First Birthday Duck Cake

Like a lot of new moms, I had the brilliant idea to bake a cake for my son’s first birthday.

I started out by looking up a cake decorating class. I headed to the nearest craft store and found a series of Wilton classes offered. For one month I made one cake a week at my weekly cake decorating 101 class.

That a lot of work. You have to bake a cake every week and frost it, then in class you decorate it in a new style each week. I took the class about four months before I wanted to make an official birthday cake. Glad I did too.

In the class I learned how to properly use the icing tip bags, how to make the frosting (you make it thin or thick based on what you are decorating) and other useful tips.

Once I completed the class, I started practicing on my first cake: a duck cake for my son’s first birthday.

It all starts with the duck pan.

Tips I Learned Along The Way

  • I tried my favorite cake recipe in the pan for the first go round, but it didn’t hold its shape so I used a pound cake from the box. I find it’s the best for these molded cakes that need to hold a shape.
  • I made the base of the cake out of a sheet pan (two layers). Looking back, I wish I had used more blue frosting and made waves in the icing.
  • I just placed the duck on top, no dowels.
  • When icing a cake with star tip, you must first have a base of smooth icing on the cake (in the same color.) If you neglect this step, you’ll definitely see the bare cake under your frosting.
  • I used a white life saver candy with a blue MnM on top for the eyes. They really make the cake. Just glue them on with some of the icing underneath each piece of candy,.


He’s not perfect, but he is cute.




Those eyes. They make the cake.

The pan is versatile enough that you could make this cake for a baby shower too.


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Alicia Lewis Murray BioABOUT ALICIA: Alicia is the founder of Balancing Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and still baking amazing birthday cakes ā€” all while raising a young family at home.


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