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Has anyone made a dinosaur birthday cake?

(22 Posts)
underdoggy Wed 14-Aug-13 09:10:40

I really want to make DS a dinosaur birthday cake. I have looked at several options including this which involves cutting up cake to make a dinosaur shape and also dinosaur-shaped cake tins like this.

I've never done anything like this before - want to create the most dinosaur looking cake possible and fear ending up with a green pile of sludge and having to announce, it's a dinosaur, to those who can't guess grin.

Has anyone made something like this?

nextphase Wed 14-Aug-13 09:26:47

I'd have thought the dinosaur cake tin will be difficult to turn out, and won't get much use after this birthday.

Cutting the cake looks possible - do you have some artistic ability? I know mine would look like a pile of green sludge!

I'd be inclined to buy a edible cake topper or make a green cake, and put toy dinosaurs and trees on the top - I made a farm which went down very well like this last year, and fairy cakes with cake toppers this year.
I can make cake, but can't decorate!

MomOrMum Wed 14-Aug-13 09:36:04

I made the green one you linked to and I am useless at baking. I used the Betty Crocker mix and icing to ensure the cake bit would work and then spent time on the shape cutting and icing.

The absolute key is to make the cake enough in advance so it is very cool. Even the day before. Get a proper icing knife thing. Have a bowl of hot water to dip knife in as you go (helps icing spread better). Then the other key tip is to do a first thin coat of icing to get a good base - it will look horrible but just make sure all crumbs are thinly covered. Then leave it somewhere cool to set. Then do another coat of icing that will look smoother and prettier.

Do vanilla/white sponge rather than chocolate as it's easier to cover with icing.

It sounds worse than it is! Just leave enough time for icing to set in between coats and it will look great!

underdoggy Wed 14-Aug-13 09:51:25

Thanks so much for the topper link nextphase - I may get that and hold it in reserve, in case of disaster/dinosaur trifle sponge.

Mom that's interesting you made the cut out one. Did you use the online template? How did you get the green icing?

cocoplops Wed 14-Aug-13 10:12:14

Lol.....I was just going to recommend that one! I've made it and it was pretty easy. Think I made 2 all in one victoria sponge cakes the day before and refrigerated them overnight. Then did the template thing - not sure if I used the print out from the online template...think I just drew it on a circle of paper that was the exact fit of my tins/cake.

I just used buttercream with some green food colouring in it. Guess just make sure the butter is room temperature rather than cold so it spreads better. (Betty Crocker does those ready made icing in a pot which are pretty good. Really love the choc fudge one, but used the vanilla buttercream last week and it tasted a bit synthetic and some of the children said they weren't keen and it didn't seem to take the green dye as well, went a bit pastel)

The first very think layer of icing was definitely really important. And I did the dunking the palette knife in the hot water to get the icing to go on nicely and smoothly (ish!). Definitely after the crumb icing layer shove it in the fridge so the buttercream has a chance to harden - makes putting on the next layer much easier.

I have made another dinosaur cake but that was a bit different with chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream all over and then fashioned a volcano out of a choc muffin with red lava icing and had rivers and greenery with bits of ready made coloured fondant icing. Stuck a few dino's on it and it seemed to go down well. Was a bit more of the 'very homemade' end though! DC liked it...but the online cake looked much, much better!!!

underdoggy Wed 14-Aug-13 11:25:41

Thanks for all the tips! I am not much of a perfectionist so I should be able to knock something out.

I like the sound of your volcano cake, reminds me of those crystal gardens we had as kids!

nannycook Thu 15-Aug-13 06:01:00

Underdoggy, i made a similar cake for my ds 4th b'day over 25 yrs ago, i made a big round cake and cut a strip off the bottom so they stood up flat for the body then with the cut bits i modeled the head and tail, covered it all with buttercream first to seal the crumbs, then put ( i used choccy buttercream) over the cake and spiked it up, then the next bit is patchy and i cant remember what i did next but i got a feeling i cut after 8 mints in half for the spikes down his back, then maybe smarties for his eyes etc, no need to buy tins, use you imagination, just as good.god i even remember making a tank, pram, beefburger in a bun, clock, fire engine, garfield, those were days, these days however i make more grown up cakes, they're wedding cakes, how things change! Now i feel old, ha ha.

