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This fox cake recipe is a showstopper, perfect for kids birthday cake ideas, baby showers, and of course anyone who loves foxes!

Fox cake | Fox birthday cake

When a birthday comes around, it’s time for something special–a birthday cake that takes all day to make! Somehow our son Larson just turned 2 (ahh!), and we wanted to bake him up a special treat. His nursery is fox themed, so we decided on a fox themed cake. After scouring the internet for fox cake ideas, we found this tutorial that we used as our inspiration. So many of you have been asking for this fox cake recipe and instructions, so here it is! This fox cake is perfect for kids birthday cake ideas or as a baby shower cake. And it’s not just for kids: it could work as a birthday cake for adults too!

Fox cake | Toddler birthday cake ideas
The fox birthday cake in action

Fox cake base: carrot cake!

The moment we decided to do a fox cake for Larson’s birthday, I decided it should be a carrot cake! For some reason, it seemed totally apropos: maybe because of the orange color of carrots and foxes? Plus, carrot cake is the one cake flavor that I love. He seems to as well, so I think we’ll do carrot cake for all of Larson’s birthday cakes! For the cake, we used this Vegan Carrot Cake recipe from our friends Jeanine and Jack at Love and Lemons. It was perfectly moist and spiced! We used a deep 9″ round pan instead of the 9 x 13″ pan the recipe called for, so we had to bake the cake much longer than specified in the recipe (see the notes below).

Confession: we had a bit of a mishap with the fox cake base! We underbaked our first version of the carrot cake and the center caved in! So we had to make a second version of the fox cake and bake it longer, about 55 minutes. That did the trick! Because we baked the second version on the day of, we refrigerated the cake wrapped in plastic wrap for 3 hours before icing it. This helped it to firm up. If possible, make the cake the night before so that it can dry out enough before icing it.

Of course, you can use any cake recipe that you love for the base. Just make sure to adjust the recipe accordingly if it calls for a different shape of pan.

Fox  cake | Fox birthday cake
Fox cake in process: with a few rosettes done. Since the cake is textured and made of many
little dabs of frosting, no one will notice a minor whiff on your rosettes!

Fox cake icing: buttercream!

For the fox cake icing, we decided on this Vanilla Buttercream Recipe from our friend Annie of Everyday Annie. We don’t eat strictly vegan, so we were okay with using a buttercream recipe with butter. If you eat vegan, we’d love to know in the comments below if you have a buttercream icing recipe you love!

Before we made our fox cake, we purchased this food coloring for the icing online. We also picked up some icing bags and tips at our local grocery store.

Fox cake | Fox birthday cake
Fox cake in process: with a few more rosettes completed!

How to make a fox cake

As you know, fancy cake recipes take quite a bit of effort. So you’ll have to make sure you have all the necessary tools in advance, and do a few things the night before! Here’s what we made sure to order a few days in advance:

  1. Order the black fondant for the eyes and notes.
  2. Order the food coloring
  3. Pick up the icing bags, decorating tips, poster board.

Then of course get all your cake and icing ingredients, and you’re good to go! As noted above, if you can it’s helpful to bake your cake the night before so that icing it is easy. If not, you can bake it in the morning and then refrigerate it with plastic wrap for 3 hours.

When you get to icing the cake, don’t worry about having all of your skills too neat and tidy! Since the cake is textured and made up of so many little dabs of frosting, no one will notice a minor whiff on your rosettes! Ready to get baking? Head down to the recipe below!

Fox cake | Fox birthday cake | Birthday cake ideas for kids

Looking for showstopper dessert recipes?

Outside of this fox cake recipe, here are a few of our favorite dessert recipes for celebrations:

Fox cake | Fox birthday cake | Birthday cake ideas for kids
Larson loved his birthday cake!

This recipe is…

This fox cake recipe is vegetarian. The base cake is vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.

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Fox cake | Fox birthday cake

Fox Cake Recipe

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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 1 cake (15 small pieces) 1x


This fox cake recipe is a showstopper, perfect for kids birthday cake ideas, baby showers, and of course anyone who loves foxes!



For the cake

For the icing

For the fox cake


  1. Make sure to order the black fondant and the food color in advance.
  2. The night before or a few hours ahead, make the eyes and nose: Use a rolling pin to roll out the black fondant to about 1/4″ thick. Use a paring knife to cut out two eyes and a nose. We made some templates with scissors on paper until we decided on the perfect shape. Place on parchment paper and chill in fridge until the cake is decorated.
  3. The night before (if possible), bake the cake: Bake the Vegan Carrot Cake. Use this recipe provided and a 9″ round spring form baking pan, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. (Note: You can also bake the cake the day of. If so, allow the cake to cool to room temperature and then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours before icing.) 
  4. The day of, cut out the ears: Cut out the ears from white poster board or thin cardboard; trace a shape based on the photos above. Make sure to leave 3 to 4 inches of the cardboard below the ear to use to stick into the cake. (This tutorial has some patterns to trace, but they didn’t fit the 9″ round size so we had to do them freehand. We also did our ears using poster board (with the 4″ extension) instead of fondant as specified in the tutorial, because our fondant ears melted! So poster board with icing on it did the trick; they’re just not edible.)
  5. Make the icing: Make 1 recipe Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Icing.
  6. Ice the cake with white icing: Using an offset spatula, ice the cake with a thin layer of white icing until just covered. Use a bowl to mark out the design of the two “cheeks” of the fox face. Add another thin layer on the cheeks and sides of the cake until the cake is no longer visible. Don’t worry about totally covering the area of the top that will be filled in with orange rosettes.
  7. Add the ears: Use a chef knife to cut thin slices in where the ears go and slide them in. Make sure to carefully locate the ears so that they are even on the cheeks. (Note: we missed on our first attempt and had to adjust the ears! So it’s ok if it’s not right on the first try.) Using the spatula, add a very thin layer of white frosting right onto the poster board ears.
  8. Add the orange icing: With the remaining frosting, remove about ½ cup of the white frosting to a small bowl and add a little orange and red food coloring and stir. Continue adding color until you get a bright reddish-orange. Place a medium-to-large flower tip in a pastry bag and fill it with the orange frosting. Add several large flowers scattered across the face of the fox (see in process photos above).
  9. Repeat the orange icing with different shades of orange: Working in small batches and with different sized tips, continue to fill in the fox face. It turns out nice with slightly different colors of orange each time, so make slight variations with the food coloring to make darker and lighter orange colors. Leave the last batch of orange for the smallest pastry bag tip and fill in any blank spaces. Before you’re don, make sure to save out a few dabs of white in a small bowl to color on the eyes.
  10. Add the facial features: Place the nose and eyes onto the cake and use a toothpick to dab on some white spots on the eyes (see the photos).
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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