Making a bear cake for your child’s birthday is easier than you’d think. With this tutorial, you’ll have an adorably sweet dessert for your child’s party.
Celebrating your child’s first birthday is a special and fun occasion. Today we’re looking back at the teddy bear themed party we threw for our oldest son when he turned one. We even had a birthday cake shaped like a teddy bear. Making a bear cake for your child’s birthday isn’t difficult. With this step-by-step tutorial, you, too can make this cute birthday cake for your child’s party.
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Themed Birthday Cakes – A Tradition
I recently enrolled my oldest son, C1, in kindergarten for the fall, which has me feeling a bit nostalgic. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating his first birthday. In just a few short months, he’ll be five. Then before we know it we’ll be enrolling him in college instead of kindergarten. Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?
For the boys’ birthdays, I let them choose a theme and then try to create a cake to go with it. For example, last year when C1 turned 4, he wanted a Muppet birthday cake.
For their first birthdays, though, they didn’t have opinions yet so I got to choose the theme. Each month of their first year after they were born, I took their photo alongside a stuffed animal, then used that stuffed animal as the theme for their birthday cake and party. C2 (our son who’s now two years old) had a zebra birthday cake for his first birthday.
I didn’t start blogging until C1 was 3 1/2 though so I thought it would be fun to do a throwback post sharing some of the ideas we incorporated into his first birthday party.
Monthly Photos of Baby With Mr. Bear
When C1 was an infant, I took his photo every month in the gliding rocking chair in his nursery with a teddy bear, he received as a gift from Kent’s parents. The bear wears a very formal necktie, so we’ve named him Mr. Bear. (How else would you address someone wearing a tie, right?!)
A Mr. Bear-Themed 1st Birthday
I found some cute teddy bear themed first birthday plates, napkins, a bib and a banner that said “The Big One.”
Mr. Bear’s necktie is dark blue with white polka dots, so I carried that into the balloons. I also used a blue ribbon with white polka dots and small light blue clothespins to hang 12 – 5 x 7 photos showing C1 with Mr. Bear each month of his first year. It’s just amazing to look at all those photos side by side and see how much children grow in that first year of life.
The focal point of the party (besides the birthday boy, of course) was the bear cake I created to look like Mr. Bear:
How to Make a Bear Cake
Making a bear cake is easier to do than you’d think!
What You Need:
- 2 cake mixes (Any flavor will work, but I chose chocolate.)
- 12 cup muffin pan
- Mini loaf pan
- 9″ round cake pan
- 6″ round cake pan (I actually used a small round oven-safe glass bowl that was about 5 1/2″ in diameter.)
- Chocolate frosting
- A fork
- White frosting
- Blue food coloring
- Cake decorating tips
- Disposable cake decorating bags
- 1 black jelly bean
- 2 malted milk balls
1. Prepare the cake mixes. Follow the instructions on the side of the cake mix box using vegetable oil, water and eggs to prepare the cake mixes.
2. Divide the batter between the various baking pans. To make the bear cake, you will need to fill the following baking pans about 2/3 full:
- 1 – 9″ round pan
- 1 – 6″ round pan or glass bowl
- 2 – small loaves in the mini loaf pan
- 2 – cupcakes
Suggestion: Use the extra cake batter to make additional cupcakes. You can frost them and use candy and chocolate chips to make little bear cupcakes.
3. Bake the cake. Put the cake in a preheated oven and cook per the instructions on the box or until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: the cupcakes will bake much faster than the other parts of the bear cake, so keep an eye on them. Allow the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. Assemble the cake. Carefully turn the cakes out of the pans and put the bear cake together. You can see in the picture, I assembled our Mr. Bear cake on the back of a cookie sheet. Here is how I did it:
- The large round cake becomes the bear’s body.
- The small round cake is the head.
- Cut the top off one of the cupcakes and turn it upside down to be the bear’s snout.
- Cut another cupcake in half to be the bear’s ears. You may need to carve a semi-circle into the cupcake halves to make it fit tightly against the bear’s head.
- For the arms and legs, cut the two loaf cakes at diagonals about 1/3 of the way down from the top going in opposite directions.
- One loaf becomes the left leg and left arm. The other loaf then becomes the right leg and right arm. Allow the bear cake to cool completely before you frost it.
5. Frost the bear cake. Use a knife or metal spatula to frost the bear cake with chocolate frosting. Tip: My mom taught me to always move your frosting knife in the same direction to prevent pulling crumbs up as you frost the cake.
6. Create fur on the bear cake. Use a fork to fluff the chocolate frosting in various directions to give it a texture like fur.
7. Add any accessories with frosting and candy. Use a toothpick to draw in the frosting where you want the tie or other accessories to go. Mix white frosting with food coloring. Put a tip in the bottom of a cake decorating bag and fill it with frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the cake to fill in the drawing you made with your toothpick.
Add candy for the eyes and nose on the bear cake. I used a toothpick to draw Mr. Bear’s mouth. I also used a little frosting to write C1’s name on the cake. Both Mr. Bear and I were thrilled with how the bear cake turned out!
If you liked this bear cake idea, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:
More Birthday Party Ideas
Here are some more birthday party ideas to help you celebrate!
First published February 2014. Updated February 2018.