Maltesers chiffon cake

21 best birthday cake ideas with recipes

Looking for the best birthday cake to bake? We've got 21 great birthday cake recipes, suited to everyone from cocktail lovers to chocaholics, pudding lovers, gardeners and big kids

1

For the cocktail lover – Mojito cake

mojito cake

Cocktail cakes are great for friends who enjoy a tipple. We love cocktail-inspired food such as pina colada tarts and dirty martini butter on steak, but the winner has to be our Mojito cake. Mint and rum infused sugar syrup brushed liberally over light sponges, and covered with a lime buttercream. It’s a celebration cake and a half.

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Why not do a cocktail-inspired three course dinner for the birthday guest of honour?


2

For the chocoholic – Easiest ever chocolate fudge cake

fudge cake

One of our most popular recipes, and so very reliable. The fudge icing is simply butter, icing sugar and dark chocolate… and you will use it all. Plus it’s ready in just 45 minutes. If you prefer white chocolate, try our white chocolate fudge cake instead.

Or you could try chocolate drips instead. We’re seeing stark white cakes topped liberally with chocolate, that pours down the sides of the cake in pretty patterns. Great for a chocoholic friend, and much easier to do than piping frosting.


3

For the gardener – Fresh flower cake

flower cake

Birthday cakes look so much more elegant when topped with flowers, but instead of faffing around making them out of icing, try decorating simple white cakes with freshly cut flowers. Decorate your cake just a few hours before cutting, to make sure they don’t wilt.


4

For the sweet-tooth – Antigravity cake

Antigravity cakes are usually piled high with sweets, toppling out of a bag or container. The sweets are stuck onto a straw or stick that is hidden, making them look like they’re falling. They’re a little tricky to make, and time consuming, but totally worth it when your guests ask you what magic trick you’ve managed to pull off… Lakeland are now doing a kit for under a tenner, too.

5

For the big kid – Chocolate Malteser cake

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Children and adults both love this cake, and it tastes as good as it looks! Chiffon cake is covered in a chocolate icing, and acts as the glue to hold a modest five large bags of maltesers. People remember this cake: it’s a party centrepeice, and the chocolate and malt combo works so well with light, delicate sponge.


6

For the trendsetter – Ombre cake

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Triple chocolate caramel cake

Triple chocolate caramel cake is olive magazine’s answer to the ‘ombre’ cake. Four sponges with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and caramel to give a gradient shading.

Add three different ganache frostings to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a real winner. You can create the ombre effect using natural colourings and flavours. It really is easier than you think.


7

For your coolest friend (great for a summer garden party) – Ice cream cake

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Whether you’re going for the easy option with our white chocolate and strawberry ice cream cake, or the tricky-but-worth-it devil’s food cake, ice cream is always a welcome addition to our layered cakes.

They’re very easy cakes to make, but will obviously melt in time… so eat them up quick! The devil’s food cake uses pistachio, strawberry clotted cream and vanilla ice cream – but you can choose whatever flavours you want.


8

 For the modernist – updated classic

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Passion fruit layer cake
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sloe gin layer cake

So long, Victoria Sponge… there are two new cakes in town! Try our passionfruit layer cake with fresh, tropical passionfruit throughout generous layers of fresh cream. Sloe gin layer cake uses plums and a sloe gin syrup to update this simple sponge into a impressive showstopper.


9

For the pudding lover – Chocolate tiramisu torte

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Mix up your puddings and cakes! If you’re having a birthday dinner party, our chocolate tiramisu torte is the best of both worlds.

This devilish combination of Tia Maria, mascarpone, amaretto and dark chocolate comes together to make our best ever tiramisu torte that’s well worth the effort. Make the cakes up to a month ahead, wrap, freeze, and defrost on the night before the party. Assemble the cake in the morning and chill until you need it.


10

For the last-minute party – chocolate and vanilla cupcakes

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cupcakes

Cupcakes cook in a fraction of the time that sponges do, and they don’t take long to cool either. Perfect if you’re in a rush. Our chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are simple, and everyone will be coming back for a second. Ready in under an hour.

We’ve got loads of other cupcake recipes to choose from: how about coffee and walnut; frosted lemon fairy cakes; raspberry and chocolate brownie cakes; matcha cupcakes; sticky honey cakes; or blackberry and chocolate cupcakes.


11

For the vintage lover – Naked cake

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We’re seeing these naked cakes pop up everywhere – they’re the perfect birthday cake for someone who doesn’t like too much sweet buttercream or fondant icing. Naked cakes, called so because they’re uncovered around the sides, are only sandwiched together with buttercream, so the better the sponge, the better the cake.

They’re the new addition to vintage-feel weddings and look really rustic, plus they’re easy to do as the frosting is quite rough and uneven. They’re usually decorated with flowers, berries or fruit, and tiered sky-high in traditional wedding cake fashion. Try our lemon curd layer cake, then using a spatula scrape around the sides of the cake for that classic naked cake look.


12

For the traditionalist – classic Victoria sponge

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There’s something magical about a simple Victoria sponge. Butter, sugar, eggs and flour – just four ingredients that work wonders when put together. We’re yet to find someone who doesn’t like this cake, so it’s bound to please at a party.

Fill with jam and cream, jam and buttercream, or just jam! We love to decorate the top old-school style, with icing sugar and a doily.


13

For the peanut butter fiend – Peanut butter layer cake

peanut butter cake

We all know that one person who’s absolutely obsessed with peanut butter, so why not surprise them on their big day with this triple layered nutty bake?

Looking for more peanut butter inspiration? Try Dan Doherty of Duck and Waffle’s recipe for chocolate brownie, caramel crunch and peanut butter ice cream or this sweet and salty peanut butter, chocolate and pretzel tart.


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There’s always that one person in the group who’s ever so slightly sweeter than all the rest (you know, it’s true) so why not bake them a cake that is as sweet as their lovely personality?

This grapefruit and poppy seed angel cake with white chocolate frosting is a great twist on a classic and looks stunning. You’ll need an angel cake tin for this as the cake won’t rise properly in a conventional tin. You can buy these from good cookshops or online at amazon.co.uk.


15

For the fudge fanatic  – Easiest ever white chocolate fudge cake

white chocolate fudge cake

Our white chocolate fudge cake is covered with American-style whipped frosting, which is lighter than a ganache or butter cream. Even though the icing is quite rough and ready it still manages to look really elegant and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!


16

For a sophisticated gathering – Lemon and blueberry poke cake

lemon and blueberry cake

There’s something about the blues and purples of the juicy berries in this that makes it seem really grown up and refined.

If that’s your party vibe then this is definitely your cake to make. It’s really easy to do (once baked you literally, as the name suggests, poke holes it it) but tastes and looks delicious…


17

For the adventurous friend – Freakshake cheesecake

freakshake cheesecake

Who said your birthday cake had to be made of sponge? Not us. We’ve taken inspiration from freakshakes to create our OTT freakshake cheesecake.

You don’t have to stick to the toppings we’ve used here – add salted butterscotch popcornOreos™ or even go freestyle!


18

For a Spring chicken – Creme Egg brownie cake

creme egg cake

Looking for some Easter-themed inspiration for a springtime birthday bash? Then look no further because our Creme Egg brownie cake is out of this world ah-mazing.

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Click here to find loads of other ways to turn your favourite chocolate, biscuits and spreads into scrummy cakes and bakes.