Birthday Cake Guide

A birthday isn't a birthday without a cake, but choosing the best cake for the occasion can be a little tricky with so much to choose from. Here's my guide to the best types of birthday cakes for each special occasion.

Baby Cakes

Oh Baby, baby! Baby cakes are a big trend right now from before birth to one year old. There are baby shower cakes, gender reveal cakes, christening/ceremony cakes right up to the big first birthday. Technically, not all of these are birthday cakes but they do celebrate specific age related events.  Baby shower cakes tend to be fun and ceremony cakes a little more formal. The big trend at the moment is rose gold guilding and big cake toppers.


For something very special, you can never go wrong with a two-tiered first birthday cake surrounded with huge balloons to celebrate making it through the first 12 months.


16th & 21st Birthday Cakes

For those who are Sweet 16 or have been given the 'key to the door' on their 21st birthday (ah those were the days).  Historically covered with fondant but more recently trending towards 'elegance' and strength with sharp edged ombre/watercolour cakes with stripes and marbling.

For the girls, sweet 16 tends to be pastels, stripes and hearts. Funnily enough you don't tend to see a cake for a boys 16th birthday - strange but true. However, you cold go for the ever popular drip cake with a whopping '16' cake topper.  Big cake toppers are the 'in thing' and there are some great acrylic toppers out there.


Cakes for men feature darker colours including black/gold/navy blue whereas cakes for women still feature gold, but with white/pink accents.  Icing tends to be buttercream or ganache in preference to fondant (so much tastier!).


cake by

30th Birthday Cakes

The 30th birthday is the new 21st. Now it's time to celebrate the end of the 20s and focus more on family life. (Yeah, right!). 30th birthday cakes for females are much more elegant now with ornate buttercream flowers and decoration. The taller the cake, the more fashionable too. However, the rustic and semi-naked cake is also very popular. This is a crumb coated layer cake often decorated with fruit or flowers for that chic, 'earthy' look.


For a male 3oth birthday the colour scheme still focusses on the dark side but more inclined to be themed around their interests such as rugby,  golf, technology etc.



40th Birthday Cakes

Definitely something trendy and in tune with the celebrant's personality is popular for the 40th birthday.  Tall, single or multi-tier cakes with smooth lines either hand painted with beautiful flowers, designs or even life-like portraits. 

A 40th birthday most often brings large gatherings of family and friends to celebrate the big day. Nothing can beat a fabulously unique cake taking center stage to become the talking point of the event.

This cake has been hand painted with buttercream providing some great texture as well as colour.

ganache with buttercream paint cake.jpg

cake by petit Crumb

50th Birthday Cakes

For the 50th, sparkles or gold or silver tend to feature somewhere in the design and the cake should definitely feature the big '50' number somewhere in the mix.

Cakes for this age tend to be either funny or extravagant.  Either 'holy crap, you're 50' or smothered in gold leaf and ornate flowers. (I prefer the gold leaf option). 


However there is also the pure, minimalist look that is gaining in popularity with pure simple colours, no intricate piping and sometimes just a fresh flower or two on the top. The covering on the cake has to be perfect with sharp, clear lines and edges and, to be honest,  this isn't the easiest of cakes to decorate!


cake by CraftyChicCakes

60th Birthday Cakes

This cake with textured and painted icing, wrapped in a dramatic layer or dark chocolate ganache is elegance itself and just perfect for the 60th birthday celebration.

Suitable for both male and female this design makes an incredible center piece for the birthday celebrations, no matter what the location.