Introduction: Bleeding Puppy Cake Fail

Picture of Bleeding Puppy Cake Fail

EPIC FAIL: "Bleeding" Red Velvet Puppy Cake

In retrospect, it should have occurred to me that a red velvet puppy cake was a really bad idea. My neighbor's daughter was turning 4 years old and LOVES puppies. I love making cakes and she's a great kid so when her mother requested a puppy cake I said "Sure!". Neither one of us had really thought it through (obviously) so when it came time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake we were not prepared for the reaction of the crowd of 4 and 5 year olds. When I first sank the knife into the puppy's forearm I didn't notice the dead silence at first. I didn't even realize there was a problem until the shrieking started. By that time I had lopped off puppy's face and both paws. The kids were crying and screaming that I killed the puppy. Upon reflection, the red velvet insides did give the distinct look of blood and gory insides. In my defense, the cake was delicious. None of the kids felt better when I took a big bite to show them "look, it's a yummy cake, just try it". In fact, that's what pushed the kids over the edge and the party quickly disbanded after that. I received several dirty looks as the parents of the guests filed out the front door. The more charitable adults just rolled their eyes at me, I took that to mean "poor dumb idiot".

On the chance that you have older boys who might like this sort of thing, or if you'd like to learn from my experience, this Instructable shows you how to scar children emotionally with a simple birthday cake.

I would have included pictures of the kids reactions but none of the parents would give me permission, go figure.

Step 1: Baking the Cake

Picture of Baking the Cake

I use simple cake mixes right out the the box but I make one change. Instead of baking the cake batter in the recommended size pans, I double the recipe and pour all the batter into a sheet cake pan. This gives me a large flat piece of cake to cut into layers and shapes as needed. For the puppy cake I used red velvet cake mix, this turned out to be a very unfortunate choice. I don't know if a yellow or chocolate cake would have been better, but the kids did seem to be particularly affected by the deep red color after I cut the cake. I also believe that the color influenced their decision to not even try the cake, but it's hard to be sure with all the crying and screaming.

The icing is an old family recipe and it's very simple. Just confectionary sugar (also called 10x sugar), milk, Crisco, and vanilla or almond flavoring. I used almond flavoring since it is clear unlike vanilla and I wanted a light icing color. I also added a few drops of yellow food coloring to make the puppy look like the golden retriever puppy the birthday girl was receiving. My efforts to make the puppy cake resemble her puppy ended up being the wrong choice. I even used Lactose-free milk to accommodate one of the guest's special diet, but trust me no one appreciates that after you butcher a puppy cake while their kid watches.

I mixed the icing while the cake baked. After the cake cooled I went to the next step, shaping the cake.

Step 2: Shaping the Puppy

Picture of Shaping the Puppy

I cut the sheet cake into three pieces, two equal pieces and a smaller third piece (about half the size of the first two pieces). I stacked the layers with icing in between each layer and started carving. The smaller piece on top became the puppy's head, back, and rear. I slowly cut away the upper layers to form front and back paws, then a head with a snout, then insets at the waist. I used the cut away pieces to cut even smaller wedges to use as ears an used icing as glue to secure then against the head. I rounded the edges of the puppy's rear and paws to make it look more lifelike and less boxy, that was probably an error.

When I was satisfied with the shape of the puppy cake I spread a thin layer of icing over the entire cake to give the decorative icing a base. When your base icing is in place it's time to decorate the cake.

Step 3: Decorate the Cake

Picture of Decorate the Cake

First I created an icing bag by folding freezer paper into a cone and then taping it securely. Cut off the pointy end and insert a cake decorating tip into the paper cone. I used a Wilton grass tip to create a real fur effect. I filled the bag with my colored icing and folded over the open end when it was full. Squeezing icing "fur" is pretty easy but also time consuming. You start at the bottom of the cake so the fur overlaps itself as you work your way up the cake. Remember to think about which way a real puppy's fur would lay so you can replicate the fur pattern.

When fur is complete, use candy to create eyes, nose, tongue, toes and definition lines on the cake. I used leftover Halloween candy to create these features. Be creative with the details, I used caramel apple chews to roll and form lines, pink Laffy Taffy for a formed tongue, and Gobstoppers for eyes and nose. It could have easily been other candies but I like to use what I have. Just remember to use edible trim, and be creative.

