Barnyard Cake

Last night we celebrated my niece Elly’s 2nd birthday.  Its so hard to believe she is getting so big! I told her mom I would bring the cake… I wanted to make something special for her.  I decided on a barn cake with barnyard animal cupcakes.  They were a HUGE HIT :)

ImageI’ve had a few requests for step by step instructions on the barn and the animals.  These are a little time consuming but actually pretty easy to do because you don’t need to use fondant or anything.  You don’t need any cake decorating experience for these cupcakes… just a little patience!

For the Barn:

I took the original idea from the Betty Crocker website.  The only real change I made was to add a silo.  They have a really good step by step tutorial video here.


  • 9 x 13 baked cake, any flavor
  • 2-3 cups of icing, from scratch or from a can (Wilton has a super simple butter cream frosting recipe that I always use)
  • red food coloring (you must use gel color if you want a vibrant red… you can buy this at Michaels or Bulk Barn)
  • graham crackers
  • pretzels
  • coconut tainted yellow and green for the hay and grass (I did this by adding a little coconut and food coloring to a Ziploc bag and shaking it up)


Here is a quick step by step (sorry I forgot to take photos along the way!) but the video really is quite good if my instructions are not clear.


  • Cut the 9 x 13 cake into two pieces: one 8 x 8 in size for the barn, the other skinny piece will be the silo
  • Cut the top two corners off the 8 x 8 square piece to make the shape of the barn.
  • Round the top of the silo with your knife (this makes it easier to add the graham crackers).
  • Cover the cake and silo in a layer of icing to be your “crumb coat”.  This will prevent crumbs from getting into the rest of the icing.  Let stand for 15-20 minutes to harden.  Cover the cake with a 2nd layer of icing over the crumb coat.  Note: Make sure your icing is thin enough to spread easily.  Mine was a little too thick and was a total pain to work with!!
  • Break graham crackers in half and overlap onto the roof of the barn and the silo.
  • Using a tooth pick or a butter knife, drag lines in the barn and silo to resemble wood slats.
  • Press stick pretzels into the icing for the door and windows.
  • Press graham cracker pieces into icing besides the pretzels for shutters.
  • Sprinkle a little bit of yellow tinted coconut around the door and windows for hay.
  • Spread some green icing on the cake board or plate and sprinkle with green tinted coconut for grass.

For the Cupcakes:

This is my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe.  Its quick, easy and the cupcakes rise beautifully.  They are also really easy to spread icing over.  Check them out here.

I’m going to break down each animal so that you know what you will need (most of the candy is from the Bulk Barn).  To prep, make sure you have some white, yellow and pink icing ready.  I bought black Wilton icing in a tube at Bulk Barn because I often find it tricky to make black icing dark enough.

Cow Cupcakes:

ImageWhat you need:

  • White and black icing
  • Black circular candies (I used black licorice) for ears
  • Coke bottle candies for horns
  • Pink mints for the nose
  • Candy eyes (from Michaels) or you could use brown M & Ms

Cow How To:

  • Ice cupcake with white icing
  • Using a Wilton icing tip #32 and a coupler (both from Bulk Barn), make some “fur” on the cow.  Don’t be intimidated! This is super easy to add to a Wilton tube of icing.  You can just spread it if you don’t want to pipe it… although I think piping is easier for this part!


  • Add candies for eyes, ears, mouth and nose.  You may need to cut the coke bottles to make them a little shorter.
  • I switched the #32 tip to a #3 and added small dots of icing on the nose.

Pig Cupcakes:

ImageWhat you need:

  • Pink and black icing
  • Pink mints
  • Triangle candies (I used sour grapefruit)
  • Candy eyes

Pig How To:

  • He’s pretty easy! Spread with pink icing and add all the necessary candies.

Rooster Cupcakes:

ImageWhat you need:

  • White icing
  • Candy eyes
  • Red and orange jelly beans

Rooster how to:

  • Also easy! Spread with white icing and add all the necessary candies.

Chicken Cupcakes:

ImageWhat you need:

  • Yellow icing
  • Candy eyes
  • Orange jellybeans

Chicken how to:

  • I used a Wilton #18 star tip to make the texture but you could totally just spread on the yellow icing.
  • Add all the necessary candies.

Sheep Cupcakes (my personal favorite):

ImageWhat you need:

  • White icing
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Candy eyes
  • Brown M & Ms (for the nose)
  • Pink triangle candies (same as the pig) for ears- I cut them in half for the sheep

Sheep how to:

  • Ice cupcake with white icing.
  • Press mini marshmallows all over the cupcake.
  • Add all the necessary candies.

Taa Daa!!!!! You are done! Yes… a bit of work, but they turn out SO CUTE:


Ok… I know this is a super long post already but to make things easier, here is a master shopping/prep list:

  • Baked 9 x 13 cake and 24 cupcakes
  • Approximately 5 cups of icing (its always better to have a little too much than not enough)
  • Red Wilton gel color
  • Graham crackers
  • Coconut
  • Stick Pretzels
  • Green, yellow and pink food coloring (or gel color if you have it)
  • Black Wilton icing tube (plus tips and coupler if using)
  • Round black candies (12)
  • Coke bottle gummies (12)
  • Package of candy eyes from Michaels (or brown M & Ms)
  • Pink mints (12)
  • Triangle pink candies (12 or so)
  • Red and orange jelly beans
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Brown M & Ms (for sheep noses)

Good Luck :)

Email me if you have any questions!

Happy Birthday Elly Belly!! xoxoxo



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