No Bake, Low Mess Birthday Cake's featured image

Sometimes birthdays happen while you’re camping, sailing or when it’s too hot to bake. Although it may seem impossible you can still make a fabulous birthday cake even with limited electricity, scarce water and without heating up the house. All you need are some basic ingredients, an 8-by-8-inch pan and a day’s notice. Here’s a delightfully simple “cake” recipe (shhh it’s actually fudge) that’s guaranteed to bring a huge smile to everyone celebrating:


  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • 300mL can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups of chocolate chips (2 x 300 gram bags)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


  • Lightly grease the baking pan.
  • Add butter, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips to a medium saucepan.
  • Over low heat, mix constantly until everything melts. The mixture should look shiny.
  • Remove from heat, add vanilla.
  • Keep stirring until mixture is thick.
  • Pour into greased pan.
  • Decorations can include: sea salt, colourful sprinkles, crushed nuts, dry fruit or berries.
  • Chill until firm.
  • If you don’t have refrigeration, cover the pan and leave somewhere cool to harden overnight.

PRO TIP: To make different flavours of fudge, only use ¼ teaspoon of vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of different extract flavours like mint, orange, or coffee. For an adult version, add rum!

And, of course, the beauty of this recipe extends to kitchen clean-up. This sugary mess will dissolve in water with a few quick wipes of a microfibre cloth. And, with only two pans to clean, you’ll have so much more time to celebrate!



Photo by Alexander Dummer