What Can I Use As A Candle For A Birthday Cake?

Safety Considerations

When using alternative candle options for a birthday cake, it’s important to keep fire safety in mind. According to https://www.safewise.com/blog/fire-safety-tips-for-candles-in-the-home/, unattended burning candles are a major cause of house fires. Children should always be supervised around burning candles to prevent accidental fires. Carefully placing candle alternatives on the cake is also crucial to avoid tipping over and potential burns or other damage. Consider shorter or wider candle alternatives as they may be more stable on a cake surface. Avoid long, thin objects that could easily fall over when lighting candles on a cake.

Everyday Household Items

Many common household objects can be repurposed as makeshift birthday candles in a pinch. Flashlights make a great candle alternative – simply turn on the flashlight and stick it upright in the cake. Glow sticks can also be bent into a “U” shape and stuck in the frosting. For a sparkling effect, use sparklers secured in a cake pop or floral foam block. You can even wrap Christmas lights around skewers or chopsticks and insert them into the cake for a festive, twinkling candle substitute.

flashlights inserted into a birthday cake as candle alternatives

Other everyday items like markers, pencils, or crayons can be stood up in cake pops or foam to resemble candles. Chopsticks, skewers, straws, and toothpicks work too. For a quick candle, wrap aluminum foil around a pen or chopstick, shaping it into a “flame” on top. With a little creativity, you can make DIY birthday candles from stuff around the house.

Fruit and Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables make for beautiful and tasty alternatives to traditional birthday candles. Sliced strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and star fruit can adorn the top of any cake or dessert. Not only are they eye-catching and colorful, but they are also edible, eliminating the need to remove candles before cutting the cake. Pineapple rings in particular make great “candles” that can be placed right into the cake. For food safety reasons, make sure to wash all produce thoroughly before use.

According to Pinterest, fruit choices like strawberries and kiwis make for fun and festive birthday cake toppers. The variety of colors and shapes allow you to get creative. Fruit alternatives are better for the environment too since you avoid one-time use candles.

Candle Alternatives

There are many creative and safe alternatives to traditional birthday candles that can spruce up a cake. Popular options include:

LED candles – These battery-operated candles emit a realistic flickering glow and come in all different colors and sizes. They provide the candlelight ambiance without an open flame. You can find affordable LED candles at most craft and party supply stores, like Michaels.

Flameless candles – Flameless candles use clever technology to mimic the look of a real burning candle. Many are made of real wax with fiberoptic wicks that illuminate from within. They’re available in pillar and taper styles. Check out flameless candles from Candle Impressions.

Wax number candles – Number-shaped candles are a classic substitution for regular birthday candles. Place the appropriate number of candles on the cake to mark the birthday age. Number candles come in colorful wax or paper styles, like these colored number candles from Target.

Creative Food Ideas

If you want a fun alternative to traditional birthday candles, get creative with different food items! Licorice, cookies, lollipops, candy, and cake pops can all substitute as candle holders on a birthday dessert.

Twizzlers or red vines work great as faux candles. Stick them into cupcakes or a cake to mimic a candle flame. For a colorful look, use candy such as Starbursts or Life Savers. Spear them onto lollipop sticks then insert into the dessert for a whimsical design.

Homemade or store-bought cookies like sugar cookies or gingerbread people can be decorated to resemble candle holders. Use icing to affix them to the top of cupcakes or to the edges of a cake. You can even make the “flame” out of icing for a complete candle look.

Cake pops and lollipops are also options. Add a candle flame design using icing or chocolate to turn them into single-serving candle substitutes for a birthday. Not only are they fun, but they eliminate the need to blow out candles which can spread germs.

When it comes to getting creative with foods for birthday candle alternatives, let your imagination run wild! Candy, cookies, cake pops and more can become candle holders and make your celebration uniquely you.

