How to Host a Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony

How to Host a Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony

by Kien
Although most party companies usually provides this service free of charge, I decided to put this out online so everyone can do the cake cutting ceremony themselves without sweat. 

But first, I think we have to discuss the objective! It’s a must for every birthday party! Cake cutting ceremony is a great time to take photos with your guests and naturally, you want to freeze this special moment with your cameras, especially with your family.
1. Schedule – Most of the cake cutting is done towards the end of the parties but I have seen a few parties doing it at the beginning. There is no right or wrong but I guess you have a find a suitable schedule, when the most important guests are here or right after the magic show when you have most of the guests attention.

2. Preparing the cake

  • Find a place to take the photo. It can be a nice backdrop that you already decorated. (Not against the light if you have glass walls)
  • Take the cake out of the box first (duh!)
  • Put the candles on the cake
  • Some cakes will have this plastic transparent thing covering the side of the cake. Remove that.
  • Have the lighter ready with you. (But do not light the candles yet.)
  • Put the knife on the table beside the cake. Remove it from the plastic cover first. (Most cake shops will provide a safe plastic knife.)
  • For 2D cakes, prop the cake plate up with a plate or small bowl underneath. Face the cake in such a way that it shows the words the right up way when the photo is taken.
  • Have the plates and forks ready
Want everyone to see your 2D cake? Prop it up with a small bowl or plate so your guests can see it!

3. Birthday Kid – Get the birthday kid to stand behind the cake. Take a few photos of the cake with the kid alone. (if there is a chance!)

4. Guests – Some may want the family to be in the photos, and some may prefer to have the kid guests to be in the photo since it’s the child’s birthday. Getting all the kids to stand properly for the photo taking is an art. Kids usually crowd in the front or side where they have the best view of the cake. If you use a long table, it is easier to line them up at the table; behind the cake.
5. Getting the kids to smile – I usually like a few photos before I light up the candles. Because once the candles are lit, the time to take photos is short especially with certain fancy candles. You can get them to shout the birthday child’s name or simply ‘cheese’ at the count of 3. (So everyone says it at the same time!) Remember to ask them to look at the camera. You can ask them to do certain actions like hooray, yay, funny faces, etc. 

6. Light the candles – I recently found some wind-free lighters which is great for birthday candle lighting! If you use a normal lighter, it tends to get too hot after a while. Using a spare candle to light the others may get wax all over the cake. After the candles are lit, I get them to pose for a few more photos.
7. Singing the Song – I count to three so everyone starts the song at the same time. In school, kids are usually taught different versions (Eg. Mandarin) I may let the kids take control of the different versions they want to see. 

8. Blowing the candles – I may remind the kids that ‘it’s ______ birthday today, so let ______ blow the candle. Ask him to make a wish first. (Great photo opportunity when the kid shuts his eyes for this.) Blow the candle. Your camera should snap non-stop during this step.
9. Cut the cake – Get the kid to cut the cake while smiling at the camera. 

10. More photos? – There may be guests who want to take photos with the birthday child and family at this point of time too.

11. Serve the cake – That’s it! Ask the kids to queue up while you serve them the cake. I think it will be great to ask the birthday kid to serve the cake too and thank the guests at the same time.

Kien is a psychologist by training and decided to put what he has learnt to good use by performing magic, since graduating from NUS and NTU about 10 years ago. He changes into Mr Bottle when he is with kids and has been specialising in children magic for the past 14 years. He has since helped host about 2138 cake cutting ceremonies since he started his trade. (He think he should advance to start doing weddings ROM too.) He can find out more about his magic shows at or email him for a chat at

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