Air Fryer Birthday Cake (3 Ways)

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How to transform a simple air fryer chocolate sponge cake into the most amazing, yet simple birthday cakes. Easy to mix and match ingredients and looks amazing and tastes amazing.

You can also mix and match cake decorating styles to transform this same cake into a wedding cake, Christmas cake or even a christening cake.

Air Fryer Birthday Cake
Air Fryer Birthday Cake

Easy Birthday Cake

I can bake a great cake in the air fryer. I can make it moist, I can make it addictive, but OMG ask me to decorate it and it will look like a 2 year old did it. Or I would pass it over to the chef hubby for him to turn it into a master piece.

It got me thinking, that we all want that easy birthday cake that we can recreate at home, and a method that doesn’t stress us out.

I signed up for some 1:1 cake decorating classes from the lady that created this awesome cake decorating book. She is also the amazing person that inspired me to create my own cookbook.

We decorated a cake for Jorge’s 6th birthday and a cake for Sofia’s 8th birthday and both looked fabulous.

But surprisingly they both started off as an air fryer chocolate sponge. Two chocolate sponges (or you can use three) were sandwiched together for the base of the cake.

Today, we wanted to share with you the second part of our air fryer cake series, a follow up to making the sponge and how to transform it into an easy birthday cake.

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Which Type Of Cake Is Best For Birthday?

The cake that is the best for a birthday cake and is the easiest is a simple vanilla or a chocolate sponge. Then you can sandwich together the two sponges and then decorate it to make it a beautiful birthday cake.

What Is The Most Popular Cake In UK?

The most popular cake in the UK is the Victoria sandwich cake. Its been popular for many, many years and is sandwiched together with jam and cream.

We have made an air fryer Victoria sandwich cake and its so delicious and a vanilla alternative to air frying a chocolate cake.

Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Birthday Cake?

Yes, it is much cheaper to make your own birthday cake. I find that I will have all the ingredients in my kitchen and don’t even need to shop for ingredients. Or just need to shop for some fondant icing to go on the cake.

What Is The Difference Between Birthday Cake & Regular Cake?

Its all about the decorating. A plain chocolate sponge you would consider a regular cake, but one decorated in bright colours and just asking for candles to be added is most certainly a birthday cake.

You can of course, take any basic sponge cake and transform it for a birthday cake.

How To Make A Birthday Cake The Day Before?

Because I was taking the air fryer chocolate sponge recipe to a studio to be decorated, we made the chocolate sponges the day before and then wrapped them in cling film. Then they were stacked like this and loaded into the fridge ready for the next day.

How To Make A Birthday Cake The Day Before

Then the next day they came with us to be decorated. But you can of course make the sponge two days before the party, then decorate the next day. That way they have chance to cool fully before decorating and it puts less stress on you.

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How To Make A Birthday Cake (3 Ways)

Now lets discuss three great ways that you can make a birthday cake and make one that people go wow over, when you bring it out to wish everyone a happy birthday.

But firstly, before you decorate it to a specific theme you want to create the birthday cake base.

Trim the top off the cake first to make it straight and if you want it perfect you can also do the same around the sides.

trim the chocolate cake first

Then next on a cake decorating stand add a little spoonful of your buttercream and stick your bottom sponge to it. This is a tip that Julie taught me as it stops the cake from sliding around as you decorate it.

After this add the buttercream or whatever you plan to fill the cake with. Then add the top layer of the cake and sandwich the two together.

sandwich the birthday cakes together

You now have the basics covered and are ready to transform your sponges into an amazing birthday cake.

#1 Fondant Icing – Jorge’s 6th Birthday Cake

man united birthday cake top shot

This is for our Manchester United loving 6 year old. I love the idea that you can use a simple fondant over the cake, then add a transfer that you can buy on Amazon and then add some simple decoration around the cake.

This is also the cake style I would highly recommend you start with.

Start by adding a layer of ganache or a layer of buttercream and smooth it over the tops and the sides ready for icing to be added.

smoothed over before icing added

Then the hard work really, really starts. You need to roll out the fondant icing as thin as you can. Put your muscles into it like you are cleaning an oven.

For the Man United cake look we went with rolling the fondant icing out very thin for the cake base, then enough black for a trim around the edge. We also rolled out some yellow to write Jorge’s name with and then the off cuts from it made the little balls that go around the edge.

