Daniel Tiger Cake and Birthday Party

A Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Birthday Party is a dream come true for a toddler! See the fun Daniel Tiger Cake and Dessert Table I made for my 2 year old!

daniel tiger cake and birthday party

Ava was very into Daniel Tiger around the time of her 2nd birthday. She still likes DT, but now has an obsession with Disney Princesses that overshadows the little tiger. Ava was still a little young to ask for a birthday party theme, so I chose Daniel Tiger for her.  I was able to find some cute, free printables and party ideas on the PBS Kids website. The bright colors that represent each DT character made it easy to find decorations consistent with the theme.


daniel tiger cake and birthday party

I used bright tissue paper to make tissue paper poufs and hung them with fishing line from tiny, clear 3M command hooks on the ceiling.  I kept the monthly picture banner from her 1st birthday and added the monthly pictures I took from 13 – 23 months, so every month of her first 2 years was represented above the dessert table.

Daniel Tiger Dessert Table

Desserts for the Daniel Tiger Theme

I needed 2 cupcakes for the Daniel Tiger cake below, so I baked the rest of the yellow boxed cake mix batter into cupcakes and topped them with Easy Vanilla Buttercream and round candy sprinkles with foil-lined cupcake liners. I usually stick with aluminum-foil lined cupcake wrappers to avoid grease seeping through paper ones. I attached these little circular decorations, that I made using a circular paper punch, to brightly colored toothpicks.

daniel tiger cupcakes

I made Tiger Striped Pretzel rods by dipping the rods in melted orange candy melts (I actually found these in the fall; they are pumpkin spice flavor!) and drizzled melted bittersweet chocolate on top for the tiger stripes.

tiger striped pretzel rods

Tiny version of my grandma’s recipe for Butter Cookies.

mini butter cookies

Daniel Tiger Cake

I was really nervous about the cake, but I think it turned out really cute. I used a boxed yellow cake mix to make a round, single-layer 9-inch cake. The rest of the batter I used to make cupcakes. Two of the cupcakes I used for Daniel’s ears. I then covered the entire cake with tinted Easy Vanilla Buttercream. I used yellow food coloring gel with a tiny bit of brown to achieve the main color of the tiger face, and then more brown to that mixture for the accent “stripes” around his face. Then a little bit of red to make the pink for his nose and part of his mouth.

I purchased a tube of store bought black frosting to do his eyes and outline his mouth and a tube of white frosting for the inside of his eyes. When I need black frosting for a cake, unless it’s a large quantity, I just buy it prepared due to the mass quantities of food coloring I would need to achieve a true black. An alternative option is to start with dark chocolate frosting and then add black food coloring gel.

I chose to purchase the white frosting because the Easy Vanilla Buttercream is off white, and I wanted a bright white for the inside of Daniel’s eyes. Rather than use traditional vanilla extract in the buttercream, you may use clear vanilla extract to make the buttercream lighter, but it will still be slightly off white due to the color of the butter.

While I like to purchase the frosting in a tube, I always transfer it to a disposable pastry bag and use my own plastic coupler and icing tip to pipe it on cakes depending on the design I’m going for. On this cake, I believe I used a #3 Wilton tip to pipe the fine lines around his eyes, mouth, and his eyebrows. I also piped on his whiskers. When necessary, I smooth the filled in spaces with a small offset icing knife.

daniel tiger cake and birthday party

Daniel Tiger Birthday Decorations

The trolley and pennant banners on top were projects on the PBS Kids website. They provided instructions and free printables to complete.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Birthday Dessert Table

Ava had so much fun at her party, and I was happy with how everything turned out!

Daniel Tiger Cake and Party Ideas

Looking for More Daniel Tiger Recipes?

Check out this recipe for Daniel Tiger’s Banana Swirl!

Need more birthday ideas?

Check out these posts:
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Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party
Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Cake
Sesame Street Birthday Party and Dessert Table {Cookie Monster Cake}
Penelope Bird Birthday Party
FROZEN Birthday Party
Winder Wonderland (ONEderland) First Birthday Party
My Little Pony Rainbow Unicorn Ice Cream Cake
Cinderella Cake and Birthday Party

daniel tiger cake and birthday party

Daniel Tiger Cake

An easy Daniel Tiger Birthday Cake for a toddler's Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Birthday Party. Save time by using a store bought cake mix!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan
  • 12-cup muffin pan


  • 1 box yellow cake mix, prepared (or flavor of choice)
  • 1 tube store bought white icing
  • 1 tube store bought black icing
  • 2 batches Easy Vanilla Buttercream (see note, or frosting of choice)
  • yellow, brown, and pink gel icing colors


  • Prepare the cake batter and preheat the oven, according to package directions.
  • Spray an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with nonstick baking spray (such as Pam for Baking) or grease and lightly flour. Place cupcake liners in 12 cups of a standard sized muffin pan.
  • Fill the cake pan with batter approximately half or 3/4 full. Use baking strips to allow the cake to bake evenly. Divide the remaining batter among the wells of the cupcake pan.
  • Bake the cake and cupcakes according to instructions on package. Allow round cake to cool for 10 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack to remove from pan and cool to room temperature.
  • Using a large portion of Easy Vanilla Buttercream or frosting of your choice, tint the frosting with yellow and a small amount of brown gel icing color to achieve the desired color for Daniel's fur.
  • Color a portion of the fur frosting with a small amount of brown for the stripes on Daniel.
  • Color a tiny portion of frosting pink for Daniel's nose and tongue.
  • Place the round cake on a cake plate or platter. Slip small pieces of waxed paper underneath the bottom edges of the cake. Notch out a little bit of cake where you'd like the ears to go on the top of each side of Daniel's head. Remove the wrappers from 2 cupcakes and place them into the notches.
  • Carefully frost the cake and cupcakes with an icing knife using Daniel's fur colored frosting.
  • Using a disposable piping bag, plastic coupler, and round tip, draw the outlines for the stripes and fill in with the stripe colored frosting. Smooth carefully with a small icing knife if desired.
  • Using the black frosting, draw the outlines for the eyes and fill in the black portions. You may need to transfer the store bought black and white frosting to disposable piping bags for more control when piping. Add the eyebrows in black. Fill in the whites of the eyes with white frosting.
  • Using the pink frosting, outline and fill in Daniel's nose.
  • Using the stripe colored frosting, draw the mouth and fill in. Then add the tongue with the pink frosting. Use the black frosting to outline and define the mouth.
  • Use remaining untinted Easy Vanilla Buttercream or white frosting to draw on the whiskers.
  • Carefully remove the waxed paper used to protect the cake plate/platter and discard them.
  • Refrigerate cake until several hours prior to serving. For best results, allow it to come to room temperature before eating.


Easy Vanilla Buttercream recipe
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword birthday, cake, dessert, party

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