30 Kid-Friendly Birthday Cake Recipes for Your Next Celebration

birthday cake with candles and sparklers
Getty / Betsie Van der Meer

There's no party like a birthday party! To mark the occasion for boys and girls, young and young at heart, we have rounded up 30 of our most delicious, festive, and kid-friendly birthday cake recipes. But can we let you in on a little secret? Adults can—and should—make these sweet treats for their own birthdays too. After all, who would ever say no to a slice of cake?

No birthday cake is truly complete without sprinkles and we have a few recipes that truly take the cake (pun intended) thanks to these colorful extras. Our Sprinkle Cake features sprinkles mixed in the cake batter; it's every surface of the cake is then covered with sprinkles once it's frosted. Another festive recipe is our Confetti Cake with Vanilla Frosting. It's homemade, yes, but did you ever think of making your own sprinkles, too? We tried it for ourselves and the results truly worth the effort. Bigger sprinkles than you've ever seen in your life are dyed with natural hues of every color of the rainbow.

Of course, if you're not up for making handmade sprinkles, how about a low-maintenance but totally delicious sheet cake? From combinations of vanilla and chocolate to bright and lemony, we have a recipe that will please every palate. Celebrating a summer birthday? Look no further than one of our ice cream cake recipes. With a multitude of flavors, some inspired by our favorite ice cream shoppe treats (think: banana split or hot fudge brownie), don't let these genius ideas melt away.

Fill the piñata, wrap some presents, and hang the streamers—it's party time!

01 of 30

Confetti Cake with Vanilla Frosting

confetti cake with vanilla frosting
Ngoc Minh Ngo

Enjoy our remake of classic boxed Funfetti mix with this cheery recipe made with homemade sprinkles. After all, it's a birthday party, so why not go all out?

02 of 30

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Strawberry-Meringue Buttercream

vanilla sponge cake with strawberry-meringue buttercream
Ngoc Minh Ngo

For a natural pink hue and sweet-tart flavor, puréed strawberries are mixed into the buttercream that adorns this lofty three-layer cake.

03 of 30

Vanilla Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Ganache Buttercream

vanilla cake ganache frosting in pan
Alpha Smoot

This simple, kid-friendly cake recipe starts with a basic yellow cake, which is topped with the fudgiest buttercream made from semisweet chocolate, heavy cream, corn syrup, and unsalted butter.

04 of 30

Coconut Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Frosting

passover coconut chiffon cake with chocolate frosting
Armando Rafael

Celebrate a birthday with this light and airy cake that pairs three coconut-based ingredients—coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, and coconut milk—for a sweet bite. Bonus: It's gluten-free!

05 of 30

Sprinkle Cake

Bryan Gardner

Nothing says "birthday party" quite like a cake covered in colorful sprinkles. If that's not festive enough for you, we mixed sprinkles into the cake batter, too.

06 of 30

Triple-Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

triple ice cream cake chocolate martha bakes
Mike Krautter

Whether you're a chocolate lover, have a summer birthday, or both, this recipe is for you. Buttermilk helps to keep the cake super moist while a white chocolate ganache offsets the richness of chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream.

07 of 30

Strawberry-Swirl Bundt Cake

strawberry-swirl bundt cake recipe
Marcus Nilsson

A combination of ground freeze-dried strawberries and fresh strawberries—plus, pink gel-paste food coloring—add fruity flavor and a pink hue to the strawberry swirl in this eye-catching Bundt cake recipe.

08 of 30

Pull-Apart Vanilla-Wafer Cupcake Cake with Berries

wafter berries cupcake cake

Can't decide between baking a cake and cupcakes for a birthday party? How about this creative recipe? Arrange cupcakes in a neat rectangle and spread an even layer of buttercream and fresh berries on top, which gives the appearance of a sheet cake.

09 of 30

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream
Alpha Smoot

What's black and white and sweet all over? This moist sheet cake recipe is perfect for serving to a crowd at a birthday party.

10 of 30

Light and Fluffy Yellow Cake

light and fluffy yellow cake

If you've never baked a birthday cake from scratch, start with this basic recipe—a simple, but spectacular yellow cake that has a fine crumb thanks to cake flour, whipped egg whites, and buttermilk.

11 of 30

Vegan Chocolate Cake

mandy vegan chocolate cake
Bryan Gardner

Here's a birthday cake that will be safe for vegans or anyone with a dairy allergy to eat. A thick, fluffy chocolate icing is spread between two layers of chocolate cake. But we don't stop there—top it off with a decadent chocolate ganache that's vegan, too!

12 of 30

Ombre Strawberry Cake

strawberry cake sliced with rose
Mike Krautter

This pretty-in-pink birthday cake is just the thing for a celebration. Each layer is filled with strawberry jam, and then the whole thing is topped with a light pink Swiss Meringue Buttercream piped into delicate ruffles.

