Looking for the best birthday cake to bake? We've got 21 great birthday cake recipes, suited to everyone from cocktail lovers to chocaholics to big kids! There's also an easy children's birthday cake recipe that you can decorate how you like, so you're guaranteed an individual birthday celebration cake.
For the cocktail lover – 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.
Why not do a cocktail-inspired three course dinner for the birthday guest of honour?
For the chocoholic – Easiest ever chocolate 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.
For the adventurous friend – 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.
For the rum lover – Jamaican ginger and caramel cake
If your friend is having a Caribbean carnival birthday bash bake them this Jamaican rum cake. This layer cake is a real showstopper and makes for the perfect celebration cake, what's more, it's gluten free too.
For the sweet-tooth – Antigravity cake
For the big kid – Chocolate Malteser cake
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.
For the trendsetter – Ombre cake
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.
For the veg lover – courgette layer cake
If you have a friend who loves veggie cakes then make them our easy courgette and coconut cake for their birthday. This super moist and moriesh layer cake is packed with fluffy cream cheese icing and topped with crunchy coconut chips, a modern take on the British classic carrot cake.
For the exotic friend – chocolate and tahini celebration cake
Check out this chocolate celebration cake with tahini and honey. This indulgent layer cake is a real crowd pleaser and looks impressive too.
For your coolest friend (great for a summer garden party) – ice cream cake
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.
For the modernist – updated classic
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.
For the pudding lover – Chocolate tiramisu torte
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.
For the last-minute party – chocolate and vanilla 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.
For the vintage lover – naked cake
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.
For the traditionalist – classic Victoria sponge
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.
For the peanut butter fiend – peanut butter layer 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.
For the angel of the group – Grapefruit and poppy seed angel cake with white chocolate frosting
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.
For the fudge fanatic – Easiest ever 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!
For a sophisticated gathering – Lemon and blueberry poke 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...
For a Spring chicken – Creme Egg brownie 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.