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Aug 29, 2014 05:55 pm | Kayleen

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #9

Celia and Nonna – Easy make Teddy Cakes

In my new picture book I illustrated some teddy cakes that the character Nonna makes with Celia. I decided to recreate them in real life. I took a batch to Ivanhoe library where they were quickly gobbled up. I was told they were delicious  – I should have made more!

I am sharing the instructions here so educators and parents can enjoy this easy activity with their children. I don’t profess to be a cake decorator, my sister, Joy is the expert in that field I can honestly say this is an easy recipe.


  • Pretzels
  • Chocolate cup cakes
  • small light brown biscuits (I used Almond Florentines)
  • Pink Smarties
  • Small chocolate drops (or brown smarties)
  • Soft white vanilla Icing
  • Black writing icing

You will need:

  • piping bag
  • butter knife
  • a sink of soapy water
  • will power not to eat all the left-overs!

Gather all the ingredients:

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #2

Chocolate cup cakes. Make your own or buy them Chocolate chip is okay too.

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #3

Shop bought Almond Florentines where used for a “Italian Nonna” theme but some children don’t like the strong marzipan taste of these. You can use any light coloured biscuit this shape. These were approximately 2cm wide.

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #4

As I was making the cakes on a very tight time frame I used bought vanilla frosting in a small tub. The type that stays thick but soft.

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #5

Pink Smarties for the teddy’s noses and small chocolate cooking drops for eyes. Alternatively you can use the brown Smarties for eyes. Do what you will with the left-overs – yum!

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #1

Pretzels: we will loose a few to breakage but aim to break off the 2 sides like so. These will be our teddy’s ears. We will need enough for all our cakes.

When you have prepared your pretzel ears start assembling the nose. Spoon a good amount of icing into the piping bag and use to glue the pink Smarties to the florentines.

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #6

Using the black writing icing pipe the mouth on the florentines.

Then stick the whole florentine to the cup cakes, slightly offset, allowing room for the eyes on one side.

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #7

Making the eyes

Next, pipe a good amount of white icing onto the cupcake where the eyes will be. When we add the chocolate drop eyes the overflow will create part of the eye. Push each drop into the icing until almost touching the cake – but not quite!

Add a small amount of white icing to each end of the snapped off pretzel and push gently inot the cake until it grips. Ta-da!

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #8

Smile teddy!

Lat tip: If transporting your lovely teddy cakes, use a muffin tray so they don’t slip around. We don’t want teddy looking beat up, do we?!

Celia and Nonna Teddy Cakes recipe instructions Step #9

If you have some teddy cake pictures you would like to share here, I would love to see them.


Aug 28, 2014 04:06 pm | Kayleen

My goodness, life as a children’s author and illustrator is a busy one – but incredibly fun!

Book Week author illustrator visit at Rye Primary School. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

We are in the throws of book week (which goes for more than a week) where I have been visiting children in different parts of the state. Storytelling and creative education has to be the best job in the world.

My reward mazimus is witnessing the excitement in the eyes of my young readers. I love it when the children rush up to me excited about what they now CAN do with all they have learned. It is so much fun to ask the question, “was that fun?” and get the response, “It was AWESOME!” I am especially enjoying the introduction of my cheeky puppet tortoise, AT (pictured above hiding in his shell) and friends. You know you’ve hit the sweet spot when all the children unanimously sigh, “ooooh!” when I have to put AT away. I have fallen in love with him also. He has come fully alive over the sessions. I didn’t realise how much fun puppetry was until now!

So far, I have the pleasure of presenting to over 1300 students and I have more to visit still. Tomorrow, I join other authors and illustrators for the Ford Street Literary Festival at Scotch College in Hawthorn. Victoria Lane (author of Celia and Nonna) and myself will lead workshops for grades 4,5 and 6 tomorrow amongst lots of fun happenings during the day.

Book Week author illustrator visit at The Grange Prep-12 College. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

I would LOVE to bring AT to visit your school too. You can contact me for more information via my event booking page or via my agent Creative Net

Thank you to Rye Primary teachers for their feedback this week:

Kayleen gave the teachers lots of writing ideas. I got my grade to draw pictures from squiggles and write about them coming to life.  Amanda Enright – CRT Grade 2. Rye Primary School

Interesting and students were engaged for the whole session – illustration and activity excellent, Thank you. Michelle Venturin – Class teacher. Rye Primary School


What do you want to know?

If you have questions and would like to see me answer them on my blog I would love to hear from you. My blog is for your reading! Help me spice it up with content YOU want to read.

NEW BOOK: Better Than A Superhero

Who is better than a superhero? Find out about Jesus as you explore what he did and who he was. And most importantly how Jesus really can be your best friend!


Without Me?

Without Me is a light-hearted story about a runaway child. As he reflects on the impact of his departure he realises ultimately where he belongs.

Adoptive Father

Colourfully illustrated, Adoptive Father emphasis how children can love one another in simple ways.

Proceeds improving literacy for children Internationally.
ISBN: 979-0-9872002-0-4

Copyright © 2014 Kayleen West, All rights reserved.
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