At this point, it shouldn’t be any secret that I love cut-up cakes. I’ve been making them since I was really young (maybe 5 years old?), and it never ceases to amaze me that a few well-chosen cuts can turn a round or square cake into something fantastic!
I actually had forgotten about these until last year, when I made a bunny cut up cake for the blog. It seemed so simple, but the result was incredible. It has become the most popular post on the blog with thousands of views and hundreds of thousands of pins on Pinterest. I knew I’d hit something awesome – I genuinely love making these cakes, and it would appear that other people appreciate them.
Anyway, this year’s Easter entry is an adorable little chick busting out of his egg. You only need a single 8″ round for this one, which means you only need about 1/2 of a cake mix. Feel free to make cupcakes out of the other half (I’m sharing some ideas for simple ways to decorate cupcakes for spring next week, so stay tuned!). I would say this is more of an intermediate cake for me. The cutting gets just a little bit more difficult than just a few straight lines, and there are some tight spots when decorating. It’s not that challenging really – I only mention it because it is harder than the bunny.
The other reason it’s not so challenging is that I made you a nice little cutting template. You can lay this over your cake and then use a knife to cut through it following the lines. This ensures that you get an even and proportional cut so your chick comes out looking cute.
Chick Cut-Up Cake, Step-by-Step
Start by baking a single 8″ round cake. You can use any recipe you like, but my favorite is doctoring cake mixes. I’ll include the recipe for you right now:
Chick Cut Up Cake
- 1 box cake mix
- 1 box instant pudding
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-4 Tbsp water or milk
- Mix together all ingredients.
- In a greased and floured 8" round pan, pour half the batter. Set aside other half (can be used for another project).
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at center comes out clean.
- Wait until cake is completely cooled, then follow instructions for cutting and assembling.
- Cream shortening, butter, and vanilla.
- Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix completely.
- Add water or milk 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Decorate cake!
You’ll also need the cutting template, a sharp knife, and a cake board (mine is part of a diaper box covered in foil).
Lay the template over the cake and cut the two arcs closest to the outside. These pieces will become the chick’s wings.
Next, cut the inside arcs. This actually comes out as more of a rounding of the arch rather than a full cut. Don’t worry if your cuts aren’t super clean. Mine weren’t, and I had to go back and clean it up, especially around the section that becomes the edge of the eggshell.
Now lay the two wing pieces along the cake like this:
All that’s left now is decorating! You can decorate any way you like – use store-bought frosting, candy, squeeze tubes of decorating gel, sprinkles, or anything else you can think of. I used my tried-and-true buttercream frosting recipe and the star method. This is a super easy way to decorate, but it is time consuming. I spent somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes decorating this little cake, but I do love the result. If you’re interested in decorating yours like mine, I’ll give you the blow by blow 🙂
I started by mixing up 6 colors – grey, white, yellow, blue, green, and orange. I used this decorating template to make sure my shapes were nice and even (I am the world’s worst freehander!). First, I cut out the eyes, beak, and shells and placed them on the cake in order to get my spacing right.
Then, I used a Wilton size 3 tip to trace around the eyes in grey. I filled them in using a Wilton size 18 (start tip) and grey and white icing. I did the beak in the same way – lay the template on the cake, trace around it with a 3 tip and orange icing, then fill with the 18.
The next step was to do the chick’s face. I laid the eggshell pieces on the top and bottom and traced around them with the 3 tip and yellow frosting in order to get the shape of the face. After that, I filled in with the 18.
To do the eggshell, I cut out the decorations, laid them on the cake and traced around them (seeing a pattern here? You don’t need any talent, just tracing skills. Take it from me!). I then filled in the decorations. Every few stars, I added a green one to make the polka dots.
The last step was filling in the rest of the egg with the blue. And that’s it! Cute little chick 🙂