Cute cakes/muffins/other for daughter's eighth birthday?

For my daughter's birthday party with her friends (around 15 children), I am looking for ideas for anything baked that does not only taste great, but also looks fun - something children will enjoy. I am hoping for something a little nicer than just drowning a cake in coloured icing... :-)
Thank you!



sonya August 10, 2015
I loved the sprinkles baked into yellow cupcakes when I was a kid, but maybe that's been done so much that it's not exciting for them anymore - lol. For great tasting recipes, I'd highly recommend Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country recipes!
byb July 20, 2015
I love, love, love Molly Yeh's cake ideas and I think they could work well for a birthday party. She has some posted on food52, particularly adventures in funfetti, but for them all, her site is

If you go to her "recipes" page, the first section is cakes.
HalfPint July 20, 2015
I once made an icebox cake with chocolate cookie wafers & shaped it into a caterpillar. This was for a 2yo's birthday. Decorated it with Twizzlers for legs, M&M's for eyes, and colored sugar on the body. Simple, no-bake, and fun.
PieceOfLayerCake July 20, 2015
For kids parties, I like to make homemade versions of things one can get at the store. "Snack cakes" like homemade twinkles, chocolate "cupcakes", snoballs, ho-hos, oreos, oatmeal creme pies, pop-tarts. They sell relatively cheap silicone molds for some of them and flavors can be switched up to suit guests....though I find that the traditional goes over best. I have come to appreciate individual desserts for children as well.

Something else I've done recently was using small, sweet brioche buns, filled with ice cream and chocolate sauce, topped with confectioners sugar, a berry, and skewered with a burger pick. It takes a bit of imagination, but they kinda look like little sliders.

Other ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies, pound cake, banana bread, brownies, large macaron shells, etc.

Something fun and delicious, mini s'mores tartlets made with a speculoos crust, ganache (I sneak a little caramel in there) and topped with toasted Swiss meringue.

Something a little interactive are little shortbread "fingers", sprinkled in fine sugar and served with a little cup of dipping mousse. Or even little brioche donuts to dip in.

An oldie but goodie is a chocolate cup filled with mousse, cream, berries, nuts, etc.

I LOVE making shortcakes/sweet biscuits/scones and serving them with seasonal fruit and cream. Its endlessly versatile with flavors, components can be made ahead and are simple to serve.

I'll look through my lists and see what else I've done in the past.
amysarah July 20, 2015
Not a recipe, but I've seen gummy candies in Lego shapes - probably available online - that you could use to decorate cupcakes. A quick Google also turns up Lego printed cupcake wrappers. You could get an inexpensive tiered cardboard cake stand at a party store and stack her favorite cupcakes interspersed with Lego figures (maybe Star Wars or HP themed ones). For kids that age, presentation is 2/3 the fun.
Nancy July 20, 2015
If you have the space and stamina, you make the basics and let the children assemble their own desserts, for example:

strawberry (or peach or whatever) shortcake
black forest muffins
banana split
croque en bouche aka chocolate eclair
individual cheesecakes or creme caramel or chilled sweet souffle
Mont Blanc
refrigerator cookie cake (have the kids make them at the beginning of the party, stuff in freezer for an hour or two, unmold, serve)
cake in a jar (in the microwave)

burning-ice July 20, 2015
Thanks, Nancy. Maybe I should have been clearer, what I am thinking of is something that is prepared by me, and looks "different". I have done a cake that looked like a princess castle, Smiley cookies, glittery fairy wands, a soccer field... My daughter loves lego, star wars, Harry Potter - so something that plays with that, would be lovely.
Nancy July 20, 2015
Yes, I was answering the muffins/other part of your question.
Good to clarify.
Waiting to see what others come up with from the lego, Star Wars, Harry Potter universes.
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