Homemade Birthday Cakes


My “middlest” is turning 9 next week and as cliche as it sounds it just doesn’t seem possible. She is such a sweet, giving and thoughtful little girl – I’m so grateful to be her mom. As I was looking through Pinterest for ideas about what to make for her cake, it dawned on me that my beloved mother-in-law was the one who inspired me to start baking my own cakes. My husband remembers her making his cakes for his birthday growing up and he said it brought back great memories. For something I never gave much thought to before, it certainly has been a sweet tradition I’ve had the joy of carrying out.

Now, I’m not a “Pinterest Perfect” baker- you aren’t going to see rolled fondant from this girl. But, what you will see is a mom, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and friend who loves the people around her ….

Our youngest wanted a rainbow themed party one year….she loved this cake.

Our oldest had a baseball party and he absolutely LOVES Oreos…so we mixed the two that year.

One of my dear friends got engaged!

Our daughter was very into horses one year. My best effort, lol- she loved it despite the lack of perfection.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

My Father-in-Law loves carrot cake, so we made him this for his birthday one year.

There’s my sweet mother-in-law catching a memory 🙂


And here comes the Minecraft Creeper cake….it’s a beauty, isn’t it.

My little one’s balloon funfetti cake….

This one the kiddos got to make themselves for grandpa…they were SO proud.

And for another dear friend ….

Do you purchase or make your own cakes? What’s your favorite cake?!

This post is dedicated to my dear mother-in-law who is in the final stages of cancer. I can’t tell you how much she has influenced my life and has made me a better mother. Love her so much… 



  1. I love your cakes and the memories that go along with them. I will keep your family in my prayers. Your mother in law looks like a great, joyful mom! To be honest I make a cake when it’s the actual birthday for my children but when it’s time for the party, I usually order one. We’re very frugal so getting a “bought” cake is like a treat for my kids. Most of the time, homemade food tastes better but there is just something about the taste of bakery frosting that is magical to me. Maybe if I knew how to make great tasting frosting, lol. I LOVE Costco cake especially!!

  2. I love celebrating birthdays. I’m usually the one who remembers birthdays for family and friends. I enjoy seeking out delicious and beautifully made cakes for the one I love, catering to their flavor and interests. I’d like to bake cakes, but it’s something I haven’t gotten around to.

    Janelle, May the Good Lord comfort you and bring you His peace. This post is a lovely tribute to the woman you have been blessed to call mother-in-law. God bless you and your family.

  3. Wow! I’m a mom of 5 kids, although they are all grown now and one is in heaven. I wish I could send you pics of the cakes that I’ve made for some of their birthday celebrations because they really do reflect their interests at the time and they have made good memories for them that I took the time, out of my busy life of raising kids, to make their day special. This is what it is all about and you’re doing a great job!! Your cakes are so creative, especially that one with the colors. Oh-and I want to say I’m glad I subscribe to your blog and pray that you continue to minister encouragement to women of all ages as you’re already doing. I’m in my sixties! I love Jesus with all my heart!

    • Awww, thank you so much Maria….you blessed me so much tonight. So neat to know other moms have done the same thing. It sure is what it’s all about- we are so fortunate to have this time. Love to you, Janelle

  4. I took a Wilton cake decorating class with my m.i.l. and sis.in.law when my first 2 kids were 2 and 6 months and I’ve determined to save money by doing their cakes myself ever since. I only took the first course, but I learned enough to do basic cakes, even a little fondant, but mostly buttercream. It’s fun, although sometimes time-consuming, but I hope it makes special memories for them for years to come. They love it when I let them help, too. Your cakes are all so sweet and personal! I personally do not care for grocery-store cake and I refuse to pay big bucks for specialty bakery cakes. So sorry to hear about your m.i.l, praying for peace and comfort for you all.

  5. I mostly make cakes. My great grandma gave me her cake books. She has some newspaper clippings and books from the 50s and 60s and later. She always used to make a cake for all of her great grandkids for their birthday in some kind of shape. I remember the butterfly, my sister’s rocking horse, and lots of other cakes–and it’s quite an honor to have all of those directions. I used to always make my kids’ cakes. But the older they get, they have started asking for different things. I have worked outside the home for the past 4 or 5 years, and that has impacted my cake making as well! One year they asked for doughnuts–which is a treat around here–so that’s what we had instead of cake. I bought cakes for them the past year or two and they have loved them. (And I loved not having to stress about making them…) We’ll see what they ask for this year. Their birthdays are both right around Christmas, so I just go with whatever they want and what I have time for! I enjoyed seeing your pictures. I have made a horse cake that looks very similar to the one you have pictured. I think I got that pattern online! Fun to see someone else’s version! 🙂

  6. Wonderful cakes! That is a great tradition I hope to carry on with our son and future kids, too. My mom didn’t usually make cakes when my sisters and I were growing up; with five out of six birthdays in the house within two weeks, there was a lot of cake sharing going on! I usually asked for an ice cream cake.

  7. Hi Janelle
    This is a beautiful tribute post to your mother in law. I’ve pretty much made all our birthday cakes for my family. My mother used to make all our cakes as well and I’ve never really thought too much about it but I’ve carried on the tradition. I made a teddy bear sponge cake for my oldest son when he turned one and some number cakes for the corresponding birthday for each child but now they’re mostly round chocolate velvet cake with a chocolate fudge or chocolate sour cream frosting. They’re always a hit with my family. I usually ask each person what type of cake they would like for their birthday since I feel I am showing them my love for them when I ask and then make their chosen cake.
    Blessings and hugs

  8. My mother made our birthday cakes, and I started when I had my first daughter. It started what has been a business for me, and I love making special occasion cakes especially wedding cakes. The efforts to make a cake at home is such a rarity around here. Congratulations for what you do and share.

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