Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

Woof! Woof! It’s Tiffany’s birthday cake…

Posted on March 31, 2008
Filed Under Birthday cakes

Before I had any children, I decided that I want to make them special birthday cakes. Some people look at it as a waste of time. I look at it as FUN! Fun without costing alot of money.

Tiffany just turned 2. I made her a doghouse birthday cake. I used a house-shaped pan that I bought at our local Michaels store. I use the term ‘local’ loosely… the closest Michaels is an hour and a half away. It’s good I live that far away from it, I’d spend alot of time (and money) there. I’ll bet I could spend all day there (if I didn’t have kids in tow, that is).

I started with a cake mix. Pillsbury Moist Supreme pudding-in-the-mix.

I always use this kind of cake mix for birthday cakes and it always gets rave reviews. So, I figure why make a cake from scratch?! I really don’t remember when the last time was that I made a cake from scratch. Oh, probably a red velvet cake last year sometime. I always make red velvet from scratch. But that’s the only kind I make from scratch.


When baked, the cake fills the pan up perfectly. Cut the rounded part off the top with a long-bladed knife.

Now comes the apprehensive part of flipping it out of the pan… will part of the cake stay with the pan? Will I have to dig around at it with a knife? Will it be so bad that I have to start over and go to the store for another cake mix? Before dumping the batter in, I sprayed the pan with PAM cooking spray. Here’s how it came out! Perfect!

I did not wipe any cake remnants out of the pan before taking this picture. I’d definitely recommend PAM if you ever make something that needs to be baked then flipped out of the pan!

We’ve got siding on the first side now.

I spread frosting on the cake first to make it flat because it had impressions on there for the windows for a regular house. Um, I don’t think I’ll have to wade thro’ calls from construction companies asking me to join their siding crew! It is pretty much seamless though, so that’s good.


Now all the siding is on, although you can’t really tell it.

bday2-6.jpg And we have a roof.


A bit more trim and a name for the dog… SPOT, yeah, I know, so original. But, any other dog name (like Maxwell, which is what Lexi wants to name her first dog) would’ve been too long to write. Rex would’ve fit good, too. My first puppy was named Rusty. He was  a pure-bred Collie. Ok, he wasn’t actually MY puppy… we had a pair of pure-bred Collies, (beautiful dogs!) and they had pups and so each of us children claimed one and named it. We had them until someone bought them. I had mine the longest and I was tickled when it was my uncle who got Rusty because I could still see him now and then. You don’t know how wonderful that was unless you know how nostalgic I am. My uncle named him Rex, so I really like that name for a dog, except he, of course, was always still Rusty to me.


That’s brownies under the cake (made with brownie mix, of course). I’m not a cake fan, but brownies I can’t leave alone, so that layer is for me. I realized I’m in the minority because the cake was pretty much licked clean and most of the brownie layer was left. Those brownies were just a 9×13 pan, then I cut irregular borders to add a casual look to the cake. The ‘cake board’ is my cutting board covered with tin foil and taped on the bottom. I just wrapped it up like you would a gift.


Here is a close-up of the grass. This was time-comsuming. And my hand got sore. But it looked pretty neat on there… made me anxious for Spring! It is, by the way, snowing outside right now. The grass alone took about a half hour. The entire cake took just under 3 hours.

Here are the tips I used. Started from the left: the tip for the grass, for the trim, for the little flowers in the yard which you’ll see on the finished cake below, for the roof, and the one for the siding. For the stuff that you’d think I used a round tip for, my round tip fell on the floor and got stepped on and smashed awhile ago, so instead of getting another one, I just put frosting in a sandwich bag and snip off a bit of the corner. Works great! And no tip to clean!

Here’s the finished cake…


Here’s the back of it…

bday2tiff.jpg And here’s the birthday girl!

This is Tiffany’s second birthday. For her first birthday cake, I made her Lego blocks, pictured below.

The house pan I used for Tiffany’s doghouse is the same pan I used for the house for Lexi’s 4th birthday, except for hers I put 2 together to make it a more realistic-shaped house. To see Lexi’s cakes: birthdays 1 – 4 and birthday 5.

If you ask any questions in the comments, please check back because I’ll reply in the comments. I’d also love to hear from you what birthday cakes you’ve made. And if you have some pictured on your blog, feel free to leave a link so we can go see it!


17 Responses to “Woof! Woof! It’s Tiffany’s birthday cake…”

  1. Shannon on March 31st, 2008 12:26 pm

    Very, very cool. I think you could start a business! :) My girls are spazzing out. :) “Can you make me a cake like that? How do you make a cake like that? When can we have a cake like that???” My answer. “Um, probably never, your mom can’t do that.” :)

  2. Liz on March 31st, 2008 12:30 pm

    I think you have a knack for that kind of thing. I would probably have to read directions for what kind of tip to use for what. Even though I did take a basic cake decorating class. Maybe I just need a fancier decorting kit.

  3. Heidi on March 31st, 2008 12:36 pm

    soo cool you did a great job on it! how did you get it to stand up tho?

