This cute penguin birthday cake is ideal for young children. It's an easy cake to make and decorate and is sure to be popular with kids and adults!
My daughter has an obsession with cats and penguins. They are her two favourite animals and if she lost her cat and penguin soft toys it would be a disaster. Recently I bought some round hemisphere cake tins with the idea of possibly making a turtle cake (one of her favourite animals at that time).
Well I still haven't made a turtle cake, although that might change soon! But I did decide I could make a penguin cake and so I bought the icing to be prepared. I told my daughter that we would make a penguin cake one day and she didn't forget. The next afternoon I asked her what she wanted to do and she replied, 'Make a penguin'. The day had come a little sooner than I expected.
Getting My Daughter Involved Making the Cakes
We mixed up the cake batter and baked the cakes. Unfortunately, there was no time to finish decorating them. We had to wait until the next day. I told her we were going to make the penguin and she went and got her little rolling pin and biscuit cutters. While she played with some of the icing, I got on and decorated the cake.
She might not be quite 2 yet, but she was quite impressed, at least I like to think so. She might not have liked the banana and chocolate chip bars, but she did like this cake, minus the icing. All that work and I'm not keen on icing either so we both pull most of it off and throw it away! The fun is in the decorating anyway.
What is this Penguin Birthday Cake Like?
The good thing about this cake recipe is that it makes quite a dense cake that is ideal for decorating. You could use the same mixture to make a round or square cake and then cut shapes out of it. Although it's quite dense, it is also very moist and bakes evenly from the sides right to the middle. There were no dry bits around the edge as you can get with some recipes. It is adapted from Nigella Lawson's Buttermilk Birthday Cake.
A Great Cake Recipe not Just for a Kid's Birthday!
As you can see, we made this penguin cake for fun. It doesn't just have to be for a special occasion but I know it would make a great birthday cake too!
Penguin Birthday Cake Recipe
Penguin Birthday Cake for Kids
- 14cm hemisphere cake tin
- 21cm hemisphere cake tin
Ingredients for the Cake
- 250 g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 100 ml low fat yogurt
- 100 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 125 g butter at room temperature
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
Ingredient to Decorate the Penguin Cake
- 3 tbsp jam
- Black ready to roll icing
- white ready to roll icing
- yellow ready to roll icing
- Icing sugar for dusting the work surface
- Preheat the oven to 160°C
- Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl.
- Mix the yogurt and milk together in a small measuring jug.
- Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat between each one.
- Add a third of the flour mixture and a third of the yogurt/milk mixture in three batches, beating after each addition.
- Butter the inside of 2 hemisphere cake tins. I used a 14cm one and a 21cm one. Rest each one on top of a round metal biscuit cutter so they stay still. Fill each cake tin about ⅔ full with the cake batter and put on a baking tray.
- Bake the cakes in the oven at 160°C. I found the smaller one needed 25 minutes and the larger one 45 minutes. Keep testing with a metal skewer in the middle of the cake until it comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the cake tins for a while and then turn them out onto a metal rack to finish cooling.
- When you are ready to start decorating, slice off the bottom of the cake as it will have risen up during baking. This is so it has a flat bottom.
- Heat the jam in the microwave and brush it onto the cakes where you are going to put the icing.
- Cover each one completely in white icing first and then roll out the black icing and cut out the shapes you need for the rest of the head, the sides, the eyes and the wings.
- Finally make the beak and feet with the yellow icing.
Notes for Making this Cake in a 23cm round tin
- Follow steps 1-3 above. Line the tin with baking paper. Heat the oven to 180°C and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Decorate any way you like.