Birthday Cake Shot

Birthday Cake Shot

Sweet, delicious, and festive, the birthday cake shot is nothing short of fun. It's also easy to make, and a great use for that bottle of cake vodka stashed away in your bar. Essentially, it's a cake in a glass, and there's no baking involved!

This tasty little drink is made with cake vodka, chocolate liqueur, and Irish cream. The shot glasses are rimmed with vanilla frosting and colorful candy sprinkles to give it that real birthday cake feel. Since any cake is always best when enjoyed with others, the birthday cake shot recipe makes two shooters, and it’s easy to increase if you need more.

"Bring out your inner child with this sweet but potent shot, served complete with frosting and sprinkles. This drink could be mixed in a large batch and chilled right before pouring to serve at an adult birthday party. Call your liquor store ahead of time to order the cake vodka since it may not be easy to find." —Joan Velush

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Vanilla frosting, for rimming

  • Candy sprinkles, for rimming

  • 1 ounce cake vodka

  • 1 ounce crème de cacao

  • 1 ounce Irish cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make birthday cake shot

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Rim two shot glasses by rolling them in a small dish of frosting, then dipping the rim in a dish of colorful sprinkles.

    dipping shot glass in frosting

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the cake vodka, crème de cacao, and Irish cream.

    pouring ice in cocktail shaker

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Shake well.

    metal cocktail shaker

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Strain into the prepared shot glasses. Serve and enjoy.

    pouring birthday cake cocktail into shot glasses

    The Spruce/Madhumita Sathishkumar


  • While any frosting works, a whipped frosting is lighter and fluffier, perfect for rimming. It’s available at most grocery stores and, if you have baked goods to frost as well, you can make your own whipped frosting.
  • One quick dunk will grab a lot of sprinkles. Go slow if you want more frosting and fewer sprinkles.
  • Crème de cacao is available in two styles: dark and white (clear). Either works well in this shot, and only the color will change. You can also use any chocolate liqueur you have on hand.

Recipe Variations

  • This drink also makes a fabulous cocktail. Shake it up and strain it into a cocktail glass for a dessert martini or serve it on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass.
  • Whipped cream and vanilla vodkas are excellent substitutes for cake vodka and will retain some of the sweetness. You can also pour an unflavored vodka.
  • Use any small cake decoration; colored sugars are fun, as are mini pearls.
  • Switch to a chocolate frosting to play up that flavor in the shot. Or, go for the yummy combo of cream cheese frosting and crushed walnuts used in the carrot cake shot.
  • As in the king cake shot, top each shot glass with a swirl of whipped cream.

How Strong Is the Birthday Cake Shot?

Don’t be deceived by this sweet shooter. It’s rather potent, averaging out at 21 percent alcohol by volume (ABV, 42 proof) when made with a 60-proof cake vodka. To put it into perspective, drinking two of these shooters is equivalent to a straight shot of tequila.


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