Chocolate Dragon Cake

Sorry – I have more sweets for you. This time it’s cake, because today we managed to pull off our first chocolate dragon. W had a small birthday party – just cousins, aunts, grandmas and grandad and a few friends. He wanted hot dogs and Cheezies. We added mini burgers, peaches, blueberries and a tray of veg (tiny local carrots, radishes and pea pods) with garlic & basil Swiss dressing from Mary and Ernie – all easy stuff and not much in the way of cooking, so there isn’t much to pass on.

As he is currently obsessed with the movie How to Train Your Dragon he requested a dragon cake. Mike baked the layers, and having reviewed a few photos of other homemade dragon cakes for guidance, we went at it with a knife first thing this morning. One cake was cut in half and then put side by side for the body (a tip I took from here), and the tail, head, neck, arms and legs came from the second layer. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be.

One tip: icing does not like to be spread over the sides of cut cakes – we put ours into a large ziploc bag and squeezed it on, then spread it gently, coaxing it into the nooks and crannies. You could do a crumb coat – frost it without worrying about crumbs, then chill or freeze, then add a second layer of icing. (The crumbs being happily trapped in the first coat.) We didn’t have room in our freezer for a tray of ice cubes, let alone an entire dragon.

The spikes on its back are those square chocolate mints (you could use After Eights) cut in half diagonally; its teeth and claws are Mike & Ike’s, and the eyes are mini marshmallows Mike constructed with some sort of little candy wedged inside with the aid of a bamboo skewer. (He too has an Inner Martha.) The little wings were a cheat-yanked from one of his toys. We had to draw the line somewhere.

Chocolate Cake


August 7, 2010

  • Makes: Makes two 8 or 9 inch layers.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tsp. vanilla


1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 8 or 9- inch round cake pans or one 9x13- inch pan with non-stick spray.

2In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for about half a minute, until it’s pale and creamy. Pour in the sugar and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after you add each one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever it needs it.

3Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir it in by hand or with the electric mixer on low speed, just until it’s combined. Add about half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour, mixing just until the batter is blended.

4Divide the batter between the greased cake pans and tap the bottoms a few times on the countertop to remove any air bubbles. To prevent a domed top, spread the top of the batter with a spatula, creating a slight dent in the middle and a raised edge. This compensates for the way a cake tends to rise higher in the middle.

5Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes are golden, the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan and the tops are springy to the touch. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pans and inverting them onto a wire rack. Cool completely before you frost them.


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31 comments on “Chocolate Dragon Cake

  1. Nancy (n.o.e.)
    August 8, 2010 at 5:14 am

    I love the way you shaped the cake, and the process pictures are so helpful. It turned out absolutely adorable!!

  2. thepinkpeppercorn
    August 8, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Oh so cute, and talk about YUMMY cake too!

  3. Lynn Smith
    August 8, 2010 at 7:00 am

    You have outdone yourself that is one good looking cake!!

  4. Lori
    August 8, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Mom of the year = YOU

  5. Recipe for Delicious
    August 8, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I remember when my little brother was that age. It was always a ninja turtle cake. Your dragon is fantastic. A lucky birthday boy for sure!

  6. bellini valli
    August 8, 2010 at 8:59 am

    So much fun Julia!!

  7. Ann
    August 8, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Fantastic! I wondered how you were going to make a dragon cake. I’m impressed! It looks terrific. I’m sure W and all the kids were thrilled.

    I wonder what W will request next year . . .

    Thanks, Julie!

  8. Sue. D
    August 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    You and Mike are SO brilliant! That’s one lucky five year old to have you two as parents.

  9. Carol SB
    August 8, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Awesome cake. You can tell W.’s enjoying himself with his crowd, there.
    I figure you’re giving your kid the best stuff possible: memories.
    No need to crumbcoat when the cake is a dragon: if any crumbs had shown through (I can’t see ’em!) they would’ve clearly been scales.

  10. Janice
    August 8, 2010 at 11:34 am

    That is an AWESOME cake!

  11. rv
    August 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Julie is your e-mail address (as shown in About Me) still working? I’d like to e-mail you.

  12. Erica B.
    August 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Fantastic job Julie!

  13. Laurie in Burnaby
    August 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Oh, wow! What an excellent cake! 🙂
    Congratulations again!

  14. JulieVR
    August 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    rv – yes, you can email me at

  15. Jan (Family Bites)
    August 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    So awesome, Julie! What a lucky little guy….

  16. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    August 9, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Gorgeous cake! So very creative! Thanks for the recipe and the step-by-step photos. Happy Birthday wishes to your little cutie pie!

  17. Manon from Ontario
    August 9, 2010 at 8:07 am

    OMG!! Julie that is amazing! You must be mother of the day with a cake like that!

    Great creativity!

    Luv your blog,


  18. Jacquie
    August 9, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Gorgeous cake! I know what I’ll be making for my son for his next birthday, we too are all about dragons.
    Have fun here in Winnipeg, super hot today with a humidex of about 42 expected. If you are looking for a couple of place to eat Boon Café (vegan, but delish and closed Mondays), Inferno’s Café in St. Boniface is great, the mussels and frites are the best. Black Sheep Café and Tallest Poppy have the best breakfasts in town.

  19. Anonymous
    August 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Love the dragon cake! I made the same cake for my son’s 8th birthday in January. Except it was for a surprise party, so I had to wrap it up and hide it in the attic overnight. Yes, it was quite the project to frost, but it ended up looking pretty cute.

  20. Beverley M
    August 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Wow, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year since he wanted the huge chocolate cake with sprinkles and fire. Happy birthday, W! Great dragon cake!

  21. Barb
    August 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Super job!

  22. LauraYVR
    August 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Watch out ace of cakes!

  23. Amanda
    August 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I love your kitchen table/booth – and your blog! I’m also a mom and Calgary food blogger. Check my blog out sometime – and keep cooking!


  24. Ashley
    August 10, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Truly awesome. 🙂

  25. Yosha
    August 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    That’s fantastic! Reading the post title I totally though you used a dragon cake pan, but this is so much better!

  26. Maria
    August 11, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Wow, that is some AMAZING looking cake!

  27. Marisa
    September 6, 2010 at 7:51 am

    So awesome! Any kid would love it.

  28. Anita
    September 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    One of the highlights of my childhood was the shaped cakes my mom made for birthdays – numbers, hot air balloons, tulips….good for you Julie!

  29. dianabol dosage
    July 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Yes! Finally someone writes about british dragon.

  30. Anabolex
    January 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for some other magnificent post.
    Where else may just anyone get that kind of information in
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