close up photo of chocolate cake with colorful candles
Meg Flint Archives

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives Everyone Will Love

Birthday cake alternatives might sound like a strange idea to some, but they do exist. There are a lot of people like my husband that just don’t like cake that much. Despite my own personal love for all things cake and buttercream icing, I must admit that there are some really fun and creative birthday cake alternatives out there! Here are 10 that I found that I think are a must-try.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Creative Birthday Cake Alternatives Everyone Will Love
Photo Credit: Sugar Spun Run

Ice cream cone cupcakes are one of my favorite birthday cake alternatives. I have made them several times in the past. I love how fun and whimsical they can be when compared with normal birthday cake. Another thing that I love about them is their added layers of texture. You get the soft bite of the cake, the creamy goodness of the icing and the crunch from the cone. If you’re looking for a recipe to try, check out this Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes recipe by Sugar Spun Run.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Creative Birthday Cake Alternatives Everyone Will Love
Photo Credit: Sally McKenney

If you have never had a chocolate chip cookie cake before then you are missing out! I know I love cake, but I would gladly accept a chocolate chip cookie cake for my birthday any year. There is something magical about the soft, gooey chocolate chips topped with a small amount of icing. If you want to make a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake for your next birthday shindig then you should check out this recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Cinnamon Rolls Can Be a Great Birthday Cake Alternative

Creative Birthday Cake Alternatives
Photo Credit: Meg Flint

If you have been following me for a while now then you know that I have quite the love and admiration for cinnamon rolls. They are hands down one of my favorite desserts. Cinnamon rolls are also one of my favorite birthday cake alternatives. I myself have had cinnamon rolls for my birthday instead of a cake at least once in the last five years. If you love this alternative as much as I do, check out this post by Three Olives Branch featuring 20 unique cinnamon rolls.

Donuts as a Birthday Cake, Anyone?

hand lighting the candles on top of a donut
Photo by Kampus Production on

There are so many great ideas out there when it comes to using donuts as an alternative to birthday cakes. One great thing about using donuts instead of cake is that they are easy to find and buy on short notice. When using donuts as an alternative to birthday cake, you can arrange them in so many different ways. There’s the well-known donut board, the donut tier “cake” and the donuts on a stick, just to name a few. One cute idea that I really loved are these Rainbow donuts by Beyond the Butter!

Pie of All Kinds

baked strawberry pie
Photo by Cats Coming on

Pie is an awesome alternative to birthday cake because you can be so creative with it! There are an endless amount of flavor combinations and pie types out there, making it almost impossible to not please the birthday person. While I love a good fruit pie, I almost always associate them with the holidays. To switch it up a bit, check out this Birthday Cake Pie recipe from Everyday Pie. It still screams “birthday” without being cake.


Birthday Cake Alternatives Everyone Will Love
Photo by Andre saddi on

My husband almost always asks for brownies for his birthday. He is the type of person that only likes a small handful of cakes but prefers brownies over cake any day. If you end up using brownies as a birthday cake alternative, skip the box and try a new recipe. Yes, it’s the thought that counts. But brownies are so easy to make from scratch, I promise! You won’t regret it either. Check out this Monster Cookie Fudgy Brownie recipe from Stephanie’s Sweet Treats.

Whoopie Pies

Birthday Cake Alternatives Everyone Will Love
Photo Credit: Meg Flint

I’m not sure what it is, but there is something about whoopie pies that are just so magical and whimsical. For this reason they make a great alternative for birthday cake. Whoopie pies can be made in so many different ways and flavors. If the filling is too much, you can always swap it out for whipped cream. If you’re thinking about trying out whoopie pies for your next birthday, check out this collection of whoopie pie recipes.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

two ice cream cups
Photo by Teejay on

Everyone loves ice cream, right? I can’t think of anything more fun than an ice cream sundae bar. Everyone gets to pick their own toppings, making this the perfect alternative to a birthday cake. The other great thing about an ice cream sundae bar is that the possibilities are ENDLESS. You can include as many or as little toppings and other goodies that you want. If you need a little inspiration for set up, decor and toppings then you should check out Pinterest. There are so many great ideas on there!

Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

12 Birthday Cake Alternatives Everyone Will Love
Photo by Team Picsfast on

If you have never had a waffle ice cream sandwich then you are missing out! I’ve made them a few times myself and they really are a great treat. A waffle ice cream sandwich would make a great birthday cake alternative, especially in a smaller, more intimate setting. Whether you want to make the waffles yourself or buy them frozen, it’ll taste good either way. If you need some ideas, check out this post from Let’s Eat Cake.

Birthday Cake Scones

Photo Credit: One Little Project

I actually really like this idea! As a fan of scones, I can see birthday cake scones being a wonderful birthday cake alternative. Scones aren’t typically over-the-top sweet, and they’re great with a cup of coffee or tea. These would be great for a birthday breakfast or an after-dinner treat. If you love this idea as much as I do, head on over to One Little Project for their Birthday Cake Scone recipe.

So Many Other Birthday Cake Alternatives

When I first started researching birthday cake alternatives I was actually kind of shocked at just how many ideas are out there! I saw things like trifles, cheesecakes, cake pops….you can kind of see where I’m going with this. So if you or the person that you love isn’t a birthday cake fan, that’s okay! Head on over to the web or Pinterest boards, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll find something like you like instead.

What’s your favorite birthday cake alternative? Let me know in the comments below!