Animal Cake Deco 101

September 2014

Every children’s birthday party needs an awesome cake. It can’t just be delicious, though. The perfect birthday dessert needs to look just as great as it tastes. And it should be homemade, of course. Are you up to the challenge?


Rest assured, Coco Cake Land blogger Lyndsay Sung is here to help. This baking and cake decorating goddess knows how to craft an adorable birthday cake at home, and she’s glad to share a few of her secrets. Armed with Lyndsay’s how-to guide for decorating a dream cake with basic cake decorating tools, her cake-topper templates downloaded for some customized DIY cake topping fun and her top secret lactose free cake recipe, you are well on your way to birthday greatness.

Lactose Free Cake and frosting Recipe


This sweet, funny, spotty and lactose free black and white buttercream piped cow cake will be welcome at any party! Learn how to make this friendly bovine buddy for your next birthday and you’ll get the crowd mooing for more.

What you will need

  • One baked and cooled two layer Lactose Free Vanilla Cream Cake (see recipe)
  • 4 cups of Lactose Free Vanilla Buttercream (see recipe)
  • An offset spatula
  • A serrated knife
  • A piping bag fitted with a multi-opening tip
  • White, pink and black decorating fondant (available online or in craft superstores)
  • Rolling pin
  • Circular cookie cutters in various sizes
  • Toothpicks
  • 2 wooden BBQ sticks cut in halves
  • Cake board or cake plate

    Make cake and buttercream according to recipe instructions. Once the cake cooled, gently run your offset spatula between cake and cake pan to help loosen the cake. Remove first cake layer from cake pan. Using the serrated knife, level the cake by trimming off the baked dome of the cake layer.


    Place a dab of buttercream on your cake board or plate. Place the first cake layer, leveled side up, on top. Using your offset spatula, frost this cake layer with a generous amount of buttercream.


    Remove the second cake layer from its pan, level the cake and place it leveled side down on top of the first layer. Press down lightly to adhere. Frost the entire exterior of the cake.


    Fit piping bag with the multi-opening tip and fill with the remaining vanilla buttercream. (See photo for the best way to fill a piping bag.)


    Begin piping very short “fur” onto the cake, starting from the bottom and working your way up in lines.


    Now that you’ve piped the sides of the cake, pipe short hair onto the top of the cake as well.


    Time to make fondant pieces! Roll out a 3-inch ball of black fondant to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out different-sized circles with the circular cookie cutters. Using either your hands or a rolling pin, gently coax the circles into various shapes to make cow spots.


    Roll out the pink fondant to ¼ inch thick. Using a large circle cookie cutter, cut out a circle. Using your fingers, gently coax the circle shape into an oval by rolling out the circle on either side. Using a 1/8-inch ball of black fondant, make two tiny balls for nostrils and roll out a skinny snake-shaped piece for the mouth. Adhere both pieces to the pink oval with a tiny toothpick tip’s amount of water. Set aside. Make two small ¼ inch balls of black fondant for the eyes. Flatten with your palm. Using a tiny amount of water to adhere (when fondant gets wet, it becomes sticky and acts as a glue), add two small balls of white fondant for irises. Set aside.


    Make two 1-inch balls of black fondant. Shape them into ears and skewer them onto wooden BBQ sticks. Make two 1-inch balls of white fondant. Shape them into tiny horns and skewer them onto wooden BBQ sticks. Place fondant pieces as desired on cake.


    Make a “moo” speech bubble using craft paper and a black felt pen. Enjoy your lactose free cow cake!