19 Best Girl’s Birthday Cakes + 9 Essential Baking Steps
Whether it’s for your little toddler or an angsty teenager, birthday parties for girls are incomplete without a cake. Often, the birthday cake is the most crucial part of the celebration – so you really can’t afford to mess this one up. Here you will find 22 beautiful ideas for a girl’s birthday cake.
When choosing a cake for a girl’s birthday, it’s important to consider her age, preferences, and what’s popular at the moment. If you get all these factors right, the event will go off without a hitch. If a special girl in your life is celebrating her birthday soon but you still have no idea what cake to prepare, this guide is here to give you some ideas.
Best Ideas for a Girl’s Birthday Cake
Does your little one have a birthday coming up? These cake ideas divedeep into the realm of magic and are sure to be a massive hit with the birthday celebrant.
Add fun to her big day and give her a great childhood birthday party that she’ll always look back on fondly. In the next chapters you will find beautiful ideas like a princess castle cake or a colorful mermaid cake.
Princess Castle Cake
What’s a better way to treat a girl like royalty than with a princess castle cake? These beautiful fantasy desserts are popular for a reason: they’re easy to make, look impressive, and are customizable to suit your princess’s preferences. Plus, with the abundance of princess characters in mainstream media, she’s bound to love something magical.
Taking another dive into magical creatures, unicorn cakes are a favorite choice for girls’ birthdays. To prepare the cake, simply start with a white frosted cake base, then add a candy or cone horn, little fondant ears, and a majestic mane of colored frosting. Add cute eyes to the side of the cake as well to take things to the next level.
You’ll also have the freedom of choosing your color palette. The unicorn could take on the birthday girl’s favorite color or something else entirely, such as a color that matches the celebration theme. Consider adding flowers, rainbows, and other charming decorative details to heighten the cake’s adorable appeal.
Having a party under the sea? A mermaid cake will tie in perfectly and surely delight both the birthday girl and her guests.
One popular and easy-to-make style of mermaid cake involves simply taking a blue frosted cake and then putting a tail decoration on top. This will then give the appearance of a mermaid diving into the dessert.
Add important underwater details such as fish, bubbles, or seaweed to the cake’s sides. If you’re able to, design splashing waves or a ripple effect around the tail to elevate the cake’s appearance and sell the illusion really well.
The more ambitious types can try having the mermaid perched atop the cake as if it’s a rock in the ocean. To do this, consider getting custom mermaid cake decorations or sticking a Barbie doll waist-deep into the cake.
Ballerina / Ballet Cake
Baking for a little one who loves to dance? Why not get them a ballerina cake for their big day? Ballet cakes usually stick to soft white and pink frosting tones, which are then topped with some fondant ballet flats or a little dancer decoration.
Tap into your creativity and experiment by adding features such as a tutu made of frosting (or cotton candy) fringing the edge of the cake, edible “ribbons”, or little ballerina bars sticking on the cake.
Depending on your skill level, ballerina cakes can be as simple or as intricate as you like – making them a great choice for the occasion. These cakes are also excellent if you’re unsure about whether your baking time will be cut short.
Her Favorite Character Cake
For something really special, try a cake that’s patterned off of your little girl’s favorite character. By personalizing the cake, you’re showing her that you care a lot about the things that she loves. Decorating this type of cake depends on her favorite character, of course, but here are some key tips to consider:
- Keep it simple, especially if you’re new to cake decoration and making this one yourself. Having a matching colored cake with decorations of her favorite character is much better than having the whole cake that’s unrecognizable.
- Add some hidden details. Just looking at the cake will become an event in itself as your little one discovers her character’s pet, bestie, or other details on the sides of the cake or in the frosting.
- Try tracing. A super easy way to make a character cake (especially if it’s a cartoon one) is by simply printing out an image of the character and tracing it out onto wax paper. Then, flip your wax paper over (drawing face down) and trace over the impression with icing. Pop it into the freezer until it sets, add it to your cake, and you’re good to go.
Unique Birthday Cakes for a Baby Girl
If you’re making a cake for a younger girl, you’ll want it to be cute, simple, and hopefully not too messy. Here are some of the most popular options to make your baby girl’s birthday just perfect.
