Looking for the perfect birthday dessert that isn’t a cake? From bite-sized to decadent, we’ve found 19 show-stopping treats that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Scroll down to get inspired—just don’t forget to make a wish.

photo: A Subtle Revelry

Ice Cream Tacos

Who says tacos have to be savory? These festive dessert tacos are totally on-trend for a 2018 birthday and easier than cupcakes. Check out how A Subtle Revelry puts them together. And if you're looking for more dessert taco ideas, we've got more right here.  


Strawberry Rice Crispy Pops

We love these adorable pops from Tast-e, and not just because they look like something that belongs in a cotton candy castle. They’re just as easy to whip up as your run-of-the-mill rice crispies, and the little ones are sure to gobble them up. Get the scoop by clicking here.

S’mores Muffin Tin Ice Cream Cakes

These mini ice cream cakes from Blender Happy may look complicated, but they’re actually pretty easy to pull off. With a graham cracker crust, some hidden mini marshmallows and a banana-based ice cream topping, they’ll be an instant favorite with your crew. To grab the recipe, click here.

Ice Cream Cupcakes

These may look like those boardwalk-style chocolate dipped cones, but don't be fooled—they're cupcakes! The Flair Exchange shows how to bake the cupcakes right into the ice cream cones, then dip them a chocolate shell topping. For step-by-step instructions, click here.

Pina Colada on a Stick

Keep things light with this fun (virgin) twist on the pina colada by First Look, Then Cook. Strawberries and pineapple are paired with coconut gelatin squares to make a combination that will send you straight to the islands. Click here to snag the recipe.

Banana Split Ice Cream Pie (In a Jar)

Around My Family Table's great idea combines all the best parts of a banana split into a cute mason jar, making it the perfect individual treat for tots. Layer up graham cracker crumbs, different types of ice cream, and fruit toppings for a dessert that really rocks. To check out the full recipe, click here.

Ice Cream Cake Pops

We’re obsessed with these yummy ice cream cake pops from Better Recipes—and they’re actually easier to make than normal cake pops. Just scoop mini portions of ice cream, then roll them in your favorite cake flavors. To get all the details, click here.

Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches

Oreo lovers will go crazy for these ice cream sandwiches with a twist from Frosting and a Smile. You can customize the toppings based on taste or to match the party's theme—either way, your guests will gobble 'em up. Click here to grab the recipe.

Grilled Donuts

If you’ve got a donut fan in your fam, they’ll fall for this sweet treat from The Merry Thought. Paired with ice cream or fruity dips, they’re an easy way to feed a crowd, too. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Cookies and Cream Dessert Pizza

Combine your kid’s two favorite things—pizza and cookies—and you’ll get this insanely delicious dessert from Amuse Your Bouche. This version is topped with marshmallow fluff, Oreos and chocolate, but you can get creative topping it with your favorite sweets and fruits. Click here to get the recipe.

Balboa Bars

These ice cream bars from Half Baked Harvest are a step above your usual picks from the ice cream truck. Customize them with Oreos, chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts—the sky's the limit. They can be made ahead of time or little chefs can get involved in topping their creations themselves. Click here for all the details.

Breakfast for Dessert

Chloe, a San Francisco-based French illustrator and mom to one-year old daughter Lula, just started what we anticipate to be the newest trend in birthday party desserts. For her daughter's first birthday she served up 30 belgian waffles to her guests and it's no surprise they were a huge hit. With a waffle iron, making large batches of these treats is super simple, and if you want to get creative go for an unconventional shaped waffle maker (think: waffles shaped like penguins, hearts and Mickey Mouse!).

Tiny Pies

If you’re not a star baker, you can still wow your guests by ordering a batch of adorable Tiny Pies. Made by a mother-daughter duo based in Austin, Texas, the pies are small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, and they can be shipped right to your door. To find out more, click here.

Funfetti Cake Batter Popsicles

For a birthday-appropriate twist on popsicles, try this clever idea from Unusually Lovely. It’s super easy to whip up with the help of cake mix, rainbow sprinkles and heavy cream. Click here to get the recipe.

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars

These blast-from-the-past ice cream bars from Dinner, Then Dessert are sure to be a hit with kids and nostalgic adults alike. Stacked with vanilla ice cream and strawberry sorbet and rolled in a delish strawberry crumb topping, what’s not to like? Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Dirt Dessert

This fun idea from Mooshu Jenne is perfect for an outdoor party. Layer chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and crushed chocolate cookies for "dirt" that's sure to be delicious. To grab the recipe, click here.

Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Guests of all ages will be wowed by this impressive cake from Lauren's Latest. It's actually pretty easy to throw together using Oreo cookies, chocolate ice cream, and seriously delicious peanut butter-caramel sauce. Get the details on how to make it by clicking here.

Fried Ice Cream

They love ice cream and french fries, so it’s not too much of a stretch to say they’ll probably go nuts for fried ice cream. Add a little fudge and whipped cream, it’s birthday dessert heaven. Serve up dishes of this and no one will be looking for a cartoon covered sheet cake. For the easy how-to, head over to Overtime Cook.

Circus Animal Truffle Bark

Turn your kiddo's favorite cookie into this colorful truffle bark from A BaJillian Recipes. This would also work perfectly as a take-home treat for goodie bags. Click here to get the full recipe.


Have you seen any cool desserts lately? Tell us your picks in the Comments section below!

— Erin Lem & Susie Foresman



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birthday desserts