It takes a lot of practice to bake a perfect birthday cake. Too many things can go wrong, and in the end, I’m banking on one giant pastry to look amazing. It could get overcooked and dry, it could fall apart, and my design skills are…lacking. It’s those reasons why when I have a birthday party to throw, I like to combine and arrange cupcakes together to form a faux cake—I make a cupcake cake, if you will. We still treat it like a single birthday cake by adding candles to blow out, but once Happy Birthday has been sung, the cupcakes are easy to divvy out to the kids.
Decorating a cupcake cake can be as simple as stringing together basic frosted cupcakes to form a shape, or you can get fancy by decorating some individually to form a scene of sorts (I’m obsessed with the ‘monkeys in a tree’ cupcake cake!).
Here are my favorite creative birthday cupcake cakes:
A butterfly cake made up of cupcakes for the wings creates a gorgeous coloring effect that is so great for any spring birthday party. See how it’s done over here. Image: Coco Cake Land
A bouquet of roses never smelled as good as these ones covered in frosted batter. A flower for each guest is such a fun treat. See the full recipe and instructions right here. Image: My Cake School
This design is an ice cream cone made with cupcakes. Any birthday girl would go wild for this cute cake idea at her next party. See the how-to right here. Image: Life in the Lofthouse
A colorful fish cake is attainable for everyone when its body is made up of cupcakes in a line. I’m loving this adorable tutorial where Melissa shows you how to place each one. Image: My Cake School
The leaves of a tree are not something I’d normally think I could decorate on a cake, but this monkeys-in-a-tree cake makes the entire thing a piece of cake (or cupcake cake, I suppose). See the full recipe right here. Image: A Cup 4 My Cake
Whose cake is cuter? This owl one, for sure! Create this cake with a mixture of cupcakes and cookies. See how here—it couldn’t be easier. Image: Andrea’s Gardening
A bouquet of balloons makes a tasty party treat. Image: 80 Cakes
Spell out the birthday numbers in cupcakes like 3 Sweet Girls Cakery did for an easy way to personalize the treat—no decorating skills needed. Image: 3 Sweet Girls Cakery
More Party Ideas: