How to make a bird-shaped birthday cake

Preparing a bird-shaped birthday cake is a fun and whimsical way to celebrate that spring chicken in your life. It is an easy cake to make and decorate and uses a combination of purchased snack cakes, a cake mix and assorted candies.

These instructions show how to make your bird-shaped birthday cake look like a chicken, but you can easily use different frosting colours and candies to change the type of bird.

Prepare the cake batter and pour some into the 8-inch round cake pan. Pour the remaining cake batter into cupcake liners that you have stretched into ovals instead of round circles and place them on a baking tray. Bake according to the cake mix instructions. Remove the baked ovals from the baking tray and turn the baking tray over, covering the bottom and edges with aluminium foil.

Place the 8-inch cake in the centre of the baking tray for the bird body. Turn the baking tray so that the long edges are on the sides of the bird and short edges will be above the head and the feet. Unwrap the Hostess Ding Dong. Add a dab of frosting to one side of the Ding Dong, and place it at the top of the bird, against the 8-inch body, for the head. Unwrap the Hostess Twinkies and cut them each in half with a knife, leaving you with eight Twinkie halves for wings. Add a dab of frosting to the cut end of a Twinkie half and attach it to the body an inch away from the head. Add a dab of frosting to three more Twinkie halves and attach them to the body beside the first Twinkie to complete the wing. Attach the remaining four Twinkies in the same way on the opposite side of the bird body.

Frost the cake, the Ding Dong head and the Twinkie wings with the white frosting. Swirl and dab the frosting with the knife to create a feather look. Using scissors, cut three circle shapes from the red Fruit Roll-Up, approximately an inch in diameter. Stick an edge of one into the Ding Dong side at the top of the head. Stick the other two on each side of the first to create the chicken comb.

Form a 12-inch piece of black shoestring liquorice into a C shape. Continue to curl the ends around to form the eye part of the glasses and the ends will become the arms of the glasses. Place the glasses on the upper part of the chicken face and wrap the arms of the glasses to the side of the head beside the comb. Place a miniature chocolate chip in each eye part of the glasses, close to the centre of the face. Cut a 1/4-inch piece of the lemon or butterscotch liquorice and place in the centre of the face below the glasses for the beak.

Cut two pieces of lemon or butterscotch liquorice 10 inches long for the bird legs. Insert an end of each liquorice in the bottom of the bird 2 inches apart. Cut four pieces of the lemon or butterscotch liquorice 1 1/2 inches long for the bird toes. Cut one end of each toe piece at an angle. Dab a small amount of frosting on the cut angle for glue. Attach two toes to each chicken leg, 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the leg. The toes will look like a fan when attached.

Frost the cupcake ovals and place on the baking tray around the chicken. These are chicken eggs. Cut several 1/4-inch pieces of the lemon or butterscotch liquorice and sprinkle on top of the eggs.