Introduction: 3D Penguin Birthday Cake

Picture of 3D Penguin Birthday Cake

For all those penguin lovers out there that want a cake that you can make at home, I'm here to help. Using the Wilton 3D bear pan, and a little imagination, you can have a penguin in an hour (plus baking time).

Wilton 3D Cuddly Bear pan with instructions
Frosting tool with star shaped tip
2 cake mixes (following pan instructions for selection)
Black & orange food coloring
2 toothpicks
1 set doll eyes
1 birthday hat candle

Step 1: Bake the Cake

Picture of Bake the Cake

Using the Wilton 3D Cuddly Bear pan, bake your cake following the instructions included with your pan. This pan is currently retired, but you can pick one up on eBay and download the pan instructions for free from

Step 2: Transform the Bear Into a Penguin

Picture of Transform the Bear Into a Penguin

After the cake cools, remove the feet and the ears. You can discard the feet but set the ears aside for later.

Step 3: Add Black Frosting

Picture of Add Black Frosting

Use food dye to create a large quantity of black frosting. You can mix standard food coloring to get something close to black, but for a true color splurge on specialty black food coloring (found at any store selling cake decorating supplies). Use a star tip with your favorite frosting tool. I find it easier to break the cake off into grids and start in the center and work your way out. It's really up to you.

Leave a triangle in the face to fill in with orange later for the beak. Also leave a large oval shape area in the front to fill in with white for the stomach. Use the arms as a guide. The arms should be frosted black as flippers. Leave space between the arms to let the white of the stomach to peak out.

Finally, add doll eyes (not edible) to the face of the penguin. Just push into the frosting.

Step 4: Add Stomach

Picture of Add Stomach

You'll only need a small amount of white frosting. Use the star tip to fill in the stomach.

Step 5: Add Beak and Feet

Picture of Add Beak and Feet

Mix orange frosting. Using the star tip fill in the empty triangle on the face for the beak. I recommend using extra frosting to give it depth.

It's time to use the ears you removed in Step 2. Insert a toothpick into the ear (lying flat) and push other end of the toothpick into the front of the penguin. Frost orange.

Step 6: Almost Done!

Picture of Almost Done!

One last embellishment! A tiny birthday hat candle makes this penguin ready to party!


sharlzz (author)2012-11-28

i love this!!

Kitana Kellaway (author)2012-11-02


susanchen2011 (author)2012-07-04

so creative.

hsmith8 (author)2012-03-27

I made this cake last week for my sisters birthday firstly I would say great tutorial but it is a MUST to leave the cake core inside the penguin at all times! Even if you follow the instructions from Wilton and plug the gap, the cake isn't strong enough once you cut the feet off. I decorated the cake and the head sunk into the body. Luckily I managed to save it by re-inserting the core.

scraplette (author)2012-02-14

That is sooo adorable! I wouldn't want to eat this because it looks so cuddly! lol.

cjarke (author)2012-02-09

Great cake! I would like to try this one!

nicnacnoo (author)2011-11-13

I want one of these... !

jingo69 (author)2011-06-26

Very creative!!! 5*

jimopertrat (author)2011-02-13

We made a cake just like this one and this is were we got the idea!!! thank you so much!!

madeleinejoy (author)2010-05-17

super cute! Now if I were only good a baking...

jatoha (author)2010-04-18

Thank you for this great idea! I have this mold and am so glad to have another reason to use it, my kids are too old for teddy bears, but they think penguins are still cool!

Comp101 (author)2009-12-07

What if I ate the doll eyes?

Duct Tape Dude (author)Comp1012010-01-02

You woulg get em back (painfully) a couple of hours later...XD

skyshadow28 (author)2009-12-19

very hard to make as i'm rubbish at stuff like this but now i cant eat him! he's too cute :)

wyattkinson (author)2009-02-19

ahh this penguin is adoriible i loved making this cake and it turned out brill ! ! ! x x x x

Glow Gal (author)2008-04-27

Amazing!!!! Just wondering, how long did the decorating take? +1 rating +1 voting

alexorson (author)Glow Gal2008-04-28

It took a little over two hours. Completely exhausting, but the end result made it worth it!

Christeena123 (author)alexorson2009-02-02

Please help me with a recipe for this cake. Yours turned out so nicely. I'm even planning on making a smaller version of this so that my son can have his own little penguin cake, while the adults eat the big one. I bought both molds so that I could make your cake! Need help and it is appreciated!

alexorson (author)Christeena1232009-02-02

Did you buy your pans new? The instructions for the pan I believe contain instructions for the cake batter. It's been a while but it might have suggestions to modify the recipe to make the best end product. If you don't have the instructions, you can download them from the Wilton site.

