Penguins have increased in popularity with movies such as "March of the Penguins," "Madagascar," "Happy Feet" and "Surf's Up." If your child loves these black and white birds, make a birthday cake for him in the shape of a penguin. This cake is easier to make than you think, and you can start with a boxed cake mix.
Preheat the oven to 177 degrees C. Prepare the cake pans by spraying them with Baker's Joy. If you do not have Baker's Joy, spray with cooking spray and dust the inside of the pans with flour. This will prevent the cakes from sticking to the pans.
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, adding in eggs, oil and water.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and place the pans into the oven. The larger cake pan will be on the bottom rack of the oven, and the smaller will be on the top rack in the oven.
Bake the cakes for 20 minutes. Check the smaller cake to see if a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. If it does, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Continue to bake the larger cake for 10 to 12 minutes longer than the smaller cake, until a knife put into the middle of the cake comes out without cake batter on it. Pull the larger cake out and let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
When you have pulled the large cake from the oven, turn off the oven. Turn the smaller cake upside down onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
After the larger cake has cooled in the pan for 20 minutes, turn it over onto the cooling rack and let it cool completely.
Line a serving plate with waxed paper to prevent icing from getting on the serving plate.
Combine 1 can of white icing with black food colouring paste, until the icing is black.
Dip the scissors into warm water, and use them to cut the whole, dried apricot into a triangle shape. This will be the beak of the penguin.
Place the larger cake on the serving plate. Trim a 1-inch-wide strip from two sides of the cake, so that the edges are flat and the cake is about 6 inches across, with flat edges, and 8 inches tall. Reserve the trimmings.
Cut one of the trimmed edges in half. Place the 2 halves at the bottom part of the serving plate, next to the bottom of the larger cake, to be the feet of the penguin.
Place the smaller cake on the opposite end of the larger cake to be the head of the penguin.
Starting at the bottom of the larger cake, near the two feet, cover the centre 1/3 of the cake with white icing, from the bottom of the larger cake up to 2 inches away from the top of the larger cake next to the head. This white area will be the white patch on the chest and stomach of the penguin.
If you are using vanilla cookies, cover both of them in white icing.
Combine yellow food colouring with the remaining white icing, until you achieve a bright yellow colour for the feet of the penguin. This will probably be 10 to 12 drops, depending on the amount of icing you have left.
Cover both of the penguin's feet with the yellow icing.
The remaining portions of the larger cake and the smaller cake all should be iced in the black icing. When you are finished, you will have a faceless penguin.
Using a knife, add a drop of black icing to the centre of each of the white chocolate-covered cookies (or white-iced vanilla cookies). These will be the pupils of the eyes. Place the cookies next to each other in the centre of the smaller cake about 1/2 inch apart, so that they resemble eyes.
Place the apricot that was cut into a triangle shape below the two eyes on the smaller cake.
Gently pull out the waxed paper from under the cake. Add the candles and serve.