My son’s one year birthday was coming up and because of his strawberry blond hair, I thought an orange-maned lion would be the perfect birthday cake animal for him. I combined ideas from different lions in the Wilton 2010 Decorating Yearbook to make it.

I used the cuddly bear cake pan to make the lion and also baked two 9 inch cakes for the base. A few days before baking, I made the mane which was orange fondant cut thin and then rolled and placed on lollipop sticks to dry. After piping the whole lion in stars, I stuck the mane pieces all around the face and ears. This was my first time doing anything like this with fondant so I was happy with the way it came out.

I then covered the cake rounds in green fondant and tried adding a few leaves for additional decoration. Judging by the kids’ reaction when they saw the cake, it was a success and was certainly fun and satisfying for me.