Today I’m sharing my first try at molding icing into cute little characters. My nephew Max turned 5 recently and he’s loving dinosaurs so I wanted to try my hand a creating him a Baby Dinosaur Themed Birthday Cake. He’s been trying to learn all the different names, which unfortunately I cannot help him with as I only know T-Rexs, Velociraptors and.. well, that’s it. Other than the long neck “vegetarian” ones.. – as I call them.
The first dinosaur I made was this friendly little Diplodocus. I chose this one as there was a YouTube video to follow which helped me gauge how to create these baby dinosaurs. After moulding this one I did the other from photos, although I’m sure there are more videos online that can help you if you want to follow along step by step.
Excuse the lighting in the moulding pictures. Living in England means that it’s dark by 4pm now, so these photos had to be taken in artificial light.
Top Tip: I think success comes from practice with these guys. Mess about with the icing for a while. Try to create the different shapes, fail, and then try again. Make a few smaller version to get a feel for how to shape the icing. I recommend practicing as if you spend too much time with the moulding of the final figure, when you leave them to dry later they will begin to crack. So as much as possible you should try to shape the icing pretty quickly and then leave them well alone.
Next I made a Triceratops which I personally think is stinkingly cute. To make this one I used the same piece of icing to mould the body and tail.
To create the nails/paw pads on its legs I used an icing nozzle but you could use the lid from a standard pen too. On the front legs I gently pressed a toothpick just above the nails to give the appearance of joints.
The head was somewhat of a challenge but after a bit of messing around I found the best way to get the desired shape was to gently pinch with my thumb and forefinger from a circular ball of icing.
I then used a balling tool to deepen the shape near the head. My ‘balling tool’ by the way is actually a dotting tool which you can use in nail art. But I’ve never been good at nail art, so I might as well get some use out of them.
Finally I pulled the face forward which lengthened and thinned out the dome headwear (I’ve no idea what it’s really called. I’m not Ross from Friends).
I used the balling tool again to create sockets for its eyes and then rolled up a bit of black icing. The horns were rather difficult too as they were very small and fiddly. Within seconds a piece of icing that small starts to melt and become pretty unmoldable. I got there in the end though.
Based off a cartoon Tyrannosaurus Rex image I created this guy. However I wasn’t happy with how he ended up looking. Mostly because I put his head on too soon and it caused him to crush into more of a strange lizard than a T-Rex. The second time I made him I let the body set overnight before putting the head on top. You could also put toothpicks or dry spaghetti in the icing to help keep the shape. Just remember they are there!
The second time around I also used pre-made edible eyes instead of using the icing to make my own. Which gives this T-Rex a cheeky little look, as if he’s just done something naughty.
For my final dinosaur I wanted to try to make a winged one. So again, from a Google picture of a cartoon Pterodactyl I got to work. To keep the wings in ‘flight mode’ I propped them up with fruit. Real glamorous behind the scenes stuff you’re seeing here.
I also made some small rocks with grass because apparently I was on a roll and I couldn’t stop myself.
I used Renshaw Ready To Roll Icing which you can get from The Range for all of the dinasours except my Diplodocus. He was made from Dr. Oetker Ready To Roll Icing. I wouldn’t recommend one over the other so just get which ever you can find in your local store if you are wanting to recreate these dinasours yourself.
If you don’t want to do that I highly recommend either of these recipes for chocolate cakes that I shared before.
To create a rocky terrain for the dinosaurs to stand atop I simply crumbled up some Maryland chocolate chip cookies. Which also tasted delicious with the cake.
Finally, here are a few pictures of Max seeing his Baby Dinosaur Themed Birthday Cake. He went on to eat the heads of all the dinosaurs.. he’s weird. He’s part of my family after all.
Which dinosaur do you think turned out the best? And have you ever used icing to create little characters like these?
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