  4. barb on March 31st, 2008 12:39 pm

    How did you get that doghouse to stand up? It looks so narrow to stand up on its own.

    That is a really cute cake. I have never even seen a tip like the one you used for the grass. I am going to have to get one of those. That grass was really neat.

  5. Kay on March 31st, 2008 12:58 pm

    To get the cake to stand up, when it was laying down (like the 1st siding picture), I cut the bottom at a 90 degree angle. I didn’t measure, I just cut till it looked straight. We were a bit worried about it though. But it survived carrying it out to the vehicle, driving 15 miles (slow around corners!) and carrying it into the house and then some moving it around in the house too. It’s made to be proportioned right to stand on its own, but yeah, still made me nervous!!!

  6. Freida on March 31st, 2008 1:50 pm

    Like usual, you flip me out. What can I say? You are a wonder woman! :-) Cee–uute cake!!

  7. Angela on March 31st, 2008 1:51 pm

    I agree on your philosophy for making birthday cakes. Birthdays are something I want to make special every year as a way to celebrate not only the day, but the child as well! For the 2nd year cake, I’ve made it a tradition to make a cake of the child’s first real word. Since Julia’s first word was “hop”, she got a bunny cake, and since Elise’s was “woof”, she’ll be getting a dog cake (but that’s not until May, so I haven’t figured out details yet). I’ve also done a butterfly cake, Larry the Cucumber, and a small fish for a 1st birthday.

  8. Denise on March 31st, 2008 8:44 pm

    Wow!! I love that one. Wish I was as good as u r at decorating cakes. Our little guy loves our dog so it would be so neat to make a cake like that for him for his birthday.
    Well done!!

  9. Marilyn on April 1st, 2008 5:49 am

    Wow!very cool cake! Great job, love all the ideas you come up with for birthday cakes. I always make cakes for my children’s birthdays too, it’s something special for them and it is fun :-)

  10. Twila on April 1st, 2008 5:52 am

    That cake is really cute!
    I always made my kid’s special cakes for their birthdays too. I still make them although now that they’re older the girls get cakes with flowers. I made Tyler a cake with Garfield on it his last birthday. One year I was just to busy to make a cake for one of the girls so I decided I have to buy one. I thought it would be special, since they never had boughten birthday cakes, but oh my, that little girl was not happy. She wanted mom to make it!

  11. barb on April 1st, 2008 7:58 am

    I guess I am just plain stupid, but I still don’t understand how you got that thing to stand up. (You should have posted pictures of that:) If you can explain it any better I would love to know, because I might try making one for my son. Thanks, Barb

  12. Kay on April 1st, 2008 8:22 am

    Standing the doghouse up (better explanation): First of all, the dimensions are 3″ deep x 8″ wide x 8″ tall. The 5th picture (with all the siding on) shows the width better than any of the other pictures.

    I baked the cake in the pan, then flipped it out, let it cool, then when I was ready to stand it up, I thought it looked slightly slanted on the bottom, so I trimmed off a little wedge to make to bottom look totally flat. Then (while it was still laying down, as in picture #4), I took a ‘pancake turner’ and put it under the top part of the house and lifted it (the top) up till it was in an upright position (as in picture #5). The worst part was getting it off of that little cutting board onto the brownie layer… I couldn’t touch the top or sides at all because it was all decorated, so I got 2 ‘pancake turners’ and put one under each side and lifted it over onto the brownie. Mine isn’t anchored to the brownie layer with any toothpicks or anything. We moved it around (carefully) quite a bit and it didn’t fall over.

    You’re right, I should’ve had pictures of standing it up… nothing like a picture to help explain something. :) Let me know if you need more details or anything. Yeah you oughta try it! It was fun to make! :)

  13. Regina on April 1st, 2008 9:26 am

    Wow, way to go on the cakes! You do quite an impressive job! I made a castle cake for my daughters 3rd birthday, and there are a few pics of it on my weblog…nothing that great, but thought you might like to check it out beings you’re interested in them. I always love to see new designs and get new ideas!

  14. Sharla on April 1st, 2008 1:37 pm

    hey i was wondering where you get ideas for 1st birthday cakes…my daughter is turning 1 later on this month and i don’t know where to start looking..

  15. Kay on April 1st, 2008 3:32 pm

    I’d Google it, Sharla, and see if you come up with anything. For the 2 I made, the building blocks one was original, the Lego blocks one was one that my SIL saw online and told me about.

  16. Sharla on April 2nd, 2008 12:20 pm

    thanks!! i found that has LOTS of ideas…ppl posting pics of cakes they have made..

  17. Judi on April 4th, 2008 2:47 pm

    I always made special cakes for my kids when they were little too. At that time I’d taken a Wilton decorating class and bought a few of their pans. They had four mini pans that took one cake mix. I think there is a bear, train, dolly and don’t you know the last one is escaping me at this very moment. I had them all then when dolly came into mind it typed that and the other one left. lol. I used the train a few times because we have a train in our backyard (for real). Also did BigBird one time. That too took a lot of time making all the feather looking things. Fun Fun