How to Make Olive Cocktail Penguins and Radish Mice

Liven up your next gathering with some real party animals! These olive cocktail penguins and radish mice are too cute for words ~ and they’re delicious, too!

an army of little olive cocktail penguins

This week I’m injecting some whimsy into the cocktail hour with some beyond adorable olive penguins and radish mice. They’ll wow your guests and get everybody into the party spirit.

Olive Cocktail Penguins on a white platter with toothpicks

These ingenious little penguins are made with two sizes of black olive, some cream cheese, and a carrot.

Making an olive cocktail penguin out of olives, cheese, and carrots

I made this little fellow, and then I had to make an army of friends to keep him company. Making olive and cream cheese penguins is a slippery slope. (No one knows this better than penguins.)

I guarantee these guys will be the hit of your next party. Don’t worry, they are easy to make, and they don’t have to be prefect. Their imperfections and variations just make them more adorable. You can have dapper ones, scruffy ones, portly ones, sly ones and clueless ones…you’ll love them all.

Like I said your only problem might be knowing when to stop. It’s quite a stress-buster to sit down with a glass of wine and make these. You can knock out a waddle (that’s what it’s called, I looked it up) of penguins in no time.

My friend Judith used to make these radish mice for our kids during the holidays, but you don’t need to be a kid to appreciate them. I like to let them roam around a cheese plate.

They are super easy to make, and you’ll get lots of oohs and aaahs in return for very little effort.

I could only find round radishes, so my mice look a little chubby. If you come across oval ones, your mice will look even more like mice. Either way they’re pretty darn cute. Both the penguins and the mice can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated until party time, just make sure they’re covered. But they don’t keep well overnight.

To make an Olive and Cream Cheese Penguin—

You need a slice of carrot with a divot cut out of it, a large olive, cut in half, a medium olive, a small ball of cream cheese and a long toothpick or cocktail skewer.

The cream cheese gets stuffed between the two halves of the big olive, and then set on top of the carrot ‘feet’.

Cut the leftover bit of carrot into half again, and put it inside the puckered hole of the medium olive to form the beak. Put a long toothpick or cocktail skewer through the head.

Put the toothpick down through the cream cheese body and into the carrot.

Lower the penguin’s head gently down to meet his body.


To make a radish mouse—

Select a radish; it can be big or small, round or oval, but look for a nice long tail. Chop off the leafy end, this will be your mouse’s nose.

Cut a small slice off the bottom so your mouse will be stable. The exact place you make your cut will determine how you mouse is positioned, nose up, or nose down,

Cut small slits on each side of the head for the ears.

Insert small slices into the slits for the ears. You can take slices from another radish.

Is anybody else out there crazy enough to make these? Any other ideas for party animals?


3.58 from 97 votes

Olive Cocktail Penguin

Author Sue Moran


  • 1 carrot slice
  • 1 large olive cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 medium olive
  • 1 tsp cream cheese
  • 1 long toothpick or cocktail skewer


  • Cut a small divot from the carrot slice to form the "feet" base.
  • Roll the cream cheese into a ball and insert between the halves of the large olive. The olive halves can touch at the back, and open out in the front to form the wings.
  • Take the small carrot divot and cut in half again to form the beak.
  • Insert the beak into the small hole in the medium olive.
  • Run the toothpick through the head, down through the body, and into the carrot base.
  • Lower the head to meet the body, and clean up the cream cheese. Adjust the penguin as necessary.

Cook's notes

Refer to the step by step photos in the post above.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    5 stars
    I made these for baby shower. So good!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2020 at 9:39 am

    5 stars
    So good and really cute! Made them for tonight’s party and added a package of Boursin Shallots and Chives to the Neufchâtel Cream Cheese.

  • Reply
    Barb Evans
    December 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    I love the penguins. I’d like to put them on the appetier table Christmas Eve. My grandchildren would love them. Any suggestions to replace the cream cheese if some are dairy free?

    • Reply
      November 22, 2019 at 10:37 am

      I like to add some dry Ranch dressing to cream cheese for some added flavor…yummy

    • Reply
      December 21, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Maybe a green olive in the center? OR maybe a marshmallow-lol! Kids might like it!

    • Reply
      January 30, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      Hummus is a good dairy-free option.
      Also, I used cracked pepper and olive oil cream cheese to add some flavor.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Will make these for sure!

  • Reply
    Pansy i pownell
    November 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm


  • Reply
    July 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    These are just soooo dang cute! I can’t wait for an opportunity to make them!!

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