Saturday, April 16, 2011

The (Ugly) Cake That Started it All

It was May 2009. Monkey's first birthday was approaching, and since his nickname is "Monkey," we decided to do a jungle theme. I decided that I would attempt a chocolate "lion" sheet cake with vanilla buttercream frosting for the guests and a matching "monkey" smash cake for my special boy.

Since I'm normally a box mix kind of gal and self-proclaimed "dessert killer", I decided to do a test run a week before the party. I'm very glad I did. Because my lion sucked (ignore the space around the lion...I decided not to spend the time to dye frosting. I was drawing out the "scene" with a toothpick and also practiced my cake writing and piping along the bottom. Like I first time decorating a cake.

Nice tri-color hair, Lion. And hello super runny buttercream (I must've been afraid of the confectioners sugar). That's not to say that I didn't eat the cake. Because I did. And it was yummy.

Now, just so you know, Monkey is almost 3 now and he pointed right at this picture and said, "Lion!" So at least it vaguely resembles the intended animal. Thanks, son.

Fast forward one week. I'm panicking because if my second cake is as bad as the first, we're going to be without the ceremonial "first cake" because we had no backup that we could whip out. So I took 2 days and worked hours on the cakes. I think they turned out a lot better....

The nose was made using a 4" cake pan and was attached with a few toothpicks (remove them prior to eating!) so that I could frost the cake without it moving around. The detail (grass, etc.) was created by dragging toothpicks along the surface. I used toothpicks again to fill in the nose and mouth. I also used a few different piping tools to create the different effects (a star tip for the mane).

Here is the smash cake. My son has blue eyes so the monkey had to have them as well. I used a star tip piper to create the fur.

Here is a cake "action shot." You can see the nose a little better at this angle. I found the platter at Michaels.

Everyone thought the cake was pretty cool, so that made me feel good. I'm just happy that I practiced. Otherwise I would've ended up with a tri-colored mane and runny icing....

Monkey thought the cake was pretty good too. And that's all that matters.

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