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What is the best kind of cake for birthdays? Why that cake?

A handcrafted birthday cake is the ultimate present. From towering layer cakes to one-bowl wonders, our favorite birthday cake recipes have a few things in common: they’re fun, festive, and require at least one candle.

Our best birthday cakes include floral, fruity numbers (like a tiered take on strawberry shortcake) and rich, fudgy crowd-pleasers (our Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake is a chocolate lover’s dream). With so many options, you can truly match the cake to the occasion: Want an excellent French gâteau for your pal saving up for a vacation to Paris? A drip cake to wow your kids? A no-fuss icebox cake for a poolside gathering? Cupcakes for a large group? We have a solution for any sort of birthday celebration.

It’s your celebration, so adorn it with buttercream ruffles and display it on a beautiful cake stand, empty it out and stuff it with candies, or cover it with sprinkles and serve it directly from the pan.

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting being sliced and served.


Super-Moist Yellow Cake With Rich Chocolate Frosting

For classic birthday cake flavor that doesn’t require heading to the grocery store for boxed cake mix, consider this from-scratch yellow cake recipe. The sponge gets its fluffy, delicate crumb from reverse creaming, which involves dropping the butter into the dry ingredients instead of beating it with sugar.

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

The outside of this just-sweet-enough German chocolate cake is glazed with a glossy chocolate glaze. But don’t worry; it’s still got the classic coconut-pecan frosting sandwiched between the layers.

Dr. Bird Cake

Chopped pineapple, ripe bananas, and flaked coconut come together in this classic Jamaican cake, which you might know as Hummingbird Cake. It’s the ideal way to commemorate a summer birthday or enliven a winter event.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Cookbook author Kat Lieu transformed her grandmother’s signature lemon cake recipe into this pandan-and-coconut-flavored beauty. Pandan flavour may be purchased online or in East Asian food shops.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

When this chocolate birthday cake first made the rounds in the Gourmet offices, it’s said that the staff swooned. You (and your visitors) will like it as well.

Gooey Butter Cake

The signature dessert of St. Louis is exactly what its name suggests—a wonderfully gooey cake that doesn’t quite set when baked. Serve it warm, dusted liberally with powdered sugar.

Sticky Banana and Chocolate Skillet Cake

This simple cake by cookbook author Ixta Belfrage may seem magnificent, but it’s surprisingly straightforward to make. The one-bowl chocolate cake recipe could stand on its own, but the crown of caramelized bananas and swirls of vanilla bean whipped cream make it a complete showstopper.


Devote a few hours to creating this French classic for a birthday cake that is guaranteed to wow. Hazelnut powder and sifted all-purpose flour give the base a buoyant crumb—all the better for layering with nutty meringue, chocolate ganache, and not one, but two buttercreams.

Fancy Dirt Cake

The finest birthday cake recipes are unrepentant in their enjoyment, and this take on a childhood favorite is no exception. You can use chocolate shortbread or even Oreo cookies for the “dirt”; decorate with edible flowers or gummy worms.

Orange Chiffon Cake

A citrus-scented spin on a classic chiffon cake, this recipe uses baking powder and separated eggs, beaten to soft peaks, to yield an airy texture. Since the crumb is fragile, allow the cake to cool fully before covering it with whipped cream icing.

Chocolate Doberge Cake

This sky-high Louisiana staple may be seen at celebrations throughout the American South, distinguished by its apparently infinite layers of chocolate sponge layered with rich cocoa pudding and German buttercream. Yes, you’ll need a stand mixer (or a very large bowl) and a whopping 22 eggs (plus two yolks!)  to make it—it’s a true special occasion cake, worth every bit of effort..

Baked Alaska Saint Pierre

Why burn candles when you can set the whole cake ablaze? Meringue a dome of ice cream and orange sorbet on a Grand Marnier-flavored sponge. Once the cake’s assembled, drizzle on more liqueur and (briefly, safely) set the whole thing ablaze.

Gâteau Chocolat-Menthe (Chocolate-Mint Cake)

This delicacy comprises two softly sweetened chocolate cake layers, mint-infused whipped cream, candied mint leaves, and fluffy chocolate ganache, adapted from a recipe by legendary Parisian patissier Christophe Michalak.

Marguerite Cassis

Whipped cream flavored with crème de cassis—black currant liqueur found in classic cocktails like the Kir Royale—keeps this birthday cake light and airy. For a really lovely display, scatter a handful of fresh blackberries or currants on top of the cake.

Original New York Cheesecake

A typical New York cheesecake is rich, tangy, and velvety-smooth, and it makes an outstanding birthday cake. This version requires only 10 minutes of active time, but at least two hours to cool—proof that great things come to those who wait.

Pistachio-Cherry Cake

Loaded with fresh cherries and tart sour cream, this cake gains a chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor from ground pistachios in the batter. It’s suitable for both tea and dessert.

Strawberry Shortcake With Thyme and Whipped Cream

Give your next summer birthday celebration what it really wants with this thyme-scented layer cake. Fresh strawberries shine in this dish, so choose the finest of the bunch.

Coconut–Key Lime Sheet Cake

It’s a good thing this citrusy coconut cake serves a crowd, because we’d be willing to bet the creamy Key lime pie–inspired topping will have your guests coming back for seconds. Good tip: Make the lime curd ahead of time to save time before the party.

Related Questions

  • What type of cake is best for birthday?

    Top 10 Cakes for Birthday Celebrations

    1. Cake with a Black Forest theme. Black Forest is perhaps the most famous flavour of cake across the world.
    2. Chocolate Truffle Cream Cake.
    3. Pineapple Cake.
    4. Creamy Vanilla Fruit cake.
    5. Kit Kat Cake.
    6. Blueberry Glaze Cake.
    7. Heavenly Caramel Cream Cake.
    8. Classic Almond Cake.
  • Which type of cake is the best?

    Top 50 cakes

    1. Banana cake with cream cheese.
    2. New York baked cheesecake.
    3. Chocolate coconut cake.
    4. Carrot and walnut cake.
    5. Lemon yoghurt cake with syrup.
    6. Chocolate mud cupcakes.
    7. Flourless orange cake.
    8. Vanilla cupcakes.
  • What is the difference between birthday cake and regular cake?

    Birthday cake has sprinkles.

  • What is the most loved cake?

    Top 5

    Rank​ Cake​ Total no. of monthly searches worldwide​
    1​ Chocolate 394,050
    2​ Red velvet 322,310
    3​ Carrot 313,320
    4​ Banana 192,170