20 of Our Best Birthday Cake Recipes for Adults and Kids Alike

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake
Photo: Andy Lyons

Celebrate the special days in your loved ones' lives with an elegant and delicious homemade birthday cake. That's right, you can make an unforgettable amazing birthday dessert that rivals expensive bakery cakes. Find classics like red velvet and vanilla as well as more creative birthday cake recipes to suit any guest of honor.

01 of 20

Buttermilk White Cake with Coconut

Buttermilk White Cake Coconut
Con Poulos

This delicate, tender cake is enveloped in fluffy frosting and coconut. We include whipped egg whites in this birthday cake recipe to create an irresistible airy crumb. Buttermilk provides just the right amount of tang against that sweet buttercream.

02 of 20

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake
Con Poulos

A little cocoa and red food coloring turn classic white cake into a red-hot dessert. Buttercream frosting adds an extra layer of decadence to this classic birthday cake recipe.

03 of 20

Chocolate Cake with Malt Topping

Chocolate Cake with Malt Topping
Jason Donnelly

This birthday cake recipe's deep chocolate flavor makes it sophisticated enough for grown-up palates, while the malted milk balls make it whimsically fun and kid-friendly. Planning your party ahead? Make this birthday cake and freeze it up to three months.

04 of 20

Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche Cake
Andy Lyons

With irresistible dulce de leche cream and whipped cream frosting and caramelized sugar drizzle outside, this birthday cake recipe is sure to impress. It needs a night to chill, so be sure to plan accordingly. Can't find canned dulce de leche at the store? Try making your own!

05 of 20

Chocolate and Vanilla Red Velvet Cake

chocolate vanilla red velvet cake
Andy Lyons

This creative take on the classic red velvet cake includes a rich vanilla filling made with white chocolate and mascarpone cheese. The luxurious chocolate ganache frosting turns this into one amazing birthday dessert for any age.

Buy It: Mainstays Nonstick 9x9-Inch Square Cake Pan ($5, Walmart)

06 of 20

Vanilla Ruffle Cake

Vanilla Ruffle Cake
Andy Lyons

This gorgeous photo might not convince you it's an easy birthday cake recipe, but we promise it is. The simple vanilla cake comes together with butter and a handful of pantry ingredients. Once cool, our almost-homemade buttercream only takes minutes to make thanks to jarred marshmallow creme. We used a hint of red food coloring for a pink hue but feel free to use whatever color you want.

07 of 20

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake

Peaches & Cream Prosecco Cake
Andy Lyons

What better way to toast the guest of honor than with a birthday cake that already has booze? Both the sponge cake and the peach filling are infused with your choice of bubbly Prosecco or sparkling rosé. Add a few sprigs of fresh mint to the cake for a pop of color and a refreshing finish.

08 of 20

Yellow Cake

Yellow Cake Salted Chocolate Ganache
Jason Donnelly

No need to resort to a boxed mix when you can make a classic yellow cake. Make your birthday cake into a two-layer cake or keep things simple by making it in a 9x13 pan. Feel free to add some orange zest to the batter to give your cake a citrus twist.

Buy It: Wilton Bake It Simply Aluminized Steel Nonstick Oblong Cake Pan ($10, Walmart)

09 of 20

Chocolate-Lover's Cake

Chocolate Lover's Cake
Blaine Moats

This indulgent chocolate birthday cake is topped with a heavenly chocolate butter frosting. It makes the perfect birthday cake for the chocolate lover in your life. Change up the flavor profile with our cherry variation featuring maraschino cherries and cherry preserves.

Buy It: Wilton 9-Inch Nonstick Ultra Bake Professional Round Cake Pan ($8, Target)

10 of 20

Layered Ice Cream Cake

Layered Ice Cream Cake
Blaine Moats

Cake and ice cream are a classic combination. Combine them into one delicious bite with this easy birthday cake recipe. We use cake mix as a shortcut ingredient to make the cake layers and fill them with ice cream—keep it classic with vanilla or choose your favorite flavor. Freeze the cake fully before adding the fluffy cream cheese topping.

