November 16, 2023

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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14 thoughts on “How to make a ‘Smoking’ Volcano Cake!

  1. Hi my son birthday is coming up and i would love this idea for his party hes turning 3 in september 25 so i have alot of time to plan the party so i was wondering about how to do the whole thing im not creative and whats been explained in the instructions is not good enough for me but i wiuld really love to do this can you give me knstructions

  2. how did you stack them exactly? I have yet to stack a cake and I am attempting this one. also did you freeze the cake at any point before decorating?

    1. Hi Gabriella, I used some wooden dowel and carboard cake bases to stack the layers. I never freeze my cakes before or after icing although I have seen many other tutorials that use that method. I suppose I always take the easy way lol. Hope that helps.
      Lou x

  3. When the top crispy layer is placed on the cake, does the cup stick into the previous layer of cake? I’m most confused about that step..thanks for any insight! Great cake!

    1. Hi Christy,

      We made the cup fit inside the Rice Crispy section but it wouldn’t hurt if it sits into the cake itself. Glad you like it! Louise x

  4. Hi, I’m confused as to why the 3 cups? What’s the second cup used for? Don’t you just need the one for the dry ice?

    1. Hi Gemma,

      It’s so we can easily empty the cup and do it over and over again. I hope that makes sense? Lou x

  5. Hello-
    I am coo-coo for this cake and hope to make it for my godson. How thick were your cake layers? They look to be 3-4 inches tall, but you didn’t mention the height of the layers in the description so thought I’d ask. Thanks so much for the info and for a great cake design.

  6. My understanding was that you couldn’t use plactic with dry ice as it cracks- i was thinkung I needed to find a metal cup.

    Also I thoyght that cold water was suffuciant to get the ice smoking.

    I was thinkung I would try and do an icreame cake of this but not dure it will last if you can do 20 explosions. Has anyone tried this?

    Greatful for your feedback.

  7. Hi, I’m à little bit confuses how To do it. Can you send me more pictures of the process? It seems to me that the volcano shape isn’t the same all accros … How do you cover it with the fondant? Thank you very much. I already bought the ingredients and the party is on next Satirday .This la the most Amasing volcano cake on the web!!!! Congradulations !

  8. Is it necessary to do the rice krispy treat at the top? Can it just be cake? Or is that the best way to create the “peak” of the volcano??

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