13 of 30

Citrus Mousse Cake with Buttercream Frosting

citrus mousse cake with buttercream frosting
Ngoc Minh Ngo

For a springtime soirée, look no further than this elegant lemon-infused cake that's topped with a brightly flavored buttercream featuring a duo of lime zest, lime juice, and lemon juice.

14 of 30

Chocolate-and-Vanilla Zebra Cake

chocolate-and-vanilla zebra cake
Ngoc Minh Ngo

The cover star of Martha Stewart's Cake Perfection, this dramatic chocolate and vanilla cake is sure to please everyone.

15 of 30

Grasshopper Dome Ice Cream Cake

grasshopper dome ice cream cake

Chocolate and mint are one of the richest and most refreshing combinations—here, they take the form of an epic ice cream cake that's just the thing to serve at a summer birthday party.

16 of 30

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

neapolitan ice cream cake
Anson Smart

The best part of this birthday cake recipe is that you can completely customize it based on your favorite ice cream flavors. We layered pistachio gelato, vanilla ice cream, and strawberry ice cream but feel free to choose whatever you or your kids like.

17 of 30

Carrot Cake with White-Chocolate Frosting

carrot cake with white-chocolate frosting
Ngoc Minh Ngo

We can't think of a better cake for a spring birthday than carrot cake, and this version is about as good as it gets. The cake is spiced with ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and freshly grated nutmeg, then topped with a rich white chocolate-cream cheese frosting.

18 of 30

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Double-Chocolate Frosting

chocolate angel food cake martha bakes meringue
Mike Krautter

Want to know the secret to a light and fluffy cake? Cake flour, which has a lower protein count than all-purpose flour, is what gives this treat such a fine crumb. The rich chocolate flavor is accentuated with instant espresso powder.

19 of 30

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

german chocolate bundt cake recipe
Marcus Nilsson

German chocolate cake is characterized by its inclusion of pecans and shredded coconut, which add texture and complex—but oh, so irresistible—flavor to this birthday cake recipe.

20 of 30

Apple Layer Cake with Cream-Cheese Frosting

three layer apple cake on cake stand
Mike Krautter

For a birthday that falls during autumn, we can't think of a more appropriate—and delicious—cake than this one. It's the perfect way to use up the bounty of freshly picked apples from the orchard.

21 of 30

Berries-and-Cherries Ice Cream Cake

berries cherries ice cream cake
Marcus Nilsson

Truly as sweet as cherry pie, this ice cream cake—made with a duo of vanilla ice cream and cherry ice cream—is studded with fresh cherries, raspberries, and blackberries.

22 of 30

Ombre Sheet Cake

ombre frosting sheetcake
Raymond Hom

Streaks of pink, yellow, and orange food coloring create a vivid ombré hue atop this sheet cake. Feel free to choose other colors (think blue and purple or green and yellow) based on what the birthday girl or boy loves!

23 of 30

Blondie Ice Cream Cake

blondie ice cream cake
Ryan Liebe

A birthday is a special day so serve an extra special dessert. A homemade blondie serves as the base for this ice cream cake recipe and more blondie pieces are folded into softened vanilla ice cream. Of course, no ice cream cake is complete without hot fudge sauce and this cake has lots of it.

24 of 30

Owl Cake

Johnny Miller

Who wants a slice of this super-smart sheet cake that is perfect for serving on your little one's birthday?

25 of 30

Lemon-Glazed Sheet Cake

lemon glazed sheet cake
Alpha Smoot

There is lemon zest in the cake and the sweetened glaze of this bright and sunny birthday cake recipe.

26 of 30

Banana-Split Ice Cream Cake

banana split ice cream sheet cake
Alpha Smoot

Your family and friends will adore this innovative dessert that marries a traditional banana split sundae with a vanilla sheet cake.

27 of 30

Gumdrop Cake

candy mountain kids cake
Krause, Johansen

Give this birthday cake recipe a festive twist by intricately decorating it with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and colorful gumdrops.

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Berry Layer Cake

overhead of purple frosted berry layer cake
Mike Krautter

Swirls and twirls of multiple hues of purple frosting—plus blackberries and blueberries—create an absolutely stunning exterior on this triple-layer cake recipe that's perfect for a special birthday.

29 of 30

Fish Birthday Cake

green fish sheet cake
Johnny Miller

Go under the sea with this dessert. Your little ones will adore this clever birthday cake shaped and decorated like a fish with buttercream and candy.

30 of 30

Caramel Buttercream Layer Cake

Mike Krautter

Elevate a classic yellow birthday cake recipe with a rich, homemade buttercream. Don't forget the candles!

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