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How to Make a Simple Carousel Birthday Cake

Grace fell in love with riding on carousels so I decided to make her carousel cake for her 2nd birthday last year.

I went to Google for some inspiration and became instantly overwhelmed.  All the cakes pictured were pretty extreme.  I wanted something that I could make on my own at home.  Here is what I came up with…

A Simple Carousel Birthday Cake

For this carousel cake you will need:

  • cake mix (or make it from scratch)
  • icing
  • round cake pans
  • candy canes (or another candy stick)
  • gum drops
  • sprinkles
  • Barnum’s Animal Crackers (this brand is best because you can usually tell what the animals are suppose to be)
  • tin foil
  • tissue paper
  • tape

Step 1: Bake your cake using round cake pans.  Let it cool and then ice the cake.

Gum Drops & Sprinkles on a Carousel Cake

Step 2: Add some fun decorations; sprinkles on the top of the cake and gum drops cut in half around the base of the cake.

Animal Crackers & Candy Canes on Carousel Cake

Step 3: Break off the curved part of the candy canes and stick them into the top of the cake.  I used 6 candy canes.

Step 4: Pick out your favorite animals from your bag of animal crackers and “glue” them onto the candy canes using frosting.

Tissue Paper & Tin Foil Dome on Carousel Cake

Step 5: Cut out a circle out of tissue paper, fold it several times, and cut designs into it (as if you were making a snow flake).

Step 6: Cut a circle out of tin foil.

Step 7: Cut half way into the circle of tin foil and tissue paper.  Overlap the cut ends on each to make slight cone (like how you would make a funnel, but not nearly as drastic of a cone).  Tape the overlapped ends.  Also tape the tissue paper cone on top of the tin foil cone.

A Simple Carousel Birthday Cake

Step 8: Place the tin foil and tissue paper dome on top of the candy cane sticks.  I didn’t use anything to hold it in place.  Our party was inside so there was no risk of the wind blowing it off.

Step 9: Sing “Happy Birthday,” eat, and enjoy!

Do you make or buy your birthday cakes?  What is your favorite themed cake idea?

This post is being linked to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays and Thrive @ Home.


  1. I usually make our cakes. This year Gabe’s cake was a pokeball from Pokemon. Last year I made a star cake from Super Mario Galaxy. Abby is usually happy with pink cupcakes in her favorite flavor du jour.

  2. Hi Rebekah, Kristen recommended your blog to me and I’ve enjoyed my first visit very much! I’ve added you to my folder of blogs I read daily. I’m a lousy commenter. 🙁 I’m shy online but I love reading!

  3. That is so cute! We’re gearing up for birthday number FOUR in just a handful of weeks. Oh my goodness. It is seriously just WEEKS away. GAH! Ok – mommy panic moment over. For now.

  4. Just found your blog via Money Saving Mom and love your site. This cake reminded me of one I made for my son when he was little. He is now almost 20!!! Yikes how does the time fly. Thanks for the sweet memory and congrats on your little ones, enjoy them, they grow up so very fast.

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