24 of the best birthday cake ideas for Dad (#3 is perfect for Father's Day too)

Showstopping birthday cakes and Father's Day bakes for the Dad figure in your life...

Oreo layer cake
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

We've rounded up our best birthday cake ideas for Dad – including easy ideas that would certainly work for Father's Day too. 

From a no-bake Snickers cheesecake to an espresso Martini cake or a good honest Victoria sponge from the queen of baking Mary Berry, we've got plenty of special bakes to make for Dad. Each and everyone would make the perfect centrepiece for a lovely buffet food spread for a special celebration. 

"I am occasionally asked to make a cake for the special man in someone’s life. The request inevitably comes with a cake type or flavour for the man in question – chocolate is popular, something very dark and heavy with the addition of a bit of booze, Guinness is the classic pairing," says Bake Off star Karen Wright

"A rich fruit cake is my husband’s number one but he is rather old school, so this is not as popular with the younger generation. The classic Victoria sponge cake is a great choice and can be personalised. I quite often swap out the jam and cream and replace it with coffee and walnut, which is quite a grown-up taste and will suit many men. My husband also really likes the old school traybake with icing and sprinkles on the top or those cupcakes with icing and cherries."

Best birthday cakes for Dad

Mary Berry’s chocolate cake

A classic bake to celebrate with

1. Mary Berry’s chocolate cake

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time: 20 mins

A classic cake from a classic baker, this is an easy all-in-one sponge, sandwiched together with apricot jam (though this could always be swapped for strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, or blackcurrant…). It's a very flexible recipe – cream or buttercream in the centre would also be a welcome addition. The bake is topped with a chocolate ganache and a sprinkling of icing sugar. A solid bake for any occasion.

Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s chocolate cake

Maltesers layer cake

A nice bit of Malteser magic to make a good cake great

2. Maltesers layer cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 40 mins | Bake time: 30 mins

It's a truism that you can never have too many Maltesers, don't you find? And with this chocolate almond sponge, they're crushed in both the sponge and within the mascarpone filling as well as on the topping. Of course, you could mix it up with other favourite chocolates for Dad too – because perhaps he's a Minstrels or a Munchies kinda guy.

Get the recipe: Maltesers layer cake

Father's Day cake

Stuck for what to get dad for Father's Day? You're welcome

(Image credit: Future)

3. Father's Day cake

Serves: 10 | Prep time: 35 mins | Bake time: 25 mins

This recipe is a great hack for those with baking fear. Involving a shop-bought chocolate sponge, which is elevated to a new level with the personal touch of a homemade mousseline cream and some marzipan, it gives us great European patisserie vibes. Dip strawberries in melted chocolate and write a birthday message or one for Father's Day on the top and voilà, a special cake for a special day. 

Get the recipe: Father's Day cake

Black Forest gateau cake

A retro cake, perfect for a big birthday

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

4. Black Forest gateau cake

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 1 hour 30 mins | Bake time: 50 mins

If your dad/brother/uncle/friend was a child of the 70s or 80s, when black forest gateau was the king of the dessert trolley, this cake will provide all the nostalgia feels. An excellent choice for a big birthday, as a look back over the decades. Created by the bloke-iest of blokes himself, Gordon Ramsay, it's a classic Germanic affair, with a dark chocolate and coffee sponge and a cherry compote, topped with fresh cherries. A perfect bake for the summer months when British cherries are in season. 

Get the recipe: Black Forest cake

Spiced squash ring cake

When vegetables go naughty (but nice)

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

5. Spiced squash ring cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 20 mins | Bake time: 50 mins

An unconventional bake with a vaguely nutritious twist, the butternut squash helps make the sponge extra moist and flavoursome and is perfectly balanced by the sugary frosting, the caramel, and the sharp-but-sweet ginger. You could make your own caramel, but we've used a welcome hack and bought a canned version – dulce de leche would work a treat as well, of course.

Get the recipe: Spiced squash ring cake

Reese's Pieces peanut butter cake

Yep, he'll go nuts for this one

(Image credit: Future)

6. Reese's Pieces peanut butter cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 40 mins | Bake time: 50 mins

A rich chocolate cake covered in peanut butter flavoured buttercream, topped with a silky chocolate ganache and topped with halved mini peanut butter cups in the ultimate celebration of America's iconic chocolate bar. It's a glorious creation, perfect for Father's Day or a special birthday.

Get the recipe: Reese's Pieces peanut butter cake

Giant rainbow cupcake

One for a man child, not just an actual child

7. Giant rainbow cupcake

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 50 mins | Bake time: 45 mins

Using a giant cupcake mould, this is a rainbow cake in a new guise, and ideal for indulging a man child in your life. The recipe uses nine multi-coloured layers, but you could do less to save time and lessen the fiddly stuff. Sprinkle with Skittles and any other candies of choice (being colourful is the only stipulation). A good one to get the kids to help with (and not just by eating all the Skittles).

