Any dinosaur lover will love this homemade dinosaur birthday cake. Simply made with just a few tools and simple ingredients, it will be a hit at the next birthday party you need to host. This dinosaur cake for kids is perfect for any birthday boy or girl who loves dinosaurs. They will get a kick out of the toy dinosaurs and the cake volcano and you’ll look like super mom. I promise we can keep it between us just how much of an easy homemade birthday cake this was!
If you remember, last year I went all out and made Ryan the cake of his dreams – a giant monster truck cake. To this day, he still talks about it. In fact, with his birthday on the horizon, he’s already telling me he wants another.
A few weeks ago, I made Owen his first “real” birthday cake. We made a smash cake for his first birthday, but this year I decided he deserved a cool cake just like his big brother. So I headed to Google and went searching to find some inspiration for the cake of his dreams. In my search I found a few things I liked, but nothing screamed, “Owen would LOVE this!” to me, and also, “this is totally doable!” Since I love to make life difficult, I wung it and out came the coolest, easiest dinosaur birthday cake a little 2 year old boy could ever ask for.
This cake is just as simple as the monster truck cake I made Ryan – the major benefit of cakes like this is that they doesn’t have to be perfect – both a monster truck cake and a dinosaur cake are bound to be covered in dirt and rocks, so any mistakes can be covered in candy, crumbled cake, or cookie crumbs.
Like with most cakes I make, I used box mix for the cake and made the frosting from scratch. Personally, I only really care about the frosting so that’s my MO. Feel free to use canned frosting and boxed mix or everything homemade. I used this frosting recipe and doubled it. If you use store bought frosting make sure it’s room temperature and if it seems really thick (tearing the cake) whip it up with a hand mixer or whisk before using.
Tips for frosting a cake
- Make sure your frosting is room temperature – if it’s cold, it won’t spread well and will tear your cake.
- Cake MUST be cooled completely. I like to bake mine the night before or morning of. Sometimes I’ll brush it with simple syrup and wrap in plastic wrap to keep it moist until I’m ready to use if I’m feeling ambitious.
- Put a ton of frosting right on top and spread to the edges. Slowly work from the top center of your cake to the edges.
- Be generous with the frosting. You can take some off, but it will go on so much easier if you add more than needed.
- If needed, do a crumb coat. Add a thin layer of frosting all over, then put in the fridge to ‘harden’. This will help you get a super pretty cake. (This is more important for traditional cakes where you’re not covering mistakes with ‘dirt’ and ‘rocks’.
Need more dino food? These Dinosaur Homemade Pizza Pockets are the perfect pre-cake food!
How to Make a Homemade Dinosaur Birthday Cake
What you’ll need for this Dinosaur Birthday Cake:
- Offset spatula
- 3-4 round cakes, cooled and unfrosted
- 2 batches (or at least 2 cans) of chocolate frosting
- Round cutter
- Serrated knife
- Plastic sandwich bag
- Green pipeable frosting with a grass tip
- Chocolate candies that look like rocks
- Plastic dinosaurs
Bake at least 3 round cakes. Mine were 9 inches and I baked 2 boxes of boxed mix as per the directions. You do you, just make sure you have 3-4 round cakes.
Put a dab or frosting on the base of where you want the cake (I used a round pizza pan, but a cookie sheet or cutting board would work fine. Make sure you have room to make your dino-scape.)Frost your bottom layer of cake with chocolate frosting.
Cut about ⅓ of the second later off. This is going to create dimension for your cake.
Note: You can very easily make this a 4 layer cake if serving a larger crowd – just bake an extra layer or 2 and double up the top and bottom layers. You’ll obviously need extra frosting.
Frost the entire cake, not worrying about making it perfect. The best part about a cake like this is that imperfections are totally fine. Use the how to frost a cake tips above for more info. Crumble left over cake and/or crush chocolate wafer cookies.
Take a circle cutter (3-4 inch diameter) and cut 2 circles from leftover cake. Stack with a layer of frosting in between, place on your cake in the back corner of the top layer. Secure with a wooden kabob or long toothpick. Trim the little stack to create a cone shape for your ‘volcano’ and frost.
Add red food coloring to a small amount of white frosting (I used canned) and add it to a small sandwich baggie. Snip the very end of the baggie and pipe “lava” coming from your volcano.
Now that we know more or less how much extra frosting we have, spread a thin layer of frosting to your base and top with crumbled cookies and/or cake as dirt.
Add blue food dye to more white frosting and repeat the process with creating a piping bag from a sandwich baggie. Create a “lake” on one level by outlining your shape and then filling in and smoothing with a butter knife or offset spatula. Create a “waterfall” from one level to the next the same way, creating a pool on the base for your waterfall to land.
Using a store bought squeeze bag of green decorating icing, (I use Wilton) create tufts of grass throughout the scene and along the banks of your lake.
Using the leftover crumbled cake, cookies, and candies, add rocks and dirt to your cake before adding your dinosaurs, and then you’re done!
It might look like a lot of steps, but I promise a lot of it is simple, objective things to make it look cool and nothing is pastry school level. I finished mine in about 30 minutes, but I also was doing to really cool kitchen dance party moved in between.
Okay, so tell me – do you have someone in your life who would love this cake? Do you make or buy your kids cakes? Let me know in the comments!
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