The first mistake many bakers make is to overlook where the best ideas come from. If the birthday boy or girl is a child, just spend a few minutes in that child’s company. You will have no doubt what this child’s special interests are!
If the birthday guest of honor is a teen or an adult, you may have to do some investigative work, unless of course this teen or adult is part of your family or a good friend. Not only children love birthday cakes that depict their passions. Just remember if the cake is for an older child or a teen to stay away from childish decorations.
Creating a birthday cake centered on a theme is a pocketbook friendly way to dazzle everyone with a wonderfully imaginative cake.
Take a beach cake for example, such as the Hawaiian beach cake. You probably already have all or most of what you’d want to turn a sheet cake into a fun day at the beach.
A little blue food coloring for the icing ocean, some crushed graham crackers mixed with powdered sugar for the beach, and you’re off to a great start!
While you’d want to smooth buttercream on the birthday cake first, the blue frosting can be applied in frothy peaks to form the waves. Then you could use some of your left over white icing to add white caps. Or if you’d like a glassy smooth ocean, use blue gel.
Whether your sea is glassy calm or swept with waves, remember to include a curvy shoreline when you apply the blue gel or icing.
Now for the fun part – it’s time to decorate the scene! Those miniature cocktail umbrellas at the supermarket make perfect beach umbrellas. Pieces of gum or fruit tape can provide the beach towels or blankets underneath them. Plastic figures from a craft store can bring the beach cake to life with people, dolphins, and palm trees. Or if you enjoy modeling, whip up a batch of gum paste and go to town – or the beach that is! As you may have gathered, this can be a really fun type of birthday cake to create with kids.
For a super easy, yet brilliant, birthday cake take a cue from professional bakers and use a character or novelty cake mold! You’ll find them in all kinds of shapes from cartoon and movie characters to ships and guitars.
And here’s another easy birthday cake idea: Since young children love puns, see if you can work one into the birthday message. A Big Bird cake, made simply from a mold, that carries your message: Happy Bird-Day will send the pre-school crowd into fits of giggles over this crafty word play .
Now, it’s your turn! Consider the birthday gal or guy’s interests, and start brainstorming!
If you prefer a traditional, two layer round cake for your birthday cake, be sure to serve the birthday cake on a cake plate not a dinner plate. This will prevent it from sinking into the plate’s depression.
Here’s one more birthday cake tip: Consider using a cake design that is usually relegated to weddings: the tier or stacked cake. This will really wow the birthday gal or guy, as well as the guests.
Tier and stacked birthday cakes can be elegant, fancy, whimsical or just plain fun, like a Cat-in-the-Hat or topsy-turvy birthday cake for example. And as always, keep the birthday guest of honor’s interests and tastes in mind when designing your creative birthday cake!