Cake crusader Jessica Carter presents our pick of the best birthday cakes around…

When birthday cakes are this good, who cares how many candles are on top?

Cupcake Surprise, The Cake Store
Born from a small father-and-son bakery established in the early 1900s, The Cake Store knock up some mightily impressive cakey creations. A nice big slab of deliciously moist sponge cake, decorated with yet more cake? Well, that’s a winning idea if ever there was one. (NB: The ‘surprise’ here refers to the fact that you’ll find you can eat a whole lot more cake in one sitting than you may previously have thought possible.)

Macedonia Cake, Patisserie Valerie
You can almost taste Patisserie Valerie’s 87 years of experience in this glazed-fruit-topped, fresh-cream-layered vanilla sponge of perfectly crafted loveliness.

Number Cake, Marks & Spencer
Avoid birthday-candle-related fire hazards – instead, remind the lucky birthday boy or girl of their age by safer methods – namely, one of these bad boys.

Birthday Breakfast, The Cake Store
These fun – not to mention utterly delicious – handmade beauties provide the perfect excuse to have cake for breakfast (like we needed one.)

Biscuit Cake Card, Biscuiteers
This is one kind of card that definitely won’t meet its fate in the recycling pile. Ok, so these aren’t technically cakes. But they’re far too scrumptious for us to get hung up over such insignificant details.

Mirror Cake, Patisserie Valerie
You’ll almost be able to see your reflection in the shiny dark chocolate glaze of this work of cakey art as you dive in. Literally, dive – you won’t be able to stop yourself.

Colin the Caterpillar, Marks & Spencer
Who doesn’t have fond childhood memories of Colin? Whose heart is not warmed by this comforting old faithful? Who can resist chocolate-covered chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream, finished with sugar-coated chocolate buttons, a loveable white chocolate face and adorable little white chocolate feet? No one. That’s who.

Personalised Cake, Simply Delicious Cake Co
If a more sophisticated approach is called for, then The Simply Delicious Cake Co is the way forward. And, as they package up their cakes in pretty boxes and even create you a personalised card and candle to go inside, they’re also complete life savers for when you don’t notice the red-ink-encircled-and-double-underlined date on your calendar until the day before. Everyone loves a bit of next-day delivery.

Personalised Little Princess or Little Boy Cake, Biscuiteers
These are definitely ones for the kids – however big or small they happen to be! Hand-iced by a faithful biscuiteer, these cute creations come in their own keepsake tin. May yours always be filled with cake and biscuits.

Cake within a Cake, The Vegan Cakery
Think you always get overlooked on lists like these because you’re a vegan or have an intolerance to dairy? Well to make up for it, here, have two cakes in one! Cut through the sweet vanilla frosting and moist chocolate sponge and you’ll find this scrummy vegan-friendly creation is hiding delicious chunks of vanilla sponge inside. Best of both worlds, if you ask us.

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