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Fun Birthday Cake Ideas

  • According to U.S. census data, more birthdays in the United States occur during September than any other time of the year. That's why, Betty Crocker has launched an online birthday resource on BettyCrocker.com. It includes many of the tips and tricks parents need to make the day special from start to finish—from birthday breakfasts, on-trend themes, cake ideas, how-to videos, step-by-step instructions and cake templates to invitations, decorations and other food ideas. Betty Crocker has shared some of her fun cake ideas with us here, but to check out more unique ideas, visit her new online resource. And click here to learn how to make these first birthday cakes.

  • Ladybug Cake and Cupcakes

    Prep time: 45 minutes

    Total time: 4 hours

    Servings: 18

    Ingredients
    • 2 boxes Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix boxes
    • Tray or cardboard (18x15 inch), covered with foil or wrapping paper and plastic wrap
    • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy or Whipped chocolate frosting
    • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy or Whipped vanilla frosting
    • Red food color
    • 6 chocolate-covered peppermint patties, unwrapped
    • 1 large marshmallow
    • 2 blue candy-coated chocolate candies
    • 2 pieces (6 inch) black licorice twist
    • 8 brown candy-coated chocolate candies
    • 2 large black gumdrops
    • 4 blue miniature candy-coated chocolate candies
    • 4 pieces (2 inch) black string licorice
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
    2. Make cake mixes as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Divide half of the batter between cake pans. Divide remaining batter evenly among muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full. Bake as directed on box for 8-inch rounds and cupcakes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
    3. Reserve 5 cupcakes; save remaining cupcakes for later use. For easier handling, refrigerate or freeze cake 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm.
    4. On serving plate or foil-covered tray, place 1 cake layer, rounded side down. Remove paper liners from 3 of the reserved cupcakes; position cupcakes against front of cake, slightly angled, for ladybug's head. Spread thin layer of chocolate frosting over bottom cake layer and cupcakes to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze 30 minutes to 1 hour.
    5. In another medium bowl, mix vanilla frosting and red food color. Spread second cake layer with red frosting. Cut second layer in half crosswise; frost rounded top and cut sides. Refrigerate or freeze 30 minutes to 1 hour. Frost bottom cake layer and 3 cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Position red cake halves, rounded side up and slightly angled, on bottom layer to look like ladybug's wings. Place peppermint patties on red cake for spots.
    6. Cut marshmallow crosswise in half; push 1 blue candy into each. Attach marshmallows to ladybug's head for eyes. Insert licorice twist pieces for antennae.
    7. For baby ladybugs, cut off and reserve rounded tops of remaining 2 cupcakes. Spread flat cupcake tops with chocolate frosting. Spread cutoff tops with red frosting; cut each crosswise in half. Position red halves, rounded side up and slightly angled, on cupcakes to look like wings. Add brown candies to wings for spots. Flatten gumdrops; attach 1 gumdrop to front of each cupcake for head. Use frosting to attach blue miniature candies for eyes. Insert string licorice for antennae.

    For nutrition information, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Check out how to Have a Cupcake Party!

  • First Birthday Lion Cake

    Prep time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes

    Servings: 8

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist® yellow cake mix
    • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
    • ½ cup vegetable oil
    • ¼ cup water
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free French vanilla yogurt
    • Golden yellow gel or paste food color
    • Orange gel or paste food color
    • ¾ cup Cheerios™ cereal
    • 6 pretzel sticks
    • 2 brown candy coated pieces
    • Brown decorating gel
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease with shortening or cooking spray bottom only of 1 (6-inch) round cake pan and place paper baking cups in 16 regular-size muffin cups.
    2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, bananas, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally until smooth. Place 1 3/4 cups batter in 6-inch round pan. Spoon remaining batter into 16 lined muffin cups. Bake round cake 35 to 40 minutes and cupcakes 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
    3. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and yogurt on medium speed with electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Stir in yellow food color until mixture is desired color. Place 3 tablespoons of yellow frosting in small bowl; add orange food color to get desired orange color.
    4. To frost and decorate cake, slice 6-inch round cake horizontally to remove rounded top. Place cake cut side down on plate. Use yellow frosting to frost top and sides of cake. Use orange frosting to make muzzle of lion. Place cereal around top edges of cake to form the lion's mane. Add brown candy coated pieces for eyes. Insert pretzel sticks into cake near muzzle for whiskers. Use brown decorating gel to make mouth, nose and whisker spots on the lion face. Use remaining frosting to frost cupcakes. If desired, use cereal to decorate the cupcakes. Store cake and cupcakes in refrigerator.

