32 Easy Birthday Party Recipes Kids Will Love

Classic Birthday Cake
PHOTO: MICAH A. LEAL

Once you’ve picked a theme and finalized the guest list, the next step in planning a birthday party for your little ones is to choose a menu. Whether you’re having a small get-together with family or planning a backyard soiree with friends, no birthday party is complete without kid-approved dishes, snacks, and, of course, a celebratory dessert! Some of these quick and easy recipes can even be prepared in advance to help save you valuable time on the day of the party and allow you to spend more time celebrating. Here are our favorite kid-friendly recipes to make your next birthday party a breeze.

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Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull Apart Pizza Bread
ALISON MIKSCH

This cheesy snack will become one of your new favorites, and kids will absolutely love them. Simply toss cut-up, canned biscuits with pizza toppings, bake in a Bundt pan, and serve with marinara. These pizza bites are incredibly easy to make, and they’re a great handheld appetizer to pack up in the car and tote to the tailgate party.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

If the honoree likes cake and cookies, this recipe brings the best of both together. The giant soft-baked cookie is finished with chocolate frosting.

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Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

Bacon Bow Tie Crackers
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ; PROP STYLING: LYDIA PURSELL; FOOD STYLING: TAMI HARDEMAN

Depending on how many guests you’re expecting, you may want to double (or triple) this easy recipe. They’ll fly off the plate in record time.

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Birthday Cake Cookies

birthday cake cookies
PHOTOGRAPHER: ANTONIS ACHILLEOS, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KELLY, FOOD STYLIST: ALI RAMEE

Adding sprinkles to the mix is all it takes to make these fabulous funfetti treats. These cookies are full of birthday cake flavor, white chocolate chips, and festive sprinkles.

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Crack Crackers

Crack Crackers Recipe
ALISON MIKSCH; PROP STYLING: KAY E. CLARKE; FOOD STYLING: ANNA HAMPTON

Elevate cheese crackers with ranch dressing mix for an easy kid-pleasing snack. Serve this crispy snack warm from the oven, and watch it disappear.

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Pizza Sliders

Southern Living Pizza Sliders in the baking dish ready to serve
CAITLIN BENSEL; FOOD STYLIST: TORIE COX

Sometimes pizza just tastes better in slider form. A batch of these pizza sliders will delight guests of all ages. Minimal prep work means this recipe works well for a crowd.

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Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake with Strawberry-Sour Cream Buttercream

Cream Soda Confetti Sheet Cake
PHOTO: GREG DUPREE; PROP STYLING: MINDI SHAPIRO LEVINE; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

This cake can be refrigerated for up to three days, so you can prepare it before the day of the party. Freeze-dried strawberries turn the frosting a fun pink color and add fruity flavor.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
JENNIFER CAUSEY

No matter the crowd, chocolate chip cookies are always a good idea. This version gets a rich, slightly nutty flavor from browned butter.

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Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos
GREG DUPREE

A customizable main dish makes every guest happy. Create a nacho bar by offering various toppings like onions, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and tomatoes.

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Chipotle-Barbecue Meatballs

Party-Perfect Meatballs Recipe
PHOTO: BRIE PASSANO

This easy appetizer starts with frozen meatballs. Combine just five ingredients for a satisfying, no-fuss snack. There’s also a variation for cocktail-size sausages.

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Classic Birthday Cake

Classic Birthday Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

Clear vanilla extract is essential in this recipe for providing the nostalgic flavor of a classic birthday cake. Perfectly sized for groups, this cake bakes in a 9×13 pan.

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Mini Potato Skins

Mini Potato Skins
PHOTO: GREG DUPREE; PROP STYLING: CLAIRE SPOLLEN; FOOD STYLING: CHELSEA ZIMMER

A party-perfect snack, these mini potato skins serve a big crowd. Use Baby Dutch Yellow potatoes and your favorite toppings.

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Mac and Cheese with Ham

Baked Smokin' Macaroni and Cheese
BETH DREILING HONTZAS

Guests will dig into a warm pan of this beloved mac and cheese, which gets a twist from chopped ham. Add peas or broccoli for a nutritional and colorful boost.

