Creative Birthday Cakes for Kids

The birthday cake is a great place to start for a party theme. Whether your child is an artist or a sailor ready for the seven seas, these birthday cake ideas will get the party started.

Tropical Fish Cake

Take your next birthday party under the sea. With a few flicks of the spatula, you can create scale and fin textures for a swimmingly handsome fish cake. To feed a crowd, make extra bubble cupcakes.

Dragon Cake

Transform a fluted tube cake into a fire-breathing dragon for a birthday cake that really roars. Fun add-ons like fruit-leather wings and marshmallow claws provide extra menace.

Artist's Palette

Inspire your little Monet with this fun and colorful artist's palette made from a sheet cake. The masterpiece-ready paintbrush is made with a breadstick and some fruit leather.

Birthday Party Cookie Cakes

These mini cookie cakes are the perfect individual dessert for birthday parties. Let the kids decorate their own cookie creation!

Castle Cake

Every princess or prince needs a castle, and this cut-and-assemble cake is the perfect birthday fortress. Cover sugar cones with melted frosting for the turrets, and create colorful windows out of taffy.

Furry Purse Cake

Celebrate a fashionista with an adorable purse cake. Use a round piping tip to make the shaggy fur on this sweet and stylish birthday cake.

Create a beautiful birthday cake or a cake for a special celebration. Our Test Kitchen expert walks you through how to decorate a cake with a pastry bag, including the answer to the question: €"Are disposable pastry bags OK to use?"

How to Decorate a Cake: Pastry Bag Techniques

Any baker can be a pastry bag whiz with a few tips. Just follow these secrets to success.

Race Car Cakes

Cool car cakes will satisfy your little one's need for speed (until birthday No. 16, anyway). All you need are two round cakes, colored frosting, and candy to make two race-ready cars.

Go Bowling Cake

Bowling is a great birthday party idea, and these striking cakes are sure to score. Cut the three pins from a sheet cake, and make a dramatic, dome-shape bowling ball by baking cake in a bowl.

Birthday Party Hat Cakes

Bake up a batch of cone-shaped cupcakes and let the decorating begin! Don't forget to add a licorice string as a finishing touch!

Colorful candies and tart lemons take a basic cake from blah to brava. See each adorable cake decorating technique (cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shows off candy flowers and lemon butterflies) in action!

Two Ways to Deck Out a Cake

See how two simple supplies -- candies and lemons -- jazz up a basic cake in minutes. This is an easy solution for picky birthday boys or girls.

Gum-Ball Machine Cake

Great for a candy-theme party, this gum-ball machine cake couldn't be simpler. Frost round, square, and sheet cakes, and add round candies. Use a corn chip for a 3-D candy dispenser kids will love.

Peanut Butter Monkey Cake

The fun texture of chocolate cereal makes great fur on this adorable, edible monkey. A banana peel hints at birthday party monkey business.

Building Blocks Cake

To make this adorable no-bake dessert, top frozen pound cakes with marshmallows to create the interlocking blocks. Brightly colored powdered-sugar frosting tinted with paste food coloring adds realistic shine.

Rocket Ship

Decorated with candy and our creamy white frosting, this easy birthday cake is ready for lift-off in 3, 2, 1.

Chocolate-Dipped Cupcake Cones

Bake cake in ice cream cones and top with fluffy whipped cream, for birthday cupcakes that won't melt in your hand!

Robot Cake

It's so easy to convert a 13x9x2-inch cake into this cute robot. Candy-coated milk chocolate and licorice candies add futuristic flair.

Sailboat Cake

Complete with a doughnut dingy and a breadstick mast, this little ship is fit to sail the seas at your skipper's next birthday party. Trim loaf and square cakes for the boat and sails.

Cheeseburger Ice Cream Cake

This cool cake is nearly identical to the all-American lunch favorite. To make it, sandwich chocolate ice cream, cheese made of fondant, and shredded coconut (dyed to look like lettuce) between two round yellow cakes. Serve it with "fries" made of sliced pound cake.

Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

Decorate a Cake with Candy

You make the cake base you want, then just add candy! Easy, peasy decorations are just a candy aisle away; here are 11 ideas.

Sledding Party Cake

Create your own winter wonderland atop this coconut-covered cake. Frosting-topped pretzels form a miniature pine forest, while bear-shape cookies on fruit-leather sleds make adorable decorations.

All-Star Sports Cake

A standard sheet cake transforms easily into a sports jersey. To personalize the cake, use your child's age as the number on the jersey.

Sunflower Cake

Studded with citrus candies, this cake sets the mood for a fun time. Kids love to pick off and eat the fruity embellishments.

Flip-Flop Cake

Layer a pound cake with ice cream for this delightful summertime treat. To create the flip-flop shape, trace the bottom of a child-size flip-flop shoe onto cardboard. Then use the cardboard stencil to cut the shape out of the cake.

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