Birthday Cake

A well-plated and beautifully decorated birthday cake enhances any birthday party. Frosting, fondants, fruit, sprinkles, and candles can all garnish birthday cakes to add a special and personalized touch to a delicious cake. The last of our three-part blog series about birthday cakes covers plating and presentation. The next time a birthday comes around, embrace your creativity and use the tips below to enhance the birthday cake’s appearance and create a birthday memory!

Tip 1: Incorporate the plate into the design

Is your plate square? Circle? Is it plain or decorated? How can you best feature the food using a proper plate? Or do you want to try a cake stand?


Tip 2: Use a Variety of Colors

Using a variety of colors to enhance the birthday cake. To make the cake extra special, use the birthday guest of honor’s favorite colors!


Tip 3: Use Odd Numbers

Odd numbers are typically more visually appealing than even numbers. Use odd numbers for garnishes.


Tip 4: Be Creative!

Using garnishes, such as powders, sauces, icing, candles, powders can all contribute to a well-plated product. Don’t be scared to try items that are not eaten, just used to enhance the food, such as flowers.


Tip 5: Don’t forget the final touches!

Wipe off extra spills or smears prior to serving. The difference between a well-plated birthday cake and not-so-well plated is in the details!


Give these tips a try during your next birthday celebration and see how your guests respond. A beautiful birthday cakes helps create a beautiful atmosphere at any party!

This blog is the third in a three-part blog series on birthday celebrations. Click to read the first and second posts.


This blog is an excerpt from Elizabeth Hagan’s lesson plan Bearthday Celebrations, which was awarded and produced by the Home Baking Association, that teaches the sweet history and traditions relating to birthdays while incorporating food photography and presentation. In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, millions of Americans were staying in, baking at home, and celebrating birthdays alone; so, this lesson gives students the opportunity to bake, celebrate, and experience multicultural foods, all while staying home.

The lesson meets the following objectives using a 5-day plan:

  1. Briefly explain the history of birthday celebrations and cakes
  1. Identify and describe birthday traditions celebrated in various countries and cultures around the world
  2. Research and select a baked birthday dessert to prepare and plate in an aesthetically pleasing way
  3. Photograph and describe the birthday traditions to peers
  4. Prepare a baked birthday dessert for family member or friend for their birthday
  5. Form connections with others during the pandemic, using a baked good

About the Author

Elizabeth Hagan is a high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Kuemper Catholic School in Carroll, Iowa. She received the Home Baking Association’s Educator Award in 2021 for her “Bearthday Cakes Around the World” lesson plan and was an honorable mention in 2020 for her lesson “Sugar Detectives.”

Stay in Touch

Sign Up