You can choose for example between a strawberry Shortcake or a my little pony cake. Another cute idea is to celebrate your baby’s birthday like a tea party and create a special cake for it.
Strawberry shortcake is the perfect choice for a birthday, especially during the spring or summer. Individual little shortcakes with delicious fresh strawberries are an amazing treat and don’t contain too much sugar either. Additionally, having single servings means toddlers can get portions that are sized just for them and don’t make a mess out of the shared dessert.
If you want a more traditional cake, try making a big strawberry “shortcake” by layering vanilla or lemon cakes with fresh strawberries and cream or frosting. The main advantage of this approach is that it doesn’t take too much time. This simple cake will come out looking charming and is sure to be popular among kids and adults alike.
Garden Tea Party Cake
Garden tea party cakes are another one of those decorative styles where you can choose something simple or go all out. For this cake, start by making a lovely white cake with some floral icing features which will function as the base for delectable decorations. Serve the cake with fruit, macarons, or other dainty delights to really emulate a charming garden vibe.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can try decorating your cake to look like a teapot or a tea set with cups and saucers. You could even have the teapot “pouring” icing or candies if you’re feeling particularly fancy. Make sure to use plenty of cake dowels to hold the “teapot” layer at an appropriate angle to really sell this effect.
My Little Pony Cake
Lots of little girls just love My Little Pony – is yours one of them? For her next birthday, make an easy My Little Pony cake using the same method as the unicorn cake mentioned previously.
This one just requires you to frost the cake using a color that matches your chosen pony, but don’t add a horn; add the pony’s “cutie mark” to the side of the cake for that extra bit of detail.
There are lots of different ways to make a My Little Pony cake, however. For instance, you could decorate a traditional cake with lots of ponies at the top and on the sides, or even carve a pony outline from a sheet cake and decorate it with different candy. This works especially well for Rainbow Dash: simply grab a bag of M&M’s or Skittles instead of having to dye lots of different frosting colors.
Baby Animals Cake
What could be cuter than a baby animals cake for your own baby? These adorable cakes work really well for younger kids’ birthday parties and are sure to create sweet photo ops as well. If your little one has a favorite animal, adding it to the cake is a great opportunity to show her that you listen.
You can also feature a range of baby animals by either frosting them yourself or getting a decoration pack. Lots of these cakes stick to a certain group of animals, such as baby farm animals, baby pets, or baby zoo animals.
More specific themes, such as forest creatures or polar animals, also work well. Just make sure that your base frosting color makes sense for the group of animals you’re going for.
Birthday Cakes for Teenage Girls
Planning a birthday for a teenager is a daunting task. Everything has to be just right or it will be “the end of the world”. That’s why picking out the right birthday cake is all the more important and will go a long way in helping the day go smoothly for everyone.
It’s especially nice if you design the birthday cake according to the birthday girl’s favorite colors. A personal touch shows that you know the teenager well.
Cookie Butter Cake
This dessert-ception is a trendy and delicious cake flavor that takes things beyond the usual chocolate versus vanilla debate. Typically made with Biscoff cookies, this dessert infuses the amazing buttery richness of cookie flavor with the satisfying fluffy cake texture.
Starting with your normal vanilla cake base, add in some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or cookie crumbs for extra immersion. Then, frost the cake with cookie butter buttercream or even plain cookie butter. Finally, top the dessert with some whole and crumbled cookies, and you’re good to go.
While cookie butter is available in most large grocery stores, you can also make it yourself. Simply combine cookie crumbs, water, and golden syrup and heat until the crumbs dissolve completely. For a creamy and smooth texture, blend some coconut oil (or other fat of your choice).
Having a movie night or a film-themed party? A popcorn cake works extremely well to tie the theme together. For a classic popcorn cake, frost any round cake with the traditional red and white vertical stripes found on popcorn containers, and then top it all with sweet or buttery popcorn.
If you want something a little different and slightly more sophisticated, opt for a caramel corn cake instead. Pairing this salty-sweet delight with caramel or chocolate buttercream will please even the pickiest teenager’s tastebuds. Top the cake with some popcorn and drizzle everything with sweet caramel goodness.
Add a fun surprise to your kiddo’s big day with a piñata cake full of candy or other goodies that spill out when you slice it. To make these cakes, simply prepare a multi-layer cake as you normally would.
