Doing an Easter cake is becoming a yearly thing over here, and it has been a blast. In 2016, there was the infamous bunny cake (still far and away the most popular post on the blog). The bunny was followed by the chick, who was followed by a lamb. And this year, I decided to do a duck.
This little guy comes from the Baker’s Coconut Animal Cut-Up Cake. The original is called Quack-Quack the Duck and was decorated with coconut. I just updated the design a little by shortening the neck and wing to bring the proportions in line, and gave him a buttercream makeover.
If you’re not familiar with cut-up cakes, they’re simply a method to make creatively shaped cakes from standard shaped pans. This duck comes from a single 9 inch round. Clever cutting and placement gives this duck his shape.
Now, if you’re like me, cutting pieces so that you get the right proportions sounds like a nightmare. I can barely cut a straight line, much less a perfect curve that intersects the outside at exactly 4 1/2 inches from the top center. Which us what the original instructions tell you to do.
So I made a template for the cutting-challenged like myself. The math is all done for you – just print, place, and cut!
I’ll put my favorite cake and frosting recipe here for you, but feel free to use any cake or frosting recipe you like!
Start with a single 9 in round. This represents about half of a standard box mix. I usually make the rest into cupcakes. They freeze well until I figure out what to do with them (this pull-apart cake comes to mind). You’ll also need the cutting template and a sharp, non-serrated knife.
Cut the outside circle of the template, then place it on the cake. Use the knife to cut along the lines.
You’ll end up with the above. I left the pieces on the triangles so I could tell what they are. Once you’ve cut your pieces, you’ll assemble them on a cake board. Mine is made from half a diaper box wrapped in wax paper.
At this point, you can decorate your duck any way you like. I used buttercream and Wilton decorating tips to get my design.
I started by marking off the beak using Wilton tip 4 and orange icing.
I then used a tip 18 to fill in with stars.
Next, I did the feet with orange stars. I actually pulled the feet away from the body to make decorating easier. Once I finished, I pushed them into place.
I did the eye next, piping the shape with gray icing and the 4 tip, then filling with white and gray using the 18 tip.
Then comes the time-consuming part. I filled the rest of the duck with yellow icing and the 18 tip. Hand strength really comes into play here!
The final step is to add details. I gave the duck feathers on his wings using the 4 tip and orange frosting. To finish, I gave him a blue bow using the Wilton 104 petal tip. I piped petal shapes to make each side of the bow, then two ribbons hanging down.
And that’s it! Enjoy your happy little duck!