26 Healthy Birthday Cake Recipes for Your Next Celebration
Fruity, chocolaty or packed with spice—there's a birthday cake (or cheesecake!) to fit every occasion. From classics like confetti cake and chocolate cake to gluten-free or vegan recipes, these cakes are perfect for celebrating another year around the sun. Recipes like our Carrot Cake with Candied Carrot Curls and Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake are as show-stopping as they are delicious.
Carrot Cake with Candied Carrot Curls
Our 30th anniversary deserved a cake, and what cake better represents EatingWell than one with vegetables? While many homemade carrot cakes include pineapple in the batter, we made a jammy filling with it instead to tuck between the layers.
Queen of Sheba Cake
This Queen of Sheba cake, a French classic, gets a minor update with less sugar and butter and a whisper of flaky sea salt on top--all of which lets the flavor of a special chocolate shine. Whipping a greater portion of the sugar into the egg whites makes them less easy to overbeat and creates a pleasing crust on top that contrasts with the moist and creamy interior.
Berry Chantilly Cake
In this beautiful and simple Chantilly cake recipe, fresh berries are layered with whipped cream and delicate sponge cake for a special sweet that's as well suited for a bridal shower as it is for a birthday or graduation party or other special occasion. Fill and top with any combination of fresh berries.
Turn an easy vanilla cupcake recipe into an impressive mythical creature with just a couple marshmallows, a dash of sprinkles and a perfectly placed candle. Kids will flip for these unicorn treats, and you'll flip over how easy and quick they are to decorate. A birthday party win for kids and adults alike!
This cake pulls two delicious desserts, strawberry shortcake and cheesecake, into one! Shortcake forms the crust that holds a rich and creamy filling piled high with a fresh strawberry topping. This easy cake uses a no-bake filling that sets in the fridge so you can skip the water bath typically used to make cheesecake.
Confetti Birthday Cake
This simple two-layer cake has colored sprinkles baked right in for a fun surprise in every bite, just like a Funfetti cake. It's perfect for birthdays or any occasion that calls for a celebration. Look for naturally colored sprinkles in the baking aisle of your local natural-foods store or find them online.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich--and only dirties one bowl! Not quite as easy as boxed cake mixes, but those often contain trans fats. Our simple "from scratch" recipe gives you a home-baked cake with healthful canola oil and whole-wheat flour.
Blueberry Lemon Curd Ice Cream Cake
For a sweet and easy diabetes-friendly dessert, enjoy this lemony ice cream cake with blueberries.
Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting
Classic carrot cake goes vegan in this easy recipe, and gets covered with coconut whipped cream to replace the traditional cream cheese frosting. A mixture of flax and water makes a sturdy substitute for eggs in this vegan cake. Plus, sweet crushed pineapple helps to make this cake delicious with less added sugar.
Rainbow Ice Cream Cake
This fun and fruity cake is easy to make, once you get the hang of the blending, freezing and layering. Be sure each layer is frozen completely before adding the next to get the maximum rainbow effect. (Some layers may take longer to freeze than others.) If you want more vibrant layers, a drop or two of natural food coloring can enhance the colors. You can sub in frozen fruit if you don't have fresh on hand (just thaw before pureeing), and you can swap frozen yogurt for the ice cream if you'd like.
Baking homemade graham crackers with a touch of brown sugar and honey makes this cheesecake recipe an extra-special dessert.
One-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake
This one-bowl vegan chocolate cake is rich, sweet and easy to make. It's perfect for special occasions and for the chocolate lover in your life. This tender cake slices best when it's slightly chilled.
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Strawberries and lemons make for a sweet and citrusy treat in this lightened-up cupcake recipe topped with a cream cheese frosting.
Sweet Potato Spice Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Reminiscent of carrot cake, this healthy treat features grated sweet potato baked into a spiced batter and topped with cream-cheese frosting. The whole-wheat pastry flour gives the cake a very light texture. If you can't find it, substitute half all-purpose flour and half white whole-wheat flour.
Almond Cake with Pineapple-Rum Filling
This cake is a spin on bizcocho mojadito, which is often served at celebrations in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. We made this gluten-free almond cake using a cup-for-cup blend with xanthan gum, such as King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. If gluten-free isn't your priority, you can substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour for the GF flour.
Yellow Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Berries
This healthy yellow cake recipe is perfect for making a sheet cake for a birthday, holiday or any celebration and the easy cream cheese frosting recipe is ready in just five minutes. Use fresh berries to decorate the cake with flower designs or get creative and make your own pattern. We made this yellow cake healthier by replacing some butter in the cake with oil, using reduced-fat cream cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt for the frosting instead of full-fat cream cheese and butter, and using fruit instead of colored frosting for decoration.
Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake
This deeply dark chocolate vegan cake is not just for vegans. This fudge-like cake is also gluten-free, perfect for Valentine's Day and can even be made kosher to enjoy for Passover by making your own confectioners' sugar. The fresh berries on the side are a nice addition to the rich chocolate.
This lightly sweetened heart-shaped cake is a fun and festive way to celebrate Valentine's Day, a birthday or any time that calls for celebration. Raspberries make a cheerful outline, but any fruit or berry will work well in this surprisingly simple cake.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Almond flour provides the base for this tender gluten-free cake that is filled with carrots, spices and just a hint of coconut. Look for almond flour in the gluten-free baking section of most major supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
Apricot Bavarian Cream Cake
A silky-smooth Bavarian-style apricot cream envelops the golden sponge cake in this truly spectacular healthy cake recipe. The cream is set with gelatin to make it firm enough to hold its shape when unmolded, but the texture is more like a delicate mousse.
Carrot Cupcakes with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
You can fit this luscious take on an all-time favorite carrot cake dessert recipe into a diabetic meal plan.
Lemon Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Coconut Cream
Be sure that your tube pan is free from any grease or flour--the batter for this homemade angel food cake needs to be able to climb the sides of the pan as it bakes to hold its structure.
Poop Emoji Cupcakes
You don't have to be a professional pastry chef to make fun decorated cupcakes. These chocolate cupcakes are made to look like the silly poop emoji and use three simple ingredients to accomplish their impressive look--chocolate frosting, candy eyes and marshmallows. Pureed sweet potato replaces butter in the healthy frosting for a birthday party treat kids and adults will love.
One-Bowl Irish Stout Cake
This Irish stout cake can't get any easier: everything is mixed in one bowl, poured into the cake pan and is in the oven in 15 minutes flat. Lining the cake pan with parchment paper makes removing the cake easy and helps with cleanup. After this rich chocolate cake has cooled, enjoy it with the espresso- and Irish whiskey-laced whipped cream topping.
Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes
Our lightened-up version of a classic chocolate cupcake uses whole-wheat flour and less butter and sugar than the average cupcake. Topped with rich chocolate ganache frosting, these are a birthday party must-have.
Perfect for birthdays, this basic white cake recipe makes two 8- or 9-inch layers. To finish it off, frost with our Chocolate Frosting or Basic White Frosting (see associated recipes.)