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Best birthday cakes for kids and birthday cake recipes

There are all kinds of ways to express love for your child, but is there a more delicious way than baking up a special birthday cake on the big day? A few weeks ago, we asked parents to share the candle-topped creations they were most proud of presenting to their little celebrants. The response was incredible: From elaborately fondant-ed confections that honored children’s book characters and Pixar heroes to cakes that were stunning in simplicity (hello rainbow cake!), we saw them all. Ultimately our favorites were the ones that felt eminently doable for parents who don’t necessarily know how to manipulate a springform pan. There was one winner (who takes home this Kuhn Rikon Decorating Pen kit from Sur La Table as well as the new Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Leibowitz) and four runners-up. Of course, the real winners were those lucky little kids blowing out the candles.

Winner:

  • Frozen Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling and Ganache

    Frozen Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling and Ganache

    Can you imagine how excited a kid would be (or anyone actually) to see this cake placed in front of him? We love it for how it embraces such delightful messiness. I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who could get it wrong. It also doesn’t hurt that we are heading into the warm-weather month, and what better centerpiece for an outdoor birthday party than a frozen cake? You can read more details about how it is crafted at Cheri’s website, Kitchen Simplicity.

Runners-Up:

  • Purple Dragon Eating Flowers Cake

    Purple Dragon Eating Flowers Cake

    Our favorite thing about this one is that Bazan’s daughter actually requested “a purple dragon eating flowers” cake. Why not ask for what you want, right? Especially when you have a resourceful mom who can pull it off. Bazan found instructions for a fire-breathing dragon and made a few tweaks to make it her own.

  • Rainbow Cake

    Rainbow Cake

    We are such suckers for a rainbow cake. If you missed our shout-out to mom Lia for this one earlier in the month, here’s your chance to get up to speed.

  • Butterfly Cake

    Butterfly Cake

    When Rettke was charged with baking up something for her neighbor’s daughter the instructions were: “She likes butterflies, chocolate, and girly stuff.” I would say Rettke, who also runs the blog I am Baker and I am Mommy, can take direction. Check out the how-to here.

  • Fire Engine Cake

    Fire Engine Cake

    It was a family affair for this one: Laforte made this boxy little piece of art with her mother and brother-in-law (and it took an entire container of gel food coloring to get the red they wanted!). The cake has three layers of very moist chocolate cake and is topped with “crusty” buttercream icing.

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