We recommend you start first with rolling out the main red and then covering the cake and trimming the edges, then doing the black layer and the black base.

black and red fondant icing

Then transferring the cake to the black base and then adding in the balls around the edges.

Last but not least, adding the transfer for the cake on the top section and of course the kids name. Then a candle later and you are done.

Listen To Air Fryer Birthday Cake

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#2 Cake Modelling – Sofia’s 8th Birthday Cake

sofias 8th birthday cake

This is your more intermediate cake decorating level and this is making an object to go on top of the cakes. If you are good at playing with the kids and their playdough then you are good for this.

I do recommend you check out Julie’s cake modelling book as it will show you in a lot more detail than I can here how to do so many different versions. She is also the same lady that gave me a 1:1 class to make this with.

To go down the cake modelling route, you would sandwich together the cakes and then layer them with buttercream or ganache and add a layer of fondant icing first.

Here is Sofia’s at that stage:

pink fondant icing

Then you can make a model to go on top like we did with a unicorn for Sofia.

sofias unicorn

#3 Fun Rocky Road – Our Air Fryer Cookbook

the ultimate chocolate cake from the complete air fryer cookbook

Then for the cookbook we have an even better option for you, and this reminds me a lot of chocolate cakes you see in magazines, rather than what you would automatically associate with birthday cakes. But this is very good if you want to avoid icing a cake.

The idea here, is that you sandwich the cake together with air fryer ganache, then you decorate it with as much leftover biscuits, marshmallows and chocolate cups you have and then you have a birthday cake.

Behind the scenes of making our air fryer cookbook (you can pre-order it here) we first had our food stylist style the chocolate cake and that is the photo you see above.

Then ourselves (me, Dom, Sofia & Jorge) along with our recipe tester Tracy and our recipe tester Sarah re-created them at home. We wanted to make sure it was easy to achieve.

And these were our results of our simple birthday cakes:

sarahs birthday cake
Sarah’s Cake
tracys birthday cake
Tracy’s Cake
our birthday cake
Our Cake

We all loved our results and of course, Jorge loved his role the most and I am sure he wishes that we baked cakes all the time.

And below in the recipe card we are sharing with you how to make the chocolate ganache that you can fill inside of your cake and around the edges and then add in your favourite chocolate to make the rocky road. If you prefer buttercream do check out our Thermomix buttercream recipe which is brilliant.

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More Air Fryer Cake Recipes!

our birthday cake
Our Cake

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our birthday cake
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5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Birthday Cake (3 Ways)

How to transform a simple air fryer chocolate sponge cake into the most amazing, yet simple birthday cakes. Easy to mix and match ingredients and looks amazing and tastes amazing.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time37 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Air Fryer
Servings: 8
Calories: 1006kcal


  • 2 Air Fryer Chocolate Cake Sponges
  • 540 g Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 420 ml Double Cream/Heavy Cream


  • Add to your silicone pan the chocolate and half the cream. Air fry for 4 minutes at 120c/250f.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • Stir and add half the remaining cream and air fry for another 3 minutes at the same temperature.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • When the air fryer beeps stir again and add the remaining cream as you stir. You now have perfect chocolate ganache.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • Then transfer the silicone pan onto a plate and fridge for 30-60 minutes until cool.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • Once cool whisk with a hand whisk and you have whipped ganache.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • Then either spoon by hand, or use a piping bag like we did, sandwich the two sponges together with a layer of buttercream in the middle and then pipe around the edges to create the perfect chocolate cake look.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • Then add a layer of the whipped ganache on top and add a good layer as you are creating your mountain for what chocolate you add.
    How To Make A Birthday Cake
  • Finally decorate with leftovers and drizzle with a favourite sauce and you’re ready to add a candle and sing happy birthday!
    How To Make A Birthday Cake



Chocolate. For the chocolate we recommend that you add broken up Bournville because it tastes so good and melts well.
Thanks for reading our birthday cake recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious cakes do try our air fryer lemon drizzle cake next.


Calories: 1006kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 977mg | Potassium: 834mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 786IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 401mg | Iron: 6mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes. Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets. CLICKING HERE →

1 thought on “Air Fryer Birthday Cake (3 Ways)”

  1. 5 stars
    WOW that cake looks amazing. I followed your instructions and i have a tower air fryer so I upped everything you suggested with regards to the temp and time and it turned out really good. The sponge was slightly different to one cooked in a oven but it was much easier to clean up after with the silicone really making a huge difference. Many thanks for all your tips and making me wonder what else i could make in the air fryer.


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