BikeRunSki Thu 15-Aug-13 06:23:36

I made DS a dinosaur cake when he was 4, almost a,year ago. I made a 4 shaped cake ( hired tin from local hardware shop) and covered it in chocolate fudge icing. Then I topped it with some lovely fondant dinosaurs that MNer NeverKnowinglyUnderstood made me and posted after I' d posted in here for help. Lots of appreciative ooohs from my audience of 3 and 4 tear year olds.

AltogetherAndrews Thu 15-Aug-13 07:37:34

I think if you are not feeling confident, then the best bet is to make a cake look like landscape, and add plastic dinosaurs, with the added bonus that your DS gets to keep them afterwards!

Quejica Thu 15-Aug-13 08:09:22

The Wilton Partysaurus dinosaur pan (not the one you linked to) makes a cake which is easy to decorate and looks like a fab dinosaur.

underdoggy Thu 15-Aug-13 11:43:59

nanny I love the sound of your cakes! It take me back to the hedgehog one my mum made me one year, just take a box of chocolate fingers and off you go!

Plus, you have solved one problem for me with the after 8 mints. Perfect to make spines for the neck.

Bikerun and Altogether, thanks for those great ideas. Genius to make a four as well.

QUejica I'm off to check out that tine.

I will post a pic when it's done!

midori1999 Tue 20-Aug-13 19:04:51

I have made a couple, pics on my profile.

The dinosaur shaped one is very easy. You just bake a bowl shaped sponge and cover it with fondant, then use modelling paste or fondant with a bit of tylo added to make the tail, neck and head and spines. It's from the Debbie Brown book '50 Easy party Cakes', so not sure if you can find instructions online?

underdoggy Tue 20-Aug-13 20:21:28

Thanks Midori, I am completely in love with your dinosaur cake! I also love the idea of using fondant icing because I think it will be easier. I might hunt down that book.

When you say a bowl shaped cake, do you mean you bake it in a pudding bowl? I don't know how else I can achieve anything other than a round cake confused.

midori1999 Tue 20-Aug-13 20:26:12

Yes, you can use a Pyrex mixing bowl to bake it in. smile

FixItUpChappie Tue 20-Aug-13 20:32:49

I only have a minute but wanted to say YES - I did a dino cake for DS1s b-day last year. Turned out fantastic. More important tip was to cut our the pieces after freezing the cake for a time and then putting the dino together then re-freezing before icing it so you don't get crumbs off of the cut sides. Definitely only use room temp frosting if you go that route. I used a youtube video (I'll try to find the link) then went to town decorating it to my own taste. I made a sheet cake for the adults.

FixItUpChappie Tue 20-Aug-13 20:35:01

Oh - here it is....not Youtube but a video. I have no idea how to link so I'm just pasting it

http://www.howdini.com/video/7073677/how-to-make-a-dinosaur-birthday-cake

FixItUpChappie Tue 20-Aug-13 20:35:37

Sorry - last one....I used some different coloured candy and stuff to make it more colorful.

LtEveDallas Tue 20-Aug-13 20:40:08

Duncan the dragon on my profile pics could be a dinosaur if you leave off the rice paper wings! Really easy to make as well.

LtEveDallas Tue 20-Aug-13 20:42:51

Oh a link to the instructions might help! Here

nannycook Tue 20-Aug-13 22:14:07

underdoggy i found that book on amazon, wasnt expensive, have a look i've bought loads on there.

Mumlar Tue 20-Aug-13 22:38:02

I made one for my dd. it was a kind of Stegosaurus but pink.. My favourite bits were the plates on the back which I made by melting chocolate, shaping them into plates then sticking them in the fridge. These were by far the most successful element; the face looked like something from 'Alien' and was rather scary.grin

omwards Mon 09-Sep-13 19:36:30

Thanks everyone. I made a fantastic cake - am v. proud of myself and DS was thrilled. I used a nigella very solid choc cake (with condensed milk!) and lime green icing. Special thanks to nannycook for the after eight idea which spawned a diplodocus/stegasaurus hybrid.

grin

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