Carousel Cake - Looking for Some Good Ideas!

Updated on September 14, 2012
W.D. asks from La Grange Park, IL
6 answers

Hi everyone. So I try to make a homemade cake for my daughter's bday, like I remember my mom making for us. This year, the request is a Carousel Cake. OMG! I have looked to see some of the ideas online, and none of them look either any good or very easy....

So I'm seeing if any of you all have any ideas? Something that isn't too crazy....but that would look good/cute.

My big issues I think are
1. the actual animals on the carousel (she loves the brookfield zoo carousel with all the different animals - and will have to have a penguin one, since that is the only one she rides ;)) - do I use ones that are edible or just get some little animals and glue them to some cute sticks?
2. the top - not sure how to connet that with the animals/sticks and the bottome part. (thiking I could skip the top, and do some cool ribbons coming up to a main dowel in the middle - kinda like the maypole that they do in Britain for May Day
3. mirrors?
4. what else am I missing?

eek! i'm willing to try anything - but i'm not the most frequent of bakers either ;) ...i do enjoy this though :)

thanks for your ideas!

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So What Happened?

I realize this is way late but wanted to let everyone know how we ended up doing this....since it ended up being soooo easy and I am sure there are alot of little girls and boys that would love a carousel cake. I can't believe how much time I spent thinking of this - and ended up figuring it out very easy!

Here was my inspiration it's from the Australian Women's Weekly Cake Book. I actually ordered it and have it now - great ideas in it! Anyway - here's what I did...

Bake 2 round cakes. One of them was a 3" deep one (bottom) and one was a 2" deep one (top). Use enough cake batter to bake them. (you will need more than 1 box of cake mix for the big one. I used rose/flower nails (3 of them) to help cook the middle of the round cakes, since I read that the middle is tough to cook.

Then I basically frosted the cakes. And used a 4" round clear vase that I had sitting around and after cutting a hole in the bottom cake....set it in the middle of it and filled it with jelly beans. Then I put the top cake on one of the thin cardboard round cake holders that I got at Michaels and just set it on top of the vase. It was perfect! No glue or holes or anything needed :).

I decorated with colored licorice and starbursts.

For the animals. I got some of those small plastic animals and my husband drilled holes in the middle of them. And then used wooden dowels and just stuck them inside the holes.

It turned out great! And really was so very easy!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I have a small cake decorating busy I run out of my home.

If you are a novice baker, I would suggest you not get too carried away with the small details. Go for a more "basic" cake and the results will be far more stellar, I promise.

This cake on the wilton website would be my suggestion to a novice baker. This one suggests to use gum paste for the decor and the horses. I would say to find the animals you want...and it can be any animals and do what is called a "frozen butter cream transfer". Instead of butter cream frosting, use candy melts. If you take your time, your figures will look terrific. And making them out of the candy melts will make them look a bit more like "real" shiny carosel figures and the will stand out against the cake. It will look more 3-D.

Here's a great video on the butter cream transfer.. When I use candy melts, I don't always outline in black like suggested here.

Whatever you decide to do, your daughter will absolutely love. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I would make some rounds. For teh top, you an do what Cake Boss does and make rice krispie treats, then form them into a pyramid and put that on top of the cake, a dowel running through the center may help. You can buy small craft mirrors and put those around the top than pip icing around them. Something simple, like this:

This is a really cute idea too, a thick candy cane and licorice for the top:

You can pipe little poles, use cute sticks or candy straws. You can make cookies for the animals using cookie cutters, or even print them out on cardstock and stick them to the poles for icing.

The base of this one looks simple and cute:

This is pretty, and it doesn't even have a top:

Just break it down into basic steps. It doesn't have to be anything crazy fancy, like this!:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

For the animals, I've made sugar cookies cut ours and bake them on sticks. I frost them by outlining the outside and then filling in with a glaze. I then dictates with eyes, mouths and added embellishments. And then stuck them in the cake aground the edges.

You've got some great ideas....have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

How fun! We found some really neat carousel horses in the wooden paint yourself ornament section at Michaels a few years ago. You could paint them to match the cake colors. Or, if Xmas ornaments are out you could pick some cute animals to use. Glue or wire to painted dowels. Use candy canes as supports for the 'roof'. Or use the wedding cake tiers and snap in platforms. You could set a cake on top of the top platform to be your 'roof' and even carve it to have a slightly conical shape. (freeze the cake first, it'll be less crumbly to work with.) I think a small colorful flag to the tippy top of the carousel would be cute, or i like your idea of the curling ribbon cascading down. For the center mirror area, cut down a paper towel roll to height, paint or cover with colorful paper, and glue on some mirrors. Have fun!

I've also seen cut out cookies used as carousel animals. But be prepared to spend a lot of time decorating them to look really good.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

In terms of how do you connect things, royal icing is like baker's glue -- I would use it to glue animal crackers (you can buy them with icing and sprinkles if you want) to old fashioned candy sticks and then put a dollop of icing on the top of the stick to attach a paper roof. I'd skip the mirrors and decorate the sides of the cake with diamond shapes of different colors.



answers from Los Angeles on

I made one before. The base can be basic. I like to pipe yellow and red strips going up and down because it's circusy. Then buy those candy sticks, about 5-6 depending on size of cake. The swirl ones are pretty and place them around the top and then one big stick in the center. Take 5 pretty ribbons, attach all to the center main stick and then attach one ribbon to each "pole" on the edges. From there, if you set the poles with some edge space, you can place an animal next to each pole. If you set the poles so they are stuck to the edge of the cake, you should be able to "glue" the animals up and down like a carousel along the perimeter of the cake.

You can also buy swirl straws instead of candy sticks and that will reduce the weight if you don't have a strong frosting. I think one of those spiral candy sticks would still be nice as the center pole. If you want a easy out, use Mother's frosted circus animals. They are cute and simple.

Hope it works out!

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