11 of 20

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake
Marty Baldwin

This classic treat is one of the best homemade birthday cake recipes you'll ever taste. Our top-rated three-layer cake gets its rich flavor from coconut and pecans. Extra toasted pecans between the layers add just the right amount of crunch.

12 of 20

Orange-Carrot Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Orange Carrot Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Jason Donnelly

Carrot cake might not be your first choice when it comes to birthday cakes, but this recipe is definitely an exception. Made with orange zest and juice—then finished with orange fluff frosting—this cake is full of citrusy goodness.

13 of 20

Six-Layer Strawberry Cake

Six Layer Strawberry Cake
Kritsada Panichgul

Six layers might take a bit of time, but your loved one's birthday is worth the extra effort. And don't worry, you're only baking three cakes and then splitting them into two (make sure they're completely cooled before cutting!). Those layers of moist white cake are filled with a rich strawberry-and-lemon cream cheese frosting.

Buy It: OXO Nonstick Pro Cooling Rack ($17, Target)

14 of 20

Double Chocolate Cake

Double Chocolate Cake
Andy Lyons

With more than 70 ratings from our BH&G readers, this birthday cake recipe is one to remember. Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and creamy chocolate frosting give the rich cake lots of chocolaty goodness.

Test Kitchen Tip: To avoid crumbs in your frosting, brush cake layers with a pastry brush. After stacking cake layers, spread the sides of the cake with a thin coat of frosting (aka crumb coat). Let stand several minutes before frosting the cake.

15 of 20

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake

slices of yellow gluten-free cake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles
Blaine Moats

If you (or someone in the family) has allergy restrictions, you can still enjoy a delicious homemade birthday cake without gluten. This is a gluten-free yellow cake that is perfect for topping with plenty of frosting and sprinkles. Keep a jar of our gluten-free flour mix on hand for all your baking needs.

16 of 20

Pink Lemonade Cake

Pink Lemonade Cake
Andy Lyons

Enjoy a taste of summer any time of the year with this lemon-infused birthday cake recipe. You get that zesty punch in every bite thanks to the addition of frozen lemonade concentrate, lemon extract. Lemonade buttercream and lemon garnish complete the citrusy dessert.

17 of 20

Layered Blueberry (Pan)Cake

Layered Blueberry (Pan)Cake
Hannah Bigot

Talk about an impressive birthday cake. Layers of white cake are piled to look just like your favorite breakfast. Maple syrup, blueberries, and two white chocolate squares to mimic the pat of butter make the eye-catching finishing touches. Everyone will be snapping pictures before the candle-blowing time.

18 of 20

Naked Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Cream
Jennifer Davick

For a more sophisticated birthday cake recipe for adults, give this cake a try. A simple light layer of frosting allows the lemon-olive oil cake layers to shine. To achieve the signature "naked" look, use a bench scraper or cake spatula to thin out the frosting on the sides.

Buy It: Williams Sonoma Olivewood Bench Scraper ($20, Williams Sonoma)

19 of 20

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake
Blaine Moats

If you enjoy super-moist cakes, look no further than this birthday cake recipe. Popular in Latin American cultures, the dense cake layers are infused with a thick sauce made with three (tres) types of milk (leche): evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk or whipping cream.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach Classic Hand and Stand Mixer ($59, Walmart)

20 of 20

Double-Layer White Chocolate Cake

Double-Layer White Chocolate Cake
Kritsada Panichgul

Fans of white chocolate will swoon for this birthday cake recipe. The decadent buttery cake incorporates melted white chocolate right into the batter. As if that wasn't sweet enough, we have a seriously delicious white chocolate frosting to go on top. Use our tips for piping those pretty rosettes.

Test Kitchen Tip: Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before adding to the recipe. This allows your cake to rise better.

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