The Best Birthday Cake Recipes

Celebrate by making one of our editors' favorite birthday cake or cupcake recipes for your guest of honor this year!

  • Birthday & Anniversary Recipes

    White Birthday Cake with Italian Meringue Icing

    Give your birthday boy or girl the royal treatment by baking their favorite cake. Add candles, sing "Happy Birthday," and start off the year on a tasty note.Tip: When icing a cake for a celebration, pick an icing that glides on seamlessly. Meringue icing is easy to smooth on over a layer cake, making it a perfect backdrop for your best birthday wishes.
  • Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting

    This simple sheet cake with homemade chocolate frosting will make you forget that store-bought yellow cake mix and canned frosting ever existed. The thick, creamy icing will have you licking your plate.
  • Orange-Carrot Cake with Classic Cream Cheese Frosting
    Photo: Charles E. Walton IV

    Orange-Carrot Cake

    Make a classic family favorite stuffed with tasty ingredients including cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, and, of course, grated carrot. This twist on the original adds orange zest and juice for an extra hit of bright flavor to complement the smooth cream cheese icing.
  • Chocolate-raspberry Cake
    James Carrier

    Chocolate-raspberry Cake

    Punch up a basic chocolate cake with a raspberry jam filling and a buttercream icing flavored with raspberry-flavored liqueur, such as Chambord. The icing will keep its cream-colored hue, so the berry bite will be a pleasant surprise.
  • Basic White Cupcakes
    Photo: Beth Dreiling; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Basic White Cupcakes

    Follow the latest trend and serve tasty cupcakes instead of a whole cake at your next celebration. These "basic" cupcakes are anything but. Moist, rich, and flavored with a hint of almond and vanilla, they're sure to melt in your mouth. Frost with your favorite icing, or follow our suggestion for coconut cupcakes, found on the recipe page.
  • Maple Pecan Cake
    James Carrier

    Maple Pecan Cake

    When using minimal frosting, get the most out of your recipe. This cream cheese frosting is laced with maple syrup, to add extra sweetness and a hint of deep flavor.
  • Heavenly Candy Bar Cake

    Candy Bar Cake

    Bake a kid-friendly cake that's sure to make you the hit of the neighborhood. Mini candy bars are melted and mixed into cake batter before baking and a creamy chocolate-marshmallow frosting pulls double duty as both filling and icing.
  • Toffee Crunch Cake
    James Carrier

    Toffee Crunch Cake

    Add dynamic texture to your dessert offering by serving a rich, moist chocolate cake layered with a crunchy mixture of toffee candies and caramel créme. Frost with caramel créme and top with toasted almonds.
  • Berry-lemon Cake
    James Carrier

    Berry-lemon Cake

    Sandwich raspberry jam and lemon curd between layers of butter cake, then top with a fragrant lemon whipped cream icing. Serve the summery dessert topped with seasonal berries in lieu of candles.
  • <p>Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake</p>

    Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake

    For a summery Southern-inspired birthday party, bake this twist on an Arnold Palmer, complete with citrusy sweet tea-infused cake and sweet lemonade frosting.
  • Café au Lait Angel Food Cake
    Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Café au Lait Angel Food Cake

    Serve slices of cake with a smooth hazelnut-custard drizzle. The hazelnut liqueur brings out the subtle espresso flavor in the angel food cake. Garnish with a few coffee beans or nuts to accent the ingredients.
  • Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake
    Howard L. Puckett

    Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake

    Make a moist chocolate cake topped with a fun icing using a familiar ingredient. Spread the icing while the cake is still warm for an ooey-gooey treat. Miniature marshmallows, mixed into the cake batter, are an added sweet surprise.
  • Banana Split Cake
    Photo: Charles Walton

    Banana Split Cake

    Bring the best of your favorite ice cream treat to the party in cake form with a festive and fruity dessert. Mashed bananas, flaked coconut, crushed pineapple, and cherries add fun color and flavor. Top with grated chocolate, chopped nuts, and hot fudge sauce.
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