How to Make an Adorable Puppy Bowl Cake

It's Team Ruff vs. Team Fluff, but really anyone with this easy-to-decorate cake is winning.

Gather Your Supplies

Food:

  • Cupcakes, baked and cooled (choose any recipe you like)
  • 1 sheet cake, baked and cooled (choose any recipe you like)
  • Vanilla buttercream frosting (use the large-batch recipe included or 4 store-bought cans)
  • Food coloring: green, yellow, brown
  • Candy: black gumballs, pink Starburst candies, soft caramels, small and medium black chocolate balls (i.e., Sixlets),
  • Fondant: black, brown, white (small quarter-sized balls of each)

Tools:

  • Parchment paper
  • Cupcake liners
  • Plastic piping bags (and rubber bands to close them)
  • Piping tips: grass tip, small round tip, medium round tip, star tip
  • Scissors
  • Offset spatula
  • Frosting smoother
  • Toothpicks
  • Rolling pin
  • Fork
  • Ruler

Start Baking

Sheet Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Prepare your choice of cake mix as directed, bake 25 to 30 minutes. Allow the cakes to completely cool before you begin decorating.

Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare your choice of cake mix as directed. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners, fill ¾ full with cake mix. Bake 25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before you begin decorating.

Prep the Buttercream Frosting

While the cakes are baking, make one large batch of buttercream frosting. You'll need:

  • 6 cups (12 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds (1 bag) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Beat the butter for a few minutes on medium speed, preferably using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On slow speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar 1 to 2 cups at a time, allowing each batch of sugar to incorporate with the butter before adding the next. Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla, cream and salt. Beat for an additional 3 minutes.

Color 4 cups of frosting with green coloring and 2 cups of frosting with yellow coloring for the football field. Set aside and cover all of the remaining white frosting.

Decorate

Part 1: Puppy Cupcakes

Shaggy Dog Cupcake: Mix 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder into 1 cup buttercream for a chocolate buttercream. Optional: If you’d like a darker brown, tint chocolate frosting with brown food coloring. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a grass tip. Frost the surface of the cupcake and smooth with a spatula. Add an additional dollop of frosting just below the center of the cupcake and place a black gumball into the dollop of buttercream to serve as the nose. Pipe on small spikes of shag frosting to the cupcake to create the fur.

Add on two small round black sprinkles for the eyes. Roll out a pink Starburst candy with a rolling pin and cut into into a tongue shape. Use a toothpick to add a line down the center. Position the tongue just below the nose.

Pug Cupcake: Roll out a small quarter-sized ball of black fondant with a rolling pin. Use scissors to cut out: 1 small triangular chin piece, 1 mouth piece (an upside-down V shape) and 2 ear pieces. Additionally, roll out a pink Starburst candy and cut into into a tongue shape; use a toothpick to add a line down the center.

Lightly tint 1/2 cup of buttercream with brown food coloring to create a tan color. Transfer frosting to piping bag fitted with small round tip. Frost the surface of the cupcake and smooth with a spatula.

Add the fondant chin piece, candy tongue, and fondant mouth (in that order) to the bottom half of the cupcake. Use a toothpick to indent small holes (the whiskers) into the mouth piece and a line down the center of the mouth. Add on one small chocolate ball for the nose and two for the eyes. Outline the mouth and eyes with the tan buttercream for the wrinkles, then add on the ears.

Poodle Cupcake: Transfer white frosting to piping bag fitted with small round tip. Frost the surface of the cupcake and smooth with a spatula. Add an additional dollop of frosting just below the center of the cupcake and place a chocolate ball into the dollop of buttercream to serve as the nose. Position two small chocolate balls just above the nose for the eyes.

For the poodle’s hair, pipe small round dollops of frosting around the upper edge of the cupcake. Roll out a pink Starburst candy with a rolling pin and cut into into two triangular pieces to create a bow; position atop the frosting dollops.

Puppy Dog Cupcake: Fill piping bag fitted with star tip halfway with white buttercream. Frost the surface of the cupcake and smooth with a spatula. Add an additional dollop of frosting just below the center of the cupcake and place a black gumball into the dollop of buttercream to serve as the nose. Pipe on small star-shaped spikes of frosting to the cupcake to create the fur.

Position the two chocolate balls just above the nose to create eyes. For the ears, roll out two soft caramels with a rolling pin and cut them into oval shapes. Roll out a pink Starburst candy with a rolling pin and cut into into a tongue shape. Use a toothpick to add a line down the center. Position the tongue just below the nose, and add the ears to each side of the cupcake.

Shih Tzu Cupcake: Lightly tint 1/2 cup of buttercream with brown food coloring to create a tan color; transfer tan frosting to piping bag fitted with small round tip. In a separate piping bag fitted with a round tip, add ½ cup white buttercream. Pipe small lines with the tan frosting onto the sides of the cupcake (in a mask shape). Fill in the unfrosted top and bottom area with small white lines of frosting.

Add on one chocolate ball for the nose and two smaller balls for the eyes. Roll out a pink Starburst candy and cut into into a tongue shape, indent tongue with a toothpick, and add into the bottom white frosted section.

Pipe additional lines of tan frosting for the ears.

Part 2: Draft Teams and Make the Football

Once you’ve decorated an even number of puppy cupcakes, you’re ready to pick your teams! Transfer ½ cup of the green and yellow frosting to piping bags fitted with small flat tips. For half of your cupcakes, pipe on a green line of frosting (in a sweatband fashion) across the dogs heads to designate Team Ruff. Pipe on a yellow line of frosting to the remaining half to designate Team Fluff.

For the game ball, roll a quarter-sized ball of brown fondant into a football shape. Roll out a small round ball of white fondant, cut thin lines out using a knife for the laces. Position the white laces atop the football.

Part 3: The Football Field

Frost the sheet cake with green buttercream, using a spatula and frosting smoother (if necessary) to smooth. Pipe on rectangular sections with yellow buttercream to each end of the field to designate the end zones, smooth sections with a spatula.

Use a fork to create some grass-like texture into the field.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip halfway with white buttercream. Pipe on line markers to the field, as well as team logos to each end zone (bones for Team Ruff and paws for Team Fluff!).

Position your puppy players and football on the field. Game time!

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