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25 Fantastic Birthday Cake Alternatives

Whether you need something unique or you just don’t like sponge and frosting, these fantastic birthday cake alternatives are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Truth be told, I don’t know when or where the tradition of birthday cakes started. Of course, I’m not complaining – I do love cake.

Crepe Cake with Frosting and Fresh Strawberries on Top
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But plenty of people don’t like or can’t have the traditional 3-layer chocolate cake.

If you fall under these two categories, these birthday cake alternatives are here to make this year your best birthday yet. 

After all, who says you can’t put candles in waffles?

1. Caramel Macaron Cake

Large macaron shells turned into a cake? Talk about a banging birthday bash!

This fancy cake has three layers of larger-than-life chocolate macarons with salted caramel sauce and caramel buttercream frosting.

With the distinct chewiness and tenderness of the macarons mixed with the decadence of the salted caramel, saying this cake alternative is to die for is a complete understatement. 

And, of course, you could make any kind of flavor pairing here. For example, I think vanilla macarons with bright raspberry filling would look stunning!

2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Want a fun way to celebrate your birthday? I can’t think of a better dessert than this giant chocolate chip cookie!

It’s crisp around the edges and chewy and fudgy in the middle. Plus, it’s studded with chunks of chocolate chips – but you already knew that.

Jazz it up with sweet buttercream frosting sprinkles, and voila, you’ve got yourself a cookie cake.

3. Birthday Brownies

Regular brownies are out, and these colorful brownies are in! 

Want something simple but totally decadent for your birthday?

Cakey, chocolatey, and covered in sprinkles, these brownies definitely look and taste the part.

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Honestly, though, don’t feel like you need to wait for a birthday to make these. They’re easy enough to enjoy on any given day.

4. Best Birthday Cupcakes

Cupcakes have everything you love about sponge and frosting, just in individual portions.

And I think they’re way cuter than a huge cake!

Plus, they’re ideal for post-covid gatherings where you might not want to eat a slice of cake that someone just breathed all over.

These are moist and fluffy vanilla cupcakes frosted with a light buttercream. Dolled up with rainbow sprinkles, they’re worthy of a special occasion.

5. Birthday Ice Cream Cake

While I am a massive fan of cake, I can’t get enough of this creamy and cool ice cream cake.

It’s the best of both worlds – ice cream and cake combined! 

With layers of vanilla cake, coconut, raspberry, strawberry, and vanilla ice creams, plus whipped cream, this cake’s flavors and textures are superb.

The best part is you’re free to use whatever flavors of ice cream you wish.

6. Birthday Rice Crispy Treats

Does your birthday fall in the summer? I know how hard it is to make and serve a frosting-covered cake in the heat.

So instead of getting all sweaty in the kitchen, how about these no-bake rice crispies for your party instead?

They’re sweet, crunchy, chewy, and everything you want an indulgent sweet to be!

And though they’re sticky, they won’t melt before you, and your guests can finish them.

7. Birthday Cake Mix Waffles 

Forget a fancy birthday dinner. This year, why not celebrate with a fun brunch party instead?

If you’re into it, these birthday cake mix waffles are the best birthday cake alternative!

Made with white cake mix to give them that soft, cake-like texture, stack them up high and make them pretty with sprinkles and whipped cream.

Serve these babies with lots of syrups and have at it!

8. Birthday Cake Funfetti Trifle 

With layers of funfetti cake, cheesecake mousse, whipped topping, sprinkles, and golden Oreos on top, this trifle is as fun and festive as any birthday cake.

Maybe even more so!

I love that you can see all the layers and that this doesn’t need any fancy decorations. The colors speak for themselves.

It’s effortlessly beautiful, and I know you’ll love it!

9. Crepe Cake

I still remember the first time I had a crepe cake.

I wasn’t expecting anything from it, to be honest. After all, it’s just layers of crepes with whipped cream in between.

But OMG, I was seriously blown away by how ridiculously fantastic it is!

The crepe layers create such an incredible textural sensation. While the whipped cream filling is sweet yet light and not overpowering.

And it’s super easy to jazz up! Add a few layers of ganache or whip some freeze-dried fruits into the cream to bring a pop of color.

10. Birthday Cake Baked Donuts

Who doesn’t love donuts? I’d pick one over a slice of cake any day!

These babies are soft, with a fluffy cake-like texture.

They’re finished with a scrumptious vanilla glaze and rainbow sprinkles for some crunch.

They’re much more straightforward than a real birthday cake, for sure. But just look at them – aren’t they gorgeous? 

11. Nutella Crunch Ice Cream Cake

This ice cream cake is made extra special by Nutella and Rice Krispies!

