Teddy bears are a popular cake theme for children’s birthday parties. Store-bought birthday cakes can be decorated with teddy bear toppers or frosting images, but these might lack a personal touch. Pans are available to create shaped or three-dimensional teddy bears, but you might only be able to use the pan once, and 3-D cakes often need dowels for support. For someone willing to bake it themselves, a custom teddy bear cake can be made with a little more time and effort than a traditional cake. There are two basic methods of creating a teddy bear cake without a specialty pan.
Bake a large sheet cake and allow to cool.
Create the outline of a bear on the surface of the cake. This can be done using a paper template or by free-handing the marks with your fingers or a butter knife.
Cut around the outline of the bear, removing excess cake. Save the pieces you remove.
Form a snout using pieces you cut away. You also can fill in areas you might have over-cut.
Bake nine cakes using one large round pan, one medium round pan and seven ramekins. Allow the cakes to cool.
Cut a small semi-circle away from the largest cake, which will form the body, to allow the medium cake to fit snugly against it, forming the head.
Place one ramekin-size cake on the head to form a snout. Trim the other six ramekin cakes to fit against the curves of the body and head to form paws and ears.
Wipe away any crumbs on or around the cake. Crumbs will get caught up in the frosting and mar the surface.
Frost the cake in your preferred manner. You probably will have to make your own frosting or color store-bought frosting to get the look you want. For example, dye white frosting brown for the body of the teddy bear and black to frost the bear's muzzle.
Use candies to add detail to your cake if you did not do so with frosting. Gummy fruit candy or bubble gum could be used for a tongue and nose. White and dark chocolates could form eyes. Bows can be made with strings of licorice or fruit leather.
Cool the cake or cakes in a refrigerator, if space allows, before assembling and decorating.
Older children might enjoy helping to decorate the cake.
Cupcakes with the tops cut off can be substituted for cakes baked in ramekins.
Exercise caution when working around the oven and with a serrated knife.