    For expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our list of First Birthday Party Ideas.

  • Construction Site Cake

    Prep time: 35 minutes

    Total time: 3 hours 35 minutes

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ chocolate cake mix
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • 2 containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy or Whipped chocolate frosting
    • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
    • Orange food color
    • Green food color
    • 4 pieces candy corn
    • 3 new small plastic toy trucks
    • 2 tablespoons chocolate-covered rock-shaped candy
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray.
    2. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 8-inch rounds, using water, oil and eggs. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For easier handling, refrigerate or freeze cakes 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm.
    3. On serving plate, place 1 cake layer, rounded side down. In medium bowl, mix 2 containers chocolate frosting with 1/2 container vanilla frosting. Spread with 1/2 cup of the frosting. Top with second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread thin layer of frosting over cake to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze 30 minutes to 1 hour.
    4. Using serrated knife, cut a quarter out of top cake layer (as shown in photo). In bowl, crumble removed cake and mix with 1/2 cup frosting to look like dirt. Mound "dirt" on cake. Frost remaining cake thickly with remaining frosting.
    5. In small bowl, tint about 1/3 cup vanilla frosting with orange food color. Place on cake in circles for construction cones; top with candy corn. In small bowl, tint about 1/2 cup vanilla frosting with green food color for grass; place around cake. Place trucks on cake. Place rock-shaped candy in trucks.

    For nutrition information, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our Birthday Cakes Gallery.

  • No.1 Cutout Cake

    Prep time: 45 minutes

    Total time: 2 hours

    Servings: 20

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ cake mix (any flavor*)
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Whipped fluffy white frosting
    • Green food color
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottom only of 8x4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray, and place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.
    2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth. Place 1 3/4 cups batter into loaf pan. Spoon remaining batter into muffin cups.
    3. Bake loaf cake 35 to 40 minutes and cupcakes 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. For easier handling, refrigerate or freeze loaf cake 30 to 60 minutes or until firm.
    4. Stir together 1/2 cup frosting and green food color to desired color. Spoon green frosting into decorating bag fitted with small round tip; set aside.
    5. Trim rounded top off loaf cake. Place loaf cake cut side down on plate. Trim cake into number one shape using template as a guide. Frost sides and top of cake with white frosting. Pipe green frosting into stripes on cake. Use remaining frosting to frost cupcakes.

    To print out the template and for expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our To-Do list for your little one's First Birthday Party.

  • Pirate Cake

    Prep time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ cake mix (any flavor*)
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • Tray or cardboard (15x12 inches), covered with wrapping paper and plastic food wrap or foil
    • 1 cup Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
    • 1 ½ containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
    • 1 chocolate-covered mint patty
    • 1 large marshmallow, cut in half
    • 1 blue gum ball or candy-coated chocolate candy
    • 1 yellow ring-shaped hard candy
    • 1 roll Betty Crocker™ Fruit by the Foot™ strawberry or other red chewy fruit snack (from 4.5-oz box)
    • 1 black licorice rope
    • Square-shaped candy-coated gum
    • Betty Crocker™ chocolate decors
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease or spray bottoms and sides of one 8-inch and one 9-inch round cake pan. Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour into pans.
    2. Bake as directed on box. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. For easier handling, refrigerate or freeze cake 30 to 60 minutes or until firm.
    3. Use serrated knife to cut 9-inch cake in half and cut hat as shown in diagram. Remaining half of 9-inch cake will form body of pirate. Cut 8-inch cake as directed in diagram. On tray, place cake pieces. Cut ears and nose from small pieces of cake; attach to cake with small amount of frosting.
    4. In small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons chocolate frosting into 1 1/3 cups of the vanilla frosting. Frost cake with thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs; use the tinted frosting on the head, ears and nose, the chocolate frosting on the hat, and the white frosting on the shirt of the pirate. Refrigerate or freeze 30 to 60 minutes to set frosting.
    5. Frost entire cake, using the same frostings. Add mint patty for eye patch, marshmallow slice and gum ball for eye, and ring-shaped candy for earring. Cut fruit snack into shapes for shirt stripes, mouth and strap for eye patch; place on cake. Cut licorice to fit hat. Add gum for teeth and chocolate decors for whiskers. Store loosely covered.

    To print out the template, watch the How-To video and learn expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our Birthday Cakes Gallery.

