You two are definitely in different places when it comes to celebrating! My hubs and I are similar to you in that he also could care less about a birthday of his own. So he extends the same to me, which used to make me very sad. Once (many years back) we went out to dinner at Red Robin and he specifically told them no singing. I was MAD! I don't need to be the center of attention, but definitely do want some recognition. I felt also that this encouraged my stepkids to ignore me and really dis-associate from the family during the meal. It was not a good day. Then two years ago, I didn't get a cake and I was upset again. I worked hard and did Christmas/kid stuff all day (my bday is near the holiday) and no nothin' happened. He said happy birthday to me, but that was it.
Finally, I had an epiphany! I was going to celebrate my own birthday in the way I wanted to. So I booked a trip to Disneyland for last year. My husband grumbled, but I told him it is MY day, we spend it how I want! I even told him to stay home if he didn't want to go, but he came along willingly. It was very expensive and not everyone can do that, BUT it was also my 40th birthday so I felt it was a milestone and deserved a littel more. Also, the type of celebration I would prefer was not a big party with family and friends, but doing something I want for me. I love amusement parks and I love Disney, so we did it my way.
Will I be able to do that next year? Most likely, no. It would be nice, but...gotta pay the bills. I will try instead to schedule something else I want, like a massage or a dinner out to a restaurant I really like.
The point is, I am making my own birthday special. I told him he can sure come along for the ride, and also he can pay :) I am DONE waiting for someone else to do it for me!
My hubs does do other nice things for me, his love language is probably acts of service. For instance, he fills up my car with gas almost all the time, so I do not have to. I would not mind putting gas in my car, but he likes to and I graciously let him. He also knows my love language is more likely gifts (altho it has changed to be much less focused on this over the years, esp since having kids) and for instance yesterday he bought me a beautiful set of earrings and surprised me with them! So, there is hope for your husband if you have a calm and rational talk with him, and he understands that one of his roles is to make you happy (ain't mama happy, ain't nobody happy). It is not to say one of you is right or wrong in how you approach birthdays, but that you want to honor and respect the other person enough (esp on birthdays) to make them feel special and loved. Once he understands this, he will make more effort.
I did point out to my hubs as a joke that last year I got no cake - since we were at Disneyland, we didn't try to find one. I loved seeing his jaw drop open when I said that. I know he was thinking "wasn't Disney enough?" But I was JUST JOKING and he knows it. He pointed out that I don't eat cake, which is true. But I told him that the singing and blowing out of candles is important to me. Next year, we will see if he remembers that or not!
And in closing, let me tell you that my hubs also took the cans off the car when we got married, before we even drove anywhere. It was not a surprise to me that he prefers to not make a fuss over things. I haven't tried to change him too much, I hope - just maybe fine tune a bit :)
p.s. My husband also doesn't arrange babysitting which drives me BANANAS. We still have to work that one out!