I made this penguin birthday cake for my daughter's second birthday, the night she was born was one of the coldest nights of that year and January around here typically is, so I wanted something wintery that did not have any ties to Christmas.
I baked a regular yellow sheet cake from the box in a 9x13. Then I had a small glass bowl and a mini cup cake that I baked for the igloo. I used another box cake, but this time chocolate and there was more batter than I needed for the igloo so I just baked an extra smaller sheet cake and froze it to use another time. First I frosted the sheet cake with white buttercream/vanilla frosting then I frosted the igloo with the same frosting then used a toothpick to connect the doorway to the main part and then covered with rolled fondant and placed on top of the sheet cake.
After setting the igloo in place I used a sharp knife to make lines in the igloo that resembled ice blocks. This really does not show in the picture but was cool in real life. I made water out of blue gel icing complete with fish (Swedish).
I colored some of the fondant black, some orange and left some white. Then I created my seal, penguins, polar bear (he was a little sad looking and more resembled a dog but hey I am a mom not a cake baker) and snow man. After I did the water and the creature I made snowballs to go around the perimeter of the cake and a few extra for the snowman.
I had also purchased a penguin hallmark ornament because I was not confident in my ability to created the creatures but ended up using them all. It was my first experience with Fondant and it was pretty fun. The kids at the party were fighting over who was going to get which animal.