Up until this point I thought the cake was going to be a big hit, I gave myself a big pat on the back when I finished it and I could just imagine all the oohs and ahhs this cake would receive. That was a miscalculation.

Step 4: The First Cut Is Always the Cruelest

Picture of The First Cut Is Always the Cruelest

Here's where a fantastic triumph turns into a greek tragedy. I brought the cake with me to the neighbors's party. I received several lovely compliments and a big sweet hug from the birthday girl. I should have left at that point but I offered to stay and help out with the party - MISTAKE. When it came time to sing Happy Birthday and serve the cake I should have been three states away and running. However, instead I sliced and diced that puppy into bleeding pieces to the horror of every kid there. You'll notice the photos only show the first cut which was a paw. The cameras were set down once the kids started crying. I wish I had realized what caused the commotion before I lopped off the head and other paw but I was concentrating on plating the pieces.

I should also mention that several of the dads in attendance thought it was pretty funny and were willing to eat the cake. That is until their wives turned the stinkeye on them, after that I was persona non-grata to everyone. People gathered up their kids and left pretty quickly after the massacre.

So, the lesson to remember is that if you want to scar kids emotionally, start marital strife among the couples/parents you know, and be avoided like the plague at neighborhood gatherings, be sure to try a red velvet puppy cake of your very own.


XxOrigamiRulesXx (author)2017-04-27

I wanna pet the dog. ????

2023aanewsom (author)2017-01-16

Hilarious! I love puppies but maybe vanilla or chocolate insides would be better?

Adorable though!

T0BY (author)2016-11-26


Slippery arm (author)2016-07-24

Cruel.yet deliciuos

jarodpenn (author)2016-06-30

Wow. That's AMAZING. "And now for my NEXT trick..."

Super_seal (author)2016-04-27

This is probably the funniest instructable I've ever read, I'm dying!! Out of all the cakes you could've chosen, you had to choose red velvet... I especially loved the part where you tried to eat the cake to show it was OK! Thanks for the laugh, and best of luck :)

Moogie1005 (author)2016-04-22

I guess I am missing something because I don't see the problem. My son will be 4 soon and he didn't fuss when we cut his brother's dinosaur cake. It was two dinosaurs fighting. Then again we routinely point out that cartoons, comics, movies, etc are pretend.

karlito (author)2016-04-14

WHAT??? Where's the "blood". I was expecting a Penn & Teller type cake in which a plastic bag was filled with karo syrup & red food coloring and "blood" oozed out after being cut.

After seeing the pics, I can't believe everyone freeked out, but I'm not a kid or over protective mother.

Great story though and really good looking cake!

1WarriorPrincess (author)2016-04-13

my cheeks hurt i laughed so hard!!! brilliant. if my son sees this i will have to make it too!!!

fhhuber (author)2016-04-12

Best LOL I have had in a long time

Bethrideout (author)2016-04-11

Oh my... I feel for you... and am laughing along with you too! :-) Thanks for the great instructable!

SandyUp2Late (author)2016-04-10

OMG Great idea for Halloween!

mikeyc.2009 (author)2016-04-09

Hey look on the bright side. It least it wasn't a Little Mermaid or Elsa from Frozen cake.

Odd Jobs (author)2016-04-09

Next time it could be a red velvet and devils food marbled zombie cake.

swinkinhofer (author)2016-01-11

This reminds me of a story a Mexican friend of my brother told him the day after his young daughter's birthday party. When my brother asked him how it went, he told him "It was all going great until the pinata. You know those red cinnamon candies? They turn liquid in the hot kansas sun. The first good whack, and all this red liquid started dripping down! She's still crying!

LOL!!!!! Hilarious!!!!!

peacelover222 (author)2016-04-07

For less trauma, I recommend starting at the rear. "Hey kids!, who wants a butt piece?" Dads will say it's the best piece of @s$ they've had in a long time LOL

cnoyb (author)peacelover2222016-04-08

That's what Drum said in "Steel Magnolias" when he got the butt end of the red velvet armadillo groom's cake!

