Coolest Big Top Birthday Cake

For my son’s 4th birthday, we thought it would be fun to have a Circus/Carnival party theme, so I made a Homemade Big Top Birthday Cake (an adaptation of a cake one of my friend’s had made).

The cake part was fairly easy. I baked three 9 x 13 cakes and stacked them together, icing in between the layers. Then I placed placed 2 ice cream cones (for the tent peaks) where I wanted them, made an imprint of the circle from the bottom of the cones and cut a circular chunk out so the cones would rest snugly in the cake. Next, I began carving the cake to resemble a circus tent. Once the cake was carved, I did a crumb coat over the entire cake.

I used over 3 batches of scratch Wilton Buttercream icing. I used red (no-taste) coloring gel for the red & left the rest white, taking out a small amount to color black for the opening.

I also used some (free-standing) animal cookie cutters and a homemade sugar cookie recipe to make the animals. I also decided to have a little fun and incorporate my 3 children into the cake. My 4 year old was the ringmaster and my daughter & other son were clowns. I had to free-hand their shapes and also took some pictures and cut out their faces to use on the cookies. I made a batch of Wilton Royal icing (with a bit of extra water to make it go on more smoothly) and colored the icing all the different colors I wanted and used decorating bags with #2 & #3 tips. I “glued” their faces on with the icing as well. I placed a twizzler in my son’s hand for his whip (I had a hard time keeping the twizzler from breaking. Shoestring licorice would have worked much better but I couldn’t find any). I used a toothpick & a piece of candy for the clown’s balloon. I had some red fondant left over from another cake and I made the clowns’ noses with it.

I baked 3 small square shapes and also used royal icing to attach them to the backs of each person to help them stand up. They turned out so cute and were a hit. My kids loved being a part of the cake! I considered getting pictures of all my son’s guests to add them in as well, but I didn’t have the time.

The cake took several days to complete but it was worth every minute to see how happy it made everyone, especially the birthday boy!

Homemade Big Top Birthday Cake

Homemade Big Top Birthday Cake

Homemade Big Top Birthday Cake

1 thought on “Coolest Big Top Birthday Cake”

  1. Mollie, Love the big top cake – so cool. Especially the part where your kids are part of the act. What a great idea! It’s fun to follow your cakes…keep it up! Susan


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