Save yourself some money and try one of these home made cakes at your child's next birthday.
If you’re a non-foodie mum (like me), you probably find it easier to outsource your children’s birthday cakes to the local bakery, or to that one friend or family member who is a culinary wizard, rather than making one yourself. I've never been a mum who can make those incredible rainbow layer cakes from scratch, or drip icing in a way that seems artful and not just messy.
However, there’s nothing quite like seeing the happy look on a child's face when you present them with a birthday cake made especially for them.
That’s why I put together this list of easy birthday cake ideas for mums who don't find any joy in whipping up fondant, and who don’t own cake tins in every shape and size (or any at all). The cakes are simple but they all have enough wow factor to impress kids.
1) The number/age cake
The reason this cake is so easy is because any number can be created by cutting shapes out of basic pre-made butter or sponge square cakes. You can Google instructions on how to do this for the number you need, and then all you need to do is smother the cake in icing (homemade or store bought) and decorate with cashews, sugar flowers or lollies. If you already feel the cake is sweet enough without lollies, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries can be bright and colourful decorations instead.
I made a number cake for my daughter’s third birthday (photo below) and she said eating it was her favourite part of her party, which made the effort of creating it completely worth it.
2) Cupcake tower
Everyone can make cupcakes and they’re perfect for little hands and mouths to eat. Creating a cupcake tower is easy, you just bake plenty of them, ice them in different colours and place them on a cupcake stand. The sheer amount of cupcakes is what makes them impressive, and you can dress them up by adding wrappers and toppers featuring your child’s favourite characters or animals, or even a photo of the birthday boy or girl!
3) Pinata cake
The pinata cake involves baking a few circle shaped butter or vanilla cakes, layering them on top of one another and then cutting a small hole inside the middle layer to add Smarties, M&M’s or Skittles, so that when the cake is cut down the middle, the sweets spill out. Children will ooh and aah over the surprise, especially if the cake is deceptively simple on the outside.
4) Rainbow sprinkle cake
Note to all mums - this cake is a great option for parties where the party theme is really specific or unusual, without having to go all out. All you need are shape cutters in a number or letter (to show the age of the birthday child or their name for example) and plenty of rainbow sprinkles.
You can make this cake gender-neutral by using white icing, or simply choose the icing colour or add a few cake toppers with your child’s favourite character, to easily tailor it to suit a tricky theme.
5) Dolly cake
For little girls who insist on having Elsa, Dora or Barbie somewhere on their cake, the dolly cake is a great compromise. All you have to do is create a varden-style cake, cut a hole in the middle and place the doll in the centre. The key to making this type of cake look impressive is matching the icing colour to the top half of the doll’s dress, and then embellishing with some ribbons or marshmallows to make the cake look like the doll's skirt.
Images taken from Pinterest
Some of these ideas might still be quite intimidating for some mums to try. However, if you do make an attempt to bake and the final result is not great, don't be disheartened. Remember that an ice cream cake from the supermarket is always an option and no child will ever complain about having one. I'll bet the adults won't either!