Image © Joyce Adams, under a Creative Commons license.
In just one hour you can make a totally roar-some dinosaur cake.
There’s no doubt you’ll be a legend in your child’s eyes if you surprise them with a fully formed, beautiful-looking 3D dinosaur cake. If your kids love all things prehistoric or perhaps you have a budding palaeontologist in the family, making a 3D dinosaur birthday cake is a brilliant way to surprise them at their birthday party. This cake will resemble a friendly stegosaurus.
If you have never made a 3D cake before, this cake is a great way to practice using templates and assembling pieces to create the perfect birthday cake. Once you have had a go at perfecting your skills, take a look at our other amazing cakes such as our mermaid birthday cake or how about this fantastic hedgehog cake.
Here's how to make a dazzling dinosaur cake, truly a walk in the (Jurassic) Park.
Makes: 15 servings.
Cooking time: 50 minutes.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Ingredients For The Cake Body
• 300g unsalted butter
• 450g self-raising flour
• 300g caster sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 6 tbsp milk
• 75g large bright, colourful sprinkles
For the Icing
• 200g unsalted butter
• 400g icing sugar
• 75g white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
• About 1-2 tsp green gel food colouring (avoid water-based colouring)
• Two small sweets to make the eyes such as chocolate beans
• Orange sugar paste, cut into triangles
An electric mixer, or wooden spoon
Two 8-inch round baking tins
A dinosaur template (You can draw your own)
A handful of toothpicks
One wire rack, for cooling the cake.
How To Make A 3D Dinosaur Birthday Cake
Preheat the over to 180c (160c fan)
1.To make this easy dinosaur cake, place all of the ingredients, except the sprinkles, into a large bowl. Be sure to sieve in the flour. Then, using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until smooth, light, and combined.
2.Add the sprinkles and mix briefly, ensure they are equally distributed. Next, grease and line two 8-inch round cake tins with parchment paper. Divide the mix between the two tins. Bake the mixture in a preheated oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes. You can check the cake is ready by inserting a skewer and ensure it comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
3.Check the baked sponges for a raised peak and using a serrated knife slice this dome from the cakes. Then cut the first layer in half through the middle. Next, retrieve your dinosaur template and use it as a guide to cut your sponges. Make sure you cut the cake pieces including the dotted lines on the template and discard the shaded parts.
4.Assemble the pieces of the dinosaur, fixing the head parts to the body with a couple of toothpicks. This will ensure it stays in place and avoids any potential dinosaur collapse.
5.To make the dinosaur’s frosting, beat together icing sugar and butter until it becomes smooth and thoroughly combined. Then gradually add the melted chocolate and the food colouring. Beat the mixture together until the frosting is one consistent green colour, this will ensure your dinosaur looks more real.
6.Spread a thin layer of the frosting across the cake; this will serve as the glue to stick the spine and the dinosaur larger body parts.
7.Put the leftover frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small closed star nozzle and pipe little peaks of buttercream across the body of the dinosaur.
8.Then, to make the eyes use a pair of sweets and stick to the frosting, chocolate beans work well. Cut the orange sugar paste into triangles, then gently press along the spine of the dinosaur to create the tail.
9.Take a minute to appreciate your work, your incredible dinosaur cake will undoubtedly go down in (pre) history!
Top Baking Tips
- Sifting the flour into the mixture add more air to the cake mix results in a better rising cake. This is an essential step for this cake as you’ll be needing those peaks!
- Cakes are usually best devoured on the day of baking; you can keep it fresh for up to five days. However, if you have plenty left over you can freeze this birthday cake for up to three months. Simply wrap tightly in cling film and secure in a Ziploc bag. When you wish to eat it, defrost it fully and consume within five days.
- Children can get involved in creating this cake and certainly for the fun parts like creating the face and tail. However, supervision is required for the parts where sharp utensils are needed, and when using the oven. Kids of all ages can eat this birthday cake, but take caution with toddlers and for those who are too small, you could even use this creation for a cake smash party!
- To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the regular flour with gluten-free flour such as spelt flour.
- Vegan dairy substitutes can all be used in the case of dietary restrictions or allergies. You can also find sugar paste and fondant brands that are suitable for vegans.
- You could also create a birthday cake with dinosaurs on top of the cake, using fondant. Just make a regular sponge and decorate with your dinosaur creations. Alternative dinosaur cakes we have seen include a large chocolate nest filled with dinosaur eggs.
- Why not experiment and create your own templates? You could try a T-rex cake if your kids love more scary dinosaurs.
- If a birthday isn't on the horizon, you could still bake this awesome cake and tie it in with learning about these famous reptiles.
Dayna grew up in rural Devon speaking three languages at home, she is the definition of a ‘linguaphile’! After studying Speech Therapy and Psychology at the University of Reading, she now works as a Speech and Language Therapist specialising in early intervention for children with special educational needs. She also works with adults and teenagers who have dysfluency. When she’s not supporting children and families within schools and her clinic, she’s out exploring with her own kids. She has worked extensively overseas and is the editor of an inflight magazine for Air Malta.