Then, cut out around a four-inch wide circle from all but one of your layers. Assemble the bottom layers so that the center holes align, fill it to the brim with your filling, add the top layer, and frost the cake.
No one will suspect the hidden surprise until after the candles are blown out and the cake is cut. Small candies like M&Ms, Nerds, or Reese’s Pieces are the typical piñata cake fillings you’d want to use. However, you can also use other sweets, small toys, or anything that can be hygienically packaged inside the cake.
Camera or Film Cake
Got a girl with a passion for photography? Foster that creative growing mind with a camera cake. Realistic-looking, camera-shaped cakes take some skill to pull off, so be ready for a lot of precision carving, crumb layers, and perilous fondant application. The result is absolutely incredible though, so it’s definitely worth it if you’re up for the task.
There are easier ways to make a cake for your little photography buff though. For instance, you could go for a cartoonish camera or a 2D image on top of a standard cake. A cake featuring her favorite photographs that she’s taken or ones of her and her friends or family will also be deeply appreciated.
Sweet 16 Birthday Cakes
A girl celebrating her sweet 16 is someone who is marking the all-important transition from their goofy, teenage years to becoming a more mature adult. Because of how significant these birthdays are, it’s important to celebrate the occasion with a glamorous cake that perfectly captures this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Show the birthday girl you know her well with a thoughtful cake. For example, incorporate her favorite candy or her favorite color.
Make your cake into a full centerpiece by adding festive balloons. To make the presentation even better, stick to a cohesive color scheme; pink and black or gold and white are timeless options to go for. Having big “16” balloons jutting out of the top of the cake also makes for a perfect frame to pose pictures with.
If you’re looking for an easy way to turn a cake into a showstopper, try making a glitter cake. Simply purchase edible glitter and coat the outside before adding any decorations for a sparkling and eye-catching dessert. For a sleeker look, use cake shimmer dust for a subtle but still fabulous shine effect.
Modern Birthday Cakes for Girls
Are you interested in preparing a gorgeous, trendy, and super photographable cake for your girl’s birthday? Then you should look no further than these modern birthday cakes.
These designs are not only beautiful and delicious, but they’re also easy to make.
The drip cake’s stunning appearance might make it look artsy, but it’s actually quite easy to pull off. Simply make a standard cake of your choice, frost it smoothly in a plain color, and then use a squeeze bottle or piping bag to pour flowing frosting along the edge of the top of the cake.
The end result is a delicious treat with frosting that elegantly drips down the sides. Here’s a pro tip: it’ll be much easier to get a consistent drip pattern if you have a spinnable cake stand, though the design is still achievable even without one.
Create a cake with mesmerizing swirling marble patterns to really impress your kid and guests. A marbled cake traditionally uses chocolate and vanilla cake batter, but any two (or more) batters whose colors enjoy high contrast will still do nicely. Simply fill your cake pan halfway with the lighter color, add dollops of the darker shade, and gently pull through with a spatula or skewer while making sure that you don’t completely mix them.
You can also create a stunning marble effect solely by using buttercream frosting. Get three different shades of frosting (such as white, light blue, and darker blue, as opposed to completely random ones), lightly fold them together, and then apply them thickly to the outside of your cake. After freezing the cake for around fifteen minutes, simply scrape off the outer layer of icing to reveal the beautiful marbling underneath.
The naked cake’s popularity is likely due to its rustic charm and simple pared-down beauty. It’s probably the easiest modern birthday cake to make because it needs significantly less work than a standard cake. Just frost in between the layers of your cake (and on the top as well if you like), but leave the frosting off of the sides.
This creates a lovely visual effect thanks to the visible contrast between the cake and icing layers. As such, this is a great choice for those who don’t like as much frosting on their cakes. Naked cakes are often served with fruit or designed with floral decor to emphasize their natural, simple feel.
The ombre cake is another easy-to-decorate stunner. All you need for a classic ombre cake is one food dye and a lot of white frosting. Start by separating the frosting into as many different bowls as you’d like and add a tiny bit more dye to each bowl, creating a spectrum of colors. Stack the colors vertically along the cake and then smooth them out, creating a gorgeous gradient effect.
