9 Best 60th Birthday Cakes in 3 Categories + the Best Gift Ideas
The 60th birthday marks an important milestone in a person’s life. There is therefore hardly a better occasion to surprise the birthday boy or girl with a cake that is not only delicious but also special. Here you’ll find some great ideas.
Did you know that a person’s 60th birthday is sometimes called their ‘diamond jubilee’? People think of it as the start of their golden years, often leaving behind work and major responsibilities. Celebrating a 60th birthday is an important milestone, and what better way to start with than a great birthday cake?
60th Birthday Cake Ideas for Him
It goes without saying that a 60th birthday cake should be something special. It’s the perfect opportunity to craft something that’s both honoring the person celebrating and, if you like, adding a bit of humor. Below are some great birthday cake ideas that any man celebrating their special 60th will love.
Black and White Photo Cake
You can either make this cake yourself or have baker do it for you. Let us share a secret with you though: It looks a lot more elaborate than it is to make. Start by baking our simple recipe below but dividing it into one 7” pan and one 9”. Frost the cake smoothly using white buttercream.
Buy printed sugar sheets online. You can have anything printed on these, but a collage of favorite black and white photos of the birthday boy looks classy. Wrap these around your frosted cake and gently smooth them until they stick. Add a simple white ‘60’ cake topper or candle on top of your cake.
Saturday Night Fever Cake
This cake is for the fun-loving dad or grandad celebrating his funky 60th. Start by baking a square-shaped cake from our basic recipe below. Add chocolate to make it more indulgent than our basic vanilla recipe, and frost between the layers and all over using chocolate buttercream.
Next, create the dance floor from multi-colored smarties. Add one or two readymade fondant dancers or have a go at crafting these yourself. You can make the male dancer look like the birthday boy. Top tip: Use skewers inside the limbs to make them stand up better.
Cruising into 60 Cake
This is a hilarious cake for the birthday boy who is also retiring around about now. It’s a little trickier to make than our other ideas, but very much worth it.
Start by baking our basic cake recipe below, then use a paper stencil to cut out the shape of a large cruise liner. Frost with buttercream of your choice, then use thinly rolled out fondant to cover your ship.
Add fondant windows and accessories such as life buoys and little people. Top with a ‘60’ flag and write their name in icing on the front of the ship. For an extra special touch they’ll never forget, make this cake the hint for a special birthday trip gift.
60th Birthday Cake Ideas for Her
Birthday cakes are always special, but hardly more so than for a special lady’s 60th. This is the time to really gret creative and showcase what she means to you.
Make a cake that is both delicious and celebrates who she is as a person. Better yet, make your cake part of her gift like the cruise liner cake above.
Floral Number 60 Cake
This is a really simple design, but one that will be a showstopper all the same. Start by baking our basic recipe, but double it up if you’re wanting two very large numbers. Bake two rectangular cakes or two each if you’re wanting to frost between them or fill them with jam.
Next, cut out a large six and a large zero using a paper stencil and a sharp knife. Frost both cakes using a buttercream of your choice. Add fondant flowers all over and draw foliage and stems using green icing.
Cup of Tea Cake
An easy cake but a rewarding one all the same if you make it yourself. Start by baking our basic recipe in two round 9” cake tins and cool to room temperature. Next, cut the shape of a large cup of tea, rounding the cake slightly towards the bottom but not so much that it topples over.
Frost completely using a dark buttercream, for example milk chocolate or toffee. Roll out sheets of white fondant to a medium thickness and cover the sides of the cake, leaving a small edge over the top — the rim of the cup.
Add a fondant handle, and decorate with a number 60 candle. You may flavor our basic recipe with added earl grey tea or coffee granules, for a cup of coffee cake.
The garden cake is perfect for the woman who loves her plants. Bake our basic recipe into either a square or round cake and cool to room temperature. Frost with a semi-sweet or dark chocolate buttercream for the soil. You can be a little messy with this, which just adds to the rustic charm of the cake.
Add green fondant ‘grass’ and sugar paste flowers of your choice. You may even wish to create the birthday girl out of fondant icing. Don’t forget a large number ‘60’ topper or candle.
This cake goes wonderfully with a garden party, as well as gifts for the garden, such as a special tree to commemorate her birthday.
Simple 60th Birthday Cake Designs
The best designs are ones that really showcase the birthday boy or girl’s personality and what they like. To achieve this, you don’t need to be overly elaborate or spend hours in the kitchen. We’ve compiled a few easy design ideas you can do at home, even if you aren’t a MasterChef.
Rustic Buttercream with Lots of Flavor
A cake that tastes great will go a long way. Start by baking our basic recipe below, then whip up your favorite buttercream. Buttercream is great as it adds tons of flavor even in its most basic vanilla form, but it’s also versatile.
Try adding different essences such as almond, orange, or even rose to your buttercream. You may even color it using a little bit of food coloring. Spread on liberally for a slightly rustic, but very delicious finish.
You may not be thinking that this is much of a design in itself, but it’s very popular for weddings, so why shouldn’t it be for a 60th birthday?
Printed Sugar Sheets
As we’ve mentioned in our Black and White Photo cake for him earlier on in this article, you can easily get printed sugar sheets online. They’re great for wrapping around a cake or as a flat cake topper.