Get the recipe: Giant rainbow cupcake

Chocolate explosion cake

A big hitter and all-round crowd pleaser

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

8. Chocolate explosion cake

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 1 hour | Bake time: 20 mins

This drip cake is a sophisticated showstopper. A chocolate sponge, covered in buttercream and chocolate ganache, the big appeal is the topper filled with a variety of chocolate bars. Choose a mix of shapes and sizes – think of everything from Galaxys to Curly Wurlys, Kinder Buenos to Ripples, as well as individual treats like Rolos, Maltesers, and choc pretzels. An absolute triumph.

Get the recipe: Chocolate explosion cake

Oreo layer cake

Because who doesn't love an Oreo?

9. Oreo layer cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 1 hour 30 mins | Bake time: 55 mins

Oreo enthusiasts will be utterly thrilled with this towering Oreo cake because it's not just topped with Oreos (that do indeed have sprinkles stuck to them, just when you thought they couldn't love them more), but also contains them crushed into the frosting. A total delight.

Get the recipe: Oreo layer cake

Stained glass cake

A riot of colour on this adorable bake

10. Stained glass cake

Serves: 16 | Prep time: 1 hour 20 mins | Bake time: 1 hour 10 mins

A stained glass window in cake form? And why not? The almond sponge is a relatively simple one (note to self to check any nut allergies among guests before serving) and the shards are made from melted boiled sweets – multi-coloured obvs – with liquid glucose. The best bit? Once set and cooled, smash them into shards to decorate the cake. 

Get the recipe: Stained glass cake

No-bake Snickers cheesecake

One to go a bit nuts about

11. No-bake Snickers cheesecake

Serves: 10 | Prep time: 30 mins, plus setting time 

A foolproof sweet treat, and one that requires zero baking skills, just make sure you leave a few hours for it to set in the fridge. A nutty twist on a trad cheesecake, the base switches digestives for peanut cookies, and there are crushed peanuts and pistachios in the topping, as well as the retro taste of Carnation caramel (dulce de leche great here too). It could be made nut-free by ditching those nut-based elements though, and topping with Mars Bars instead of Snickers.

Get the recipe: No-bake Snickers cheesecake

Chocolate giant cupcake

If there's one thing better than a cupcake, it's got to be a giant cupcake…

(Image credit: Future)

12. Giant chocolate cupcake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 25 mins | Bake time: 50 mins

A cupcake for 12 you say? And why not? This recipe could be adapted for any flavour sponge and variety of toppings. The key piece of the kit is a giant cupcake mould (these can be bought on Amazon) – other than that, it's the same as prepping any other cake. Topped with lashings of ganache and buttercream, it's rich, indulgent, and quite the delight.

Get the recipe: Chocolate giant cupcake

Lorraine Pascale's chocolate, Guinness and blackcurrant cake

Rich and fruity, just like our ideal man (sorry)

(Image credit: Lorraine Pascale)

13. Lorraine Pascale's chocolate, Guinness and blackcurrant cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 1 hour | Bake time: 20 mins

Supermodel-turned-baker and now psychologist Lorraine Pascale might have hung up her scales and her rolling pins lately, but we're still referring back to her excellent back catalogue of cakes – and this is a great one for a guy's birthday or to celebrate St Patrick's Day on 17th March. The Guinness adds depth of flavour and moisture, the cream cheese filling brings a lightness and the blackberries bring freshness and sharpness. Divine. 

Get the recipe: Lorraine Pascale’s chocolate, Guinness and blackcurrant cake

Mary Berry's lemon drizzle cake

This will add some zest to a celebration

14. Mary Berry's lemon drizzle cake

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 20 mins | Bake time: 40 mins

Another classic from the baking legend, you can't go much wrong with a lemon drizzle. It's a simple cake with just six ingredients and a topping made purely from sugar and lemon juice. Fancy it up for an occasion, should you wish, with extra lemon zest and edible glitter, or even top it with some lemon-flavoured macarons. 

Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake

Banana cake with caramel drizzle

Not just any old banana cake

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

15. Banana cake with caramel drizzle

Serves: 10 | Prep time: 20 mins | Bake time: 50 mins

This is not just any banana cake… This is a special banana cake. Forget those basic lockdown bakes we all did, this indulgent version is topped with a cream cheese frosting, drizzled with caramel sauce, and topped with pecans. And, yes, he will go bananas for it…

Get the recipe: Banana cake with caramel drizzle

espresso martini cake

A very adult, and very delicious, bake

(Image credit: Future)

16. Espresso martini cake

Serves: 10 | Prep time: 35 mins | Bake time: 30 mins

A cocktail in cake form? Sure. This deep, rich sponge is flavoured with coffee and Kahlúa (which could be switched for Tia Maria, should that be preferred) and finished with a sweet mascarpone topping. A perfect one for the coffee head in your life, and ideal with a frothy cappuccino. Cheers to that.

