Top Birthday Cakes and Other Special Birthday Desserts

Not everyone wants a traditional cake for their birthday. I've got a friend who just loves this brownie recipe I make. My mother-in-law would prefer a Pecan Pie and my father-in-law a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie.

Here are some traditional and not-so-traditional desserts for your birthday celebrations.

  • 01 of 13

    Traditional Birthday Cakes

    Birthday cake
    sozaijiten/Datacraft/Getty Images

    My tastes seem to change every couple of years. For my last few birthdays, I've wanted a traditional birthday cake. To me traditional is a yellow cake iced with a Buttercream Frosting.

  • 02 of 13

    Ice Cream Cake

    Ice Cream Cake

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Ice cream cake is a favorite for birthday parties, especially during the summer. This recipe layers chocolate, pistachio, and strawberry ice creams with white cake. It's frosted with freshly whipped cream, while colorful sprinkles and maraschino cherries ensure it's as festive as can be.

  • 03 of 13

    Banana Pudding

    Blow Out the Candles. Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli

    Yes, you can choose banana pudding as your special birthday treat. That's what my daughter did this year. This banana pudding is a step above the other banana puddings out there. Check-out the recipe to see the differences.

  • 04 of 13

    Banana Split Cake

    Banana Split Cake

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    There's no need to worry about it melting, which is why a banana split cake is a great choice for parties. This bundt cake has layers of all your favorite banana split toppings, including bananas, chocolate, strawberries, and walnuts. Finish it off with maraschino cherries and it will be a birthday to remember.

    Continue to 5 of 13 below.
  • 05 of 13

    Unicorn Birthday Cake

    Unicorn Birthday Cake

     Kristina Vanni

    This magical unicorn birthday cake makes it easy to believe wishes can come true. Delight your favorite believer with the colorful layers and candy toppings.

  • 06 of 13

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Chocolate chip cookie cake is a fun option that brings together two favorite sweets. The pound cake batter is layered with crushed chocolate chip cookies and it's baked in a tube pan, which always creates a stunning cake. Serve it with ice cream and get the birthday party started!

  • 07 of 13

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

    This is what happens when you add too many strawberries and too much rhubarb to your pie.
    Here is a photo of my father-in-law with a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Photo © 2008 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.

    My father-in-law just loves this pie. In fact, he's been known to hide the pie as to not have to share it. He gets this pie whenever I can make it for him.

  • 08 of 13

    Tunnel of Fudge Cake

    Tunnel of Fudge Cake
    Everyone's Favorite Bundt Cake. Photo © 2006 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.

    I remember for the longest time every homemade cake was made in a Bundt cake pan. This is one of the most popular Bundt cakes.

    Continue to 9 of 13 below.
  • 09 of 13

    Red Velvet Cake

    2009 Red Velvet Cake in Heart Shape Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to
    Red Velvet Cake in Heart Shape. 2009 Red Velvet Cake in Heart Shape Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to

    This is my husband's favorite birthday cake. He'll ask me to make him that "bleeding armadillo cake." The grooms cake in Julia Robert's wedding in the movie Steel Magnolias was a red velvet cake. It was shaped like an armadillo, because the grooms family was hunters.

  • 10 of 13

    Pig Pickin' Cake a.k.a. Mandarian Orange Cake

    It's the perfect birthday cake.
    This cake is so such a light cake. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.

    I just made this the other night for a friend of mine. It's a yellow cake mix made with mandarin oranges topped with a pineapple-whipped topping frosting.

  • 11 of 13

    Lemon-Poppyseed Cake

    This cake is so refreshing.
    I just added Poppy Seeds to a Lemon Poke Cake recipe. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.

    This is my daughter's best friend's absolute favorite cake. Of course, I make it for her birthday every year.

  • 12 of 13

    Boozy Brownies

    These Boozy Brownies are very rich.
    Not only are these brownies made with 2 types of liquors, but they are topped with a buttercream frosting and a chocolate glaze. Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to, Inc.

    "Skip the cake and please make me those brownies." That's what I do for my next door neighbor. She doesn't drink and yet she wants, and gets, these brownies each year for her birthday.

    Continue to 13 of 13 below.
  • 13 of 13

    Pecan Pie

    Pecan Pie Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
    Pecan Pie. Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli

    My mother-in-law doesn't care for desserts, but she does love this pie. I try to make it for all her special occasions.