If your kids are about to celebrate a birthday in quarantine, these Birthday Cake Kits can make the day more special and fun! The kits come with pre-measured ingredients and decorations for all kinds of cool cakes. They take all the hassle out of baking (and you never get halfway through a recipe before realizing that you don’t have any vanilla extract). Best of all, you can eliminate the perilous journey to the grocery store, where, let’s face it, they won’t have any flour left anyway. Making the cake can be a great birthday activity. (Eating the cake can be an even better birthday activity!) So check out our roundup of the best Birthday Cake Kits now delivering to NYC families. But first, read our tips for stress-free family baking with the kids:
Feeling inspired after your Birthday Cake Kit? Check out these online cooking classes and resources for the whole family!
Tips for Baking with Kids
Yes, Birthday Cake Kits are supposed to take all the stress and drama out baking. But for some, we know there’s always stress and drama involved in baking — especially in tiny New York City kitchens. That’s why we spoke to Anna Helm Baxter, Co-Founder of the DIY cake and baking kit company, Poppikit. Here are her top tips for baking with kids (and baking with parents that don’t have much more culinary experience than kids):
1. Let the kids crack the eggs. If you’re looking for ways to involve kids in the baking, then task them with cracking the eggs. (You might have to fish out one or two pieces of eggshell afterwards). Or, if you want to limit the eggshell liability, just let them stir together the ingredients.
2. Chill the cake before you decorate it. Once you’re done baking, Helm Baxter recommends you “refrigerate or freeze your cake for about 30 minutes” before you start adding frosting (and piling on the sprinkles). According to Helm Baxter, “A chilled cake is easier to decorate (and will create fewer crumbs).”
3. Don’t have a turntable? Substitute parchment paper. Putting a cake on a piece of large parchment paper means you can still rotate while you decorate! Helm Baxter says it also helps to “Frost the sides of the cake first and place one hand on top of the cake to keep it steady.”
4. Don’t scrimp on the frosting. Helm Baxter says you shouldn’t worry about “getting super smooth frosting.” Instead “load the frosting onto the cake and use swirling actions with the smooth side of a butter knife to purposefully create texture.”
5. Use a baking sheet to catch lost sprinkles. According to Helm Baxter, “Sprinkles fix everything!” And she’s so right. So let kids pile them on during the decorating stage. But make sure you’re decorating the cake over a “large rimmed baking sheet” that can catch any lost sprinkles.
6. Have fun! Whether or not your cake kits end up looking exactly like the pictures, you can still enjoy the baking process. Helm Baxter says that “baking with kids is unavoidably messy and you may not end up with a Martha Stewart-like creation.” But the important thing is that “your kids will feel a sense of pride in baking and sharing their creations.”
The Best Birthday Cake Kits Delivering to New York Families
All-Natural Candy Cake Kit from Poppikit
Poppikit has loads of colorful kid-friendly cake kits topped with everything from mermaid tails to rocket ships. (Browse the full selection here!) But we’re crazy about the all-natural Candy Cake. Choose between hot pink, white, blue, purple, yellow, orange, green or red for the cotton candy frosting (and between chocolate, vanilla and gluten-free vanilla for the inside). But the real fun is decorating the cake! The kit comes with lollipops, jellybeans and confetti sprinkles for a super sweet birthday party!
Black Glam Birthday Cake Kit by Sheri Wilson from GlobalBelly
Step-by-step guided instructions (with pictures!) will help you construct this gorgeous birthday cake. The pink gel frosting on the top is deliciously chic. Meanwhile, the oreo-flavored buttercream on the bottom is just plain delicious. The kit also comes with a signature pop sprinkle mix and six gold candles. This cake will bring a total pop of glam to any quarantine birthday!
Flour Shop Rainbow Explosion Cake Kit from Williams Sonoma
Those a little more adept with the whisk can try their hand at the Instagram-famous Rainbow Explosion Cake. Williams Sonoma teamed up with the Flour Shop in Soho to create this truly original over-the-top cake kit. You’ll use premium cake mix and coloring gels to bake each whimsical layer. Then you’ll fill the cake with it with a million sprinkles (included) that burst out when you cut it open. This kit takes a little extra effort, but it’s a truly unforgettable experience (and not just cause it’ll live forever on your Instagram).
Carrot Cake from Red Velvet NYC
Red Velvet has been making DIY baking kits in New York City since 2015. Their chocolate pecan torte and flourless chocolate cake look delicious. But if you want to take a break from chocolate or vanilla sheet cakes, then try this scrumptious carrot cake. It’s topped with cream cheese frosting and a few walnuts. And although there are no nuts actually inside the cake, we’re still nuts about it!
Madagascar Vanilla Chocolate Caramel Cake from KékiCake
If you’re a fan of the Great American Baking Show or Cupcake Wars, then your refined palate will appreciate any kit from KékiCake. And this decadent chocolate caramel cake is no exception. The ingredients include honey bittersweet chocolate ganache, brown butter caramel and 100% cacao bittersweet french buttercream. So, if your kids are burgeoning baking enthusiasts, they’ll definitely appreciate this as a birthday treat.
Little Chef Birthday Baking Kit from Butter + Whisk
If you’re not a skilled baker, then Little Chef Birthday Baking Kit will hold your hand through this process. The kit includes access to an easy-to-follow video tutorial you and your kids can watch together. It’s recommended for ages 5-13 (but there’s no shame in following the instructions as a grown adult). Afterwards, you’ll have a delicious two-layered vanilla confetti birthday cake to celebrate the day. Butter + Whisk also offers a full Virtual Birthday Party; they’ll ship cake kits to you and your friends so you can bake together on Zoom!