Birthday Party Hat Cakes

It’s almost dinnertime. It’s almost the weekend. I’m almost always craving cake. For these, and many more reasons, I bring you Birthday Party Hat Cakes.

Birthday Party Hat Cakes | From

I’ve had the idea for these colorful hat-shaped cakes bouncing around my head for months! I wanted to make them to celebrate SugarHero’s second birthday last fall, but being a procrastinator of the first order, I didn’t have time to buy the supplies and try some test batches before I needed to get the post up.  So, when Better Homes & Gardens asked me to create a dessert project that would be perfect for parties, I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

Birthday Party Hat Cakes | From


These cakes are made from a traditional fluffy yellow cake recipe, and good ole American buttercream. You do need to use a buttercream that crusts in order to get the best results, but aside from that little constraint, you can make these with whatever flavors of cake or frosting you’d like!

Birthday Party Hat Cakes | From

The secret to getting the cone-shaped cake is to bake the cake in…cones. Revolutionary, I know. Seriously, it’s just that simple! I bought a large box of snow cone cups, thinking that it might take days of experimenting before I was finally able to bake successful cone cakes, and it pretty much worked out on the first try. There is a little trick to getting the cones to stand up straight, but it’s all explained in the recipe. Otherwise, it’s just like baking cake batter in cupcake papers—just scoop and bake! I bought my snow cone cups on Amazon, and the ones I used are currently out of stock, but I think any 6-oz cups, like these, will work just fine.

Birthday Party Hat Cakes | From

The most fun part of the project was definitely decorating the cones with the colorful candies. Picture me skipping down the candy aisle, tossing rainbow candies in my cart willy-nilly. One lucky find was a package of rainbow Twizzlers, which provided the colored bands around the bottom of the cones and also the pom-poms on top, once I snipped them up with kitchen shears. M&Ms, Skittles, and Fruit Roll-Ups also worked well, but my favorite addition would have to be Candy Buttons. They don’t taste like anything, other than pure sugar, but their petite size and ultra-bright colors really made these hats pop! The “strings” for the hats are made from Rainbow Licorice Laces, and if you live anywhere near me, please come by so I can gift you handfuls of licorice from the pound I still have lying around!

Birthday Party Hat Cakes | From

So are you ready to make amazing Birthday Hat Cakes of your own? I hope so! Head over to Better Homes & Gardens for the recipe and a few more tutorial pictures!

And, if you’re craving more edible party-themed goodies, may I point you to these Birthday Present Mini Cakes on SugarHero? They’re one of the most cheerful projects I’ve done and they still make me grin whenever I see them!

Birthday Present Mini Cakes | From

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. For more information, see my
Affiliate and Advertising Policy.

45 Responses to Birthday Party Hat Cakes
  1. Haha I’m always craving cake too. It’s a struggle. :) And woah that is an awesome idea! I will have to try it next time there is a birthday party, they are just so cute and OMG! :D

  2. You are so SOOOOO creative!!!!!!!!! Cake batter in snow cones!!!!!! That’s just genius!!!! I loveeeeee these cakes!!!! They are just so cute with all the colorful candy… I sooooo want to eat a biggggg piece of this hat!

  3. You’re the only person I can think of who I genuinely can see skipping down a candy aisle. Other than myself, of course. You are a cake genius!

  4. Robyn says:

    I LOVE these and want to try them…just as soon as I can source some Sno-cone cups in Central Asia… they must be here somewhere!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! I think it’s time for a care package to come your way…you DO want 100 of the finest snow-cone cups American money can buy, don’t you??

  5. OMG! These are so super cute!! I love them!! We usually do the ice-cream cone cupcakes, because the kids love to tote them around and lick the frosting off, but I love these for something new! And I love, in the last photo and the mini-gift cakes! LOVE!!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Sara! I love the ice cream cone cupcakes too! There’s actually a baking rack you can buy from Amazon that lets you bake them easier (and it an also be used for these cakes.) I usually end up losing some cupcakes when they tilt in the oven, so I’m considering getting the rack…one more unnecessary kitchen gadget, right??

  6. You always have the best ideas! These are adorable. And how awesome to have them featured in Better Homes and Gardens!

  7. Medeja says:

    Omg! They look so cute and so fun! Just amazing creation!

  8. Johlene says:

    Very cool idea for a birthday party and something I haven´t seen yet.. Bookmarked! Happy weekend! xoxo

  9. stephanie says:

    I heart you.

  10. Wendy says:

    Elizabeth, these truly are genius! These cupcake hats are beyond adorable!! And what fun to search the candy aisle for rainbow colored adornments. :) I found myself racing to read your post to figure out how you got the shape, how the heck you got the cones to stand up to bake, and what those cute little star-like candied are on the pompoms! You answered all my amazed questions and more. :) Oh, I can’t wait for an occasion to make these! I may start collecting hat decoration immediately.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Wendy! YES, assembling the different candies is one of the best parts! It’s so fun to try and find new uses for familiar candies, and eating them afterwards isn’t bad either. :)

  11. These may be the cutest cakes I have ever seen! Seriously, so creative. And I can totally picture you skipping down the candy aisle. Sometimes the best thing about being a food blogger is an excuse to buy candy!

  12. OMG these are so cute and look delicious too! I am having a “Mickey Mouse” themed party this summer (you guys should totally come down for it!!). Wouldn’t these be cute as the Mickey Wizard hats!?!? Any suggestions for ears? You are so creative!

  13. Danguole says:

    Girl, these are so genius and cute I’m willing to overlook the fact that there isn’t a picture of you and/or Asher gleefully digging into one of these WHILST WEARING A PARTY HAT, so meta, right?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh my gosh, total missed opportunity. And you know he was begging for a bite the whole time, too! (Mean mom here.) Obviously I need to make them again just for the photo opp!

  14. Jaclyn says:

    These are amazing! So creative!!

  15. Could you be any cuter? These hats are so fun and I suspect extremely delicious! They would be a huge hit at any birthday party – definitely saving this recipe to try in the future :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Kathi! I do, in fact, think I could be cuter and I work on it every morning. ;) Seriously, though, you’re so sweet, and I’d love to hear how they go if you ever give them a try!

  16. Donna says:

    How do they get into the oven? They can’t stand on the point. I’d love to try this! Really!

  17. Holy heck, these are pure brilliance!

  18. Paula says:

    These are brilliant!!! I am an avid baker and am always looking for new and different ideas. I love these and can’t wait to make them!!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Paula! I would love to see what you come up with and the spin you put on them if you give them a try!

  19. Nedra says:

    If you want a smaller version, use the cone shaped water cups that are often sold to go with office water coolers. I’ve had luck finding them at places like Gordon Foods, and even Lowes or Home Depot (construction workers use them with the large beverage coolers). They’re also great for making cake towers for castles and such. I use a disposable aluminum roasting pan turned upside down (on a sheet pan), with 2″ holes cut into it (with the pan right side up, I use a round metal cookie cutter to press round impressions in the bottom of the pan, then use a sharp knife to cut out an X in the center – it leaves little flaps to help hold the cones in place).

    • Elizabeth says:

      Nedra, that is genius! I especially love your suggestion of using the roasting pan upside down. I was able to cobble together a method that worked for me, but yours is less complicated and more elegant. I am definitely doing it your way in the future! Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  20. Kayla says:

    I love these! What do you have them placed on? After you decorate them how do you move them to where they need to be? Thank you!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Kayla! I cut out small circles of white cardboard that were the same size as the base of the cakes, and assembled them/transferred them on the cardboard.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Oh Hello There
Don't Be A Stranger
Take Me Home Tonight
Hey sugar heroes!
My candy cookbook is available now from:

Barnes & Noble
Easter Desserts