This may be hard to believe, but this recipe only calls for three ingredients. Your cake will be complete with just vanilla ice cream, Rice Krispies, and Nutella.

Isn’t that amazing?

12. Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Pie

I can’t help but drool over this sensational peanut butter cup ice cream pie!

With crushed Oreos for the crust and peanut butter ice cream for its filling, this dessert combines classic flavors we all know and love.

It’s ideal for the summer because it’s no-bake, but you’ll want to keep it in the fridge until it’s time to eat!

13. Birthday Cake Cookies

These birthday cake cookies are so soft they melt in your mouth. Also, they’re almost too pretty to eat.

They don’t have to be served at birthdays, either. Just use theme-specific sprinkles to fit any occasion.

14. One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Okay, so I know this next one is an actual cake, but what makes it different from a birthday cake is that it all comes together in one bowl.

This is a humble chocolate cake, but it won’t disappoint.

With its moistness, fudginess, and immense chocolate flavor, it can easily match the greatness of any elaborate cake.

15. Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Something about the sweet scent of cinnamon sugar makes my heart skip a beat.

So if you tell me that this cinnamon roll cake is what I’m having for my birthday, I’ll be over the moon.

Just a word of warning: this recipe requires a from-scratch yeasted dough. That means you’ll need to knead, roll, and proof it, which takes some time.

But it’s nothing you can’t handle, and it’s more than worth it in the end!

16. Ice Cream Bar

Having a big birthday bash this summer? This ice cream bar is the perfect dessert you can offer.

It’s so insanely easy, and it’ll be a hit with everyone, young and old. 

Just arrange ice cream toppings – like sprinkles, marshmallows, nuts, and syrups – on a table with your favorite ice cream flavors, cones, cups, and spoons.

Your guests will be impressed with this incredibly charming (and easy to pull off) dessert station.

17. Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches 

These sandwiches call for large, chunky cookies and silky ice cream in between.

I love how easy this dessert is to customize. Just pick your favorite cookie and ice cream combo and enjoy.

My personal choice is white chocolate chip cookies with butter pecan ice cream. What’s yours? 

18. Chocolate Delight 

Since this is also called Better Than Sex Cake, expect this dessert to delight your palate.

It has layers of pecans, cheesecake, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. So yes, it is better than you-know-what, and I know you know it.

19. Mini Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Here’s for all my health-conscious readers! I know there are a few of you out there with more willpower than me.

I see you, and this dessert is just for you.

With layers of crispy and crunchy granola, creamy yogurt, and your favorite fresh berries, this dessert is nutritious but also super delish. 

It’s proof that you can lead a healthy lifestyle and not deprive yourself of sweets.

Also, it would be an excellent option for birthday brunch!

20. Robert Redford Dessert

Robert Redford dessert is a decadent cake with layers of buttery crust, sweetened cream cheese, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream.

Each layer is fantastic on its own, but together, they’re heavenly – like eating a chocolate cake, pie, and cheesecake all at once.

It’s precisely why it’s also called “Sex in a Pan.”

21. S’mores Freakshake 

Instead of a birthday cake, how about a birthday milkshake?

This isn’t just your ordinary chocolate milkshake, though.

Jazzed up with things like a chocolate-covered marshmallow straw, a chocolate Graham Cracker rim, and chunks of s’mores pie, this milkshake is extravagant and over the top.

22. Birthday Cake Pudding Shots

Have someone in your life who’s turning 21? What better way to celebrate their birthday than with these boozy cake pudding shots!

These tiny cake cups are topped with vodka pudding, and they are divine. 

Be careful, though, as the alcohol will sneak up on you. Always remember to drink, or in this case, eat responsibly. 

23. Number Cake

Number cakes have become such a big trend over the past few years, and it’s clear why.

First of all, they’re as gorgeous as gorgeous can be.

Filled with a light buttercream frosting and decorated with meringue kisses, macarons, fresh fruits, and flowers, this kind of cake is absolutely delicious and seriously breath-taking.

24. Strawberry Crunch Cake

This is a magnificent strawberry layered cake with buttercream frosting and a crunchy coating of crushed freeze-dried strawberries and Nilla wafers.

Phew, what a mouthful!

It looks great, smells fantastic, and tastes glorious. Happy birthday, indeed!

25. Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake is flavored with Godiva chocolate, so you don’t need to try it to know it’s epic.

The chocolate cheesecake is silky smooth, and decadent, and the crushed cookie crust adds a crumbly contrast.

Topped with fresh raspberries and whipped cream, this is one birthday cake I don’t mind having every year.

25 Fantastic Birthday Cake Alternatives

Whether you need something unique or you just don’t like cake, these fantastic birthday cake alternatives are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.


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Birthday Cake Alternatives

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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