How to make a turtle cake

How to Make an Easy Turtle Shaped Cake

My son just loves the sea turtle and so I wanted to make his birthday extra special by making him this cute turtle-shaped birthday cake. Isn’t it just so darn cute?! These cakes are so cute and perfect for anyone, they’re a great addition to any party! The great thing about this cake is that you can use the same idea and make a lot of other different shaped animal cakes too. It’s cute, simple to make and it’ll be a hit at your event.

Easy Turtle Cake

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A cake is a great way to show someone you care, it’s so sweet to get a cake that is homemade, there’s something about the time and effort you know that went into that cake just for you. I love it! I’ve always loved making cakes and I used to make cakes all the time, they’re so much fun, I love seeing them come together. Let me teach you how to make an easy turtle cake.

Easy DIY Turtle Shaped Cake Made With Bowls

The easiest way I found to make this cake was using Pyrex Bowls which are safe in the oven. Their nice round shape is perfect for the turtle’s body. ( any animal’s body really)

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Next, you bake some muffins so that we can use those for the arms and tail. We’re going to cut these in half to use for the legs and we will shape out a cupcake for the tail too. I give you step-by-step instructions below. This tortoise cake is really easy to make.

Change it up to Make Any Animal Cake you Want!

You can always shape the cake into any animal you want and use the same decorating instructions to make any animal cake. I’ve made a dog before using almost the same instructions, just use your imagination and give your kiddo their favorite animal cake!

Custom cakes can be pretty expensive to buy so if you have the time and want to try these animal cake instructions I’m sure you’ll be happy you did and your homemade birthday cake will look great. If you do make an animal cake I’d love to see it!

Turtle Cake Instructions

For this Turtle Cake you will Need:

  • An oven safe bowl ( this will be your turtle’s shell)
  • Muffin/cupcake tray.
  • Muffin liners
  • A box of cake mix and the ingredients to make the cake
  • Green and Black icing food color (I use Wilton)
  • Googly eyes made of icing ( found at Walmart)
  • Buttercream Icing ( I will share my recipe in the future )
  • Cake Tray (you can buy one at Bulk Barn for pretty cheap
  • Icing Tips
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I’ve been building up my baking tools for quite some time but when I started out I would always look around for some great deals on decorating tips. You don’t have to spend a lot to get some really great quality decorating tools and colors. One thing that I didn’t know when I started out was that you can’t use regular food coloring to color the icing on a cake, you need to use specific cake icing colors so the colors really pop!

Baking Your Cake

First, butter your oven-safe bowl really well! Then line your muffin trays with your cupcake liners.

You’re going to want to mix your batter as per the instructions on the box, then fill your oven-safe bowl 3/4 of the way with batter to bake. Then, fill your muffin tray the same way and bake. My cupcakes were done in about 15 minutes and the cake in the bowl took about 25 minutes. I started checking the cake in the bowl after about 15 minutes, poke it with a toothpick. If it comes out clean your cake is baked. πŸ™‚ Remember to check your cupcakes earlier, they might be done sooner.

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Once your cupcakes and cake are baked let them cool. Once they are at room temperature you can take the cake out of the bowl and flip it upside down. This is your turtle’s body!

Next, take two cupcakes out of your tray. Cut the top of the cupcake off and then cut that top in half. These are your turtle’s legs and arms!

Take another cupcake and take the top of the cupcake off. This is your turtle’s head.

Place all your pieces together. They should be o.k to rest right beside your turtle’s body.

Easy turtle cake

Decorate Your Turtle Shaped Cake

Now you’re going to get your icing together and mix in a little coloring. I used Wilton’s Icing Color named Kelly Green for the turtle’s body. To get the slightly darker green food color for the shapes on the turtle’s shell I added a little black to it once I was done with the light green. You will use light green for the turtle cake’s face, legs, shell. ( just leave the circle parts you want darker for now ) You only need a little bit of black, if this is your first time using these colors start with just a little tiny bit on a toothpick and add more as you go.

You’ll need enough of this darker green for the spots on the top of your turtle’s shell. I left this part for the end.

Easy Turtle Cake Tutorial

Once your icing is ready you will need a start tip to ice this cake. I used Wilton’s #17 tip.

What you’re going to do is star-tip this entire cake. Yes, every inch of this cake. Just squeeze your icing bag and dab it all around.

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Remember to leave the spots at the top of your turtle’s shell for your dark green coloring. I saved this for last. Once all the green everywhere else was done I added my dark green to the bag and fill in the patches on the turtle’s shell.

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Add your googly eyes and you’re done!!!

I can’t wait to see all your turtle cakes, if you have a turtle’s birthday coming up this is such a fun idea for that too!

This quick and easy cake is such a treat and will be a hit at any party. Don’t forget you can make this into any animal shape you want, just use your imagination and you’ll be on your way.

DIY Turtle Cake
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  1. i love seeing a short ingredient list :-D! This looks nice and easy!

  2. Clever idea. Muffins and cake to make turtle cake. Cute and very neat icing. Thank you for sharing

  3. Roberta Mullis says:

    Super great idea!!!

  4. Baking has always been a passion of mine. I love to see other creations. Such a cute turtle.

  5. How fun is this?! Great idea! Love that it’s a small cake!

  6. This is just the cutest!!! So simple to make as well, thank you for sharing!

  7. I cannot wait to try making this with my daughter. She is going to have so much fun! It’s absolutely adorable. Hopefully we nail it!

  8. TitleFreeMom says:

    I want to see when you’re done!!! Yay!

  9. Wow so creative! You make it look so easy! My husband is the cake maker in our house and I am the sous chef πŸ˜‰ I do the crumb layer for him because I can’t really mess that up πŸ˜‰

  10. TitleFreeMom says:

    You can do it girl!!! This one doesn’t even need a crumb layer…just dab dab dab! πŸ™‚

  11. TitleFreeMom says:

    Yea you can!! Let me know if you do!!

  12. This is adorable! How many kiddos did it serve? Thank you!

  13. Hello!! So sorry I missed this comment. One wheel could easily serve 2 or 3 kids! I usually use half a wheel for myself.

  14. Addie Thomas says:

    Which sized Pyrex bowl did you use for the turtle’s body? I have three different sizes that stack into each other. Thanks. I know that it would matter since baking time, etc would be affected by the size of the bowl.

  15. Hi Addie, I used a medium-sized one but here’s a trick. Use whatever size you want for the body and start checking after about 15 minutes of baking. Take it out and poke it with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean your cake is baked and ready to come out. Good luck! Send me a picture of your cake when it’s done!

  16. Addie Thomas says:

    Thank you for your feedback about the Pyrex bowl. ! I made my husband a turtle cake for his birthday and he LOVED it! I wasn’t sure how to send you a picture of it on here but I sent a picture of it through messanger on your Facebook page. πŸ™‚

  17. So glad he loved it! I got your picture and it looks fantastic!! Happy birthday to him!

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  21. Hi! Is this fan forced or normal oven? Thanks!

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