How To Make A Cow Cake For An A-Moo-sing Birthday Party

Cora Lydon
Dec 12, 2023 By Cora Lydon
Originally Published on Sep 15, 2020
Homemade cheesecake with fresh strawberries and mint for dessert.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 5.0 Min

Image © prostooleh, under a Creative Commons license.

For an udderly adorable birthday cake for a farm theme birthday you can't go wrong with a cow cake to feed the herd.

Striking black and white icing, big doe eyes and a a sweet filling make this easy cow birthday cake a winner. Kids will love blowing the candles out on this cake, especially if they've helped to make it too.

This easy cow cake recipe looks impressive yet is easy to assemble so your children can help bake this cake with you. It's filled with buttery icing just perfect for this dairy-themed bake and in the alternatives section we also show you a quick way to get a surprise cow patterned sponge for the inside. If you've got a child who loves visiting the farm or spends hours playing with their toy cow then they're going to love this cow cake. If your little animal-lover is more into woodland creatures then check our step by step guide to a wonderful hedgehog cake. Why not team this delicious cake with a trip to your local farm for a birthday surprise? And of course round off the celebrations with a trip to the moo-vies!


For the cake: 225g softened butter, 225g golden caster sugar, four large eggs, one teaspoon vanilla extract, 225g self raising flour, splash of milk, pinch of salt

For the filling: 600g icing sugar, 300g softened butter, drop of vanilla essence (makes enough for crumb coat too), strawberry jam

For the decoration: Block of white ready to roll fondant icing, 60g black fondant icing, 60g pink fondant icing, 30g brown fondant icing

Equipment: Two toothpicks, sharp knife

Little girl making cake with her mother


1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas mark four. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.

2) Beat the butter and sugar together until it's pale and fluffy in appearance. Add the eggs to the mixing bowl one at a time, whisking after each one. Stir in the vanilla, flour, salt and milk and combine well.

3) Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 35-30 minutes. Check it's cooked by inserting a skewer – if it comes out cleanly it's cooked through.

4) Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cook on a wire rack.

5) Beat together 600g icing sugar and 300g of softened butter, until you get a smooth buttercream. Add a little water if you need to loosen it. Add a drop of vanilla essence. Cover one of the cakes in strawberry jam and the other in some of the buttercream. Sandwich cakes together and place on a cake board.

6) Cover the top and sides of the cow cake with a crumb coat of the butter cream.

7) Roll out a block of white ready to roll fondant icing. Carefully drape over the cake smoothing it down so it lies flat. Trim away any excess at the base of the cake.

8) Next roll our your pink icing and cut out an oval shape and position at the base of the top of the cake, brushing the back with a little water to help it stick. Use a melon baller or similar to gently push an indentation in on either side for nostrils, and then the knife to score a smiley mouth just below.

9) Roll out your black fondant icing. Start by cutting out two small circles for eyes. Brush with water and position on the cake. Cut out four smaller circles of white icing and fix two inside of each of the black eyes. Use your sharp knife to cut out random patterns from the black and secure them to the white icing for the cow markings. Add them to both the top and the sides for the full effect.

10) To make ears cut out a teardrop shape from the white icing, and a smaller teardrop shape from the pink. Fix the pink on top of the white and gently pinch the bigger end. Set to one side to harden.

11) Roll out the brown icing into a sausage shape and cut in half. Gently mould into a horn shape and push a toothpick in it from the base. Set aside to go hard.

12) Finally, use water to attach the two ears, and then push the other end of the toothpick and the horns into the side of the cake.

Tips & Alternatives:

  • If you really want to wow with your birthday cake then why not make a sponge cow cake that is patterned like a cow on the inside? Follow the recipe above but once you've mixed up your batter divide between two bowls. Use black food colouring on one and stir through. Use an ice cream scoop to dollop balls of black cake mix into the cake pan and cook for two minutes. Add the rest of the cake batter and cook for the remaining time.
  • If you need to cater for people with allergies you can use gluten-free flour and replace the eggs with two mashed bananas, 16 tablespoons of apple puree or 16 tablespoons of silken tofu.
  • You can also replicate this cow cake using a dome cake tin for a 3D cow birthday cake. It won't require a filling, but otherwise the cake decorating can remain the same. Just take your time to get the icing really smooth.
  • The cake takes around an hour and a half to make and will serve 8-10 people.
  • Store the cake in an air-tight container and it will last for up to five days so it can be made in advance.
  • If you have cake left it can be frozen. Just slice, wrap in two layers of cling film and then a layer of foil. It will keep in the freezer for two months.

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Written by Cora Lydon

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Literature

Cora Lydon picture

Cora LydonBachelor of Arts specializing in Literature

With a passion for inspiring her children, Cora is a journalist with a Bachelor's degree in Literature from the University of Suffolk. She is also a children's book author living in Suffolk. She enjoys seeking out creative activities and places for her family to explore, often resulting in messy crafts at the dining table.

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