In recent years, the classic taste of birthday cake has gone beyond the cake itself. There’s birthday cake ice cream, birthday cake cookies, breakfast bars, almond butter, and more. But would you believe that despite this explosion in sugary-sweet-flavored treats, some people don’t even want real birthday cake on their birthday?
Believe it. Some of us just can’t eat a full inch of frosting on our cake, even but once a year. Other folks are inveterate pie people and prefer a good pie to a cake. And that’s not even getting into the diabetics among us. And besides, isn’t a birthday cake something we should have outgrown by now? Whether you’re throwing a party for an adult or a child who’s an old soul, you can still have a birthday without the cake. Let’s take a look at some alternatives to serving birthday cake at your next party.
Ice Cream Sundae Bar
The humble ice cream bar is a nice on-the-go treat for a summer day. An ice cream sundae bar, however, is a terrific idea for a birthday dessert any time of year. Lay out the ice creams, the toppings, and the sauces, and let your guests’ imagination do the rest. The customization allows guests to choose between “side of the cake” and “corner of the cake.” And when the party’s over, you’ll have no qualms about munching on the leftover gummi worms and candy bars.
For even more creativity with a touch of sophistication, consider a dessert station featuring fondues, fountains, and more. A dessert station is a perfect staging area for fresh s’mores, a campfire treat that, owing to our general lack of campfires, we don’t get to enjoy nearly enough. Your dessert station can also feature delicious after-dinner coffees and teas along with cookies, pastries, and other sweets.
Do your party guests like cake more than you do? An assortment of flavored cupcakes can break the monotony of one big cloying birthday cake. Get creative with flavors between batters and frosting and try to have something for everyone—and a little bit of everything for yourself once the party’s over.
In the same vein, a trio or quartet of pies can be much more palate-pleasing than yellow cake and white frosting. Whether you’re baking them yourself or ordering from your favorite purveyor of pies, a split between fruit-based and custard-based pies should satisfy everyone’s tastes. Key lime pie is a little of both! And remember not to let the name throw you—cheesecake is, indeed, a pie.
Donuts don’t just have to be cheap, fast energy on a workday morning. They can be a delicious dessert and one of the better alternatives to serving birthday cake. For birthday donuts, skip the usual grape jelly donut and go for unorthodox, memorable flavors that will make these standout, like pumpkin spice, eggnog, or lemonade. Anything but, you guessed it, birthday cake.