October 18, 2009

Birthday Monkey Cake

So, it was is the day yesterday! The day I had an once-in-a-life-time celebration cake to make that I even rehearsed a month ago - my boy's very first birthday party!

365 DAYS!!!!! What a ride both me and Ethan have come to! Happy birthday, my dear boy!

This cake looks completely different from the rehearsed one. Honestly I have never imagined making one myself before Ethan came along because I thought this kind of thematic cake always tasted gross. But trust me, once you have kids, you would definitely desire to make one for them no matter how long it takes.

Another reason was that I came across this Martha Steward recipe and decoration video which I found very simple to follow, and the result is a total crowd-pleaser. Using the same ingredients as my rehearsed cake, I just baked with a different bowl for the dome shape and prepare some more frosting for decoration. And IT DOESN'T TASTE GROSS!

By the way, very good piping training too! Look at the "joker" mouth and the stuffy nose I made, and you will know how bad it is to have a shaking hand while piping.

(makes one 9" layer cake)
Yellow Butter Cake:
6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Chocolate and Yellow Buttercream Frosting:
225 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped 
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup milk
4 sticks unsalted butter, soften 
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Yellow food coloring 

2 pieces of dark brown Smartie or M&M

To prepare the yellow frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 stick butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 mins. Stir in food coloring to make pale yellow. Transfer to a small bowl and cover.

To prepare the chocolate frosting, in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, put in the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, milk and 3 sticks butter. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Cover and place in refrigerator until it's firm, around 2 to 3 hours. Once the frosting is firm, remove from refrigerator and place in the mixing bowl. Beat the frosting for a min or two until it's smooth and of spreading consistency.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease an 8 1/2" diameter 3-quart stainless-steel bowl and 1 cup of a large muffin tin. Set aside.

In a bowl, lightly combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed. Add butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 mins. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.

Gradually add the egg mixture, in 3 additions, beating well to incorporate the egg.

Fill prepared muffin cup 1/3 full. Transfer remaining batter to prepared baking bowl. Transfer to oven, side by side. Bake cupcake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 mins. Continue baking the cake for about 50 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Trim flat side of cake to be level. Trim away top of cupcake to be level. Cut cupcake in half vertically for the two monkey ears. Cut bowl cake in half horizontally to make 2 layers. Spread 3/4 cup chocolate frosting on top of flat layer. Top with domed layer. Transfer to a cake plate. Spread a thick layer of chocolate buttercream over entire monkey head. Spread buttercream over cupcake ears. Attach ears to sides of head, top of cupcake facing forward, securing with toothpicks.

Place remaining chocolate frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small plain round or multi-opening tip. Pipe frosting around bottom edge of cake in a continuous line. Switch to a small multi-opening tip, pipe hair on top of head.

Fill another piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip with yellow buttercream. Pipe an oval near the front base of cake, and half-circles in centers of ears, fill in with frosting, and smooth. Pipe chocolate frosting for nose and mouth. Place 2 pieces of Smartie or M&M above oval for eyes. Decorated cake can be refrigerated up to 3 hours.


citronetvanille said...

Love your cake, looks like a piece of art, and all that chocolate, I wish I could bite that monkey head :o)

April Cavin said...

So cute!

Squeaky Gourmet said...

Aww! happy birthday to your boy, too! What a cute cake as well!

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

congrats on such a cute birthday cake! :)

http://www.cookingenthusiast.blogspot.com said...

Happy 1st Birthday to your son! That's a pretty awesome birthday cake.
Thanks for posting.

Angie said...

That is so cute, happy birthday to your son!

Chelle said...

Such an adorable cake! And the recipe sounds sooo good!

Fresh Local and Best said...

What a piece of art!

MaryMoh said...

Happy birthday to your lovely boy. That's such a beautiful cake u made. I'm sure he will always remember it as he grows up.

Ling Ling said...

hi cousin!

that cake is the cutest that I have seen. Please FedEx me one for my next birthday!!! :D :D maybe an elephant? piggy? hahaha. xoxo

hope you're well.

Tell Ethan i say Happy Birthday !!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Such a lucky boy! So cute... yum yum yum!

Miriam said...

Ha ha, so funny!

CheapAppetite said...

Happy belated Birthday to Ethan:) Wow, he's one years old already. Your monkey cake looks very cute and yummy, lululu. I love it a lot.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I think it is an adorable cake. You did excellent for your first themed cake!

My Little Space said...

Happy Birthday to your little one, Ethan. Your cake is awesome! You did a great job on it..wow!

Sunshine Mom said...


Miranda said...

awwww...Happy First Birthday LIL Ethan.
What a celebration!!!
Fantastic cake. I know I can cook and bake well, but I CAN NOT decorate...LOL. This looks fantastic.

May baby is going to be two soon!! :(
It goes by so quick..

Jessie said...

how cute! It is such a festive cake for a 1st birthday, take lots of pics so when he grows up he can see this awesome cake! :)

Laura said...

happy Birthday to your little one. Great cake :)

Anncoo said...

This is so cute and Happy Birthday to your Ethan!

Rachelle said...

Cute monkey. I love it. I almost wish I had a one year old to make a monkey cake for.

Anonymous said...

What an adorable cake! Happy birthday to your son!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

What a beautiful cake! And Happy Birthday to your little boy! :)

Divina Pe said...

Gorgeous cake. Happy Birthday Ethan. I hope I could have a taste of it.

pigpigscorner said...

aww this is so cute!

Deepa said...

looks so yummy...will definitely try it..

WizzyTheStick said...

Made this cake for my son's 4th birthday! I think it may have been one of my first blog posts. Sooooooo cute and relatively easy to assemble. Super cute! Great job!

Leslie said...

Wow you are such a talented and amazing mom! :)