Christeena123 (author)alexorson2009-02-02

Thank you so much for replying back. I bought the molds new off of ebay. They contain the instructions, but no recipe. They suggest a heavier type of cake, such as a pound cake. I don't really have a recipe to start from. I tried the "basic yellow cake" recipe off of Wilton's site and a pound cake recipe from Food Network, but they didn't work. The yellow cake was mostly still liquid after an hour and a half. The pound cake was a little soggy in the middle and crumbled. I'm thinking of leaving the heating core out the next time I try a recipe. I've been thinking about how to do this cake for a long time now and really want it to work. I appreciate any suggestions.

alexorson (author)Christeena1232009-02-02

The heating core is a must! I used regular yellow cake mix but I suggest not using the type with "pudding in the mix". Good luck!

Christeena123 (author)2009-02-02

I am trying ot make this exact cake. I am having trouble finding a soy-free recipe (basically a recipe from scratch) that works in this mold. Anyone have any suggestions. The cake sticks to the sides of the mold and doesn't completely bake after 1 hour and 30 min. It's still runny. I only have a few weeks until my son's birthday, so I need lots of time to practice. Please help!

mynameisjonas (author)2008-12-25

super cute!

Kana (author)2008-09-06

Cute~! If I had any patience, I would totally make it x3

Badgergirl (author)2008-06-16

Penguins have to be one of my favorite animals in the entire world!!!!!!! Icant wait to try this cake!

stinkymum (author)2008-05-01

Hurray for the penguin. Glad you got a prize (my favourite)

DainiusGB (author)2008-04-28

cool! but just wondering if i didnt have the time or money to get novelty cake molds how would i bake this cake?

alexorson (author)DainiusGB2008-04-29

You could use a traditional cake pan and cut and stack layers into a rough pyramid shape. Then use a knife to carve into a penguin. That's not really my strong suit, so I've never tried it. I did make a similar shaped frog with rice krispie treats by rolling into giant balls like making a snowman. Sorry I couldn't be more help!

Wisegalhere (author)2008-04-25

Wonderful looking cake. You've given me the nerve to try one for my son's b'day next weekend. He really loves penguins. THanks for the great instructable

ArtisticSugarworks (author)2008-04-24

Now that is cute!

1987porsche944 (author)2008-04-24

Ok, I never comment, not from lack of altruism, but lack of time. I had to sign in and just say that this is one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen! My boyfriend's birthday is in 2 months, so I'm going to have to do a "dry-run" soon to make sure it comes out ok. This was a very well written instructable with great detailed photos!!!

stinkymum (author)2008-04-18

can you make a loon cake?

stinkymum (author)2008-04-18

I can never resist a penguin! But it looks too good to eat!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-04-14

How cool! I really love it, it looks delicious too. +1 rating. +1 vote. (added to favorites)

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-13


hedgiehog (author)2008-04-13

THAT IS AWESOME (runs to make cake)

xtank5 (author)2008-04-12

Yum. You're making me hungry!! By discard the feet, you meant eat them right?

alexorson (author)xtank52008-04-12

Yes I ate them after I covered them with a extra frosting. The cook has to test the food, right?

Doctor What (author)2008-04-12

It's soo cute! Might need to find a different set of eyes, like mentos or something.

PKM (author)2008-04-12

Just the thing for a linux geek's birthday party... one question though- how on earth are you meant to slice this thing?

alexorson (author)PKM2008-04-12

So the eating of the cake isn't as cute as the cake itself. The easiest thing to do is chop the head off. You can either slice that or eat it last. The cake is hollow in the center, so once the head is removed, it's easy to slice from the neck to the feet.

caitlinsdad (author)alexorson2008-04-12

Sounds like tips from tetranitrate's school of whacks

Gjdj3 (author)2008-04-12

That... is... awesome!

Darkshot (author)2008-04-12

PENGUIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xD

tech-king (author)2008-04-12

hes ssoooooo cute and sweet. i want one. maybe for uhh.... what holiday is coming up besides passover? ill have to put it off until my b-day

Weissensteinburg (author)2008-04-12


dustinthorley (author)2008-04-12

a tip for black icing - start with chocolate icing not vanilla. it takes less food colour to get black that way and since black food colour tastes bad (the other colours don't really taste like anything) you are less likely to taste it.

alexorson (author)dustinthorley2008-04-12

Brilliant! I never thought to use chocolate frosting. Who doesn't like chocolate?

FearthePenguin (author)2008-04-11

That's awesome :D There isn't a +1 delicious, so you'll just have to do with a +1 rating

CameronSS (author)2008-04-11

Awwww! He makes me warm and fuzzy!

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