3d Dinosaur Birthday Cake





Introduction: 3d Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Two nine-inch round cakes, frosting, decorations, and an unquenchable thirst for adventure are all you need.

Step 1: The Raw Materials

  • Two nine-inch round cakes. Cakes made from scratch will be denser and stronger than a cake mix, but you love the Duncan Hines don't you -- just be forewarned that the time you save using a mix will be spent cursing during the frosting crumb coat.
  • Two batches of frosting. We did a butter cream with 50/50 butter/vegetable shortening. Die one batch green. Keep 1/2 of the second batch white and die 1/2 blue.
  • Rolled fondant. We don't know what this stuff is, but we were darn sure we weren't going to make it. Found some multi-colored fondant at Michael's, a big box craft store. Buy the non-stick mini rolling pin while you are at it.
  • Decorations: cinnamon red hot candies for the eyes, candy corn for the tail spikes, chocolate chips for toenails, and toasted coconut for the prehistoric grass.
  • One cardboard cake board, half-sheet size.
  • Frosting pipe tips and bags. Use a star tip. Yes, this makes a difference, so don't skimp here. Really.
  • A partner. Not required, but could speed things up during frosting or at least help pass the time.

Step 2: The Body

  • Bake the cakes and cool completely.
  • Take out of pan, and find the center of one cake.
  • Cut the cake in half with a bread knife.
  • Put the two halves together with cuts edges aligned, and place on a work surface as pictured.

Step 3: The Appendages

Ever heard the advice "measure twice, cut once?" Unless you are a blackbelt paleolithic pastry chef who can think in three dimensions of cake, you will probably want to make a paper template to design the head, legs, and tail. I drew the template below, and you generally want to cut the paper in the same shapes I used. Mouse over the shapes for a description.

  • Cut a 9-inch circle of paper and lay it on top of the second cake. Draw the tail and head in one half, the legs in the other.
  • Cut out the paper pieces and arrange them on your body segment to see how they look. Tweak and repeat as necessary.
  • When you are feeling lucky, carve 'em and stack 'em. Oh, and you may want to fix the head to the body with some toothpicks. Just in case the birthday party gets a little rowdy.
  • Move all pieces to the cake board.
  • Use white frosting to join the body halves together, then join the appendages to the body.
  • Trim the corners and square edges off the feet and shoulders if you like.

Step 4: The Skin

  • Roll the fondant out 1/8 inch thick. Hand cut the fondant with a small knife some diamond shapes for the plates on the dinosaur's back. Detail the plates with a toothpick to give them a ribbed texture.
  • Spread a thin layer of green frosting over the cake. This is called the crumb coat -- and for good reason, as much of the crumbs pull away and get mixed up in the frosting. Use a very light hand on the cut surfaces of cake. Did you use a cake mix instead of making one from scratch? Are you cursing now?
  • Tip: crumb coat one half. Have a partner start piping with the star tip while you finish crumb coating the other half.
  • Use a star tip to pipe on green frosting, then blend in blue for an accent.
  • Stick fondant diamond plates into back. If the frosting does not hold the plates well, stick a toothpick into the plate then stick it into the cake.

Step 5: The Final Touches

  • Spread a layer of white frosting on your cake board and toss some toasted coconut around for grass.
  • Add any other finishing touches you like. Candy corn for spikes on the tail, cinnamon candies for the eyes, and chocolate chips for the toes. We made palm trees using tube cookies with fronds of parsley -- this was the first thing every kid wanted so make a small forest if you do it.

Grab the camera and enjoy!

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196 Discussions

Can someone tell me where to get the brown shredded coconut? Also how to you hold the body parts together. Thanks so much!

- toast the shredded coconut on a sheet pan in the oven at 275F until brown - toothpicks!

Can anyone offer advice on the neck/head?? The head on my "practice" cake crumbled (I made a white cake that was near pound cake density from scratch). What is the extra head piece in the template used for? Also how far in advance should I make the fondant spikes? I want them to be hard enough to use. My son's first birthday party is next weekend!! Thanks!

Frost the joints of the head pieces to make them sticky, insert a few toothpicks into the top of the neck, and place the head on top. The fondant spikes can made and left out in the air the day before to make them firm. If you live in a hot or humid climate, you may want to dry the fondant on a sheet pan in the oven at a low temp. like 125-150F.


1 year ago

Oh my god what a creation This looks so beautiful. I want to eat this cake.

Can somepme email me a template for this please. maraaheater5@gmail.com

Hi I bake often but new to sculpting. Any body over here care to tell me how many does it serve. Could the cake be made with sponge cake?

My little boy loved his dinosaur cake


could I please have a template of this email to me? lvsosu2328@yahoo.com

Can someone please send me the template for this fantastic cake? :)


Thank you!

Could a template please be emailed to bre_69@hotmail.com

1 reply

There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more!

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


This was a really great guide. I made (as close as I could get after running out of room on my pan for a snout :S) a littlefoot cake for my son's 2nd birthday. I wouldn't have been able to do it without this! He is going to FLIP tomorrow!


Stwbrry, can u please email me the templet? To : littledinofan@gmail.com. thank u.
Do u know a yummy recipe for a vanilla cake?