Make a Dinosaur Cake - lots of ideas
Want to make a dinosaur cake?
A collection of dinosaur cakes to choose from. Do you have a dinosaur mad boy or girl with a birthday coming up? We've got a great collection of the best ideas for inspiration. Plenty of easy options if you're in a hurry. Prehistoric cakes galore!
We made a Marzipan-covered Triceratops when my older son turned 3. Although this was very well received, I thought we could do better this year, and looked at lots of ideas first. I've put together a selection of our favorite homemade recipes and examples. We've included lots of easy options, plenty of medium skill ideas and a few for the over-achievers in the audience (you know who you are ;-)
This year we chose a Volcano Cake with fondant T-Rex, Stegosaurus and friends which delighted our four year old.
Have you checked out our Dinosaur Cupcakes?
T-Rex Dinosaur Cake Pan
T-Rex is always one of the most popular dinosaurs. Trying to carve or model a dinosaur cake is a bit daunting for some people. A T-Rex shaped cake pan will get you started with less stress!
Triceratops Cake for our son's third birthday
This picture is of our older son's 3rd birthday cake. No it's not very good is it! But he loved it. For a third birthday dinosaur cake it just had to be Triceratops.
Our Triceratops dinosaur cake was made from loaf-shaped cakes cut into shape then covered with green fondant with details made from marzipan, including the dinosaur eggs. It's finished with chocolate balls for eyes and white chocolate drops for claws.
The best dinosaur cakes we've found - Dinosaur cakes to make
So what makes a good dinosaur-themed cake? If you search for dinosaur cakes you get a lot of cutesy dinosaurs that aren't identifiable as any particular species of dinosaur. That just won't pass muster in our house! If we produced a cake that was half brachiosaurus, half stegosaurus, with brightly-colored spots, the likely response would be "what kind of dinosaur is that supposed to be?". A bit of cartoon or comic effect is fine, but to get onto our list, a dinosaur cake must be clearly identifiable. We like homemade dinosaur cakes best, even if they're not quite perfect. A bit of cheating is fine though, part of our Triceratops was a shop bought cake - it needed to be solid.
These are the best dinosaur cakes that we've found.
- How to make a T-Rex (cake) at Buttercream
Oh wow. This one's good - a 3D T-Rex. Photos of it being made so you can see how it was done. We like this one.
- Volcano Cake
You can have great fun adding dinosaur cake toppers to the scene or making marzipan or fondant dinosaurs to sit at the foot of the volcano. And the dry ice is a genius touch.
- Triceratops cake
Some similarity with our Triceratops cake though we hadn't seen this one at the time.
- How to Make a Dinosaur Cake
A 2D T-Rex this time. Brightly colored and very appealing. Tyrannosaurus Rex seems to be the most popular dinosaur for kids so I'm sure this would be a hit.
- Dinosaur Egg
This is well worth a look. A beautiful dinosaur egg cake.
- Dinosaur Birthday Cupcakes
A whole set of fondant dinosaur cupcakes with volcano and fossil ones too. Very nicely done.
- Dinosaur Dig Site Cake
Dinosaur bones on a chocolate cake for the aspiring paleontologist.
- not your typical dinosaur cake
A very cute dino dig cake which is easy to recreate at home and will be loved by little boys who like dinosaurs and diggers.
- 3D Dinosaur Bones Pancake
OK, this one isn't a cake, but it is a pan-cake. And we had to include it.
Dinosaur Cake Decorating Ideas
Volcano Cake with Fondant Dinosaurs
For his fourth birthday our son asked for a Volcano Cake with dinosaurs. Excellent choice. We'd found some great dinosaur cakes as inspiration and thought we could have a go.
It was very much a dinosaur and volcano themed birthday as his main present was the Playmobil Volcano with Triceratops set.
Here's what we did:
Make a round sponge cake with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and baked it.
Make a chocolate cake with the same recipe plus a few tablespoons of milk in a pyrex bowl and cooked it for 5 mins in the microwave.
Put the dome shaped cake on top of the flat one and cut away at an angle to get a good volcano shape. Carved a crater in the top.
Melted a large bar of milk cooking chocolate and poured in over the volcano then let it set in the fridge.
Took green, yellow and black fondant and made a T-Rex, Parasaurolophus, Dimitrodon, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl. (These were much easier than I expected, my partner was very skeptical but ultimately impressed, I didn't spend much time and didn't go for perfection, but they had to be identifiable by the boys and they definitely passed that test!)
Made lava by rolling out strips of red fondant.
Use remaining fondant to create a muddy grassy green to cover the cake board and make a rock to hold the number 4 birthday candle.
We were pretty pleased with the result. It took under an hour to make including baking the cakes - decorating was a joint effort between Mum and Dad.
This Volcano Cake from Sandra Lee has full instructions including adding dry ice.
(We didn't go for dry ice this time, the kids were impressed enough as it was, we'll save that effect for the future!)
Volcano Birthday Cake - with dry ice
This is very impressive.
See more Volcano cake videos.
Cute Cake Pan
Easy Option 1: Buy a dinosaur cake pan - Dinosaur cake tin, pan, mold
You can get great results by using a dinosaur cake pan, tin or mold with a simple sponge cake recipe. If your artistic skills aren't up to much this might be a good option - at least everyone will know it's supposed to be a dinosaur!
