Birthday Cake Ideas for 3-Year Old Party

Updated on October 30, 2008
S.C. asks from Madison, WI
6 answers

Hi Moms:

I am having a party in the park for my 3-year old in a couple of weeks. The theme will be horses and I am trying to be a frugal as possible. Wondering if anyone knows of a bakery that could make a cute cake without breaking the bank!!

Thanks for any help!

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So What Happened?

Just wanted to say thank you to the women who responded. Although my issue was not as crucial as some other requests I've read, I appreciate the thoughtful replies.

I decided to make the ice cream cone cup cakes from the Betty Crocker recipe with colored frosting and sprinkles. They were a BIG hit--the parents wanted to know how I had done it. It was easy and convenient for the little ones to hold in their small hands.

Thanks again, Mamasourcers!

More Answers



answers from Orlando on

Hi S.,

I have done all my kids cakes and it is a lot of fun. Now a day there is a lot out there for you to come up with a very cute cake.

Get cake mix and bake few round cakes and square cakes, put themin a big plate or hard card board they sell them at Jo-Ann Fabrics or Michaels. You can do your own butter cream icing or buy it, Wilton’s is pretty good. After you put the icing then start creating. At the dollar store you can find the little plastic horses in a bag you can use those or if your son have any wash them and use them. If you want to create grass use coconut flakes and color it green with food color. After you start you want to continue and trust me you will be surprise with all you can do.

Good luck and if any other tips write my back,

Best wishes,



answers from Orlando on

Here's an idea that is a neat spin on cupcakes and kids love it! Instead of baking a cupcake in the paper cups you take ice cream cones (the wafer like ones - not sugar cones) and you place them on the pan fill them with batter (don't fill them too much because the batter will rise). Bake them like normal... when they come out the batter will have risen to look like a scoop of icecream. You can still put icing on it and decorate them how you wish. Kids love these because they are easy to handle to eat. they just hold the ice cream cone and eat their cupcake along with the cone. You could get or make a small cake to sing and blow out candles and then hand these out to the children. Here's a link to a site that has a recipe... enjoy!



answers from Orlando on

With boxed cake mixes selling for less than a dollar each, I think the cupcake idea listed below is about as frugal as you can get! If baking *and* decorating sounds too daunting, you might ask a family member (with fewer child-wrangling duties) to bake/frost the cake as an alternative gift.

For 3-year-olds, it might even be best to let them decorate their own cupcake. How fun would that be? (Maybe a little messy, but fun-- and no pressure to preserve a picturesque cake amidst a gaggle of preschoolers!) Plus, you're in the park, so any errant sprinkles are free to roam. :)

Great tip on the horse toppers, too.
Of course, you'll want to check that any dollar store buys are food safe: anything painted with a metallic finish will likely contain lead. Yipes!

Best of luck, whatever you decide. (If your daughter is anything like me, she'll only remember her 3rd b-day cake from the pictures. Ahh, memories...)



answers from Orlando on

maybe you can get a regular shaped cake with pictures of horses on top? Or pick up a few horse toys at the dollar store and stick them on the cake which is frosted green like grass! I do know, BJ's, sams, costco etc are like half the price of a publix cake and are quite good!



answers from Orlando on

You can special order with at least 24 hours and they have great cakes and great prices!
My other thought would be to have them make you cupcakes and you can have them put little horse rings on the top. would be a lot less mess to carry to the park. You usually get like 30 of them for around $14
Good luck



answers from Orlando on

I've always had good luck with the Publix bakery. Their cakes are delicious and affordable. If you're budget is really tight, consider baking cupcakes yourself (boxed mixes always turn out great!). Then there is no cutting or serving or forks involved- a great plus for a toddler/preshool party! You could get a bag of small plastic horses or ponies for cheap (at a party supply store, dollar store or toy store) to use as toppers and then tint homemade or store bought icing any color you want. Your daughter can even help put the toppers on- and then you have ready-to-go party favors (just rinse and put in treat bags). I did this with little rubber ducks for my twin boys' first birthday party. Good luck and have fun!

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