Dinosaur Birthday Cake~ Video Tutorial

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Hi everyone! In this two part Dinosaur Cake video tutorial, you will learn how to make two very cute dinosaur cake toppers. This is such a cute and fun cake design for young birthdays!

While dinosaur cakes can be achieved very effectively with "flat" decorations like fondant cut-outs, and buttercream or chocolate transfers, 3D cake toppers have a way of bringing the theme to life!

Sweet dinosaur cake from MyCakeSchool.com's member section. MyCakeSchool.com Online Cake Decorating Videos, Tutorials, and Recipes!

Dinosaur Cake Toppers

Our dinosaurs definitely fall into the "cute" category, but if your theme calls for more realistic dinosaurs, you can create a completely different look by making a few simple changes to the dinosaurs' color, texturing of the skin, and shape of the eyes. Our sweet dinosaurs are just here to have a bite of cake ;0)

Just as it is, this dinosaur cake would be adorable for young birthdays!

Materials for Dinosaur Birthday Cake

In this video, our tier sizes are 9" and 5".  Each tier was approx. 4- 4.5 inches in height and 3 layers each.  The tiers were made by mixing up a double batch of our "Classic Chocolate Scratch Cake".  

We used our Fluffy Vanilla buttercream for this cake, but our Classic Vanilla Buttercream is a great choice also. Both are crusting buttercreams.

For non-crusting frostings, I would add the dinosaurs at the time of the event to be on the safe side.

Rice Cereal Treats (We used Rice Krispies Treats, with each square being 22g.)--  We needed approximately 5-6 RKT squares per dinosaur.  Of course you could use more or less, depending on the size that you would like to make! 

If you would like to skip the cereal treats altogether, you can make the dinosaurs using straight gum paste  (or fondant/tylose powder).  You will just need to allow several days for the bodies and heads to dry before assembling.

Gum paste or Fondant with Tylose Powder kneaded into it-   I prefer to use gum paste (or fondant/tylose) instead of straight fondant because I feel that the firmness of gum paste as it dries over the cereal treat pieces makes everything more stable.  

If you prefer to use straight fondant on top of your  cereal treats, make sure to allow at least a couple of days for things to firm up nicely around the cereal treats.

Fondant Amounts:  8 oz (243 g) green fondant, 6 oz (187 g) blue fondant, small amount of white for eyes, small amount of pink for inside of  T-Rex's mouth.

Coloring Gel:  I used Americolor Electric Green for T-Rex, Americolor Deep Pink, Americolor Sky Blue for Brontosaurus, Lemon Yellow and Orange for misc accents (hats, gift, etc.)

Lollipop Stick- Used for the neck of the brontosaurus

Royal Icing (piping consistency) - Used for our T-Rex's Teeth.  You could use other things as well... like small piece of fondant or gum paste or even crusting buttercream.

Sprinkles:  (Optional) I used small confetti sprinkles to decorate the brontosaurus and also for misc. sprinkles on the cake.

Piping Gel & Melted Candy Melts-- These were my glues of choice in this video.  Melted candy melts for attaching the brontosaurus neck to the body (along with the lollipop stick anchor).  Piping gel for all other situations calling for "glue" ;0)

Red Wilton Candy Melts- Optional--Used for creating our chocolate "2"

Floral Wire and Photo Paper/Cardstock, and tape- Used in making the sign for the brontosaurus.

Cocoa Puffs Bar or chocolate cookie- (Optional) this was what we used for the "cake" that our T-Rex was eating as a less messy alternative.  However, I think that you could also just trim off a small piece of cake at the time of baking, allow to dry out a bit and then place in his mouth.

Bubble Tea Straws-- I used 4 to support our 5" tier, and 2 beneath the brontosaurus.

Misc- Cardboard cake circles- I used two (cut to the size of each tier).  Our cake base is a wooden ¼" thick square wrapped tightly with a plastic tablecloth and secured beneath with painter's tape.

