This might seem obvious, but before any birthday cake can be created a cake must be made!  It is best to use a simple recipe that doesn’t have complex flavors or textures and tastes great.

This Birthday Cake Recipe is a great basis for any novelty cake and is really easy to make – it only requires one bowl.  I have made this cake over and over again and it always turns out perfectly.  It also keeps and freezes well.

Using a large, rectangular base like this is a great start point for creating a whole range of novelty birthday cakes.  It can be left in one piece, iced and decorated for a simple cake or it is big enough to cut up into different shapes.

Birthday Cake Recipe

Birthday Cake Recipe


1 cup plain flour

3 cups self raising flour

2 cups caster sugar

300 g butter at room temperature, cubed

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

6 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Turn on the oven and let it preheat oven to 280 F or 140 C (low and slow for this cake).  Grease a large rectangle cake pan with butter – 9 x 13 inch.  Line the base and sides with baking paper.

Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (I use my Kitchenaid Mixer with this attachment).  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until just combined.  Increase speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes ensuring that all the butter is incorporated.  The mixture should be smooth and thick.  Spoon into prepared pan and smooth surface with back of a spoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Some Notes:

  • This is a large quantity of cake mix and it could be split over a couple of smaller pans, either square or circular.  The cooking time will need to be adjusted accordingly – it will be less.
  • Buttermilk makes the cake lighter in texture and is the best to use.  However, you can substitute plain milk or milk mixed with a tabelspoon of vinegar.

Now that the birthday cake recipe is made, allow the cake to cool completely before starting your creation.  It is the platform for your novelty birthday cake and can be carved, cut and iced as required.

Have fun!