5 sweet alternatives for the birthday-cake hater

What if your Super Important Birthday Kid just isn’t a cake person? Not to worry. Here are some non-cake options that are pretty sweet

Candy Sushi
For the sophisticated cake hater, try making candy sushi. Bake a few thin sheets of crisp rice cereal squares and cut them into smaller rectangles. Add gummy worms and red licorice down the 600 of each sheet, and tightly roll the crisp rice squares around the candy. Trim the excess crisp rice squares and, for the seaweed, wrap each roll with fruit rollups. Cut them into California rolls, and there you have it – a cake replacement for your little culture vulture!

Next up: A Giant Cookie! >

Photo by djwtwo via Flickr

A Giant Cookie
You may remember the giant cookie. It enjoyed great popularity in the ’80s and it’s a perfect cake alternative. You can still write an icing message, decorate the heck out of it, the Birthday Kid can choose his or her favourite flavour, and you can stick candles into the cookie or into little mounds of icing. Plus, kids eat cookies with their hands, which cuts down on the dishes. Woot!

Next up: Ice Cream Sundae Bar! >

Photo by William Graham via Flickr

Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Stock up on ice cream – chocolate, vanilla, something fruity and something without dairy for those smalls who don’t get along with lactose. Go crazy with topping choices: chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, sprinkles, bananas and strawberries, crumbled up cookies, candy, the sky’s the limit. It might get messy, but for something sure to be a hit, the ice cream sundae bar requires little prep and if it’s warm out you can just do it outside and then hose down the backyard and maybe also the kids.

Next up: Chocolate Pizza! >

Photo by Will Graham via Flickr

Chocolate Pizza
The savoury pizza dough should balance out the sweetness of the chocolate, if Birthday Child is anti-cake because of its sugar overload. Simply spread hazelnut chocolate spread over a pizza crust, add chocolate chips and hazelnuts, and bake until the chips begin to melt. You can top the pizza with fruit once it’s out of the oven for a few pops of colour.

Next up: Fruit Kebabs! >

Photo by Against the Tide via Flickr

Fruit Kebabs
If the Birthday Child is more into coconut than cocoa, try making fruit kebabs. Stick strawberries, blueberries, pieces of mango, pineapple and other favourite fruits through wooden skewers with rounded ends, and push those skewers into the sides of a whole pineapple. It’s fairly time-intensive, but you’ll end up with a colourful dessert that will please even those rare anti-sugar kids (and those less rare anti-sugar parents).

Photo by jeff, the rhino via Flickr

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.