  • Big Fish Cake and Little Fish Cupcakes

    Prep time: 45 minutes

    Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes

    Servings: 16

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ party rainbow chip cake mix (or any other flavor*)
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • 2 containers Betty Crocker™ Whipped vanilla frosting
    • Purple and pink food colors
    • 6 marshmallows
    • Blue candy-coated chocolate candies
    • Gummy fruit candy slices
    • Cheerios™ cereal
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottom and side of one 8-inch round cake pan with shortening or cooking spray. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.
    2. Make cake batter as directed on box. Fill 12 muffin cups about two-thirds full of batter. Pour remaining batter in cake pan. Bake as directed on box for 8-inch round and cupcakes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
    3. In medium bowl, mix 1 container of frosting and enough purple food color to get desired color. In another medium bowl, mix remaining container of frosting and enough pink food color to get desired color.
    4. On large rectangular serving plate, place cake layer, rounded side down. Remove liners from 2 cupcakes, and cut them in half. Spread a small amount of frosting on cut side of each cupcake half to keep them in place. Arrange cupcakes cut sides down as shown in diagram to create back and side fins, discarding extra cupcake half. Place 2 marshmallows on front of cake to create mouth and 3 marshmallows on top of fish to create top fin. Cut remaining marshmallow in half crosswise to create eye. Use small amount of frosting to "glue" a blue candy on for pupil; set aside.
    5. Frost body for fish purple and fins and marshmallows pink. Use enough frosting on fins to shape cupcakes into desired fin shape. Place marshmallow eye on cake. Use remaining frosting and candies and cereal to decorate remaining cupcakes as desired.

    For nutrition information and expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our Birthday Cakes Gallery.

  • Dinosaur Cake

    Prep time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 4 hours

    Servings: 15

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ devil's food cake mix
    • 1 cup water
    • Vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • Tray or cardboard (18x14 inches), covered paper and plastic food wrap or foil
    • 2 containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
    • Betty Crocker™ gel food color
    • 19 milk chocolate candy drops or pieces, unwrapped
    • Assorted round chocolate candies (candy-coated chocolate candies, miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits, coating wafers, chocolate chips)
    • Betty Crocker™ white decorating icing (from 4.25-oz tube)
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Spray bottoms and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box, using 1 cup water, the oil and eggs. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooking racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate or freeze 30 to 60 minutes for easier handling.
    2. For body, cut 1-inch slice from edge of one cake. From cut edge, cut out small inverted U-shape piece. Place body on tray. From remaining cake, cut head and tail. Arrange head and tail pieces next to body.
    3. Spoon frosting into large bowl. Stir in enough food color until desired green color. Spread thin layer of frosting over cake pieces to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze cake 30 to 60 minutes to set frosting.
    4. Frost cake pieces with remaining frosting. Use milk chocolate candies for spikes along back of dinosaur. Decorate body with assorted candies. Use 2 candy-coated chocolate candies for eyes and white decorator icing to make centers of eyes and teeth. Store loosely covered.

    To print out the template, watch the How-To video and learn expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our Birthday Cakes Gallery.

  • Royal Princess Crown Cake

    Prep time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
    • Neon pink liquid food color
    • Neon purple liquid food color
    • Tray or cardboard (15x12 inches), covered with wrapping paper and plastic food wrap or foil
    • 24 pink pearlized small ball-shaped candy-coated chocolate candies
    • 2 sticks pink rock candy, broken up into small pieces (1/4 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons light pink decorator sugar crystals
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make and bake cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Place cake in freezer 30 minutes before cutting to reduce crumbs.
    2. In large bowl, mix frosting with 7 drops pink food color and 3 drops purple food color. Reserve 1/4 cup of the frosting in small bowl.
    3. Place cake top side up on tray or cardboard. Place crown diagram on cake; using serrated knife, cut crown shape from cake using diagram as a guide.
    4. Frost with thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs. Freeze about 30 minutes to set frosting. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.
    5. Place pink ball-shaped candies in horizontal row 1 inch from base of crown. Sprinkle some of the rock candy in the inch between ball-shaped candies and base of crown. Place remaining rock candy on points of crown. Sprinkle cake with pink decorator sugar crystals.
    6. Add 4 or 5 more drops purple food color to reserved 1/4 cup frosting. Place frosting in resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag. Pipe frosting to make desired number on cake. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

    To print out the template, watch the How-To video and learn expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Learn How to Plan a Princess Party.

