A simple bit of a carving and few easy steps will help you achieve this adorable Easter chick cake full of cheeky personality. We call him Charlie!
This cheerful Easter chick cake tutorial by Zoe Burmester uses an airbrush on this design, but if you don’t have one, don’t fear as you can easily recreate a similar result without one. Just use petal dusts and a soft brush to add colour depth to the egg and chick, and use a
toothbrush dipped in gel colour diluted with dipping solution or alcohol to flick the
speckles onto the eggshell.
How to make an Easter chick cake
1 x 6in (15cm) bowl cake, filled with buttercream, overall height 4in (10cm)
1 x 4in (10cm) round cake, filled with buttercream, overall height 3in (10cm)
1 x 5in (12.5cm) round cake, filled with buttercream, overall height 3in (10cm)
1kg chocolate ganache or buttercream to undercoat the cakes
1.8kg THE SUGAR PASTE ™: White (350g coloured yellow, 450g coloured green and the remainder coloured to ivory or cream)
150g Candy Clay modelling chocolate
20g black sugar paste
Magic Colours Petal Dusts: Petal Rouge
Magic Colours Gel Colours: Cream, Garden Green, Egg Yellow, Orange, Blue
Spectrum Flow Airbrush Colours: Pink Champagne, Toffee Fudge, Turquoise, Light Shadows, Egg Yellow
Edible glue or melted candy melts
Spectrum Flow Shell and Shine glaze spray
12in (30cm) round cake drum with a central hole cut out to insert the dowel
10in round cake drum (used as shadow board)
Coordinating ribbon for above board
Wooden dowel approx. 20cm long
Hot glue gun
Cake card 3in (central hole cut out to slip over dowel)
Cake card 5in (central hole cut out to slip over dowel)
Cake card 6in
PME cake smoother
Self-healing cutting mat
Rolling pin (large and small)
Large plastic bristle brush (for food use only)
Polystyrene egg/ball or round bowl for drying eggshell top
Mini oval cutters 2 sizes approx. 3-5cm
Assorted brushes (food use only)
Mini circle plunger cutters
Easter chick cake tutorial
1. First prepare your cake drums. Mark the central point in the 12in drum and make a hole all the way through it to the same diameter as your wooden dowel. If in doubt go smaller rather than bigger as you need a snug fit. Next glue the 10in shadow board underneath your main cake drum. Finally glue in the wooden dowel to the 12in drum pushing it all the way through the hole until it hits the shadow board underneath. You want a tight fit so that the wooden dowel is secure and straight.
2. Take 450g of green sugar paste, roll it out to a generous thickness. Brush your cake drum with a little water and fix the paste onto the board, lowering it gently over the dowel. Use a smoother to smooth it in place and a scalpel to trim the edges. Next take a clean (food use only!) bristle brush and begin to push the bristles into the paste.
3. Continue all around the paste until you have a lovely dimpled effect to recreate grass. Now leave the board to dry until firm (preferably overnight).
4. Split your cakes and fill them with your chosen buttercream. I used 4in and 5in cakes but 2 x 5in cakes would also work fine here. Stack the two round cakes on top of each other.
5. Take a sharp knife and carve cautiously to create a loose hourglass shape from the two cakes. The middle of the shape should go in slightly to represent where the top of the chicks body meets its head, and the top of the cake should be gently domed to form the chick’s head.
6. Now cover the two cakes with chocolate ganache. Because of the rounded forms you may find a dough or flexi scraper best for applying and smoothing.
7. Roll out some of the ivory sugarpaste. Using a 6in round cake card as a guide, cut a circle of paste.
8. Brush or spritz a little cooled boiled water on the top of the bowl cake and place the round piece of paste on top. Use a cake smoother to secure it in place, teasing it to the edge of the lip if it is a slightly small fit (this will depend on the thickness of your ganache).
9. Measure the height of your cake and add about an inch. Then measure the diameter. Roll out the ivory paste to a generous thickness (about 6/7mm) and cut to your dimensions. Brush a little water onto the sides of the bowl cake. Roll the paste onto a rolling pin and unroll it around the cake making sure you have that extra inch of paste at the top. Don’t worry if it flops over at this stage. Now work your way around the cake smoothing the paste.
10. Trim the back vertical seam of the paste and use your fingers to blend the seam away. Next work in keeping the curve at the bottom of the bowl, you will end up trimming quite a lot away. I find a flexi smoother the easiest way to achieve this.
11. Once your egg is well covered you can concentrate on cutting the cracked shell. Use either a sharp pair of scissors or a very sharp blade to cut irregular triangles into the paste to create that jagged edge. As you cut away the paste you will see that the edge should stand up by itself... this is where the thickness of the paste helps.
12. Take 100g ivory sugarpaste and knead in 1tsp of Tylose Powder. Roll it out to a generous thickness and cut a circle using a large pastry cutter or using a 5in cake card as a guide. From this point cut irregular triangles all the way around to create the top of the cracked eggshell.
