Baby, it's cold outside! What better excuse to stay warm and cozy inside making a fun and festive buttercream igloo cake? The best part? No carving required! Let a heatproof stainless steel bowl and a single cupcake do the shaping work for you.
How to make an igloo cake
Images via Erin Bakes
- Cake batter for two 8" round cakes (or 1 box of cake mix)
- 2 cups of white buttercream (more if you're adding a filling)
- 2 quart stainless steel bowl
- Cupcake liners (green, if making trees as well)
- Muffin pan
- Cookie sheet
- Old dish towel
- Icing spatula
- Piping bag
- Wilton #406 tip
- White sanding sugar
- White and gold sugar pearls
- Green chewy candy (like taffy)
- Parchment paper
- Small knife
Step 1: Bake the cake
Place a cupcake liner in the center of a muffin pan and fill the liner 3/4 of the way full. Grease the metal bowl and pour the rest of the batter into the bowl. Place the bowl on a cookie sheet.
Soak the dishtowel in cold water and wring it out until it's no longer dripping wet. Wrap the towel around the base of the bowl. Surrounding the bowl with the wet dishtowel helps the cake to bake more evenly, prevents the top from doming and keeps the sides of the cake from forming a hard crust.
Bake the cake and cupcake according to the recipe's directions. Allow the cake and cupcake to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Assemble the igloo shape
Remove the cake from the bowl. Trim off the top of the cake so that it sits flat when flipped upside down. Turn the cake over onto a cake board or serving platter. Adhere the cake to the platter with a dab of buttercream.
Unwrap the cupcake and discard the wrapper. Turn the cupcake on its side so the top of the cupcake is facing outward; attach it to the domed cake using dabs of buttercream on the base and side. Trim a little off the side of the cupcake if it doesn't sit flat for you.
Crumb coat the domed cake and cupcake. Place it in the fridge to set the crumb coat, at least 10 minutes.
Step 3: Pipe the ice blocks on the cake
Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #406 tip with white buttercream. Beginning at the bottom of the cake where the cupcake meets the domed cake, hold the tip so that it sits flat against the surface of the cake. Pipe a strip of buttercream that's ½" to 1" long.
Repeat all around the bottom of the cake. Pipe the next row so that the first strip stops half way through the strip below, like bricks. Continue all the way around and up the sides of the cake, staggering the strips as you go. Finish at the top with a single strip.
Step 4: Add the ice blocks on the cupcake
Pipe staggered strips along the sides of the cupcake. Pipe an arch of strips around the front of the cupcake.
Step 5: Make the door
Roll a piece of green chewy candy into a log. Squish the log flat and trim off the bottom to create the igloo's door.
Attach the door to the front of the cupcake with a dab of buttercream. Press a gold sugar pearl into the candy for the doorknob.
Step 6: Finish the snowy scene
Pour sparkly sanding sugar snow around the cake and sprinkle a little on top. Pile white sugar pearls around the cake in random spots. Penguins love a good snowball fight!
Bonus step: Make christmas trees!
Flatten a green cupcake wrapper. Place your finger in the center of the wrapper, green side out. Squish the wrapper around your finger. Pull your finger out and press the center of the wrapper to a point. Fan out the bottom edge of the wrapper.
Use a single wrapper to create tiny trees and stack wrappers for taller trees.
Have You Met the Man About Cake?
Join fun-loving cake decorator Joshua John Russell in his weekly YouTube series, Man About Cake! Check out his Whimsical Winter Cake tutorial below.