Birthday Cake & More: Celebrating Through Food

Struggling to come up with snacks and sweets for an upcoming birthday party? Well, we’ve got you covered! These recipe ideas are fit to satisfy a crowd, keep within budget and will help you spend more time celebrating your loved ones versus being stuck in the kitchen. 

Kids Under 5 Party Food Ideas

These birthdays are some big milestones, especially when it’s your little one’s first birthday. And, while the little guests may not be too interested in a fancy party spread, here are a few ideas to keep the adults energized as well as some simple finger foods for the young children to enjoy. 

  • For the Adults:
    • Tea Sandwiches
    • Crostini
    • Loaded Nachos
    • Mini Cheeseburgers
    • BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
    • Stuffed Mushrooms
    • Deviled Eggs
    • Spinach-Artichoke Dip
  • For the Children:
    • Sandwiches, sliced into small squares or quarters
    • Vegetables, thinly sliced with ranch dip
    • Fresh Fruit
    • Macaroni & Cheese Bites
    • Mini Quesadillas
    • Chicken Nuggets & Ketchup
    • Bagels
    • Muffins

Birthday Party Savory Ideas for Older Kids

For the older kids, those mini muffins and chicken nuggets might not cut the birthday party standards. And, while all eyes will stay ready for the cake slicing, we’ve compiled a short list of some savory appetizers to hold them over until then. 

  • Fried Mac-N-Cheese Bites (Recipe Below)
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Slow-Cooker Flank Steak Fajitas with Fresh Salsa
  • Fruit Platter with Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff for Dips
  • Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake
  • Focaccia Sandwiches
  • Brie Puff Pastry Bites
  • Pigs in a Blanket (Beef & Cheddar or Apple & Gouda) 
  • Homemade Pizzas (can be a fun party activity, as well)
  • Smoked Pimento Cheese & Bacon Crostini
  • Mini Spaghetti & Meatball Cups
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake
  • Fried Ravioli on Skewers with Marinara Dipping Sauce
  • Guacamole, Salsa & Chips
  • Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato “Buns”
  • Mediterranean Hummus Nachos
  • Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders Bake

Fried Macaroni & Cheese Bites

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Freezing Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes 


  • 3 cups Macaroni & Cheese, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 T Fresh Chives, chopped
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Frying Oil


  1. Stir the chives into the macaroni & cheese, then allow it to cool down until firm in the fridge for about 3-4 hours, or in the freezer for about 30 minutes. (This is an important step to forming the balls.)
  2. Using a small cookie scooper, roll the macaroni & cheese into about 1 1/2″ balls. There should be enough to form 12 balls. 
  3. Roll each ball in the panko breadcrumbs bowl, then the beaten eggs bowl, then back into the breadcrumbs. Set on a pan or plate lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining macaroni & cheese. Freeze for 20 minutes. 
  4. Heat up the frying oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat to 400F. 
  5. Working in batches, fry the macaroni & cheese balls until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer each to a wire rack lined with paper towels to help drain excess oils. 
  6. Serve warm with fresh chives as a garnish. Enjoy!

Easy Appetizers for Adults 

And last, but nevertheless, comes finger foods to satisfy a crowd whose palate may be a little more fine-tuned. 

  • Crispy Fried Calamari
  • Spinach Artichoke Zucchini Bites
  • Loaded Cheese Ball Bites
  • Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
  • Goat Cheese, Honey & Thyme-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon
  • Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce
  • Mini Shrimp Tostada Bites
  • Fried Pickles
  • Cocktail Meatballs
  • Mini Caprese Bites on Skewers
  • Mini Antipasto Bites on Skewers
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Bites
  • Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta 

From reimagined classics to new appetizer recipes for an exciting twist, we hope that you’ll find something you and your guests will love!


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