  • Big Top Circus Cake

    Prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • Tray or cardboard (15x12 inches), covered with paper and plastic food wrap or foil
    • 2 containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy or Whipped vanilla or Whipped fluffy white frosting
    • Red gel food color
    • ¼ cup multicolored candy sprinkles
    • 1 striped paper drinking straw
    • 1 triangle colored paper
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans).
    2. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
    3. Place cake on tray or cardboard, with short sides of cake forming top and bottom of tent. Use serrated knife to cut 2 corner triangles off top of cake, going 5 inches down long sides of cake to form tent top.
    4. Use half of 1 container frosting to spread a thin coat on top of cake. Frost a second time with remaining frosting in container.
    5. Use red gel food color to color remaining container of frosting desired shade of red. Place red frosting in decorating bag fitted with star tip. Pipe a line of stars horizontally across cake to divide the top of the big top from the base. Pipe stripes on cake, leaving a larger section of white in center of cake to accommodate number.
    6. Use remaining red frosting to pipe stripes on top of the big top, starting wide at the base and getting smaller as they meet at the top of the cake. Pipe desired number in center of cake.
    7. Cut a 4-inch piece of the straw. Tape the long end of the paper triangle to the straw. Poke base of straw into top of the cake.

    To watch the How-To video, click here. Our check out our Birthday Cakes Gallery.

  • First Birthday Smash Cake

    Prep time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    Servings: 24

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist® yellow cake mix
    • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
    • ½ cup vegetable oil
    • ¼ cup water
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free French vanilla yogurt
    • Golden yellow gel or paste food color
    • ½ cup Cheerios™ cereal
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease with shortening or cooking spray bottom only of 1 (6-inch) round cake pan and place paper baking cups in 16 regular-size muffin cups.
    2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, bananas, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally until smooth. Place 1 3/4 cups batter in 6-inch round pan. Spoon remaining batter into 16 lined muffin cups. Bake round cake 35 to 40 minutes and cupcakes for 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
    3. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and yogurt on medium speed with electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Stir in the food color until mixture is desired color.
    4. To frost and decorate cake, slice 6-inch round cake horizontally to remove rounded top. Place cake cut side down on plate. Frost top and sides with cream cheese frosting. Place 2 rows of cereal around the bottom edge of side of cake. Place 1 row of cereal around top edge of cake. In top center of cake, arrange cereal to form the number one.
    5. Use remaining frosting to frost cupcakes. Top with cereal to decorate, if desired. Store cake and cupcakes in refrigerator.

    To learn expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource. Our check out our list of First Birthday Party Ideas.

  • Superhero Cake

    Prep time: 45 minutes

    Total time: 4 hours

    Servings: 12

    Ingredients
    • 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
    • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
    • Tray or cardboard (18x15 inch), covered with foil or wrapping paper and plastic wrap
    • 2 containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy or Whipped vanilla frosting
    • Blue food color
    • Pink food color
    • Yellow food color
    • Red food color
    • 2 brown candy-coated chocolate candies
    • 1 tube (0.68 oz) Betty Crocker™ black decorating gel
    • 2 rolls Betty Crocker™ Fruit Roll-Ups® chewy fruit snack, any flavor (from 5-oz box)
    Directions
    1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray.
    2. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around side of pan to loosen cake; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For easier handling, refrigerate or freeze 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm.
    3. Use serrated knife to cut cake into head, arms and body (as shown in diagram). Place cake on serving plate or foil-covered tray.
    4. In medium bowl, mix 1 container frosting and blue food color. Divide second container of frosting among 3 separate small bowls; add pink food color to 1 bowl, yellow to 1 bowl and red to third bowl. Spread thin layer of blue frosting on body and arms to seal in crumbs. Spread thin layer of pink frosting on head. Refrigerate or freeze 30 minutes to 1 hour.
    5. Spread remaining pink frosting on head. With 1/2 cup of the blue frosting, create mask on face. Spread remaining blue frosting to cover body and arms. Generously spread yellow frosting on top of head for hair and at bottom of cake for belt. In center of body, spread red frosting in oval shape. Create lightning bolt with yellow frosting on red oval. Add candies on mask for eyes. Use decorating gel to pipe nose and mouth, and to outline oval, belt and belt buckle. Crumple fruit snacks; place next to body to look like cape.

    To print out the template, watch the How-To video and learn expert tips, visit Betty Crocker's online birthday resource.

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