13. Leave this to dry on a curved form. I used a polystyrene egg but an upturned bowl of a similar size to your chicks head would work just as well.
14. Next create the speckles on the shell. I chose pastel airbrush colours: Pink Champagne, Toffee Fudge and Turquoise. If you have an airbrush carefully remove the nozzle protector to reveal the exposed needle. Pull the trigger back and release quickly and this will cause your airbrush pen to splatter your chosen colour onto the surface. If you are not sure practice on paper first. If you are not using an airbrush mix up similar pastel tones using gels and alcohol (or dipping solution). This will create a watercolour effect paint. Dip a clean toothbrush (food use only) into the solution and then use your fingers to flick the bristles over the paste to create a splatter effect.
15. Work your away around both the cake and the top of the eggshell, slowly building up the speckles. I used the three pastel colours (as outlined above).
16. Once you are happy with the speckles, next create a little shading around the bottom of the egg, in between the eggshell cracks and again on the top of the eggshell. If using an airbrush go lightly and use a light mid-tone such as Spectrum Flow light shadows. Or if you don’t have an airbrush, mix a little cream and brown petal dusts and apply to the same areas with a soft brush. Either way, remember not to go too dark or too heavy… it really is just an accent.
17. Finally make the egg and eggshell shiny by spraying a couple of layers of Shell and Shine onto the surface. Leave for a couple of hours to dry fully.
18. Now for Charlie! Take a ball of well kneaded Candy Clay about the size of a large walnut. Shape loosely into an oval and place this on the head part of the chick to form a rounded cheek. Blend in with your fingers. Repeat on the other side. Now take a mini scoop or a teaspoon and scoop out two shallow eye sockets. Place a little piece flat piece of candy clay in each socket so no cake is exposed.
19. Roll out 350g of yellow sugar paste, spritz the cake with some water and cover the chick in one piece. Use your smoothers to secure the paste well to the rounded shape and use a scalpel to trim away any excess.
20. Use a scalpel to cut two free form wings from yellow paste about the same size. They should be roughly oval in shape, curved at the top edge and cut straight across the bottom edge. Stick to the sides of the cake with a little water to form wings, and use your fingers to blend in the edges so it looks a little softer.
21. For the eyes roll out a small piece of white sugarpaste. Cut out an oval to the size that fits your chick. Trim the bottom edge so it is cut blunt. Use the smaller oval to make an indent giving you an indication where the iris goes. Paint the iris with a little blue gel diluted with a bit of water. Ideally the colour will be lighter in the middle and darker towards the edges.
22. Cut a small pupil from black sugar paste with a small plunger cutter. Then roll a tiny white ball and flatten it. Place the pupil and highlight on the iris as shown securing with a dab of water. Roll out a tapered thin log from black paste to form the eyelash. Finally roll out a little yellow paste and cut an eyelid using the same oval cutter you used for the eye. Repeat all for the second eye.
23. Brush a little water on the back of the eye and place this onto one of the eye sockets. Next fix the yellow eyelid above the eye. Finally place the tapered log between the eye and the lid to form the lash. Make sure the pointed edge goes into the corner of the eye. Trim the end of the lash with a cut angle to the length you wish. Repeat for the other eye. Now add in a couple of eyebrows, (tiny rolled tapered logs) and add in some extra ‘feathers’ on the chest area if you like. I did this by rolling tapered logs and using a Dresden tool to blend them in.
24. Take 100g of Candy Clay and knead on some orange colour. Pull off a piece about the size of a walnut and squash it into a wide triangle to form a beak shape. Attach this with your fingers onto the chick’s face.
25. Use a sharp knife to cut the beak in half and gently push the beak open. Make two nostrils with a cocktail stick or pointed tool.
26. With your airbrush and egg yellow airbrush colour add a little extra shading around the wing area, by the eyelids and under the chin. This can be achieved with petal dusts and a soft brush if you don’t have an airbrush.
27. Now apply some pink blush to his cheeks with some petal rouge dust and a soft brush.
28. Now take your egg cake which should be firm and dry and gently lift it over the central dowel onto the cake board. Next take your chick cake and gently lower this onto the egg.
29. Take the remainder of the orange candy clay and make two feet. You want approx. 30-40g per foot. Roll and flatten into a fat teardrop and use your finger to create two indentations at the widest point. Bend the foot as shown and secure in a wooden stick. Repeat for the other foot. If the clay is soft pop in the fridge for 10 minutes until it is nice and firm.
30. Use the larger oval cutter and cut out two ovals where the feet are going to come out of the egg.
31. Roll out a small piece of yellow sugar paste and use the same oval cutter to make two yellow ovals. Place these inside the two exposed holes.
32. Now insert the feet into the yellow holes. If you are having trouble making them stay, melt some candy melts coloured orange and use this as a glue to hold them in place.
33. Finally, take your now firm, eggshell and brush a little bit of sugar glue into the inside of the egg. Place it at an angle like a hat onto the chick.
And there you have it - meet Charlie the Easter chick cake!