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Birthday Dessert Ideas That Aren’t Cake


Angel Food Bakery Happy Birthday Donuts
Angel Food Bakery | Happy Birthday Donuts

Cake might be the dessert that’s most closely associated with birthday celebrations, but let’s face it: sometimes a birthday cake just doesn’t cut it. Not only are they usually too large for a small gathering, they only come in one flavor (which needs to satisfy everyone in attendance), they can be awkward and challenging to cut, and the thought of eating something that someone else has blown all over can make some people squeamish. 

And yes, there are some people out there who just don’t really like cake. Thankfully, there are plenty of birthday desserts out there that aren’t cake, but are still perfectly suited to any birthday celebration.

Read More: Unique Birthday Dessert Ideas

What to Get for Someone’s Birthday Who Doesn’t Like Cake

If the person celebrating a birthday doesn’t like cake – or if you’re just looking to mix it up – there’s no shortage of alternatives. As long as it’s sweet and crowd-pleasing, just about anything can replace birthday cake at a party – but it would be nice if it’s sturdy enough to hold some candles! Here are a few ideas for birthday cake alternatives: 

What Can You Serve Instead of a Birthday Cake?

When it comes to birthday cake alternatives, there’s no reason to settle for a package of cookies from the supermarket or a couple boxes of Munchkins. These are sure to be as stunning a centerpiece as the most lavishly decorated birthday cakes – and they’re shipping nationwide!

Bouchon Bakery Macarons

Classic Macarons

Bouchon Bakery is renowned chef Thomas Keller’s ode to the classic boulangeries he visited during his time spent in France. Its classic French Macarons are made with two delicate almond flour meringue shells filled with a luscious buttercream or ganache. Light and crisp on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside, they’re an elegant treat for groups large or small.

Tiny Pies’ Tiny Pie

Tiny Pies

Austin’s Tiny Pies specializes in just that – tiny pies! Every pie is made by hand, just like grandma used to make, using the highest quality, natural ingredients and seasonal fruits, and best-selling flavors include apple, cherry, Texas pecan, and Texas Two-Step (chocolate brownie & pecan). They’re picture-perfect, and each pie is small enough to feed one.

Carlo’s Bakery Classic Cupcakes

An Assortment of Cupcakes

Carlo’s Bakery has been a Hoboken, New Jersey, landmark since 1910, but it really spring to fame – along with its owner, Buddy Valastro – thanks to the hit TLC show, “Cake Boss.” Their classic cupcakes are flavored, frosted, and filled with both vanilla and chocolate, and are available in packs of up to 72.

Nadia Cakes Boozy Cupcakes

Boozy Cupcakes

For adult birthday parties only! Founded by “Cupcake Wars” winner Abby Jimenez, Nadia Cakes specializes in boozy cupcakes, with real booze mixed into the batter. For this pack of 12, you can take your pick from top flavors including Strawberry Margarita, Peach Bellini, Mimosa, and Mojito.

Junior’s Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Junior’s is a Brooklyn landmark, renowned for making some of New York’s top cheesecakes since its 1950 founding. These Mini Cheesecakes are four ounces each and designed to serve one, and can easily be decorated and customized for each guest. 

Austin’s Lick Honest Ice Cream

Ice Cream & Ice Cream Sandwiches

Turn any birthday party into an ice cream social with handmade ice cream from Austin’s Lick Honest Ice Cream, where milk and cream is sourced from a family farm and every pint is packed by hand. You can also choose to have it sandwiched between two cakey chocolate cookies!

Elegant Desserts Ice Cream Donuts

Ice Cream Donuts

If ice cream sandwiches aren’t your thing, then how about some ice cream donuts?! From Brooklyn’s Elegant Desserts, these ice cream donuts are made by shaping ice cream into a donut shape before freezing, slicing, and filling them with a layer of cream. Flavors include Salted Caramel, Hazelnut, and Strawberry.

Davey’s Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake

The final entrant in the ice cream trifecta: ice cream cake! Davey’s Ice Cream, in New York City, makes an ice cream cake like you’ve never seen before. Their spectacular Speculoos & Vanilla ice cream cake has a base of speculoos chocolate chip ice cream made with cinnamon-spiced Belgian shortbread cookies. The top layer is classic vanilla ice cream, and in-between the two is salty speculoos caramel crunch! It’s topped with homemade whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

Baked in Color Rainbow Cookie Cake

Giant Brownie Oreo Rainbow Cookie Cake

Replace your birthday cake with a big cookie cake! NYC’s Baked in Color is renowned for its rainbow-colored treats, and this one is a true masterpiece. This rainbow cookie cake starts with a layer of rich, fudgy brownie followed by a layer of Oreo cookies, and it’s finished with a thick rainbow chocolate chip cookie cake on top.

Carlo’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

And once again from Hoboken’s Carlo’s, this Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake starts with two huge, seven-inch chocolate chip cookies, which are sandwiched with decadent chocolate ganache.

Whether you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing birthday party centerpiece or the perfect sweet treat to arrive on their doorstep on their special day, America’s best (and tastiest) birthday food gifts are shipping nationwide!