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.

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 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!!!

    1. 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!

  2. 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).

    1. 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.

    1. The ones I used were paper with a slight wax coating, and they worked fine. You can check the link I included in the post to see the type I mean.

  3. I tried this several years ago but the wax coating on the cups started smoking in the oven and produced such an unpleasant odor. Did you have this issue? I was so worried about the fumes that I dumped them in the trash and never looked back. Would love to try them again with better results. Any suggestions?

    1. trying this now and having the same issue! 🙁
      trial run for my son’s 1st birthday and i’m just not sure…

      1. Hi Deborah and Sarah, I didn’t have an issue with the wax paper smoking. I wonder if different brands behave differently? I do know that Better Home & Gardens tested this recipe several times before putting it up on their site and didn’t have a problem, so I don’t think the smoking is a universal thing. I wonder if baking the cupcakes for a longer time at a lower temperature would help prevent this problem?

    1. I just snipped colorful licorice into small pieces, put a dab of buttercream on top of the cones, and pressed the licorice pieces into the frosting!

    1. Thank you Jeanette! They are really fun for birthdays. I hope you get to try the recipe.