer birthday party—it would be fun for a beach party or any summer get-together. You could also set a pair of sunglasses on the graham cracker "sand."—Renae Calkins, Owosso, Michigan

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Circus Cake

This whimsical birthday cake steals the show with its cotton candy topping and cookie-laced sides. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Red Velvet Crepe Cakes

It's well worth the time to make this beautiful and delicious cake. Each moist layer is separated by a rich and creamy filling. Treat your family on special occasions with this cake. —Crystal Heaton, Alton, Utah

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Football Cake

Surprise your favorite fan on his birthday with a cake he’s bound to get a kick out of! —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington

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Give a Hoot Cupcakes

Hoot hoot! Party guests will be "eyeing up" these treats long before you serve dessert! They make a lasting impression and only require six ingredients to make. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pool Party Cake

This cleverly decorated cake with its “pool” of cool blue gelatin will steal the show at any gathering! The whimsical party cake doubles as an eye-catching centerpiece. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Peeps Sunflower Cake

The inspiration for this cake came from one of my favorite flowers, the sunflower. The yellow peeps make eye-catching flower petals, and I carefully placed chocolate chips in a circular pattern to resemble the seeds in the middle of a sunflower. This cake is easy, but looks quite impressive. —Bethany Eledge, Cleveland, Tennessee

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Burger 'n' Hot Dog Cake

After you’re finished trimming your burger and frank with ketchup- and mustard-colored frosting, let the kids pile them high with candy condiments like green gumdrop or coconut relish. —Joan L. Ehrstein, Valparaiso, Indiana

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Racetrack Cake

Everyone gets fired up when they see my Racetrack Cake. For the track and pit stop area, I use gray icing outlined with yellow frosting gel. Edible green glitter designates the grass areas, and miniature racecars look so cute speeding around the track. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, Virginia

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Chocolate-Strawberry Celebration Cake

Although I have some great “from-scratch” recipes, this one uses a boxed mix with plenty of doctoring. —Nora Fitzgerald, Sevierville, Tennessee

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