How to make a ‘Smoking’ Volcano Cake!

Dinosaur Volcano Cake - So many levels of awesome! Watch the video!

How to make a Smoking Volcano Cake!

Okay, I LOVE decorating my children’s birthday cakes! Each year we sit down together and pick a theme…this year my son wanted to have a Dinosaur Party! This didn’t come as a shock seeing he lives and breathes everything Dinosaur!

I thought it might be fun to create a Volcano cake and make it ‘smoke’ using dry ice! My husband helped a lot with the design. I didn’t take as many photos of the process as I usually do (because my hands were busy and covered in sugar lol) but I will do my best to talk you through the process…feel free to post any questions you have in the comments section.

Here’s a video of the cake in action!


The layers – 

The cake is made of 4 layers, the bottom layer 12″ round chocolate mud, middle layer 10″ round Caramel Mud, third layer 10″ Chocolate Mud and the top layer was made out of Rice Krispy Treats.

The first three layers were easy to stack using 4 cake dowel rods and a cardboard cake base to support each layer.

I used a medium bowl, plastic cups and Rice Krispy Treat to make the top layer. I inserted three plastic tumblers into the bowl (as shown below), poured the Krispy Treat into the bowl around the plastic cups and placed it in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set. Once set it was just a matter of flipping the bowel upside down and placing it on the top of the cake. Why did we use three cups? We didn’t want to see the plastic inside the top rim of the volcano – we removed the top cup so there was a nice gap around the top. The second cup was then free to be taken in and out of the cake – this made it easy for us to carefully pour out the warm water when the dry ice had finished, then we could do the FUN trick again and again for all our party guests!

How to make a volcano cake!

Design –

Once all 4 of the layers were in place we used a bread knife to cut a ravine down one side of the mountain/volcano. We didn’t realise at the time but this helped the ‘smoke’ drift naturally down the ravine, adding a super lifelike effect!

Making a volcano cake!

Icing –

Once we were happy with the overall design we set about coving the whole cake in butter-cream icing. Then we used 2kg of Chocolate Fondant to wrap around the cake (we rolled out enough so we could make the join inside the ravine). We then coloured some fondant grey to create some feature boulders, these were inserted with some skewers.

We used some Royal Icing to create the running lava on top of the cake. We drizzled red and orange coloured icing slowly down the volcano to create this effect.

Final decorations –
We used a pair of (clean) plastic trees and Dinosaurs from a diorama set to add the Dinosaur factor! The ‘sand’ was made from crushed arrowroot biscuits and the ocean was made using stiff royal icing and some fondant shark fins!

Making it smoke –
This was the first time I had ordered dry ice! I found a local supplier in my area via Google – BOC Australia. They were VERY helpful and recommended that I collect the ice the morning of the party to ensure it didn’t melt before we needed it! We used 1kg of Dry Ice pellets – this enabled us to do over 20 ‘explosions’ on the day! You must be careful when handling dry ice (wear gloves and use tongs to transfer it into the cup), once the ice was inside the plastic cup we  carefully poured hot water into the top to make it ‘smoke’. The effect was AMAZING!

This cake was a HUGE hit! It made for a FUN ‘ice breaker’ as the quests all arrived (pun intended). As I mentioned above I’m disappointed I didn’t take more photos as we were decorating it! Please feel free to post any questions you might have in the comments below and I’ll be more than happy to try and help!

I’ll be posting more Dinosaur Party ideas over the coming weeks so pop back if you are after more inspiration!

Louise x

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