Birthday Cake Ideas for Adults

I've got some ideas and tips to share today to help make your next birthday cake for a friend, or family member, a success!  It's fitting I'm sharing this today because it is my birthday! Over the past year, I've made birthday cakes for all my family members. It almost feels like I should be making one for our get together for me! My sweet husband made me some strawberry cake last night, though.

My birthday cake from my husband!

Last Friday, I did a kids cake round-up of some of my favorite smash cakes I've made. It was a lot of fun going back over the past year and picking out some of my favorites. Ideas for a kid's birthday cake are usually easier to come up with as there is typically a theme for the party. All you have to do is search Pinterest to find oodles of inspiration for practically any children's theme.

Cakes for adults, though, can be a little trickier. I love making my friends and family's birthdays a little sweeter with a custom cake. But, typically their birthday celebration doesn't have a theme. I spend a lot more time coming up with an idea for the cake that I think I can execute, and that they would enjoy! I've put together some categories I use when choosing a cake theme, along with some examples for each. I hope this list will inspire you to create a custom cake for a friend or family member! Almost all the cakes/cupcakes have tutorials here on the blog, if you are interested in learning more about how they were made.

Sports Teams

Of course, one theme that is always a winner is picking a sports theme. My husband is a huge UK basketball fan, so I made him a custom UK cake. This cake took some time (especially the goal and basketball floor), but my husband loved it!

Another idea is to make cupcakes, or a cake, with the team's logo. These football cupcakes were for the Superbowl, not a birthday, but are another great idea. I have a simple tutorial on creating fondant pieces using printouts of a logo.

Favorite Brands

This could encompass tons of items from drinks, clothing, purses, electronics, and anything else in between! One of the first brand logos I made was the BMW logo. I made cupcakes for my BMW-loving husband. This simple fondant detail added a personal touch and made the cupcakes extra special!

Another example would be fondant iPhone app toppers I made. These could be put on a cake, or placed on cupcakes and arranged to make a large iPhone/iPad.


On my mom's 60th birthday, we threw her a surprise party. Since she was born in the 50's, we had a 50's themed party - complete with record and soda pop cupcakes! My husband even helped me make cupcake stands using actual records.


This could encompass tons of different themes and ideas, there are so many hobbies! I've got a family of musicians, so that's a common hobby theme I've used. I have a couple instrument themed cakes including a dulcimer and piano.


If your birthday guest has a profession they are passionate about, or really enjoy, that's a good theme for a cake. For example, my brother-in-law is a math teacher, so I created a math/calculator themed cake for him that he loved. He took the fondant calculator to school to show his students!

Another example is a farm cake I made for a farmer's 60th birthday. 

Simple and Elegant

Sometimes you just want a pretty plate of cupcakes, or an elegant cake, for someone's birthday. Here's some cakes I've made that are simpler, but still special.

First, here is an example of simple, yet elegant, birthday cupcakes for a dinner.

Flowers are a popular way to make a cake elegant without too much work. Here's a flower basket cake and some simple marshmallow flower cupcakes.

Butterflies are another elegant choice for cupcakes! Here's a picture of my butterfly cupcakes I made for a shower (though they'd be great for a birthday as well).

All About the Flavor

Of course, some people don't care as much about the presentation, it's all about the flavor! Maybe you would rather have a custom flavor cake instead of a custom decorated cake. If that's what you are going for, check out my list of cake/cupcake recipes that are all here on my blog. I've got custom and unique flavors including cannoli, banana split, Andes Mint, mocha, apple pie, apple butter, and more!

Hope you've enjoyed this round-up and have maybe gotten some ideas for the next cake for a friend or family member. Check back Wednesday for a delicious recipe you won't want to miss!! 

Don't forget to come back tomorrow and link up to my Sweet Tooth Tuesdays blog link party! We had 40 amazing recipes/crafts/DIY projects last week, I can't wait to see what's shared this week.

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