Easy Lion Cake with Buttercream in Six Steps

Updated: Feb 16

I absolutely love challenging bake projects which require a lot of creativity and ingenuity and was excited when a friend asked me to make a lion cake for her daughter’s birthday 🙂 Now as much as I love challenging bakes I equally love (if not more) finding out easy ways to achieve stunning results. Imagine my delight at finding this gem 👇 at coolest-birthday-cakes.com!!!

by Danielle R. (San Antonio, TX)

Now although Danielle states all the items she used the actual process wasn’t explained so I thought I’d write a post on how I achieved mine 🙂

My Lion Cake… he was a roaring success 😉

Here goes:


Pan – I went with an “8 square cake because I wanted the contrast of white against the mane and also so it would feed more mouths 🙂

Medium of decoration – Buttercream

Colours – I went with creamy white for the body, sandy brown for the skin and dark brown for the mane, nose, eyes, inner ear and whiskers (if you aren’t pressed for time I’d suggest black for the nose, eyes and whiskers).

Buttercream consistency – I used thin consistency for covering the cake and writing the birthday message but everything else is medium to stiff consistency

Nozzles – Wilton tips #18 for the mane, #16 for the face, #3 for the whiskers and #12 for the borders

12 Inch Cake Board – I wanted to write on the board and thought the green contrasting the white and brown would give it a jungle flair


STEP 1 – Bake, cool, fill and stack your cakes.

  1. I baked two square cakes roughly 8 x 2 each and torted them but ended up using three instead of four layers due to unforeseen mishaps in the kitchen (shhhhhhhhh lol… might tell you about it later).

STEP 2 – Make 12 cups of buttercream.

  1. I filled my cake with buttercream hence the large amount. If you’re filling with something else you can make half of that.

STEP 3 – Draw the lion’s face.

  1. Draw a six inch circle on the top of the cake (I used my cake tester as my pencil and then piped it using tip #3). This acts as a guide for the circumference of the lion’s mane.

  2. Next draw an outline of the lion’s face within the circle. I wasn’t fussed about the smoothness of the top of the cake because I would be covering it up in mane.

Outline of circle and lion’s face. I used the original photo as my guide but you can go for any lion’s face you wish. As you can see the piped circle isn’t perfect because I knew I’d be covering it with the mane and it was just a guide.

STEP 4 – Outline Lion’s face

  1. Carefully outline the face of your lion using tip #3 (she says with a wonky outline of the lion’s right eye – thankfully there’s not a lot that can’t be fixed with buttercream 😉 )

STEP 5 – Pipe lion’s face and mane

  1. using tip #16 and sandy brown buttercream pipe little stars to fill the face and ears working from the edges in. Note that my lion’s nose is piped sandy brown which is a mistake. I rectified this by piping over with dark brown icing.

  2. Using tip #3 outline the insides of the lion’s ears

  1. Using tip #16 pipe little stars to fill the nose and eyes

  2. Using tip #18 pipe pull out stars in an upward motion, working from the edge of piped circle to the outline of the lion’s face to create the mane. I found working this way gave the mane a raised and full look which is more 3D and life like.

  3. using tip #3 and dark brown buttercream pipe the whiskers

STEP 6 – create borders for cake and write birthday message

  1. Using tip #12 and dark brown buttercream pipe circles round the cake. I made slightly pointy ones just because 🙂

  2. Using tip #3 and white buttercream write your birthday message on the board

So what do you think? Would you try it out? If you do please send me photos and let me know if you found my steps easy to follow. I’d love to read your comments on creative bake projects you’ve tackled.

Until next time… Have a good cake day!!!


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