The skating penguin cake came to life when a friend and co-worker asked me to make a cake for her 13-year-old daughter’s birthday and she wanted a penguin theme. (I love when someone orders a cake that has a theme because without that, I just can’t get my creative juices flowing!) Back to the story… I had made a rectangle 13″ x 9″ cake and I thought how neat if I could make it look like a lake.
I iced the cake white and while this was air drying, I made a hard-rock candy recipe and tinted it blue (follow the directions on the Lorann candy flavors) and poured it free-form onto a cookie sheet that was covered in confectionery sugar and let that harden. (I tried to direct the shape of the liquid sugar by tilting the pan and getting a “lake” shape.) When that had cooled and hardened, I lifted it carefully and placed it on the iced cake. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to create the skating penguins but I had a quart of strawberries and I had a light-bulb moment!
The shape of the strawberry (upside down with point up) would make the perfect penguin body. I melted some semi-sweet chocolate and dipped several of the strawberries (I chose different sizes for big and small penguins) and allowed them to dry and harden slightly before adding an orange M&M for the beak. I cut off the green part of the stem, turned upside down and placed 2 more orange M&M’s for feet. I then added chocolate chips (the mini’s) for eyes and for the white part of the body, I melted a marshmallow slightly in the microwave (not completely melted) and used confectionery sugar to keep it from being too sticky and rolled the marshmallow flat and cut out small heart shapes that I applied to the “bellies” of the penguin using more melted chocolate to make them stick.
I placed the penguins around the “ice” and made one look as if he was teetering… I then made a thin icing and wrote the birthday girl’s name in double print (to look as if the skates had made the etching) and actually used a paint brush to apply the icing since it was so thin. I then finished the cake off with icing around the sides and on the corners to look like snow and a tiny bit of rock candy “ice” to each corner.