Wednesday 7 March 2012

Lizard Cake Tutorial

Back in May 2009 I made a Lizard Cake for Lewis' birthday, and it has become my most visited post with over 1,000 visits. Many of the visitors have been searching for instructions and so I decided to do a tutorial on how I went about making him. The same basic method can be used to make any kind of animal or whatever really. Ready roll icing can be coloured and flavoured any way you like, but beware of over working it as it can dry out.

So, you start with a slab of basic sponge cake. This is made with 8oz margarine, 8oz sugar, 4 eggs, vanilla, 8oz SR flour and baked in a 7" by 12" tray. Line it with greaseproof paper to ensure you can get it out easily.
When I made the first one I did do some research looking at pictures of lizards, though he is based partly on the shape of Lewis' Blue Tongued Skink. Rather than try and make it look like a specific type I just made him 'lizardish'.

So first I cut a basic body shape ...
... using some of the cut away cake I added a chunk for the tail. It doesn't matter that they are separate because the icing holds it all together. I tend to brush some melted jam over the top to help the icing stick in place.
Next I got a whole packet of ready roll icing and coloured it grey. This is achieved by about half a teaspoon of black food colour and a drop of red and a drop of blue, it was just trial and error. I think the original one was a bit more purpley than this. Knead it well to get a nice smooth colour, or is you want a more mottled effect leave it partly mixed:
Reserve a chunk (about 1/4 of it) for the legs and roll out the rest to a long shape that will cover the entire body, you don't have to be too precise as it is very easy to fix mistakes, though better to make it longer than you need:
Lift it carefully and cover the cake. Don't worry if it looks all messy or if there are gaps. Fold it around the cake and tuck the edges underneath so the cake is covered entirely. Trim excess icing and use it to patch any gaps.
Now get a glass of water and a butter knife and gently rub over any joins and folds with the dampened knife to make the surface smooth. try not to wet it too much or it can become sticky or tear, but don't worry about it looking damp as it will dry off. This will take some time and perseverance, don't be impatient:
Next add the legs, I consulted lizard pictures to get the position, the feet were just flattened and toes cut into the ends:
Next take some more ready roll icing. I coloured this green but you can do whatever you like with it, or even follow the colour scheme and patterning of your favourite lizard (this is a lot, really you only need a small amount for the markings):
I then made spots in a variety of sizes and using the damp knife again flattened them onto the surface and blended them in slightly, be careful not to press to hard and damage the surface. Eyes were made with raisins and the mouth just marked with the knife:

Creature named him Humperdink, in celebration of the announcement of Engelbert's participation in Eurovision this year (who's auntie, I was told, lives just off the High Street in Bourton on the Water).


  1. Humperdink looks so real! The legs are especially realistic. It's almost a shame to eat him!

  2. Now THAT is an awesome cake... birthday coming up soon... Hooray, now I have an idea AND instructions! Thanks so much! xx


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