33 Birthday Cake Ideas to Celebrate

Time to make a wish! These birthday cake ideas will satisfy any guest of honor or partygoer—from chocolate fanatics to layer cake lovers.

At Taste of Home, our editors and culinary crew have made plenty of birthday cakes over the years both at home and in our Test Kitchen—and they’ve dressed up many more with these birthday cake decorating ideas.

Recipe after recipe, slice after slice, one cake always rises to the top for our pros: Sandy’s Chocolate Cake. This treat is wonderfully chocolaty and the frosting is supremely smooth.

But there are lots of recipes worth celebrating! Here are some more favorite birthday cake ideas to stir up for someone special.

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Sandy’s Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove more than four hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you’ll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe and won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
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Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Indulge in this layer cake topped with rich buttercream—a vanilla lover’s dream. I use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. —Michelle Dorsey, Wilmington, Delaware
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Rainbow Birthday Cake

How fun is this rainbow birthday cake? It will add a festive touch to any celebration. Be sure to use gel food coloring for the most vibrant look. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Homemade Confetti Cake

Birthdays aren’t complete without a few confetti-covered treats. This one has rainbow sprinkles inside and out. It’s almost impossible not to feel happy when you see the fun pop of rainbow confetti! —Courtney Rich, Highland, Utah
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Berry Chantilly Cake

If I was asked to name my favorite show-stopping cake, Chantilly cake would rank high on the list. It features fresh summer berries and an airy vanilla cake. It’s one of my favorite birthday cake ideas to share with my friends. —Sarah Tramonte, Taste of Home Associate Culinary Producer

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Speaking of show-stopping, you might like to take a look at these 50th birthday recipe ideas for a special celebration.

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Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

If you’re looking for new birthday cake ideas, try this berries and cream naked cake. The cake is so fluffy and the strawberries add a fresh fruity flavor. Cream cheese is a good substitute if you don’t have mascarpone cheese handy. —Carol Witczak, Tinley Park, Illinois

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Pull-Apart Cupcake Cake

Want birthday cake ideas that aren’t quite cake? Try this pull-apart cupcake cake! It makes portioning out individual servings easy and you can get creative with the decorations. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana.
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Pineapple Pudding Cake

My mother used to love making this easy pineapple sunshine cake in the summertime. It’s so cool and refreshing that it never lasts very long! —Kathleen Worden, North Andover, Massachusetts
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Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I created this recipe based on our family’s love of chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. I like to vary the sprinkles on these birthday cupcakes to match the season. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Peanut Butter 'N' Jelly Cake

If you’re looking for some creative birthday cake ideas, look no further! I made this fun and flavorful peanut butter and jelly cake for my son’s first birthday. He just turned 33, and he still has to have his favorite treat. —Linda Graybill, Sebring, Florida
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Cream Cheese Sheet Cake

This tender, buttery cream cheese cake with a thin layer of fudge frosting is perfect for get-togethers and parties. It’s not uncommon to see folks going back for second and even third pieces. —Gaye Mann, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
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Moist Chocolate Cake

This moist chocolate cake recipe with coffee reminds me of my grandmother because it was one of her specialties. I bake it often for family parties, and it always brings back fond memories. The cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate taste. This recipe is a keeper! —Patricia Kreitz, Richland, Pennsylvania
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Margarita Tres Leches Cake

The first time I ever had tres leches cake I felt as if I were in heaven. I have made it at home using several techniques and flavors, and this margarita twist on the classic is my favorite. —Laurie Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts
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Vertical Carrot Cake

This vertical spin on a cherished classic is packed with spices and sure to impress. The brown butter cream cheese frosting truly makes the vertical cake over the top! —Mark Neufang, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Oreo Mousse Cake

Oreo mousse cake is so simple to put together, but it tastes as decadent as fancy restaurant desserts. Have fun garnishing it as you like using crushed or whole Oreos, additional whipped cream rosettes or chocolate shavings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Best Red Velvet Cake

It’s just not just for Christmas, but birthdays too. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Sour Cream Sugar Cookie Cake

This sugar cookie cake is inspired by the classic cookie! The secret to a dense yet cakelike texture is to make sure you don’t overbake the cake. —Carmell Childs, Orangeville, Utah
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Lemon Lover’s Birthday Pound Cake

Everyone raves about this pretty dessert—and it sure doesn’t last long with my family. It also freezes beautifully, so why not make two and pop one into the freezer for another day? —Annettia Mounger, Kansas City, Missouri
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Layered Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

This yellow cake will become your go-to recipe for birthdays, but the tender cake with flavorful chocolate buttercream is truly perfect for any occasion. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cookie Cake

This oversized cookie cake recipe is so easy and quick that I just might make it instead of traditional cookies from now on. I don’t miss portioning out dough or shuffling pans in and out of the oven. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week. —Lisa Kaminski, Taste of Home Editor
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Cherry Chocolate Cake

I’ve had the recipe for this chocolate cherry cake for years—it’s a chocolate lover’s delight! It’s so easy to make, and is perfect for cupcakes and bake sale treats, too. I get many requests for the recipe. —Ann Purchase, Panama City, Florida
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Million Dollar Cake

Pineapple and mandarin oranges give this easy cake a refreshing, tropical twist. With cake mix and pudding mix as ingredients, it is a breeze to put together when you’re short on prep time. Plus, it needs to chill before serving, so it’s a perfect make-ahead dessert for potlucks and parties! —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple upside-down cake is a classic recipe that never goes out of style! It’s delicious with the traditional pineapple, but try it with peaches or a combination of cranberries and orange. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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Layered Princess Cake

This magical princess cake will make any party feel special. Whether you’re having a birthday party, princess party or baby shower, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hummingbird Cake

This impressive hummingbird cake is my dad’s favorite, so I always make it for his birthday. It makes a memorable dessert for any celebration and is lovely with a summer meal. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Heavenly Praline Cake

Not all birthday cake ideas need to be layered. A well-made Bundt cake like this one will steal the show! I love how the frosting are filled with the fabulous flavor of caramel. The candied pecans are almost a dessert by themselves!—Jennifer Rodriguez, Midland, Texas

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Strawberry Jam Cake

Every year I make this special strawberry jam cake for the Relay for Life cake raffle. It has raised lots of money for a good cause. —Tammy Urbina, Warner Robins, Georgia
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Three-Layer Chocolate Ganache Cake

This decadent triple-layer beauty is pure chocolate indulgence. The cake layers can be frozen prior to final assembly; in fact, they’re easier to work with when frozen. —Kathleen Smith, Overland, Missouri
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Lemon Sheet Cake

Lemon pie filling lends a splash of citrus flavor to a convenient cake mix, and a rich cream cheese frosting gives it sweetness. My family likes this lemon sheet cake cold, so I cut it into squares and freeze it before serving. —Alyce Dubisar, North Bend, Oregon
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Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

I am a healthy eater most of the time, but this apple spice cake is worth the splurge! You can add a cup of raisins to the batter before baking if you’d like. —Jennifer Owen, Louisville, Kentucky
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Banana Pudding Cake

I love to make cakes, and my family loves banana pudding. One day while brainstorming in the kitchen, I came up with this banana pudding cake recipe to combine the two. My family and friends can’t get enough of it! If you are pressed for time, you may substitute whipped topping for the homemade sweetened whipped cream. —Tiffany Barbee, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
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Butter Pecan Cake

My husband has a sweet tooth and I enjoy making great desserts like this cake for him! We have two farms – both of which are wonderful – but I also love being in the kitchen. I collect cookbooks and have written one myself.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.