Lions, Monkeys, and Alligators, Oh My!

Cupcakes with a mini cake for the birthday child are a fun way to celebrate a birthday. They are even better when they are topped with some great sculpted animals!

Sophia is an alligator girl, and also wanted some lions and monkeys for her cupcakes. As is often the case, I hadn’t made alligators or lions before. Monkeys have been very popular lately, so I have some experience with them. For this post, I’m focusing on the alligator, Sophia’s favorite.

Ready to sculpt lions, monkeys and alligators?¬†They will keep for quite some time in an airtight container, so you may make them whenever you like. Make sure you have designed your plan for your cupcakes and cakes if you make them ahead. This way, you won’t find yourself rushing to make more at the last minute.¬†Before you begin your sculpting, you’ll want to have a knife and a beading tool, several colors of fondant, and some edible markers. You might also find it helpful to have a book for sculpting out of clay. It doesn’t need to have anything particular for the animals you are doing, but some basic technique pictures to look at can be a nice help. For the alligator, I’ve shown the steps in pictures and given written directions below the images.

  1. First you’ll roll out the alligator heads from green fondant. Start with round balls and then slightly elongate them.
  2. Use small pieces of white fondant to make eyes. Roll into round balls and place on the alligator heads. Allow to dry slightly and then use an edible marker to draw in the pupils. If you don’t have a marker, use a small piece of black fondant for the pupil.
  3. It is time to give your alligators a body. Use a larger piece of fondant and roll it out into an oblong shape. Angle it slightly and make it slimmer on the back to look like a tail. Then, use petal tip #102 to make scales on the back of the alligator.
  4. Roll out four legs for your alligator and attach them to the completed body. Use a small beading tool or knife to mark toes on the feet. Roll out very small balls of green fondant for the nose. Use your beading tool to make a little circle in the center of each nostril.
  5. If you have made your cupcakes, cover some of them using a leaf tip of your choice to give them a bit of a jungle feel. Place the lions and monkeys and alligators on the cupcakes. For the small round cake for the birthday child, cover it with swirls of blue frosting to look like water. Edge the bottom of the cake with your leaf border and cut out several fondant flowers. Top with 2 alligators to look like they are swimming in the water.


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