Get the recipe: Espresso martini cake

Coffee and walnut cake

An icon of cakes

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

17. Coffee and walnut cake

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 25 mins | Bake time: 30 mins

An excellent choice for a coffee afficionado is this classic bake. Coffee-flavoured sponge and frosting, topped with walnuts, it's an all-around crowd pleaser and great for a low-key celebration like a lunch or an afternoon tea – with coffee, of course. The man in question will be charmed, we're sure.

Get the recipe: Coffee and walnut cake

Victoria sponge recipe

No need to mess with a classic

(Image credit: Future)

18. Mary Berry's Victoria sponge

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 10 mins | Bake time: 25 mins

We never met anyone who didn't love a Victoria sponge – it's a classic for a reason. And if you're going to follow anyone's recipe, it's going to have to be Mary Berry's recipe. Pimp it up with freshly whipped cream or buttercream in the filling, and top with fresh strawberries and other summer fruits. But, really, it's perfection just as it is.

Get the recipe: Mary Berry's Victoria sponge

Pinata cake

Because, no, piñatas are not just for children, ok?

(Image credit: Future)

19. Piñata cake

Serves: 10 | Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time: 20 mins

Sure, this cake may well have been invented with small people in mind, but if the male recipient is a big kid (and we haven't met many who aren't), then this bake will go down a storm. Perfect for a significant birthday, make it a nostalgia fest and a trip down memory lane with his favourite childhood sweets from the penny mix-up. It'll be a talking point anyway…

Get the recipe: Piñata cake

mango lime cake

A fresh and zesty bake

(Image credit: Getty)

20. Mango lime cake

Serves: 10 mins | Prep time: 15 mins | Bake time: 45 mins

The Aussie chef, who sadly passed away recently, is credited with inventing the concept of avocado on toast as a breakfast classic. But he also did a pretty fine bake, such as this wonderfully light and fresh cake made with yogurt and fresh mango, and topped with a lime icing and plenty of zest. He also suggested adding a splash of coconut rum – and we don't need to be told twice.

Get the recipe: Mango lime cake

Persian Victoria Sponge cake with raspberries and rose

It's what Queen Victoria would have wanted…

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

21. Persian Victoria sponge cake

Serves: 10 | Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time: 30 mins

A Middle Eastern riff on a classic sponge, thanks to the addition of rosewater, pistachios, and lemon. It's pretty in pink – and this is 2024, so surely as much a great cake for the boys as the girls. Not complicated, but very special for a very special person. 

Get the recipe: Persian Victoria sponge cake

Chocolate gateau on glass stand

A decadent delight

(Image credit: getty / HalladayPhoto)

22. Chocolate gâteau

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 50 mins | Bake time: 55 mins

A simple yet decadent single-layer bake with a hit of brandy, this is a very grown-up cake. Covered in a dark chocolate ganache, it's topped with chocolate curls, which could be switched for any sort of choc-based topping of the birthday boy's choice – crumbled Crunchies, bashed-up M&Ms or a more refined grating of Green & Blacks, perhaps. 

Get the recipe: Chocolate gateau

banana upside down cake

Go bananas for cake

(Image credit: Future)

23. Banana upside down cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time: 30 mins

A banana bread meets a pineapple upside-down cake, this unique bake contains rum to give it a boozy kick and is a special edition to a birthday tea party. Perfect for a more sedate celebration, perhaps for a grandad or another older chap in your life. 

Get the recipe:  Banana upside-down cake


The Austrians know a thing or two about good cake

(Image credit: Future)

24. Marbled cherry Gugelhupf

Serves: 15 | Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time: 45 mins

A favourite in Germany and Austria, this cake is said to have originated in Vienna – when, to celebrate defeating the Turks at the city's gates, local bakers made a cake in the shape of the sultan's turban. Made in a fluted tube pan, the almond sponge is marbled with cherry jam, and topped with icing and fresh cherries. Truly delightful.

Get the recipe: Marbled cherry Gugelhupf

Writer bio pic
Lara Kilner

"This collection has given me some great inspiration for my husband's birthday – he's a sucker for a banana cake, and I never elevate it to anything special, so will be taking this one on board. I'll also be mastering a lemon drizzle for my stepdad. I've never thought of doing a Father's Day bake before, but I'll be getting my kids on to that marzipan-topped delight next time round."

Looking for more birthday cake inspiration? Our collection of the best kid's birthday cake ideas is sure to inspire. As well as Frozen birthday cake ideas and Bluey birthday cake ideas too - you'll be spoilt for choice.

For first-time parents, we have a round-up of first birthday party ideas, plus plenty of kids' party games that will get everyone involved. For those of you with pre-teens, check out our 13th birthday party ideas

Lara Kilner
Food Writer

Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.