You can get creative by making a photo collage or paying an artist to illustrate the person celebrating. You may even wish to depict some of their favorite hobbies or future plans. Just don’t be tempted to print sugar sheets yourself unless you have an edible ink printer at home.
Some of the prettiest designs still come from nature. You can whip up our rustic buttercream design above, then decorate your cake using fruits and edible flowers. Some great edible choices include dandelion, daisies, roses, borage, and lavender.
Just be mindful that you source these organically, ideally from your own garden, to avoid pesticides. A cake topped with a variety of berries and roses will look as beautiful as any design from a professional bakery.
Alternatives to a 60th Birthday Cake
Not everyone loves cake, and not everyone can have plenty of sweet baking. Below, we offer some scrumptious alternatives.
Cupcakes are always a wonderful choice as an alternative to cake. They’re easier for sharing and can be frosted quickly, using a choice of colorful buttercreams.
You can use our basic cake recipe below to create 24 delicious cupcakes. Just bake for a slightly shorter amount of time and check to ensure they’re just browned and springy.
A cheese platter is a great alternative for those who either really do not like sweets or can’t have them. You may even wish to incorporate this into your present by gifting a personalised wooden chopping board they can keep.
Decorate with lots of different local and international cheeses, as well as jams, honey, and bits of charcuterie.
Another one for those who don’t have a big sweet tooth. A selection of savory bakes is an easy alternative that’ll be readily received. Some great choices are quiche, cold pies, sausage rolls, or Spanish omelette. These make a fun addition to a picnic-themed party as well, and most can be prepared in advance.
Happy 60th Birthday: Best Quotes and Captions
The best captions come from the heart. If you can’t think of anything particularly witty or unique to say, just go with a personal message instead. Heartfelt words that show your affection and respect go a long way.
If you’d still like a funny little quote to add to your message, here are some of our favorites:
- “60? Don’t panic! You’ve still got it. The hard part is remembering where it is.”
- “Turning 60 means you have six whole decades of life experience. I know who I’m asking the next time I need some good advice. Happy birthday oh wise one!”
- “Happy orbit day! I hope your trip around the sun wasn’t too tiring at your age. Today you’re celebrating 60 years of laughter, love, and wonderful, beautiful you!”
- “You’re not 60 years old, you’re 60 years wise.”
- “Your 60th birthday is the start of something magical: Senior discounts on everything!”
60th Birthday Gift Ideas
It may feel incredibly tempting to get something tacky and generic for their 60th birthday. If you search for 60th birthday gift ideas, you’ll find an avalanche of ‘60’ posters, quote cards, and number 60 charms.
Skip these and go for something a little more unique and sophisticated instead. Below we’ll tell you some of our top suggestions for a great 60th birthday gift.
A special piece of jewelry or a watch are great choices for both men and women. If these are outside your budget, try and get one great gift together with other family or friends.
It’s better to get something really special they’ll actually like, rather than lots of little items that will end up in a charity shop the year after. Both watches and jewelry are good choices as these can be engraved with a special message. In the case of jewelry, you could also choose to add the person’s birthstone.
Another unique gift that will get a lot of love is an appliance they’ve been wanting for a long time. A great coffee machine is a good choice, and that coffee will go wonderfully with your homemade birthday cake.
And for the person who has everything, an experience is always welcome. A voucher for a special meal or activity they may not otherwise have done are great choices. These can also be shared at a later date, meaning more special times together.
And if you really must get the tacky 60th thing, just make it a birthday card. Funny cards with a personal message as well as one of our quotes above are good as an add on.
60th Birthday Party Ideas
What makes a good party depends entirely on the person celebrating their birthday. A 60th birthday is a big milestone, but not everyone loves a big party. As long as there’s a great birthday cake and loved faces around, you can’t go wrong. For everything else, here are some of our top tips:
A garden party is always lovely. If the birthday falls in the summer months, you really can’t go wrong with celebrating outside.
Start with some of their favorite foods and cake, and spread out picnic blankets and large outdoor cushions for the younger guests. Balloons in bright colors make a great backdrop, as do some favorite flowers.
For a more elegant do, host a 60th birthday party in a hotel ballroom or rented hall. Go all out with a big photo backdrop made of balloons and flowers.
Decorate each table with photos of special memories of the person’s 60 years to date. If they enjoy a big event, have speeches by some special family members. Make sure to include tissues on every table.
Basic Recipe for a 60th Birthday Cake: A Simple Guide
Below is a very basic recipe you’ll be able to use time and time again. Feel free to make some substitutions if they have dietary restrictions you need to follow: Milk may be substituted for almond or oat milk, eggs for yogurt or aquafaba, and butter for coconut butter or oil.
Those with a gluten intolerance can replace the flour with their favorite gluten free flour.
Whip up a batch of your favorite homemade buttercream or cover with a storebought alternative, then replicate one of our easy design ideas above.
- 2 ¼ cups self-raising flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup salted butter
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 3 medium eggs
Here’s how you do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Meanwhile, coat two 9” cake tins or one 9”x13” pan with a cooking oil of your choice or butter.
- Whip the sugar and butter with a mixer until creamy and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, stir the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until evenly combined.
- Gradually mix the creamed butter with the egg mixture and flour until it forms a smooth batter.
- Pour the cake batter into your greased pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until softly browned and springy to the touch. Bear in mind that if you are making cupcakes instead, these will take a little less time.
- Allow your cake to cool to room temperature then add your frosting and any decorations.