Prev Next

The Best DIY Birthday Cakes

By Melissa Summers

My daughter has a birthday coming up in a couple weeks. More precisely 20,043 minutes, not that we’re counting. My husband usually tackles the birthday cakes in our family and based on how my Halloween party cupcakes turned out, it’s probably for the best. However, I do think it’s possible to make simple birthday cakes yourself (with very little skill) at home. I’ve collected a few ideas.
Homemade Birthday Cakes
Check out this building block (which look a lot like Legos…only with out the ™) cake at Betty Crocker. They’re just cakes made from a box, frosted in bright colors with marshmallows to form the bricks. Brilliant! (Link via Design Mom, my second find at her site this week.)
Homemade Birthday Cakes

This stadium cake pan does all the cake making work for you. Add some strategic icing and candies and you’re all set for the party. Perfect for your sports enthusiast.

Homemade Birthday Cakes has lots of birthday cake ideas but the one they don’t give directions for is my personal favorite. They’ve used actual cupcakes as the topper for a regular round layer cake. The trickiest part of this cake would be getting the top flat enough, but other than that it’s totally simple.

Homemade Birthday Cakes

Betty Crocker also has a variation on the cupcake stack on top of the birthday cake. With easy polka dots, almost anyone can do this decorating.

Homemade Birthday Cakes
Hey this is a super easy cake you can whip up in a weekend. All you need is rolled fondant and some ability to stack cakes. Or maybe not. But fondant is not necessarily so difficult to use.  My husband made this cake for our son’s birthday by simply separating the fondant into two different balls, rolled it out and cut into circles.

Homemade Birthday Cakes
Cupcakes are often easier to decorate because their surface area is smaller. I love this caterpillar cupcake idea from Wilton. Make as many as you need (or want), frost them, sprinkle them with decorative sugars with a face on the first one. To make it even easier I’m thinking you could skip the multi colored frosting and just coat them in different colored sugars and skip the licorice and gumdrop feet altogether.

Please add your most clever and reasonably easy DIY birthday cakes in the comments!


Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I love that lego cake! I’m making a note for my son’s next birthday . . .
My easiest birthday cake was a rice crispie treat cake. My daughter was going through a phase where she didn’t like cake much, but she loved rice crispie treats. So, a cake! Decorating it was super easy too.
Not a great picture here, but you get the idea:


(originally commented on the wrong post…)
For the lego (sorry, ‘building block’ cake), you could bake a sheet cake like they show, and some cupcakes for the top pegs instead of marshmellows, so you don’t get any kids that are upset that they didn’t get a marshmellow, plus it’l be easier to cut (ever try to slice a marshmellow without squishing it to heck?).
For the catepillar, you could but the silicone cups with feet like these and skip having to add the licorice feet.


There’s always the ginormous cupcake mold from Wilton:
or the infamous cupcake cake that graced the cover of gourmet a few years ago:
Good Luck.


I’m not so great with frosting and a pastry bag, so I generally avoid elaborate shapes and designs in my cakery.
My 3-year-old specifically asked for a giraffe cake this year, so I made this:
The year before, she wanted a Bambi cake (WTF?) so I made a fairly plain round cake and stuck a vintage ceramic fawn figurine from ebay in the center.


My kids really like the cupcake in an ice cream cone:
I made these and took them to their class for their school treat. They were super easy to do and a big hit. I carried them in one of those wire cupcake tier holder thingys.


Last year, my amazing sister made this amazing cupcakes for my daughter’s robot-themed party.
Robot cupcakes
They were made with toothpicks, Dots candy (because my sister’s a vegetarian, otherwise, you could probably use marshmallows as well) and pull-apart Twizzlers for the arms.
(Yes, my daughter loves robots. Got a problem with that?)