For my son’s first birthday party we wanted to make a lion birthday cake (to go with the invites and decorations). So we looked online and found lots of pictures to try to copy. I made a vanilla sponge cake (the easy vanilla cake from the bbc good food website) and put cherry jam and normal buttercream icing in the middle. I found this recipe to be really good, but made 1 and 1/4 the recipe (extra 25%) as my round tin was a bit larger than the one the recipe is for, and baked it for 1 1/2 hours at 160C instead.

For the yellow face and ears I made icing sugar paste with 1/2 normal icing sugar, 1/2 royal icing sugar, yellow food colouring and a little warm water. I found that using part normal icing and part royal icing sugar kept it from melting and running. And just to say, the royal icing sugar was a “Silver Spoon” pack bought in the supermarket.

For the lion’s mane we made chocolate icing using a mix of plain chocolate, normal icing sugar and butter and let that set for a few hours. When we went to pipe it, it was a bit hard so added a little warm water and gave it a good mix to soften. We used this mix for the smile, whiskers and the nose too. For the eyes and tongue, we used icing sugar with a little water/red food colouring and stuck it on top. In between each icing we put the cake in the fridge for a few minutes to make sure the icing set.

Hope you like the cake – we certainly did!