I made this lion cake for 2-year-old Casey. This was one of the 2 lion-themed cakes I made for this little boy on his 2nd birthday. This cake was ordered by his mom along with a set of 20 cupcakes for this birthday celebration at school. The cake was to be cut in school and the cupcakes (with 3D lion toppers) were to be given out to each of his classmates.
Lion cake for a 2nd birthday
I have a separate post on the cupcakes and you can read all about them here. This post is more for the cake, which was decorated pretty much in the same theme as the cupcakes. In fact, the lion topper on this cake is of the exact same design as the ones on the cupcakes except that it is slightly larger in size.
And as I have mentioned on my cupcakes page, the lion topper design was based on my customer's selection from the internet and I have traced it to Yenni Ng of Cotton Candy Bakeshop (unable to provide a direct link as the link to the website is broken). So credit goes to Yenni Ng for the lion topper design.
Overall, this was a pretty simple cake to decorate. Other than the 3D lion topper and the number topper, everything else was pretty easy to make.
Lion cake and cupcakes
How to Make a Lion Cake
These were the main supplies I used to decorate this lion cake:
- Cake – this was a 7 inches round cake, baked using my butter pound cake recipe.
- Buttercream – I used buttercream to fill the cake as well as to crumb coat it.
- Fondant – The entire cake was covered in fondant and the decoration was also made using fondant except for the lettering on the cake which were cut out from gum paste. I used Satin Ice fondant and gum paste .
- CMC powder – I added CMC powder into the fondant I used to make the lion topper as well as the number 2 topper. CMC helped both to hold their shape and stand firm on the cake.
- Black edible marker - I used this marker to draw the lion paws and its whiskers dots.
- Fondant shaping tools – these were used generally for the project.
- Round scalloped cutter set – I used this to form the lion’s mane.
- Needle scriber tool – this was used to make the wood grain patterns on the cake as well as to mark the lines on the lion’s mane.
- Alphabet cutter – I used FMM Tappit alphabet cutter set to cut out the letters on the cake.
- Flower plunger cutters – these were used to cut out the red and yellow flowers placed randomly on the cake.
- Floral wire – I used floral wire as the base for the number topper.
- Pizza cutting wheel – this was a general cutting tool used in decorating the cake. I also used this specifically to cut the tree leaves on the cake. My pizza cutter has 2 wheels, a plain one and a scalloped one. I used the scalloped blade to cut the leaves.
- Lollipop sticks
- Fondant glue & shortening – these were the glue agents for the project.
And this was how I put the cake together:
The lion cake topper
- I started by making the lion topper first. In fact, I made this little guy together with the lion toppers I made for the cupcakes. I wanted the lion to be of similar design as the ones I made for the cupcakes so I made him in the exact same design but only in a larger version so that he would look more proportionate to the cake.
- To make the lion, I used orange fondant and added some CMC powder to it. I started by shaping the body, followed by its legs before making the head and adding all the facial features. For the mane, I used one of my scalloped round cutters and cut out a round piece of chocolate fondant. I then used my scriber needle tool and drew lines on the fondant piece on both sides, starting from the center of the piece to its outer edges.
- As for the paws and the whiskers, I used my edible food marker in black and simply drew the black paw design and whiskers dots. The lion’s eyes were made of fondant except for the tiny white dot on them which was basically a dot of white food color with a fine-tipped brush.
- The lion was almost entirely shaped by hand except for the mane and ears. While I used a cutter to cut out the mane, I used my fondant shaping tools to form the ears.
- And all the body parts were attached together to form the lion with fondant glue.
- Once done, I left the topper aside to firm up and set completely.
The number "2" topper
- Next was the number ‘2’ topper. This was made using red fondant and I have also added CMC to the fondant so that it would dry hard and set firm. And I used floral wire as a support for the number. To make the number topper, I drew the number on a piece of paper as a guide. And then I shaped my floral wire following the shape of the number.
- Next, I rolled my fondant into a long thin roll and carefully inserted the wire into the roll. Inserting a shaped wire is a little tricky especially at the bottom part of the number and once the wire has been inserted, I had to spend some time smoothing out the fondant roll to make sure there were no creases and it was consistent all over. And I made sure there was excess wire at the base of the number so that I could poke the number into the cake to keep it standing upright in a stable position.
- Once the number was done, I let it set and firm up in a horizontally lying position until it was ready to be put on the cake.
Cute Lion Cake with 3D Number Topper
Preparing the cake
- As for the rest of the decoration, I made them all directly on the cake. Once the cake was baked and has completely cooled down, I leveled the layers and filled and crumb coated them with buttercream before covering it with a layer of light blue fondant.
The alphabets on the cake
- And then I made the birthday message on the cake. I wanted the birthday boy’s name to be put on a wooden plaque-like design and so made one with chocolate fondant. I cut out a rectangle piece of fondant and used my pizza cutting wheel to slightly round the sides and cut out random triangle cutouts at the sides to give the fondant piece a wooden plank look and feel. And then, using my needle scriber tool, I marked wood grain patterns on it.
- Next, I cut out the letters using my FMM block letters Tappit cutter. I used yellow-tinted gum paste for the lettering. I attached the letters to the fondant wooden plank with shortening before attaching the plank to the side of the cake, also with shortening.
Cute Lion Cake
The trees on the sides of the cake
- As for the 3 large trees on the sides of the cake, I used green and chocolate fondant. I cut the tree trunks in chocolate fondant and drew wood grain patterns on them with my needle scriber tool.
- As for the leaves, I used the scalloped end of my pizza cutting wheel and cut out a long strip of green fondant. I then, twisted the strip in circular motion, forming the outer edges and gradually moving to the center of the circle. I used shortening to hold the strips in place and carefully lifted and attached them on the tree trunks on both sides.
The green grass
- Using the same green fondant, I cut out grass patterns with my pizza cutting wheel and added them to the base of the cake on the opposite side of the wooden name plank. And then I added some rocks which were shaped in marbled grey fondant. I made these in random sizes and also placed them in random positions on the cake.
- And finally, I added some tiny red and yellow flowers on the cake before adding on the lion topper and the number topper. Since the number topper was wired, I inserted the excess wire into a lollipop stick before inserting into the cake. As for the lion topper, I applied some fondant glue on its base before placing it on the cake. That way, I could be rest assured that the lion would stay in place when transporting the cake.
Deco on the sides of the lion cake
And that’s that. My lion cake for 2-year-old Casey. I have also made another lion cake for Casey, and this time, it was for the celebration with his family. See how I decorated the other lion themed cake here.
Hope you enjoyed this.
Happy Decorating 🙂