Birthday parties are the end-all, be-all for just about every kid under the age of 16. Creativity knows no bounds at that age either, meaning it’s never safe to assume all kids crave a standard princess party or action hero shindig. Instead, kids may want to transport their guests into a favorite video game (Minecraft, anyone?) or send them on the high seas for a pirate party. Regardless of the vision, one thing’s for certain—sweets will need to be involved and they will need to be outlandish.
The following cake and dessert recipes are some of our most creative and kid-adored on Relish.com.
Camping Birthday Party
Dessert: Giant S’Mores
Kids and parents alike will be utterly amazed by this giant caramelized marshmallow, courtesy of The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant, by Barton G. Weiss. Serve alongside Hershey bars and graham crackers for optimum dipping. Oh, and don’t forget to pair with a thick stack of napkins.
Rainbow Dash Party
Dessert: Rainbow Layer Cake (recipe below)
Okay, yes, there are layers here—but don’t you dare be intimidated. This cake is remarkably simple. So simple, in fact, that we are going to list the entire recipe right here:
Take 2 boxes of white cake mix, blend according to package instructions, divide batter equally unto 6 bowls, and add food coloring to get the rainbow colors. Line the bottom of 6 disposable cake pans with parchment and divide the batter evenly. Bake 5 to 10 minutes less than package instructions as the layers are thin. Let cool, stack, and frost with your favorite icing. Decorate with rainbow nerd candies and skittles. That simple!
Dessert: Adorable DIY Chocolate Flowerpot Cakes
We’ve found chocolate cake makes a rather fantastic tromp l’oeil for garden soil. Coincidentally, terra cotta pots also make fine serving vessels. So baking these flowerpot cakes for garden-themed festivities is an absolute no-brainer. Best part? Everyone’s serving will be perfectly tidy and all the same size—meaning, there will be no tears or arguments over who gets the corner pieces.
Dessert: Chocolate Treasure Cake
Another creative recipe from The Big Dish, this treasure trove of chocolatey goodness is nestled in a bed of graham cracker sand, sprinkled with chocolate coins. Word to the wise: You may want to skip the ice cream topping in the presentation and serve kids their scoops individually to avoid a sticky mess!
Desserts: Toadstools, Rice Krispie Treats, Little Debbie Cake
Instead of settling on a chief birthday dessert, go the buffet route with basic treats dressed for the occasion. Here, in the blocky style of Minecraft, we topped jumbo marshmallows with red candy melts to create toadstools, made chocolate Rice Krispies treats (with a bit of black food coloring added to the marshmallow mix for a coal-like appearance) and stacked Little Debbie devil squares, topping them with plastic grass found at a hobby shop.
Tea Party Birthday
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Beet Cakes
Fudgy, dense and gluten-free, our sweet individual mug cakes are fittingly served in teacups. Somewhere between a souffle and a cake, these desserts draw on pureed beets, rather than food coloring, for their slightly rose-y hue. If your kids aren’t prone to beets, no worries here—the beet flavors aren’t pronounced. They’ll never be the wiser.
For more totally outlandish recipes like the Giant S’mores or Chocolate Treasure Cake, we suggest taking a look at The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant, by Barton G. Weiss. Weiss recently told us “The book is filled with wild-tivity…inspiration hits me from everywhere.” And with recipes such as Marshmallow Pizza and Lobster Truffle Mac and Cheese (served in a lobster shell, no less), we don’t doubt him.