This cake pan reminds us of Buddy from dinosaur train.
The Ultimate Dinosaur Cake
We love the 3d Dinosaur Birthday Cake at Instructables.com. Beyond our skills, but it was the inspiration for our Triceratops cake. It's a Stegosaurus, a very good Stegosaurus. Go on, take a look, we'll still be here.
Easy Option 2: Dinosaur Cake Toppers
A dinosaur cake topper can be really impressive! You can make your own cake, or put the dinosaur cake topper on a store bought cake.
Dinosaur Cake making video - From Howdini
We're not quite sure what kind of dinosaur this is! So it doesn't really meet our criteria. But it's great to watch it being made and you could adapt it so it looks like a Brachiosaurus.
Dinosaur Cake Photos
Dinosaur Cake Pictures
There are some really creative people out there who have made some brilliant dinosaur cakes. Puts our efforts to shame! Get inspired. It's worth checking out google images for dinosaur cake too.
Dinosaur Cupcake Toppers
Easy Option 3: Dinosaur Cupcakes
A nice pile of dinosaur cupcakes can be displayed to great effect.
If you're artistic (or willing to have a go!) then you can model fondant dinosaurs like the ones we make for our dinosaur cake.
Otherwise cupcake toppers work really well on a pile of green fondant grass or chocolate mud! And the kids love to take the toppers home as favors.
Easy Option 4: Dinosaur Edible Photo Cake Topper
We've used this option before to great effect! You can get a personalized edible cake topper printed and put it on a cake of your choice. Very cool. You can go for an option that already includes a dinosaur theme, or a completely custom photo cake with a photo of your own. Perhaps you have a photo of your child with a dinosaur from a recent theme park visit?
TV Dinosaur Cakes: Dino Dan, Dinosaur Train, Diego
- 4th Birthday Cake: Dinosaur Train
A round cake decorated with the dinosaur train around the outside and Buddy and Tiny sitting on top. We love the train track detail around the base. Great for Dinosaur Train fans.
- Diego and Dinosaurs
A birthday cake with Diego and a Maiasaura. Great for fans of Diego's Dinosaur Rescue.
- Dino Dan Birthday Cake
Dino Dan is very popular at the moment. This Dino Dan cake has been very well decorated with Dan himself and brightly colored realistic dinosaurs. Very good.
- Rudy the Baryonyx from Ice Age 3
A very impressive cake shaped like Rudy from Ice Age 3. Please don't tell my kids about this one. They love Rudy and I really couldn't make this!
Easy Options 5: Dinosaur Train or Diego Cake Topper
You can usually get dinosaur cake toppers on eBay featuring Dinosaur Train or Diego with Dinosaurs. A great option if you don't have much time.
Dinosaur Toys - Visit the Dinosaur Toys Store
First you need to bake a round sponge cake, this will form the base of the volcano.
- 4 oz/110g butter or margarine
- 4 oz/110g caster sugar
- 3.5 oz/100g self raising flour
- 3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- 2. Melt the butter a little in the microwave (optional)
- 3. Mix all the ingredients together (I use my electric mixer)
- 4. Bake for 20-25 mins. I used a 8" silicon
- 5. Leave to cool before decorating
- You'll find lots of more complicated recipes and instructions, but I just throw everything together.
Step 2: Microwave Chocolate Sponge Cake - The top of the volcano
Now you need to make a chocolate cake in a deep round bowl. We used a Pyrex bowl in the microwave. Quick and simple.
- 4 oz/110g butter or magarine
- 4 oz/110g caster sugar
- 3.5 oz/100g self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- 3 heaped table spoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1. Melt the butter in a pyrex bowl (optional)
- 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
- 3. Microwave on medium for 5-6 minutes.
- 4. Leave to cool.
- You can replace the cocoa powder with more flour if you would prefer a plain sponge cake.
Step 3: Assemble the volcano and decorate
Once the cakes have cooled, it's time to assemble the volcano and decorate it with baking chocolate, and fondant lava and dinosaurs.
- 8 oz/200g cooking or baking chocolate
- 1 pack mixed color fondant - must include red for lava
- A candle (or dinosaur candles)
- 1. Place your Pyrex bowl cake on top of your round flat cake on a cake board. Use a sharp knife to cut excess cake to give a good volcano shape. Make a small cater in the top.
- 2. Melt the chocolate in a Pyrex jug in the microwave (start with 1 min intervals then reduce to 30 sec, stirring in between). The last pieces should melt when you stir the chocolate - don't overheat it. Pour the chocolate over the volcano and put in the fridge to set.
- 3. While the chocolate is setting, make fondant dinosaurs - I went for a T-Rex, Dimitrodon, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl. Don't overthink this. Work quickly or the fondant will get sticky.
- 4. Cover the cake board with the remaining fondant mixed together in a muddy brown color.
- 5. Roll out strips of red fondant for lava and place on the cooled volcano cake. Add the fondant dinosaurs.
- 6. Make a fondant rock and stick a candle in it.
Volcano Cake with Dinosaurs - The finished cake
Homemade Dinosaur Cupcakes - Dinosaur Eye, Volcano, T-Rex Skull and Dinosaur Egg Nest
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Have you made a dinosaur cake? Do you plan to? Which is your favorite dinosaur cake. Do you have a recommendation for our list of best dinosaur cakes? We'd love to hear from you.