Easy Ways to Make Your Own Birthday Cake

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by on August 4, 2010

Thanks to Corrie at “Cents”able Momma for sharing how she makes these incredible birthday cakes! I think she may have inspired me…

IMG_9064 edit blog_opt Since I grew up watching my mom make my birthday cakes, I knew that I wanted to make my boys’ birthday cakes also.

Besides being something special that I can do for them each year, it really is a frugal way to celebrate a birthday. I can usually purchase a cake mix for about $1 on sale, plus I make my own butter cream frosting.

Problem is…how do you create a fun cake if you’re not a professional?

Some of the cutest ideas are really quite simple

As each birthday approaches, I ask my boys what kind of a cake they would like. My 4 year old was really into Buzz Lightyear for his last birthday, so I did a quick internet search for Buzz Lightyear cakes. One of my favorite sites for finding ideas is Coolest Birthday Cakes.

There were tons of cute ideas, and I ended up making a simple 9×13 cake with a “planet” on top made using a Pyrex bowl. I frosted each section to make it look like a planet and space and simply added a Buzz Lightyear figure and spaceship to the top.

If you don’t happen to already own a figure that would work, you can purchase a figure and add it to the cake at the last minute as an additional present for your child.

IMG_0801 edit_opt Decorate the Cake with Your Kids

If your children are old enough, brainstorm ideas with your child and let them help you decorate the cake. My nieces and nephews have had a blast decorating their own cakes in the past. They may not turn out perfect, but isn’t it the fun that counts?

Other Ideas

  • Fancy Cake Pan – if you’re not especially creative, you can use a fancy cake pan made especially for the cake theme. Usually if you can follow directions and do a basic star with a frosting tip, you can create one of these cakes.
  • Buttercream Transfer – if you want to keep the cake relatively simple, you can do a Buttercream Transfer. Basically, you trace a page from a coloring book and then fill it in with frosting. Then, you simply lay the pattern on top of the cake. You can find detailed directions here.

Corrie is a SAHM to 2 energetic boys and the owner of “Cents”able Momma. She loves to help her readers save money on everything from birthday cakes to groceries, as well as offering frugal living tips, great deals, and methods to earn some extra money.

Have you made your own birthday cakes? How have they turned out? What are your suggestions?


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  • I’ve done the (new) action figures and small toys on top of a plain homemade cake before. I remember one, years ago, my son wanted a Lion King party–it was easy to buy the figures and some theme plates and napkins. I miss those days!
    .-= Charlene @ A Virtuous Woman´s last blog ..Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe =-.

  • Pingback: Easy Ways to Make Your Own Birthday Cake | Daily Money Saving Ideas()

  • Sara W

    I LOVE making my own cakes for my son’s birthday and am hoping to expand to other holidays and things too. Not only is it SO much cheaper, but it is a fun way to use your creativity and create family traditions. I found a GREAT book with ideas too that I am super excited to try out. Here’s some pictures and book info on my blog:

  • Ice cream cakes can be really easy to make for non-bakers or summer birthdays, too. Crushing up Oreo-type cookies and stirring in melted hot fudge sauce will give you something similar to the crusts you’ll find on commercial ones, and that, or a recipe of brownies, in a springform pan, with softened ice cream on top adds up to your cake. You can put icing or melted chocolate on top, or more cookie crumbs, and put in your candles before the ice cream’s completely hard.

  • I used action figures for my son’s Toy Story birthday this year. Not only does it really help to bring the cake together, but it becomes a gift in itself.

    Obviously making a cake yourself can save a lot of money too. I wanted to use a marshmallow fondant so I went online and found recipes and tutorials. I made 3 practice cakes (not really money saving but my employees appreciated it) until I got the hang of using the fondant.

    Now I’ve learned a new skill that will help me when making cakes and treats in the future too.

    Here’s a link to the cake.


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