At a child’s birthday party recently I was wowed with a wonderful cake, baked and styled by the birthday boy’s mum. It was a Pokemon-themed cake and the kids all loved it. But as we talked about children’s birthday cakes, and I reminisced about some of the cakes I’ve made for my three (mostly picked out of the trusty Woman’s Weekly Birthday Cake book), I confessed that, these days, I always do cupcakes for kids’ birthday parties.

For one thing, it saves me from the dreaded task of cutting the cake, something I avoid at all costs (I’m a bit phobic about it, actually. What if I cut the pieces too big? Too small? Ruin the frosting? Give the wrong kid an extra smartie? The pressure is too much). For another, it couldn’t be easier: a good quality cake mix, some pretty cupcake baking cups, butter cream on top and a cupcake stand. It looks great! But if you’re tempted by the cupcake idea and want to do something a little more fancy, I’ve scoured the web for the best cupcake ideas:

Flowerpot cupcakes

You can make these in actual mini terracotta pots for guests to scoop the cake out of, or silicone moulds that you cook in. I’ve even seen an edible flowerpot, or one made of chocolate. Any way you do it, these are a delightful idea for cupcakes.

Red velvet cupcakes

The red velvet cake is traditionally a layer cake with cream-cheese icing. It’s a favourite for Christmas and Valentine’s day, and the red cake is often made by dying chocolate cake dark red. A red velvet cupcake can be any take on the traditional, but I like this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Salted caramel cupcakes

Yum. Here’s a lovely recipe for a cupcake that has a little bit of savouriness added to the sweet treat.

Rainbow cupcakes

There are lots of ways to incorporate the colours of the rainbow into your next cupcakes, but perhaps one of the easiest is here. Slightly more complicated would be to make a larger, layered rainbow cake and punch put smaller sized towers for your birthday person.

Piñata cupcakes

I love the idea of a cupcake with a surprise within. Here’s a great recipe for a piñata cupcake.



Picture credits. All pictures from

Josh Tidsbury “Mel’s Potted Cupcakes” (Chocolate cupcakes with grass and purple flower decorations.)

Jessica Spengler “Red velvet cupcake”

Faye Harris “rainbow cupcakes”

Cover picture: Joel Olives “Cupcakes”