Alternatives to Girl’s Birthday Cakes
While birthday cakes are almost always part of the tradition of the celebration, there are years when you or the celebrant might prefer something a little bit different. To capture the spirit of the occasion while also doing away with the usual cake, have a look at the following birthday treat ideas.
Maybe your daughter prefers cupcakes or is a big fan of macarons. In any case, there is also a suitable alternative for your girl.
Cupcakes or Mini Cupcakes
If you want cake but aren’t really interested in a cake, opt for cupcakes or mini-cupcakes instead. These cute treats can be made with almost any normal cake batter recipe, and they cook in less time as well. In particular, cupcakes are an excellent choice for younger kids’ birthdays when appetites might be smaller. For slightly older kids, cupcakes also double as a fun decorating activity.
Dessert Charcuterie Board
If your girl is more of a snacker and isn’t particularly interested in a classic cake, a dessert charcuterie board is a fun and trendy birthday treat to try.
Simply get a large chopping board (or designated charcuterie board if you have one) and fill it with sweet treats like chocolates, gummies, cookies, brownies, and fruits. Other dippers include pretzels, marshmallows, and apple slices, all of which pair well with chocolate or caramel dipping sauces.
For a dainty tea party or a Paris-themed birthday (or for anyone who’d like them), macarons are a fun treat that most people typically don’t get every day. Because of this, macarons are excellent alternatives for those who want something that’s a little less ordinary. These sweet, little meringue sandwich cookies will be popular for a girl’s birthday thanks to their cuteness, fun colors, and range of different flavors.
Basic Recipe For A Girl’s Birthday Cake: A Simple Guide
You now have some ideas for the types of cakes to make, but how do you even get started? Here, we’ll explore a basic guide to making a standard cake.
Note, however, that measurements and even prep time may vary depending on the cake’s recipe and the batch size.
At the end you can decorate the cake according to your taste. Add the favorite sweets of the birthday girl and of course candles according to the age of the girl.
Preheat Oven to 350°F
By fully preheating the oven, you’re making sure that the cake cooks evenly and that you’d be following accurate bake times. As a rule of thumb: ovens take at least 12 minutes to reach the desired temperature, so don’t be afraid to crank the heat up while preparing your cake. The standard temperature for most cakes is 350ºF, but check your recipe just in case.
Grease and Flour Cake Pans
This is a crucial step. If you fail to do this, your cake might stick to the pan and come out imperfectly; in the worst-case scenario, your cake might not even come out of the pan at all. Excess flour can just be brushed off after baking, but it won’t be noticeable under the icing anyway.
Mix Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt
Ensure your dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed to prevent little pockets of flavor or leavening agent. Sifting your ingredients is a good way to ensure a smooth batter and a cake with a fine crumb.
Although sifting is time-consuming and even tiring, you’re much better off putting in the effort to guarantee a good result.
In the next step you beat in butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Beat in Butter and Sugar, Eggs, and Vanilla
Combine your butter and sugar together in a separate bowl (or stand mixer) and beat until the texture is consistent. Then, add your eggs and vanilla, followed by your pre-prepared dry ingredients.
Add Milk and Mix until Smooth
At this stage, it’s best to stir gently. If you overmix the batter, your cake might come out too tough. Not particularly interested in milk? Substitute it for cream or half and half mixed with water.
Pour Batter into Pans
Gently fill your pans to about two-thirds full to allow room for your cakes to rise. If you see air bubbles forming, carefully drop your cake pan about an inch above the counter to pop them. Doing this will lead to a more uniform cake texture.
Bake for 25–30 Minutes
Or as your recipe advises. You can check if a cake is done by putting a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake. You want the skewer to have a few moist crumbs sticking to it, but there should be no wet batter.
Let Cake Cool Completely
Trying to frost a cake too soon will lead to melted frosting, burnt hands, and a lot of frustration. Instead of riding your excitement and immediately frosting or decorating the cake, it’s best to first allow it to cool completely. Pop the cakes out of the pan and onto a cooling rack after a few minutes to speed up the cooling process.
Add Frosting and Decorations
Once the cake has cooled, you now have free rein to do anything you like. It’s here that you get to unleash your creativity. If you want a smooth, finished look on your cake, consider adding a crumb coat (a thin layer of frosting) first and chilling the cake for a bit before diving in.