EmmitS (author)2016-04-07

You obviously never saw the movie Steel Magnolias. In one scene, a red velvet cake was made in the shape of a cute bunny rabbit. When the cake was cut, it looked like a live bunny was being cut open and the guests were being offered chunks of raw meat.. Nobody could force themselves to eat a piece. This wasn't a group of children, it was a group of grown men and women. Some concepts are just too disgusting in appearance.

cnoyb (author)EmmitS2016-04-08

It was an armadillo, lol. Everyone except for the "steel magnolias" loved the cake! "Nothin' like a good piece of a$$" as Drum said when he got his slice, lol!!!

Angelbane (author)EmmitS2016-04-07

actually it was an armadillo, that movie almost made my grandma do the same till I warned her not to.

GamerG-Ma (author)2016-04-08

I made an Easter Bunny cake just as I had for years, but decided to add filling to give it some more flavor. It was a yellow cake with white frosting.....kind of boring on the flavor side. So I filled it with raspberry jam. My boys thought it was awesome when we first cut into it. My little girl was 3 at the time and she screamed when the bunny started bleeding out. It took me a while to get her to try some of the jam, but once she tasted it she realized it wasn't real. I think it happens to all of us at some point.

blackandmoore (author)2016-04-07

This is was a horrible idea....Good Lord, I didn't even want to see the pictures. I am a mother and teacher and without a doubt can't figure out the logic behind this one.

cnoyb (author)blackandmoore2016-04-08

Your kids must be really sheltered delicate little flowers.

Then you must have no sense of humor and be totally unimaginative. That's tragic. This is so funny

I feel sorry for you. Really, I do.

*nods sheepishly, "yeah..."

cnoyb (author)2016-04-08

I think it looked really good & those kids like like wusses. Red velvet seems to be more of an acquired adult thing - think about all those overpriced red velvet cupcakes that were sold during the cupcake craze a few years ago - so maybe that also made a difference to those kids? Did you ever see "Steel Magnolias"? The groom's aunt made a red velvet armadillo "groom's cake" & the ladies also referred to it as being hacked up & bleeding, lol. But seriously, I think it looks good & those kids missed out on a good cake. Would cutting into it being a yellow cake been oh so much better? Not really. Keep up the good work!

bensnowclark (author)2015-12-10

People need to educate their kids and get over themselves, this is nuts. I expected that you jam filled the middle or something not just a red velvet cake, your friends have raised the next bunch of cry babies. Good looking cake btw!

Beetlesmart (author)bensnowclark2015-12-10

I actually do like most of the neighbors, and the kids too. I tend to be more mechanical minded while they are more touchy-feely types. That usually works, but on occasions like the cake the differences are pretty clear. I think of it as an opportunity to be more tolerant of different outlooks (after I put on my big girl pants and stopped feeling sorry for myself).

bensnowclark (author)Beetlesmart2015-12-10

This is true, still don't worry come 20 years time you'll get a letter in the mail taking you to court for causing post traumatic stress disorder lol, now off to see if I have a red velvet cake mix in the cupboard, my daughters sixth birthday today and I'm sure her and my other three kids would love it!

Maybe you could get some red icing, and put too much water in it so that it oozes out when you cut the cake...

Strawberry jelly.

Beetlesmart (author)bensnowclark2015-12-11

Tell your daughter Happy Birthday! And remember you were warned (so don't send me that letter he-he)

While you are probably right in general about children under 12, in this specific case you are missing the mark.

Being 4 years old means they are TOO young for their brains to have sufficiently developed to allow them to distinguish fantasy from reality, or to put it another too young to understand that there is such a thing as make believe.

Most adults don't get this, because most adults remember always being able to distinguish real from make believe, forgetting that for the vast majority memories of being 4 are extremely sketchy and rare and completely subsumed in memories starting at the point when they could tell the difference.

The first memories people usually have roughly coincide with the sudden development to distinguish make believe from reality, and it is rather sudden.

It's NOT a learning process.

It's the product of the right synaptic processes in the human brain finally developing to distinguish one from the other.

Once it's all in place, the ability to distinguish make believe and reality turns on very much like a light switch.

You could be an exception. Maybe you have plenty of memories of turning 4 years old and knew how to distinguish make believe from reality, but that's unlikely, because any kid that smart would have quickly realized the kids around him lacked his abilities and remembered being so different from all the other kids in that regard (In particular marveling at how easy it was to fool all the other 3-4 year olds. Who never seemed to realize he was playing make believe).

Now if you had been talking about children who were turning 5 you'd definitely have a strong point.

