Duck Cake

Kenneth Chen


  • 1 (5 by 7 inch) yellow loaf cake
  • 1 jumbo cupcake or muffin
  • 1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/2 cup vanilla frosting
  • Yellow and blue food coloring
  • 3 orange circus peanuts
  • 2 brown candy coated chocolates
  • 1 tube (4.25 ounces) brown decorating frosting


  • A bread knife
  • A wooden skewer
  • 2 small zip lock bags
  • A small offset spatula or butter knife

Trimming the cake:

  1. Place the loaf cake on a clean work surface. Using the bread knife, trim the top of the cake if too domed. Use the bread knife to cut a 1-1/2 by 3-inch triangle from either side of one short end of cake. Round the corners on the opposite end of cake using the template as a guide.
  2. Remove the paper liner from the cupcake or muffin. Trim a ½ inch from one side of cupcake to make flat and able to sit on cake evenly.
  3. Transfer the trimmed cake to a serving platter.
  4. Sandwich the 2 larger pieces of trimmed cake, cut side together, with some frosting and secure at the trimmed end of cake as the tail. Attach the cupcake, trimmed side down, with some of the frosting at the opposite end as the head, domed side facing out. Insert a wooden skewer into the cupcake to secure.

Frosting the cake:

  1. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the vanilla frosting into a zip lock bag.
  2. Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting blue with the food coloring. Spoon the blue frosting into a zip lock bag. Set aside.
  3. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting golden yellow with the food coloring.
  4. Spread the yellow frosting over the cake to cover. Use an offset spatula or the back of a butter knife and smooth the frosting in long strokes toward the tail to look like feathers.
  5. Snip a small corner from the bag with the blue frosting. Pipe wavy lines around the base of the cake to look like water.

To complete the cake:

  1. Place a circus peanut on its side and cut in half lengthwise. Snip small notches with some scissors on 1 short end to make the webbed feet. Pinch the opposite end to taper slightly. Cut a 1/4-inch slice from one end of the remaining circus peanuts. Use one of the trimmed pieces as the tongue and press the trimmed ends together to make the beak.
  2. Insert the tapered ends of the trimmed circus peanuts on the lower end of the cake as the feet. Press the beak circus peanuts on the front of the cake.
  3. Press the brown M&M’s on either side of the head for the eyes.
  4. Snip a very small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe the highlights in the eyes with the vanilla frosting. Pipe the nostrils on the beak with the chocolate decorating frosting.

Serves 12