More Dinosaur Cake Ideas

You may also be interested in our EASY dinosaur cake made of cupcakes! You can find the step by step tutorial here: Dinosaur Pull-Apart Cupcake Cake

Along the same lines, we also have a 3D Dragon Cake tutorial, which could be easily changed up to become a dinosaur! There are so many fun options ;0)

We also have a roundup of even more Birthday Cake Designs here: 100+ Birthday Cake Ideas!

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Looking for cake recipes? Don't miss our full collection of favorites in our Cake Recipes section. There, you will find cake recipes from scratch and cake mix recipes in all flavors. Some of our most popular are: Vanilla Velvet Cake, Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Cake, Easy Lemon Cake Mix Recipe, and Almond Cake!

Dinosaur Cake Video- Part One

Learn to make a Tyrannosaurus Rex from rice cereal treats covered with fondant (or gum paste).

Dinosaur Cake Video- Part Two

Learn to make a brontosaurus, and a few extra details made to the cake and dinosaurs to pull the theme together!

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  1. Really cute. I love the munching T-rex. Of course, these are cake-eating dinos! Do you need the top tier to be so tall to help anchor the height of the dinosaur topper?

  2. Hi Melissa, funny about the cake-eating dinos:) No, the top tier does not need to be that tall. In fact, it would still be very cute without the top tier and the dino just sitting on the top of the 9 inch cake. The dowels that Melissa placed under the dino keep him from sinking into the cake.

  3. OK, thanks. I was curious because I had a "learning experience" where I tried to anchor a taller figurine in a sheet cake and realized that it just was not enough cake to support it. But thanks to trial and error and so much help from your wonderful cake school, I keep improving!

  4. Hi Melissa. This is so cute. I have just been asked to make a dinosaur cake for a 5 year old boy so this is just what I need to help me with it. Would it be possible to cover the dinosaurs with modelling chocolate instead of fondant? Or would the modelling chocolate be too soft? I have just recently subscribed to your page and LOVE it. As a new cake decorator your page gives me so many hints and ideas. Thank you so much! Shawn

  5. Hi Shawn--Thank you! I'm glad that you are making this cake. Yes, no problem to use modeling chocolate. After covering them, if you can see a little bumpiness from the cereal treats beneath, you can always add another layer of modeling chocolate.

    I've even used buttercream to cover rice cereal treats on other cake projects. Good luck!

  6. Hi Melissa and BeBe... I am finally making this cake. I am making only the one tier 4" tall with both of the dinos. With all of this rain we have been having our basement has started to flood. Ugh. My husband does keep it mopped up but everything is so damp. For a week now I have been working on the dinos and after I think they are all set up etc. they start to break apart. I figure it is because the house is so damp. I think I should have made the figures without the fondant and let the RKT's dry and set up real good and place the fondant on and put them together that way. What do you think? (Thank heavens this cake is for Father's Day and my hubby understands what I am going through.)
    Thanks you for your advice. Marlene

  7. Hi Marlene, I'm sorry that you are having this problem! You are right, your trouble it is likely due to the humidity in your house. :0( If you feel that you need to start over, I would just make sure that your cereal treats are really tightly packed together. It may help as you mentioned to allow them to dry out a bit before covering with fondant/gum paste. I don't normally find this to be a necessary step, but in your situation, it couldn't hurt! You may also want to use fondant with tylose kneaded into it if possible so that it will dry out more quickly and help things hold together.

    Good luck, and thank goodness it's for your understanding hubby ;0) xoxo

  8. Hi Melissa, I am going to try to make this cute dinosaur cake and was wondering if the dinosaurs can be made in advance, and if so, how far in advance? Given I have no experience with rice treats and fondant characters, I want to give enough time to get them right before making the cake. Once the cake is made I just have to assemble it and deliver it to the party.

  9. Hi Deb! I'm glad that you are making the cake! You can make them at any time and they will hold up just fine (work at least a few days in advance). We have cake toppers from past cakes that are years old and they still look good. Once you've made them, just make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight or fluorescent lighting as that can cause the colors to fade. You can store in a breathable container like a bakery box. (Airtight containers may cause softening and so I keep modeled toppers, etc. in containers that can breathe.)