If you're in search of big flavor, bright colors and even a few surprises, these kids' birthday cakes are as sweet as they look. Be warned: The kiddies (and even their guardians) will come in search of seconds.
For all-things colorful and whimiscal, The Flour Shop is the obvious choice. Delight your little mermaids and unicorn lovers with the Explosion Cake ($150)—quite literally a rainbow surprise with every bite. The mutlicolor layers are sweetened with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles that pour out with each cut. Make sure you have a large serving plate at the ready. Though gorgeous, this treat is bound to get very messy, very quickly (but we promise it's worth it). Custom orders are also available if you're looking to experiment. SoHo (flourshop.com).
Chef Christina Tosi has made quite a splash on the NYC food scene, largely thanks to Milk Bar's in-demand creations. Birthday Cake ($50 and up) puts a unique spin on the annual treat with its vanilla rainbow cake and rainbow crumbs. When a recipe takes nearly three years to perfect, you know your tastebuds are in for a memorable experience. Believe the hype and try one for yourself. (We won't tell if there aren't any upcoming birthdays in your family—it'll be our little secret). Various locations (milkbarstore.com).
Empire Cake has been a favorite with celebs such as Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg and Hugh Jackman, plus it includes Google and Coca-Cola among its list of clients. There’s a reason why the Chelsea bakery has received top marks: It's freshly-baked treats are made using butter and cream from local producers, whole vanilla beans, Belgian chocolate and seasonal fruits from the Union Square Greenmarket. Kids’ birthday cakes are available in a variety of classic flavors (starting at $39 for a 6-inch cake) and custom flavors (starting at $44 for a 6-inch cake). Customers can get creative with edible images, sculptures and imaginative themes and characters. Learn more about pricing here. Chelsea (empirecake.com).
Silk Cakes specializes in Asian-inspired cakes and gives classic American desserts a twist with matcha, pandan, yuzu and other unique flavors. These tasty creations bridge Chef Judy Lai’s backgrounds, and they are absolutely gorgeous thanks to painted scenes and sweet, whimsical characters. Prices range from $28–$150. Learn more here. Forest Hills (silkcakes.com).
This cake boutique can deliver custom creations and prepare desserts tables filled with a variety of treats. If you're unsure where to host your kiddo's bash, Chic Sugar delivers with a kids' cake decorating class. Each child receives a 5-inch fondant-covered cake to decorate using different techniques taught at the beginning of the party. How awesome would it be to have a slice of your kid's creation? Custom cake orders start at $250. Learn more about pricing here. Though the 10-year-old company opened its brick-and-mortar store on the other side of the Hudson, Chic Sugars delivers throughout the tristate area. Fort Lee, NJ (chicsugars.com).
This midtown bakery impresses with its Latin American-inspired delights and customized cakes and cupcakes for kids’ birthdays. In fact, owner Huascar Antonio won the Food Network’s cupcake wars in 2013! Not only will the show create sculpted cakes, but it can take any image and turn it into an edible work of art! Bakers will even touch up the images on Photoshop to make sure your cake turns out too good to eat! Custom orders vary in price range and require at least 48 hours to prepare. Learn more here. Midtown (hbake.com).
This home-based cake company is meticulous when it comes to the details of a custom order and can cater to kids' birthdays, baby showers, bar mitzvahs and more celebrations. Cake designer Satoko Newman only does custom orders and accepts a limited amount of cakes per week so that she can devote time and attention to getting the design just right. Because she’ll book up to four weeks in advance, you’ll want to get your order in with ample time. Custom orders begin at $200. Upper East Side (cake.likebutterent.com).
If your kids knows just what they want for their big day, this Park Slope bakery invites little ones to meet with its bakers and sketch out a custom design. Parents can also bring in images of movie themes, favorite characters or color schemes for inspiration! Buttermilk offers up a menu of their own deliciousness like classic birthday, candy bar cake and rainbow cake, or you can create your own layer cake with 14 cake flavors and 19 buttercream frostings. Custom orders begin at $36 for 6-inch 2-layer cake. Learn more about offerings and pricing here. Park Slope (buttermilkbakeshop.com).
This old-fashioned Italian pastry shop has over 70 years of experience under its belt, which means its bakers a thing or two about birthday cakes. Circo's can make customized cakes for all occasions and have 20 filling flavors to choose from, including hazelnut, coffee cream, New York style cheesecake and cannoli and strawberry. Custom orders begin at $195. Bushwick (circospastryshop.com).
Billy’s Bakery offers a variety of cake sizes, the most popular being its 8-inch cake (serves 8–16 guests). They’re able to bring your child’s dream cake to life-like a fun unicorn cake-or you could order one of bakery’s own creations. A birthday favorite is a confetti cake with colorful sprinkles baked right into the classic yellow daisy cake. Custom orders begin at $50. Various locations (billysbakerynyc.com).