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Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
MICAH LEAL

No artificial flavors or colors needed. Full of real strawberry flavor, these mini cakes feature fresh strawberries in the batter and freeze-dried strawberries in the bright, tangy frosting.

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Meatball Sliders with Tomato Sauce

Meatball Sliders with Tomato Sauce
PHOTO: HECTOR SANCHEZ

Let your slow cooker do the work cooking the sauce while you prepare the meatballs. Saucy and fit for a crowd, these miniature meatball subs will earn a thumbs-up from young guests.

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Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws
LEE HARRELSON

Most of the ingredients for this easy snack can be found in your pantry. These cheesy straws will delight fans of cheddar goldfish crackers.

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Chocolate Marble Cake

Chocolate Marble Cake
GREG DUPREE; FOOD STYLING: RISHON HANNERS; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINE KEELY

With a marble cake, you don’t have to choose between flavors. Chocolate and vanilla both star in this dessert. Chocolate frosting can be slathered between layers and on top, or all over for this homemade treat.

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Homemade Onion Dip

Homemade Onion Dip
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: AUDREY DAVIS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL

Skip the packet and try this easy onion dip variation. This homemade version of a party classic will become an instant favorite.

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Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
SOUTHERN LIVING

The best kind of party is a pizza party. Tortilla cups baked in muffin tins are the perfect vessel for pizza toppings.

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Chicks in a Blanket

Chicks in a Blanket
HECTOR SANCHEZ

Wrap chicken sausages in crescent roll dough for a spin on the classic party food. For a picky crowd, you can omit the seasonings on top.

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Caramel Apple Dip

Caramel Apple Dip
JENNIFER DAVICK

A caramel dip will entice kiddos to eat more fruit. This creamy dip can be made ahead and warmed just before serving.

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Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Birthday Cake Ice Cream
GREG DUPREE; PROP STYLIST: MARY CLAYTON CARL; FOOD STYLIST: MARGARET DICKEY

Put your best foot forward with this homemade ice cream. This recipe doesn’t require an ice cream maker—just mix and freeze. The addition of birthday cake and sprinkles makes this a special way to celebrate the guest of honor.

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Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
JENNIFER DAVICK

Serve this refreshing pasta salad at any summer birthday party. It gets a touch of sweetness from grapes, while pecans add crunch.

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Uncle Jack’s Mac-and-Cheese

Uncle Jack's Mac-and-Cheese
HECTOR SANCHEZ

A true set-it-and-forget-it dish, this creamy classic cooks in a slow cooker during the celebration. This dish also makes a great family dinner.

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Fried Pickle Chips

Fried Pickle Chips
ALISON MIKSCH

Guests will rave over these zippy snacks. Serve with a bowl of Roundhouse-Kick Sauce for an unbeatable duo.

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Sweet-and-Salty Snack Mix

A batch of this sweet and savory snack mix won’t last long. Waffle cones make a cute presentation and double as snack holders.

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Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip

Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip
IAIN BAGWELL

What’s not to love about bacon-wrapped red potatoes? A dunk in queso makes them even more irresistible. Keep the cheese dip warm throughout the party in a fondue pot or small slow cooker.

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Queso-Filled Mini Peppers

Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

These little peppers forgo the usual cream cheese filling for a zesty queso. Use fresh jalapenos for more heat.

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Summer Fruit Skewers

Summer Fruit Skewers
SOUTHERN LIVING

Kids will enjoy eating these fun-shaped fruit skewers dipped in yogurt. For older kids, set out prepared fruit and let them create their own.

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Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip
IAIN BAGWELL

Elevate your veggie tray. Guests will dive into this slightly sweet, tangy dip that’s the perfect pair to grilled or raw veggies.

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Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles

Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: GINNY BRANCH; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX

Help summer partygoers cool down with sweet, refreshingly fruity popsicles. Blend together ingredients and freeze in molds or paper cups with sticks until firm.

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Apple Chips

Apple Chips
MICAH A. LEAL

Sweet and crunchy, this recipe satisfies snack cravings. These chips bake for a while, so make this simple recipe in advance.