By the time children turn 5 most have flicked the on switch in that regard, and by the age of 6 virtually all children have. Only children suffering from some sort of developmental abnormality would show a deficit in this regard after the age of 6.

Jack Rodgers (author)2016-04-07

Ask me about the room full of women with masters and doctorates who when the cat entered carrying a mouse in its mouth and dropped it on the floor and all of the women jumped on chairs and couches and began screaming... One almost fainted when the cat taking the signal grabbed the mouse by the skull and bit into it with a crunch and then swallowed the mouse. One woman fainted.

Now THAT's funny.

Ghostrider13 (author)2016-04-08

That was the funniest story I've heard in a long time. The best part was I had just been told I wasn't eligible for unemployment first because there wasn't enough in my account and then because they added my fourth quarter and there was too much. IK, R? So the fact that it made me howl with laughter at a time that I really needed to laugh made this an even better story. A side note, When I was in fifth grade, my school had a cake bake off for dads and sons. I didn't have a dad so my mom decided to be "George" for the night and go as my dad. I told her it wouldn't work. She called up to the school and yup, they said it had to be a man. Did I mention my mom doesn't no when it comes to her kids? Anyways, she and her girlfriend got together and made a cake, covered in tinfoil and mom took me to the bake off. We got to the door and the man said we couldn't go in. Mom told him, I'm George for tonight. I'm his dad and we are, going to go inside. With that, in we went. She put the covered cake on the table. The auction began. Her cake was last. They took off the aluminum foil and to everyone's surprise, mom had made a cake and frosted it to look like a naked woman, boobs, hair, everything in detail. The room went silent, then laughter burst out. That cake brought the highest bids the school had ever had. Better, there was never the dad and sons bake off, it was parent and son or daughter after that. I miss my mom, She was fun and your cake reminded me of that wonderful evening when moms and neighbors push the limits not really knowing what to expect. In that, this cake was perfect.

Thank you. (Still laughing with a tear in my eye).


Beetlesmart (author)Ghostrider132016-04-08

Ghostrider13 Mike, thanks so much for your comments! After the overwhelming response I got from this Instructable I wasn't sure if I had thick enough skin to keep posting. You and your mom's adventure has me totally inspired, I'm feel like I'm wearing naked lady cake armor. T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U!

Ghostrider13 (author)Beetlesmart2016-04-08

With all of my heart, you are most welcome.

CraftD (author)2016-04-06

Haven't laughed this hard in a while. You should pitch this story to "The Moth".

Beetlesmart (author)CraftD2016-04-08

thanks, that's flattering yet terrifying.

BrianJewett (author)CraftD2016-04-07

This would be PERFECT for the Moth.

caliacavalier (author)2016-04-08

Laughed until I cried. Reminded me of one Halloween. We have a preschool at my work location. On Halloween the preschoolers would trick or treat the people in near by offices. One of my friends came as a Gorilla. When he tried to hand out candy, several of the preschoolers fled, screaming. He felt bad so he knelt down and took the head off to show them it was just a man. The remainder fled, screaming. He felt bad the rest of the day.

jaba53 (author)2016-04-08

I am such a bad person! I have tears in my eyes and rolling down both cheeks! It's nice to know that others have done some well meant but naively stupid things too. The best part is, who could really blame you? The girls mother got exactly what she wanted. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? Great Post! How do I vote?

Garagebrand (author)2016-04-07

Haha, I've just laughed so hard I cried! Re-title "scary Halloween puppy cake"

tpeterson1959 (author)2016-04-07

I think this is a classic fail! Five out of five screaming faces! It was perfect right up to the end. I started to laugh out loud, but since I'm at work I tried to stifle it. That only made it funnier. When your neighbor is older (like in her teens), if she ever mentions it, just tell her you got the recipe from "101 Ways to Wok Your Dog!"

Oh wow, Woking the Dog, that is soooo bad. We should soooo be friends :)

Korvinst (author)2016-04-07

LOL! It is my favourite ible!

Beetlesmart (author)Korvinst2016-04-07

Thanks :)

Mongoos (author)2016-04-07

That was one of the best things I've read in a while. This is now my favorite 'ible!

About This Instructable




Bio: Life is a series of projects. Woo-hoo!
More by Beetlesmart:Bleeding Puppy Cake FailFish, Haul & Play Net BagPuzzle Piece Nativity
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