We know it’s a tradition as old as singing ‘Happy Birthday’ but we need to be honest – not everyone enjoys indulging in a birthday cake. From just not being a cake fan to finding the combination of towering tiers of sponge and icing being too sweet, these five ideas make for fantastic alternatives (and there’s a bonus idea too!)
1. Cookie Tree
Anything made from cooking and biscuits if good as far as we are concerned and this Cookie Tree is at the top of our list.
There are various ways of building your cookie tree from using a cake spike through the centre of cookies to building this huge tree or cookie column.
Or you can simply layer cookies artfully on a tiered cake stand with plenty of ribbons and other party catering supplies accessorising the tower.
This works better if you make your own cookies so opt for the birthday boy or girl’s favourite flavour. Why not try chocolate chip or orange cookies or maybe ring the changes with raspberry chip cookies? Of course, the star cooking, the one a-top of the tree if the special birthday cookie and we all know who that’s for.
2. Cake Pops
As the name suggests this is literally small pops of cake in the shape of round lollipops. Sitting on top of a lollipop stick, you can get creative in how you arrange these.
Even better, they don’t need a fancy cake recipe – this basic sponge recipe is perfect for cake pops – and you’ll only need basic equipment too.
Lollipop sticks are easy to buy too, more commonplace in shops and online party suppliers. You can buy special baking tins, made from malleable plastic trays to give a perfectly round piece of cake. Or there are pieces of baking equipment that you plug in and bake round pops of cake, great if you think you’ll be making cake pops on a frequent basis.
3. Savoury Cake
If the birthday boy or girl is not keen on sweet cake, then why not bake this savoury cake instead?
Frankly, a savoury cake makes a welcome change to the normal saccharine sweet cakes that have for so long been the norm. For the birthday boy or girl who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, this is the ideal cake.
There are many recipes for savoury cake but we like this not-overly-stuffed vegetable and ham loaf from Netmums. We also like the fact that with a few adaptions here and there you could make this a vegetarian savoury cake as well.
Sticking with the savoury cake for a little longer, if you have a vegan birthday bash to cater for, you’ll be looking for tasty recipes that deliver delicious food. A vegan Cauliflower Cake is a sheer delight and one that would make a great vegan alternative to the birthday cake if you want something savoury.
4. The Leaning Tower of Waffles
However, if you do have a sweet tooth but want something different, then this leaning tower of waffles sandwiched together with whipped double cream or Greek yoghurt (or a mix of both) with lashings of berries and fruit is perfect.
Either make your own waffles in the waffle maker or buy plenty of waffles to stack. Smoother each layer with whipped double cream (or Greek yoghurt but sweeten slightly with a little bit of icing sugar), along with a handful of fruit of your choice and a drizzle of sweet sauce.
Build it as high as you dare, making sure there is plenty of sauce and fruit for people to enjoy along with a slice of waffle or two.
5. Retro-Sweet Tower
This takes a little more in the way of time and skill but we love the idea. Take a trip down memory lane with retro-sweet. Think Palma violets and sweetheart sweets, as well as sherbet dips and lollies of all kinds.
Some cake makers use tiered pieces of sponge used in floral displays, fixing the sweets onto it with a range of floral ties and ribbons etc. Take a look at how to make the retro-sweet tower cake.
6. Bonus – Watermelon and Fruit ‘Cake’
As you browse the list of party catering supplies you need, how about including a watermelon in your food shopping list? Choose the roundest watermelon, peel it and neaten the round edges to make it a square. Add a layer of fruit on top and serve slices of cool watermelon after the obligatory Happy Birthday singalong!