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Winter ONE-derland
Amarillo, TX
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For my daughter's first birthday, I created a penguin cake complete with piped penguins and an igloo. I made it dairy-free due to allergies

  • 2 cake mixes (we used dairy-free)
  • Eggs and oil as needed for cake mixes
  • 3 lb powdered sugar
  • 3 c Crisco
  • 3 t. vanilla
  • Wilton colors - black, blue, pink (or your hat color of choice), and yellow/orange
  • 3T Wilton meringue powder
  • Water
  1. Frosting:
    Several days before the party, make buttercream frosting. Beat Crisco on high for 5 full minutes. Stir together vanilla and about 1/2 cup water. Alternate adding liquid with the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Beat until incorporated. Then beat on medium for 5 full minutes. Add more water or powdered sugar as needed. You're aiming for a consistency that will stick to your finger.

  2. Mix your colors:
    About 1 1/2 cups - black (heads and wings)
    About 1 cup - pink or color of choice (hats)
    About 1 cup - orange (feet and beaks)
    About 2 1/2 cups - blue (sides of cake and lettering, so reserve it)
    The rest - white. You'll use some for penguin bodies, then reserve the rest for the cake itself.

  3. Penguins: Put a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet.
    A - Make two "w" foot shapes with a fine tip in orange.
    B - Using a wide circle tip, pipe the body. Just hold the tip down close to the feet and keep squeezing to let the frosting pile up.
    C - Heads (big tip) and wings (fine) in black.
    D - Beak (orange) and eyes (white).
    E - Hat using a fat circle tip. (You may need to thin the icing slightly.)
    Set penguins aside to harden

  4. Cakes: The day before the party, make your cakes in whatever sizes are needed for your guests. Make an igloo with a few cups of batter in an oven-proof bowl. For the main cake, I made an iceberg shape using two different cakes pushed together.

  5. Assembly: Level the cakes with a long knife or cake leveler. Put the igloo on top of the flat cakes. Frost the igloo and the top of the cake(s) with white. Frost the sides of the iceberg with blue. Let the buttercream dry for a few minutes, then put waxed paper on the cake and smooth it with a spatula to make the frosting really smooth. Pull the waxed paper off carefully.

  6. Decorating: Use a fat tip to pipe white snowballs around the bottom of the cake. Use a leaf tip to pipe jagged ice foamy shapes around the top edge. Use a fine tip to pipe blue brick shapes and a door on the igloo, and to write your desired message on the cake. If you want to, dust with some white cake glitter to make things sparkle.

  7. Finishing up: Carefully remove your penguins from the waxed paper and position them appropriately. Tada!

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