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Top 5 Alternative Birthday Cakes to Try in Houston

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Every September I am reminded of the fact that a disproportionate number of my friends and family are Virgos. I guess like attracts like, since I am also born under this star sign and almost (one day apart) share a birthday with my husband. In any event, this month is pleasantly riddled with celebrations, and in pursuit of more creative cakes, I've done research into some alternatives. Here are five non-standard birthday cakes to try in Houston:

5. Ice Cream Cake (Amy's Ice Creams). It's unclear why ice cream cakes seem to fade in popularity after one's tenth birthday since most adults, as far as I can tell, still enjoy ice cream. If you're concerned about bland bargain-basement creams, duh, don't buy those generic versions available in your grocery freezer. Amy's Ice Creams offers a range of theme cakes that combine their homemade ice creams (including seasonal flavors) with an assorting of soft and crunchy toppings (e.g., Oreo, peanut butter cup and vanilla cookie).

4. Pumpecapple Pie Cake (Three Brothers Bakery). Though originally designed as a hybrid dessert for the holidays, the pumpecapple pie cake (if they haven't trademarked that amazing portmanteau, they really need to) offers a multitude of autumnal flavors that are perfect for September-December birthday boys and girls. Just one thing: These birthday babies must be hungry because the pumpecapple pie cake (as its name implies) comprises pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice cake, pecan pie, chocolate cake, apple pie, a whole lotta cream cheese frosting, and caramel sauce. Whew.

3. Cookie Cake (Cookies By Design). I've written before about my love of the cookie cake, and if you're looking for a version that's a bit more sophisticated, go to Cookies By Design. They offer a series of elaborate, personalizable icing design options that are worth the extra moolah.

2. Cupcake Tower (Ooh La La Bakery). Single cupcakes may be on their way out, but colossal cupcake constructions are in. At Ooh La La, you can select from a plethora of inventive flavors (try the S'more or "Pretty in Pink") for the building materials of your own personal cupcake turret.

1. Donut Cake (River Oaks Donuts). No, I don't mean a cake made out of donuts, though that's certainly not a bad idea. Think, rather, of a giant donut in lieu of your standard sheet cake (an especially appropriate swap for that forced 9 a.m. birthday party at the office). You can control the frosting color; you may not be able to control yourself from eating three slices.

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