How to carve a 3D dog cake

26 Jun 2020 | Life!

Carving dog cakes – where to start?!

They say you should know your audience before writing a post – but for this one I’m not really sure. Am I writing for pet owners, cake designers, dog lovers – or the dogs themselves!! I delivered this lovely boy recently and when the box was opened the owners’ two dogs went crazy – they thought they had a new friend! Do you have any furry friends that would do the same? Please do let me know in the comments! Right, let’s make a start on telling you how you can achieve results like this! Oh and I’ve got a little gift for you

Claire St Quinton dusting the cavapoo to finish off the colouring

What is the best cake for carving?


It starts with the sponge, carving a cake can be tricky, and using an age old family recipe of the lightest fluffiest sponge might sound lovely, but it’s not necessarily going to cut it with a 3D structure. However, lack of bounce and fluff does in no way need to mean dry and dense.

Madeira sponge is best for carving cakes, and yes, I’m going to say it – PACKET MIX! I’ve always turned my nose up at packet mixes, my mother would be horrified after all those WI years that I would even consider one – but consider this! – do you remember when we had to make our own puff pastry? Those days before we could conveniently buy it in a packet, now even famous and well respected bakers/chefs tell you to buy it, why? – because not only is it convenient but it’s actually GOOD!


Packet Cake Mix!

Factories have come along way in the mass production of packet mix cake mixes, I know, I have worked in said factories and in the taste testing and development kitchens, the ingredients are the same, they are often just dehydrated which you simply rehydrate when you add water, simples! So when you are buying (ahh those dreaded words again) a “packet mix” you are actually buying a really good product and no you are not cheating, you are simply using the right tools for the job. One company that does fabulous packet mixes is Cake Craft World , try their salted caramel chocolate brownies trust me you will LOVE them ?. However for the actual dog cake I used their Sattina Golden Delight

Claire shows the first stage of how to carve a 3d dog cake

Stop, stand back and look!

So, you’ve got your perfect sponge for your dog cake, now it’s time to carve! When you carve your cake the hardest thing is often making the first cut, it’s wondering where to start? For many it can be scary!

You need to take your time, we’re not looking for chiselling away and sculpting your masterpiece at lightening speed like Edward Scissor Hands shaping a privet hedge here!

If you can it’s best you put the cake on a turntable, that way you can keep spinning it around and looking at it from all angles. The key is to literally just start, go on, get that knife in there! Once you have made a start you will find that as long as you take…your…time…you will be ok.

Start by taking a little bit off, remember you can take it off but you can’t easily put it back on again so little at a time is the theme here. Each time you take some off stop, stand back, and look.

But mainly remember not to panic, read on a for a great tip of how to fix those errors where you got a little bit over zealous with the carving knife!..

How to ganache your dog cake. It's going to be a cavapoo!

Ganache, ganache, ganache!

Ganache is your friend, so much so I’ve shouted it out 3 times! Why? because it has so many qualities which I will explain here….

Firstly it creates a wall of strength, something you’re gonna need when you carve shaped cakes, it sets firm and holds everything together giving you the perfect base for putting on your sugar paste. Buttercream is not what you want here, it simply has to be ganache.


My 3D dog cake looks like a cat!

But you do you know what’s really cool about ganache? If you make an overzealous cut and your dog looks like a cat, ganache is the perfect ingredient to get that cat back to a dog in no time! How? because unlike buttercream you can build layers on your ganache, chill it in the fridge and build again, adding each time to the shape of the cake. Then, if you go too far and your chihuahua looks like a bull mastif, you can remove excess ganache by heating up a metal scraper (please be careful) and melt off any excess until you are totally happy that the ganached shape infront of you looks like the dog you are trying to create (ish) of course it won’t look like a proper dog without it’s fur!

Have I convinced you of the benefits of ganache yet? “But I’ve never made ganache!?” you cry, fear not! I have a free tutorial! all you have to do is click here  – Show me how it’s done!


Putting the nose on your 3d dog cake

The right tools for cakes

To make the fur it really requires just one tool, a quilting or dresden tool, I really do use minimum tools in cake decorating, baking is a different matter, but decorating – sculpting in particular, I find my hands are the best tools for shaping. You do however need to get that fur effect and in the tutorial I used a dresden tool – don’t know what one is? Click here to take a look!

Your choice of sugar paste is pretty important too. For my Cavapoo and for many other cakes I have started to use a new paste called Sattina Supersmooth, I like it because it’s super stretchy – which is great when you want to pull at it for furry dog bits, but also you can roll it quite thin as its really strong, so it goes further too and it can be used in some situations where 50:50 modelling paste: sugar paste would normally be required – all round winner!

So, you ready to give it a go??!

Ok, so you know what base sponges to use, you know how to make ganache and the importance of it, you know what tools and what sugar paste I used for my own dog – are you ready to have a go at making your own now?! I really hope so!

if you want to have a go click here ? Yes I’m ready – show me!


The finished carved 3d dog cake - isn't he goregeous?

The way my site works is when you buy a course you have it for life, just pay once and it’s yours forever, it will be saved to your own dashboard which you can log in and access any time at your own pace. Pause, rewind, rewatch the videos at your own pace in your own time. Remember to show me your creations using the hashtag #csqsoc (that’s clairestquintonsschoolofcake but soooo much shorter!)

Oh and that gift I said I had for you, Cake Craft World have given me a code to give to you lovely readers to get 10% off their products, simply enter CCMX2 at the check out, offer expires on 31.12.2020


Claire x


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