Monday, November 1, 2010

Dinosaur Cake

My grands have all kinds of requests for birthday cakes...
but my youngest grandson never really has any opinions about his birthday cake...
and so he got a dinosaur this year.

I got the idea from a book called Cakes for Kids by Matthew Mead...
and then improvised. 

  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 1 recipe creamy vanilla frosting
  • purple gel food colouring 
  • 15 - 20 half-round fruit slices (scales)
  • 1 large marshmallow (eyes)
  • Smarties or M&M's (dots)
  • green gummy worms (claws)
  • red shoestring licorice (mouth)

  1. Prepare cake mix according to directions.  Pour batter into greased  9" round and 6 " round cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper.  Fill pan about two-thirds full. Bake at 350° F until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 25 minutes for the 6" pan and 35 minutes for the 9" pan).  Cool cakes completely before removing from pan.
  2. Prepare frosting. 
  3. Place the cooled cakes on a cutting board, and cut each one in half vertically.  Spread frosting over the top of one 6" half round and one 9" half-round.  Stack the matching halves on top of each other.  
  4. To shape the head...cut away a pie-shaped wedge on the left side of the arc, as shown in the diagram above.
  5. Transfer the larger cake to one end of a large platter (about 15" by 18"), having the curved part up.  This is the body of the dinosaur.
  6.  Place the head on the platter in front of the body.   
  7.  I used large mallows to build a base for the tail and legs before frosting the cake.
  8. Spread a skim coat of white frosting over entire cake to mask and seal in crumbs.  Chill until firm...about 30 minutes.
  9. Add colouring to remaining frosting.  Put a generous layer of frosting over entire cake.
  10. Arrange two rows of fruit slices along the top of the back.
  11. Add smarties to dot head and body.
  12. Use an appropriate length of red shoestring licorice for mouth.
  13. Eyes are made with a slice of white marshmallow and a brown candy attached with white icing.
  14. Claws were cut from green gummy worms.
    Creamy Vanilla Frosting
    This frosting spreads and pipes smoothly. Make sure the butter is really soft so the frosting won't split when tinted.
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) butter, softened
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
      1. In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. 
      2. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of cream. 
      3. Beat in vanilla. 

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