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?


3.55 from 95 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.

You Might Also Like


    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!!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    These are great, I’ve never seen radish mice before, will definatly be making them. Here’s my penguins – small one made with an olive and feta cheese – large one made with a boiled egg and nori.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I am almost in tears these are so adorable! I have to make these for a friend who loves penguins. Really beautiful, whimsical and fun!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Genious! Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    October 8, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Those penguins are amazing! Very cute!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    following you 🙂

  • Reply
    October 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I made the mice a few times, but never seen such a cute penguins, they really look like pingu! Love them!


  • Reply
    October 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    holy cow. those are two of the cutest appetizers i’ve ever seen. the penguin is surprisingly realistic (or as realistic as one can imagine it could be)–i applaud you!

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    October 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

    They are adorable Sue. You are very clever and I bet these are a hit a party.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    October 6, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I love your waddle! and the mice are not bad either – a certain talking point at the next drinks night – definitely a pin.

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    October 6, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Oh my goodness…these are darling. If this is what you are serving at your holiday cocktail party…I want an invite! You’re amazing! I have to say, I’m not sure if I would ever get around to making them…but I pinned them and I’ll be talking about them.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    October 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    NO WAY!!!!!!!!… these are beyond cute and your photography is just adorable… much like to little penguins… would be a crime to eat them!

  • Reply
    Bites from life with the barking lot
    October 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    You are a riot! I’d never be able to do these…..the time it must take. But the giggles might be worth it. Makes me laugh out loud. Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Get out of here!! Those penguins are freekin hysterical! I love those! Haha I want to come to your cocktail hour! Keep em coming!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      October 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      It’s really funny how they each have their own personality, every little variation in the olives, beaks, etc. results in a completely different fella.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    October 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Pretty freakin’ cute! I bet they’re a real hit at the children’s table on Thanksgiving or Christmas!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    October 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Sue this is just beyond creative! Were you a school teacher ever? 🙂 This would be a great project for me and my daughter. Even tho radishes and olives aren’t kiddie food per se, she’d love the adorable factor. So do I!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      October 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      It would be lots of fun for your daughter, and doesn’t really matter that they aren’t something kids would love to eat because, really, could you eat one of those adorable creatures?

  • Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I love these penguins! I’ve had them in my list of things to try for ages. I’ve never seen the mice before though and I love how stinking cute they are with the cheese plate. I’m betting my kids would flip over these penguins. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply
    [email protected] Journal
    October 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    WOW! they are so cute, love them 🙂

  • Reply
    tiffany rose
    October 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Both are adorable! I think the chubbiness of the mice is best.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      October 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      They look a tiny bit like little pigs, but it’s not very appetizing to have pigs running around a cheese platter, so I’m sticking with mice!

    • Reply
      tiffany rose
      October 6, 2012 at 3:22 am

      Ha, and now that you say that …
      Even so, little pink oinkers are cute too.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Sue, these both look wonderful and they are absolutely charming. They’ll be perfect for the holidays. I hope you have a terrific weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    You know I’m going to try this don’t you? They are beyond amazing!
    I’ve never seen radish mice before either – best ever Sue!

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

Grab my latest e-book

for free!

Subscribe to get first dibs on all my new recipes, plus extra subscriber only benefits!


You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

You have Successfully Subscribed!