Birthday Ideas: Birthday Cake

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Over the course of our parenting careers, we are likely to make, or provide, at least 25 birthday cakes of varying shapes, sizes and flavours.  The annual occasion in which our children cross one more year off their childhood calendar is certainly a cause for celebration, and nothing says party quite like cakes and candles.

Birthday Ideas: Birthday Cake Options

Character birthday cakes reign supreme with our little ones.  Sometime around the second birthday, children have aligned themselves with a television, movie or book character and are happy to see the familiar face grace the top of their celebratory treat.

If you’re looking to make your own birthday character cake, baking pans can be rented from your local cake decorating supply store, or bulk foods supplier, for a nominal fee. If something less fancy seems in order, the traditional two-layer birthday cake with frosting can easily be embellished with a toy or theme candle.

If your children haven’t yet settled on a favourite pop culture persona, consider basing their cake around a favourite hobby (Lego, games, puzzles), beloved sport (baseball, hockey), colour (lime green, pink, blue), vehicle (airplane, rocket, motorcycle) or doll (American Girl, Barbie).  Better yet, choose a theme for your party and design the cake to match the motifs.

When it comes to flavours, the options are endless.  Classic vanilla and chocolate are always popular choices, but red velvet and lemon cakes are increasingly fashionable selections.  And if it’s simplicity you’re really after, consider making a sheet cake and serving it directly from the pan.

Birthday Ideas: Birthday Cake Sizing

Now that you’ve settled on the look, how can you possibly know how much birthday cake you will need for 20 toddlers and their accompanying parents?

If you’re serving a rectangular shaped birthday cake, assume 2” x 2” slices will work well for everyone.  This means the average 9” x 13” cake will yield approximately 24 slices.

Round cakes work a little differently, and the recommended slices per cake are as follows:

6” round = 8 slices
8’ round = 12-15 slices
10’ round = 20-26 slices

Birthday Ideas: Alternatives to the Traditional Birthday Cake

Although it seems almost impossible to believe, not every child enjoys the taste of a traditional birthday cake.  If that’s the case for your young one, consider serving something different. Ice cream sundaes are a fun alternative, birthday cake flavoured ice cream is a crowd pleaser, and a tiered donut cake is a great option for an early morning birthday when cake at 10am doesn’t seem quite appropriate.

If peanut, egg and dairy allergies are of concern, wacky cake is an excellent choice for a birthday party. Made with oil, vanilla and vinegar this Depression era concoction is perfect for classroom parties too.  And if it’s just a healthy alternative you’re in search of, look no further than our very own 1st birthday cake recipe.

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