9th June 2016

Achievable birthday cake ideas

It’s usually the most stressful baking project of the year, but Katie Bryson gives us three ideas that have a low effort to high glory ratio

  1. The pizza cake

This is the perfect cake if you’re having your kid’s party at a pizza restaurant, or if like me your child’s favourite food is pizza! It’s so simple it’s a pizza cake *coughs*.


For the cake

175g butter, softened

175g caster sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g self raising flour

1 tbsp milk

For the topping

1/2 jar raspberry jam, for the pizza sauce

8 ferrero rocher, for the meatballs

25g white chocolate, grated, for the cheese

green and yellow jelly beans for the peppers

black jelly beans sliced in half for olives


  1. For the cake: grease and line a 24cm round cake tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten egg a bit at a time until fully combined, then stir through the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in the flour until fully blended and then beat in the milk for a lighter batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin, smooth the surface with a spatula and then bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the sponge clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For the topping: spread the surface of the cooled cake with a good layer of the jam, leaving a rim all the way around to act as the pizza crust.
  5. Dot the ferrero rocher around to be the meatballs. Scatter the green and yellow jelly beans to act as the slices of pepper, the black halved jelly beans for olives then finish off with a liberal scattering of grated white chocolate for the final cheesy topping. If you can get hold of a pizza box, it’s a great way to serve it up!
  6. The pinterest-friendly sprinkle number cake

The beauty of this cake is it’s simplicity. Two layers of fluffy sponge encased in pale buttercream, topped with a stencilled scattering of multicoloured sprinkles in the shape of a number – it’s very aesthetically pleasing.


Make the same victoria sponge recipe as the pizza cake above, but make two.

For the frosting

250g unsalted butter, softened

500g icing sugar

For a citrus spin add the juice and zest of a lemon, if that’s not your thing then a drop or two of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of milk is also nice.


  1. Bake the cakes according to the recipe above and allow to cool completely.
  2. To make the frosting use a mixer to combine the butter, icing sugar, lemon juice and zest (or vanilla and milk) until super creamy and light.
  3. Spread the top of each sponge with a smooth layer of frosting and carefully place one on top of the other. Then slather the sides with the remaining frosting using a large palette knife for a smooth finish.
  4. For the decoration – choose pretty multi-coloured sprinkles or match to the colour scheme of the party.
  5. Make your template with an old cereal packet. Draw around the cake tin to get the correct-sized circle and then draw the required number and cut it out. Place lightly on top of your frosted cake and scatter liberally with sprinkles. Lift off the stencil and you’re done!

Tip: for mini versions you could do the same thing with cupcakes and use a number-shaped cookie cutter as a stencil, or again just make your own using card.

  1. The lazy but effective action figure cake

It might not impress Mary Berry, but the kids will love it. Make the cake of your choosing… any cake will do, frankly you could just buy a bog standard frosted tray bake from the supermarket. Then recreate a scene using your child’s favourite action figures. I made a gigantic chocolate tray bake one year and landed a load of lego Star Wars ships and figures into it and the kids LOVED it. Very little stress, lots of compliments from the little people. Result.

@mushmums @_katiebryson


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