Flowers and Greenery

Using fresh flowers and greenery is a popular alternative to traditional birthday candles. Roses, baby’s breath, leaves, and other flowers can create a beautiful, natural decoration for the cake. According to this source, you can use a foam base or something like a paper cup to hold the flowers upright on the cake. The flowers should be thoroughly washed beforehand. Make sure no pesticides or chemicals remain on edible flowers. Using flowers avoids the need to blow out candles and the smoke or wax mess.

Flowers come in a vast array of colors to match any birthday theme. Try using the birthday person’s favorite flowers or something with personal meaning. Irises, sunflowers, daisies, orchids, lilies, and wildflowers offer diverse options. Consider incorporating edible flowers like pansies, lavender, rose petals, and violets. Just check that the flowers are pesticide-free. With this technique, the possibilities for making a stunning floral cake arrangement are endless.

Paper Crafts

One creative option is to make paper crafts to use instead of traditional candles. Paper is easy to shape and decorate to look like candles or flames. Some ideas for paper craft birthday “candles” include:

  • Origami candles – Fold paper into cylindrical candle shapes and decorate with markers or paint.
  • Paper flowers – Make flowers out of crepe paper or tissue paper to place on the cake instead of candles.
  • Paper flames – Cut flame shapes out of colored paper and attach them to toothpicks or skewers.
  • Paper numbers – For kids or milestone birthdays, cut numbers out of cardstock to place on the cake.

Paper crafts allow you to customize the cake decor to match the theme or recipient’s interest. They are easy to make using supplies likely already around the house. Paper craft candles are a safe alternative that avoids any fire hazard. They can be saved as mementos from the birthday after the celebration.

Making Your Own

If you want to get creative and make your own homemade birthday candles, there are a few easy options using common household items. According to this source, you can make candles out of beeswax. Simply melt beeswax pellets in a can placed inside a saucepan of water, then pour the melted wax into molds around wicks to create taper candles. Let cool completely before removing from molds. You can also make rolled beeswax candles by repeatedly dipping wicks into melted beeswax until the candles reach the desired thickness. Allow to dry between dips.

Another homemade candle option is to melt old crayons in a tin can or glass jar in the oven at a low temperature, as explained in this guide. Carefully pour the melted crayon wax into a mold and add a wick. Refrigerate until set. Votive candles, tea lights, taper candles, and pillars can all be made by recycling old crayons this way. Get creative with crayon colors and layering. Making your own birthday candles is a fun DIY project!

Considering Candle Traditions

The tradition of placing lit candles on birthday cakes has ancient roots. According to a Wonderopolis article, this custom started with the Ancient Greeks, who used candles to honor the goddess Artemis and her birth. Over time, the tradition has evolved to become a fun part of modern birthday celebrations.

Blowing out the candles and making a wish is considered an important part of the tradition. According to 1800Flowers, the flickering candles are thought to carry wishes and dreams up to the gods or to the universe. Although the exact origins are uncertain, this ritual remains meaningful for many people today.

For those seeking alternatives that retain the tradition, there are creative options. Instead of regular candles, battery-operated flameless candles provide the flickering light without the fire hazard. Number candles shaped like the birthday age can tie to the symbolism. Cupcake candles for each guest retain the making a wish moment. The tradition can also be reimagined with candle-shaped cookies or other symbolic decor.

Ultimately, the tradition resonates because of its meaning, not just the candles themselves. Finding creative adaptations allows the essence of making wishes and honoring the special day to remain.

Safety First

When using any candle alternative, it’s important to keep safety in mind, especially when children are involved. Supervision is key when lighting any type of flame. Make sure to place candle substitutes on a stable, nonflammable surface away from table edges. Keep them away from flammable materials like curtains or holiday decorations. Have a plan to extinguish the flame if needed, like having a lid nearby to smother it. Avoid leaving burning substitutes unattended. For children, opt for battery-operated candles whenever possible.

According to sources, “Beeswax candles are not only safe, but have the added benefit of helping clean indoor air” (https://wellnessmama.com/natural-home/dont-use-scented-candles/). Supervision and caution are always recommended with open flames, especially around children.

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