Building a great novelty birthday cake has to start somewhere, and once a theme is decided, the next decision to be made is what birthday cake pan to use. There are a few different considerations to take into account before choosing a pan. Let’s take a look.

Birthday Cake Blueprint

Once you have decided a theme for the cake, now is the time to consider how the cake will be built.  That is, set up your ‘blueprint’.

There are 5 ways this can be done:

1. Create a scene on the cake;
2. ‘Draw’ a picture or character onto the birthday cake;
3. Sculpt or cut out the cake to a particular shape;
4. Build a 3D birthday cake where a few different shaped cakes are put together; or,
5. Bake a cake in a shaped pan.

At this point, it is ideal to use one of these ideas and do a sketch of the cake– draw out the height, the decorations, indicate the colours and any other important details. This will act as a blueprint and be a critical guide in deciding how the cake will be made and decorated, including which birthday cake pan to use. The more detail that can put into this sketch, the better and easier it will be when it comes time to bake and decorate the cake.

Choosing a Birthday Cake Pan

Now you’ve decided how to make the cake, the selection of the right birthday cake pan becomes very simple.

For option 1 and 2, any traditional cake pan can be used. Establish how big the cake will need to be and then choose an appropriate size based on the shape in the blueprint.

In creating a scene cake, it is likely a round, rectangle or square cake pan will be most appropriate. Don’t forget that the sides of the cake can also be decorated and if the cake is placed on a nice base, the scene and cake icing can extend beyond the cake itself.

For a sculpted cake, it is important to consider the final shape required. If there are lots of curved elements, a round or ring cake may be most useful. If it is one large shape then a rectangle may be a better starting point. Sometimes it may even be necessary to use a couple of cake slabs as starting points.

3D cakes will involve placing several cakes and cut out shapes together, and they are really just a more advanced version of the sculpted or 2D cake. The base of the cake may be a simple shape with other additions being sculpted. It will be necessary to work out the different dimensions to this cake and bake the required quantities.  Use your initial blueprint and guide to help decide all the elements of a 3D cake.

The last option is probably the easiest when it comes to baking the cake – although decorating will still require some careful work – as there are so many different shapes and sizes of cake pans available today. Not only are there specialty shapes like hearts, butterflies, trains etc, but there are also a lot of character cake pans as well The big consideration here is the investment in the pan – if it is for a once off use, it may not be a worthwhile investment.

Some alternatives are to purchase a specialty pan second hand (try ebay) or hire a pan. There are a lot of places that do hire pans and this could be more economical. Alternatively, if you have some friends who also like creating novelty birthday cakes, perhaps you can swap and share birthday cake pans.

After selecting the right pan using the above guidelines, use this birthday cake recipe to bake the cake required.

In summary, the most critical part in selecting the right birthday cake pan is planning the cake beforehand and creating a blueprint. The theme and the style of cake form the basis of the blueprint and from this the right pan can be selected. The great thing is that with all the different types of birthday cake pans available, you won’t have any problems building a fantastic cake.