Olive and Cream Cheese Penguins

Ok friends. It’s Monday and I know, it sucks. But, I’ve made you something that is surely going to cure your case of the Mondays. Though I had originally only planned to bring cookies to my lab’s holiday party this past weekend, I found out we were in need of more appetizers. I’ve seen these little guys floating around the interwebz in various places the past couple of year and have been dying to make them and took my lab’s party as the perfect opportunity. And let me tell you guys, these are the cutest appetizers ever!!

Yes, really! Now, I won’t lie to you guys. These little penguins took some time to put together. It took me some time to really figure out how to get the cream cheese into the olives neatly. As you can see, mine aren’t perfect, but I was making them at 10pm on a Friday night which means my OCD tendencies got away from me. I do recommend getting colossal olives. I accidentally bought extra large olives which worked, but I think the colossal olives would be easier to pipe the cream cheese into! You can use regular cream cheese if you want, but I wanted to give these more flavor so I used chive whipped cream cheese.

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Yield: About 30 penguins

Prep Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 8-ounce package flavored cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can small seeded black olives
  • 1 can colossal seeded black olives (can also use extra large)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • toothpicks


  1. Start off by prepping all of your ingredients. Drain the olives. Slice your carrots into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Once the cream cheese has softened, put it in a bowl and whip with a hand mixer (if not already whipped). Then, spoon it into a piping bag with a small tip (I used a #5, but one that is slightly larger might be easier!).
  2. Take a carrot slice and cut a small triangle out of it. The triangle you have just cut is the nose and the remaining piece are the feetsies! Place the large piece of carrot onto a toothpick and slide all the way down. Then take one of the larger olives, and slice down one side. Then take your piping bag and pipe the cream cheese into the olive until it is filled and make sure you can see some of the cream cheese poking out of the slit you cut to make the tummy. Slide the olive down on top of the feet with the hole-side down. Then, take a small olive and insert the triangle you cut into the hole to make your penguin's head. Slide the small olive on top of the stomach and there you go!


  1. OMG! They are ADORABLE! I also love the ingredients! Happy Monday!

  2. Oh my! These are adorable! Lovely use of olives!

  3. Hi! I am new around here, I found your blog from Cookincowgirl. These penguins and completely adorable! You did a great job! I can’t wait to look around and check out your blog! If you are interested, stop by and say Hi! :)

  4. So cute! I’ve got something like this bookmarked in one of my millions upon millions of food magazines that I hoard, but have never gotten around to making them. Love this!

  5. Heheh even my kids don’t like olives they might give it a try if they are in form of cute penguins!

  6. These are too cute! I bet they were a hit at your lab’s party =)

  7. Creative, adorable and no doubt delicious. This is a wonderful post Stephanie-who doesn’t love penguins!

  8. I am not a big cream cheese fan, but I LOVE penguins and these are absolutely adorable. They’d be perfect for any kind of holiday get together. And the “O rly?” penguin made me chuckle :)

    • You can also try using any soft cheese spread like Boursin in place of the cream cheese. The O rly penguin is my fave of the bunch!

  9. D;awwww! These are WAY too cute! I’d love to eat one, haha. Olives are so wonderful, especially when creatively stuffed :)

  10. These are the cutest appetizers I have seen in my entire life! Wow, so adorable. Your lab was lucky to eat the heads off these things…or are they too cute to eat?

  11. What cute little appetizers. My daughter will love these. Thanks for sharing.

  12. So clever and beautiful! Very nice work!

  13. You are one patient person. I cannot imagine the time it took to get all of those penguins looking so CUTE!!

    • It took a long time! I actually worked on them on my coffee table while watching the last season of the Wonder Years! There is no way I could stand in the kitchen for that long! lol

  14. Is it crazy that I never would have guessed what these were made of if you hadn’t posted the recipe? Such fun!

    • Haha! I love that. What’s great about these is that you can change up some of the ingredients, like you can use soft cheese spreads or you can also swap the carrots for cheddar cheese!

  15. Oh.My.Goodness. Wait ’till I show my boys these!! FAN.tastico. (and, they happen to love olives!). Stephanie, your work just gets more inventive as you go. And to me, these little penguins do look perfect!

    • Aw, thanks, Kelly! I love how these are kid-friendly, but also adult-friendly because of all the yumminess! :P

  16. These are so cute!! I love them for a holiday party. I don’t like cream cheese, and even I would have to try these little guys!

    • Thanks, Erin! You could try using other types of soft cheese like Boursin spread and you may be able to use that veggie ranch dip, though, it might leak out!

  17. How stinkin’ adorable are these!! Great idea, and fantastic execution!

  18. These looks perfect and very creative, I can understand the time taken to make them. Hopefully I will have the patience and time to do so sometime in the near future, very cute and beautiful contrast of colors.

  19. OMG,,,you are so creative,they are too cute to eat,i just want display on my plate,and the color are amazing,welldone !!

  20. Oh those are so cute! And it’s such a good way to get kids to eat vegetables!

  21. These are too cute not to share. Tweeted!

  22. These are adorable! I wish they weren’t so time consuming… I’d totally make them for the party I’m catering this weekend. Want to come over and help me make 40 of them? ;)

    • Thanks, Laura! I know, they are time consuming. I made my on my coffee table while watching tv which made the process a little less painful!

  23. I can just see these marching across the dinner table! And this is something I would eat too!

    Perfection in creativity! Yeah!!

  24. 2 cute for words- so I’ll just say thanks!

  25. These are so stinking cute!! Love it!!

  26. Gadorable! Those are so cuto! And I don’t know about you, but i love chomping on cute food :) Your lab buddies are lucky!

  27. Oh my God!!!! These are so freakin adorable!! I love this idea so much! They are so cute I might not even eat them! :)

  28. Very creative! This is too cute. I love it.

  29. Oh my goodness how adorable are these! Awww!! Thanks for sharing, it’s very creative =]

  30. Holy heck girl these are just the cutest things I’ve ever seen. This is truly inspired and I cannot stop grinning at my screen. You are a genius!

  31. Oh. My. Gosh! SOOOOOOOOOO Cute!! I am pinning these now!! I love how you did something Christmas-y with out it being a dessert! Way to go!!

    • Thanks! I know, it seems like most holiday foods are always sweet. Gotta represent some savory stuff!!

  32. So freaking cute!!!! I want to make these so badly.

  33. I luv these little guys…they just make me smile and they’re so cute!! Besides how cutie they are, I so enjoy olives. What a fun presentation for any hostess table. :) Thx for sharing such a cute and tasty idea!!

  34. Those little cuties just absolutely made my morning. What a super-cute idea!

  35. oh my, these penguins are so darn cute! a fun and delicious treat to any kind of party!

  36. First of all these are the MOST adorable things I have seen in a long time!! I mean are you kidding me… I want to run and get these ingredients right now at 6:30am so I can do this. :)

    Second… I want to apologize for not coming over here in a while… I was receiving emails with your new posts and they stopped. I just thought you were busy and not posting. SORRY! I am signing up again right now. I would have pretty bummed if I missed making these little penguins. I have to do them because my daughter is in the penguin class at preschool. :)

    • Aw, Ramona! No worries! I actually switched web hosts a couple of weeks ago so that might be why you stopped getting them. I still have a few kinks to work out!

  37. omg these are the cutest ever! What an amazing idea!

  38. These are so darn cute… I think i’m in love with penguins!

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