Let Them Eat ... 7 Alternatives to the Typical Birthday Cake

Birthdays happen. When you're in charge of the food to be served at several parties a year, you may find yourself baking plenty of cakes - perhaps even more than one in a given week. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but sometimes circumstances dictate something a little different. Whether you're looking for gluten-free options, something not so sweet, or just don't want to turn the oven on in the summer heat, here are a few options. All every bit as celebratory as birthday cake, without the cake.

Cheesecake in a Jar Cheesecake in a Jar 1. Cheesecake in a Jar
Simple to make (without turning on the oven!) and perfect for a party, individual cheesecakes in jars can be made ahead and stashed in the fridge until you're ready for them. Top with berries, mango, preserves, caramel - whatever the birthday girl or boy chooses!

Make cheesecake in a jar:

6 small (125 mL) ring-top jars
1/2 cup graham crumbs
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. sugar 1-8 oz (250 mL) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2-3/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Fruit preserves (jam, preserves, thawed berries in syrup, or fruit tossed/mashed with sugar or honey)


In a small bowl, stir together the graham crumbs, butter and sugar. Put a spoonful into the bottom of each jar and press down lightly with your fingers.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, cream and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Divide between the jars, smoothing the top. Top with a spoonful of preserves. Serve immediately or refrigerate until you need them. (Preserves can be saved and added later, too.)

Related: 24 sinfully sweet dessert recipes in a jar

A Flowering Watermelon Garden A Flowering Watermelon Garden 2. A Flowering Watermelon Garden
This blooming watermelon garden is easier to carve than you might think, and makes a gorgeous centerpiece - until it's time to eat it!
Make a flowering watermelon garden

Classic Tarte au CitronClassic Tarte au Citron3. Classic Tarte au Citron
When what you're after is elegance, a simple French lemon tart served with fresh berries makes a perfect ending to a birthday dinner party.
Make classic tarte au citron

Related: 12 healthy snacks that hold the sugar but keep it sweet

Rainbow Krispy Cake Rainbow Krispy Cake 4. Rainbow Krispy Cake
I love this jumbled pile of chewy-sweet treats, made with an assortment of cereals, white and dark chocolates, marshmallows, sprinkles and jimmies. A great gluten-free (and egg-free, and easily dairy-free) option for a kids' birthday party!
Make rainbow krispy cake

Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cakes Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cakes 5. Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cakes
I love these individual ice cream cakes with a slice of Swiss roll on the bottom and top. Cheat and start with store-bought Swiss rolls, if you like. A simple wrap in white chocolate makes for a simple but stunning presentation.
Make Swiss roll ice cream cakes

Related: 8 over-the-top divorce cakes that scream I'M FREE!!

Shaped Rice Krispie Treats Shaped Rice Krispie Treats 6. Shaped Rice Krispie Treats
Rice Krispie Treats can be shaped (or patted flat and cut) into anything that suits the theme of the party.
Make shaped rice krispie treats

Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cupcakes Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cupcakes 7. Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cupcakes
A brownie base topped with ice cream, these individual treats are perfect for partying and can be customized using any ice cream flavors and toppings.
Make mint Oreo ice cream cupcakes

- By Julie Van Rosendaal
Follow Julie on Babble

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