7 Fabulous Alternatives to Traditional Birthday Cake

girl with face in cake

Skip the Traditional Tiresome Cake

Cake seems to be the go-to dessert for birthdays, but there's no reason why you have to trot out the same old birthday cake recipes each and every year. Many people prefer other types of treats, and as difficult as it is to believe, there are people out there who simply don't like cake!

Delight the special people in your life with something a little different this year. These recipes and ideas are so fabulous that no one will miss the traditional birthday cake - guaranteed!

birthday tarts

Tantalizing Tarts

While a "birthday pie" is always an option, you can kick this idea up a notch by offering individual tarts instead. Try one of these options, with candles of course, for a special birthday treat:

  • Coconut cream tarts: Fill baked tart shells with coconut cream pie filling and top with thick whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  • Lemon meringue tarts: Bake tart shells and add warm lemon curd. Top with meringue and bake at 325 F just until the meringue begins to brown. Garnish with candied lemon peel.
  • Cheesecake tarts: Mini cheesecakes make perfect little tartlets. Try stirring chopped chocolate into the cream cheese batter or top with fresh berries.
Chocolate dipped strawberry tree

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Tree

If it's an elegant presentation you're after, this tower of chocolate-dipped strawberries is sure to impress. Melissa Bradley at Martin's Supermarkets provides detailed instructions for creating this beautiful tree, using 150 strawberries. It's a time-consuming task, but the results will definitely make the birthday boy or girl feel special.

If you're having a large sit-down party for a milestone birthday, consider making smaller versions of the strawberry tree so that you'll have one for each table. Note that the trees will only stay fresh for about four hours after being removed from the refrigerator, so plan accordingly.

Stacked treats

Sweet Stack of Treats

While a simple treat like donuts, brownies, or cream puffs might not be special enough for a birthday celebration, it's simple to transform them into a dessert that is as special as the birthday boy or girl. Stacking individual baked goods on a pretty serving tray gives these treats plenty of visual appeal.

To give this dessert even more impact, add birthday sprinkles or tiny colorful candies and place candles that spell out "Happy Birthday" along the top row. Offer a single treat with a candle to the birthday celebrant, too.

Ice cream sundae bar

Ice Cream Creations

Give your birthday party guests - especially the guest of honor - a fun and delicious dessert by providing lots of choices for a do-it-yourself ice cream sundae bar! Serving the toppings in muffin tins makes things easy. Great options include:

  • Candies like gummies, Nerds, and chopped chocolate bars
  • Flavored baking chips in various flavors
  • Chopped fresh fruit or pie fillings
  • Crushed cookies and graham crackers
  • Sauces including chocolate fudge, caramel, marshmallow fluff, and crackle topping

Provide tall soda glasses and an assortment of sodas to create ice cream floats instead of sundaes too. Don't forget the maraschino cherries!

Chocolate and marshmallow fondue

S'Mores Fondue

Kick up a simple chocolate fondue by turning it into a vehicle for making s'mores! The classic chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker treat gets a sophisticated twist when made with a fondue pot rather than a campfire. Here's how to put this interactive treat together:

  1. Make a basic chocolate fondue and keep it warm in your fondue pot.
  2. Fill several small bowls with graham cracker crumbs and place alongside the fondue.
  3. Serve with marshmallows.
  4. To create the s'mores, dip a marshmallow into the chocolate fondue, then roll it in the graham cracker crumbs.

Don't forget to put out plenty of napkins!

candy popcorn cake

Candy Popcorn Cake

It looks like a cake, but it's actually a combination of popcorn, candy, and marshmallows. Kids young and old will love this birthday treat that makes a pretty presentation and tastes delicious!

Follow the recipe for Basic Candy Popcorn Cake using the birthday celebrant's favorite candies. Then, top the cake with lots of colored sprinkles. Gently insert candles to make it look even more like a traditional birthday cake!

Watermelon fruit birthday cake

Watermelon "Cake"

For a healthy treat that's still festive, a watermelon "cake" is a fabulous finale that even kids will love. Simply cut two round 3-inch thick slices of watermelon. Remove the rind and trim an inch around one slice. Place the smaller round on top of the larger one and secure with toothpicks.

Push a skewer through the center of the melon. Top with fruit such as orange slices, apple rounds, and berries, using the skewer to secure. Cut thin slices from two dragon fruits and make star shapes using a small cookie cutter. Use the stars to decorate the top and sides of the "cake." Serve with fruit dip on the side if desired.

Whether you're looking for healthier options or just something different from a traditional birthday cake, any of these fabulous dessert recipes will make the perfect alternative. Delight the guest of honor with a fab new twist on birthday treats!

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7 Fabulous Alternatives to Traditional Birthday Cake