This Birthday Cake By Milk Bar Is the Only Recipe You Need If You’re Looking For Unique Birthday Cake Ideas

milk bar birthday cake

If you’ve never heard of Milk Bar, you’re probably wondering what the heck it is and how it relates to any birthday cake ideas. Milk Bar is a bakery founded by Christina Tosi that opened in the East Village of New York City in 2008. It has since expanded across North America and is known for its unique desserts such as Cereal Milk, Crack Pie, and my favorite, the Compost Cookie. I honestly don’t know where my obsession with Milk Bar comes from. I don’t know when or how it originated. If I had to guess, it would probably be from traveling to NYC to visit my brother and stumbling upon the cute pink and white bakery. I am drawn to cool, creative, and unique designs, which Milk Bar has all of that and more. Their desserts are both fascinating and unexplainable. Christina infuses ingredients such as “birthday sand” and “vanilla milk” in this recipe, all of which are explained in the recipe. It makes for an interesting experience and one of the best cakes you will ever taste. 

Look no further for birthday cake ideas, because this will be one of the best and most unique cakes you’ll ever taste.

So why should you make this cake instead of ordering it from the bakery? If you live near a Milk Bar store, I recommend ordering from the bakery unless you’re looking for a fun dessert to bake at home. I started making the Milk Bar birthday cake when I wanted to have it every year for my birthday but wasn’t close enough to pick one up locally. You CAN have it shipped to your house, but I love to bake, and baking the cake myself is part of the fun. Christina launched a cookbook with her Milk Bar recipes, but if you don’t have her cookbook, Bon Appetit did a feature on the birthday cake dishing out the recipe.

Disclosure: The links in this post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. I will only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full disclaimer, terms & conditions, privacy policy for more information.

photo: Milk Bar
photo: Milk Bar

5 Tips Before You Start Baking This Recipe

1. Follow the directions. I know that sounds obvious, but really, follow every direction. Buy every item that it says you will need, and get the correct ingredients ahead of time. It will save you a lot of frustration and your cake will turn out better in the end. When I started making this cake, I skipped a few of the tools and in the end, I bought the items for future cakes because they do make a difference. 1. 

2. Freeze the cake. I prefer the cake to be frozen and only pulled out of the freezer to be placed in the fridge 1 hour before serving. This cake is sweet and the ingredients are much better when ICE cold. It's part of the experience and taste. 

3. Don’t over mix your batter. If you’ve followed any of my recipes, you know that I always preach about not overmixing your batter. It will make your cake dense rather than a fluffy birthday cake. 

4. Form small balls when making your birthday sand clusters. I have been practicing with my birthday clusters as known on top of the cake to look like the Milk Bar cakes. I have found that when you toss the bowl and pick up a few pinches to roll into balls, it creates the nice round clusters that I want on top of my cake. I then save those after baking for the top and break up the rest to sprinkle throughout the layers. 

5. Practice makes perfect. If you read some of the low-star reviews in the Bon Appetit recipe (which I don’t agree with btw), you’ll find a lot of people find this recipe complicated. It’s actually very simple and straightforward. You need the correct tools and the correct ingredients, and just like anything else, you get better with time. I make this recipe yearly, so I get better every year that I make it. 

Leave a comment below if you've ever tried to this cake in the store or at home!


Hello! I’m Kaytee. This is my space to share everything I'm interested in from skincare, casual style, healthy living, to everyday life. I'm a mama in my 30s looking to live a carefree life with my family and have fun together.


Leave a Comment!

Don't miss out on the latest -

skincare products I'm loving, new recipes, fun ideas for home, and my favorite recent Amazon finds