Planning a party? You need to check out our most creative, showstopping cakes. We have fun mash-ups, decorating tips and crowd-pleasing flavour combinations.
At BBC Good Food we relish any opportunity to present a quirky, showstopping party cake. Although our 2017 Good Food Nation Survey highlighted that, in Britain, we’re not very adventurous with food, baking is a national obsession where invention and creativity can come to the fore. We've put all our favourite novelty bakes together in this guide that will inspire you with ingenious concepts, surprise ingredients, retro revamps and clever decorating techniques.
Chocolate digger cake
You don't need to be an engineer to tackle this construction site cake – a few small toys, your choice of sweeties and some KitKats are put together to dramatic effect. Kids and adults alike will enjoy digging in to the rich, chocolatey sponge.
You may also want to browse our kids' party cake collection.
Our galaxy cake is truly out of this world! Cut a slice and reveal salted caramel heaven within. Made with Mars bars for an extra fudgy texture and edible silver stardust, it really is a work of art – sure to make the kids go starry-eyed.
PBJ Bakewell tart
We've combined everything we love about the traditional English Bakewell tart and given it an American peanut butter and 'jelly' twist. With two popular bakes for the price of one, the PBJ Bakewell with a jam drizzle and peanut topping is an irresistible cross-cultural cake mash-up.
You may also want to try this Cherry Bakewell cake for another twist on the tart.
Coconut chai traybake
This is a tropical traybake with added oomph. Inspired by our favourite tea, it's spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to complement the coconut, making it feel that little bit more special. Ideal for serving at a coffee morning, or afternoon tea.
Our traybake collection has even more crowd-pleasing cakes.
Malted chocolate drizzle & honeycomb cake
Shards of crunchy honeycomb, cream cheese icing and rivers of chocolate ganache create real drama with this tiered celebration cake. The malt chocolate sponge underneath goes wonderfully with a cup of coffee and of course, children will love it, too.
Polka-dot strawberry cake
How about a summer stunner? This strawberry cake has a delectable mascarpone filling, fresh strawberry topping and a fun, pink polka-dot sponge. And it tastes as good as it looks. The classic strawberry and cream combo, wrapped up in a modern decorative sponge: what's not to like?
Gin & tonic cake
Something for fans of the classic cocktail, our gin & tonic in cake form is perfect for a sophisticated afternoon tea or grown-up birthday party. Tonic water, juniper berries and of course, a helping of gin give it that characteristic flavour.
Matcha mousse cake
With its combination of textures and subtle flavours, this dainty matcha mousse cake is a must-try. Matcha powder lends a light tea flavour and white chocolate brings sweetness while the fresh cherries on top add a touch of sharpness.
Gravity-defying sweetie cake
This fun Smartie cake looks like magic and will delight little ones. When it comes to a kids' party, you can't go wrong with a moist, light chocolate sponge, chocolate fudge icing and colourful Smarties. Take a look at our guide on how to make an anti-gravity cake for some top decorating tips.
Espresso chocolate & chilli cake
Indulgent sweet chocolate, smooth coffee and a background note of chilli heat create a perfect, grown-up blend for the ultimate dinner party dessert. We also love the soft texture of the sponge and the pillows of coffee cream sitting on top of this espresso chocolate cake.
Giant jaffa orange cake
Jaffa cake fans, rejoice! This giant jaffa cake delivers a hit of childhood nostalgia as well as great chocolate-orange flavour. Slice through the glossy exterior to reveal a layer of zingy citrus jelly atop fluffy golden sponge.
Courgette lemon & thyme cake
Take inspiration from the allotment and discover why so many bakers are loving the trend for baking with veg. This courgette cake is beautifully moist and is great for using up a glut of what the Americans call zucchini. It goes so well with the lemon, too, for a mouthwatering treat.
Like these bakes? Get more cake ideas...
Which is your favourite creative bake? Let us know in the comments below...