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Rubber Ducky Cake with yellow frosting and candy eyes.

Women's Weekly Rubber Ducky Cake

Serves 20

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


Vanilla Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 5 drops yellow food gel
  • 2 drops pink food gel


  • Liquorice strips
  • 2 orange smartis candy
  • red ribbon bow
  • 1 cup cheese flavoured popcorn
  • 2 ruffled plain chips


Vanilla Extract

  • Please note: To make the cake in this you’ll need to double the cake recipe only. All other measurements are enough to fill, crumb coat and finish decorating the cake.
  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C / 275°For a conventional oven to 160°C / 320°F. Spray a loaf tin 25cm x 10cm (10 x 4inch) and a square baking tin 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) with oil spray and line the bottom and sides with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
  • Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
  • Add the eggs, milk, oil, Greek yoghurt, and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  • Fill the loaf tin about 3/4 of the way with batter and then add the remaining batter to the square tin. Bake for 50–60minutes (the loaf will take about 30-40 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking for 10 minutes at a time until fully baked.
  • Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight.

Load Tin (Duck Head & Chest)

  • Take the loaf cake out of the tin and discard the paper. Lay it on it’s side and cut a third off using a serrated knife. You won’t need the smaller piece. Cut an angle on one side of the larger piece. At about 1/3 of the way, cut little wedges all around the rectangle shape. The lower part will make up the chest and the square shape will make the head. To round out the head cut angled wedges on each side of the top of the ducks head. Then continue rounding it out using the serrated knife. Get it as round as you can.

Square Tin (Ducks Body)

  • Use a serrated knife to flatten the top of the cake out slightly. Use the knife to slice the cake in half leaving you with two rectangles. Flip the rectangles so that the part you just cut is facing upward and the slightly flattened out sides are facing outward. To shape the ducks body, begin by cutting wedges on one end of the cake. Then cut a slightly deeper angled wedge on the other side of the cakes. The part with the smaller angles is going to be the front of the duck, the other side will be the back.
  • Use the knife to cut an angled shape from the top of the back down to the bottom. Then cut a slightly curved shape on the top of the back of the duck.
  • Lastly, cut an angled chunk out of the top of the front of the duck. This is where the chest and head shape will sit. Place the chest piece on top and check that the angle is right. The chest piece should be on a slightly backward facing angle. Carve away any cake from the ducks body if needed to achieve this slightly angle.


  • Before you begin, it’s really important to make sure the butter is soft enough. Some people keep their butter out of the fridge, others chill it. Even if you keep it out, it may not be soft enough. You want your butter to be soft enough so that when you stick your finger in it, it glides in, but not without a little bit of resistance. The best way to get it too that softness is to place your butter on a microwave safe plate, microwave for 10 seconds at a time, testing the softness each time. If it needs longer than 10 seconds, turn the butter over and repeat until it’s ready.
  • Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use an electric hand mixer for this recipe, but if you do use a hand mixer, just make sure your bowl is large. Mix the butter on low speed to begin with, then switch to the highest speed and mix for 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy and turns pale in color.
  • Stop your mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl using a spatula. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix again on low speed. LOW SPEED PEOPLE! The last thing you need is to end up in a sugar dust storm! (I’m speaking from experience…)
  • Once all the sugar has been incorporated, it’s safe to turn your mixer up to high speed. Continue beating on high speed for about 5–6 minutes, or until the butter turns pale in colour and becomes fluffy again. If you want to soften your buttercream and make it a little smoother, add the milk and continue mixing for another couple of minutes on medium speed. At this stage, you can also add the yellow and pink food gel.


  • Use an offset spatula to add some frosting to what was the bottom, but now is the middle of the ducks body. And spread around evenly. This will act as glue to hold the cake together.
  • Place the top cake piece on the body and use three long skewers to secure the two cakes together. Use a knife to cut off the excess bits of the skewers.
  • Crumb coating is optional but recommended because it will help keep everything together and looking much neater. To crumb coat simply add a thin layer of frosting around the duck cake. Place in the fridge for one hour to chill.
  • To finish the cake, add a thicker layer of frosting around the cake. It doesn’t have to be perfect, making it look slightly rough will give the duck a feathered body look.
  • Finish by adding the ducks eyes (liquorice rings and orange smarties). Add the bow tie on the front and the buttons (red smarties) Then the final (and best) bit is the chip beak. Two single, perfect chips for the ducks beak.


The cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.


Calories : 485kcal
Carbonhydrates: 44g
Protein: 4g
Fat: 30g
Saturated Fat: 20g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 7g
Trans Fat : 1g
Cholesterol: 79mg
Sodium: 85mg
Potassium : 89mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 26g
Vitamin A: 766IU
Vitamin C: 1mg
Calcium: 74mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure