This cake was fun to make and came about completely by accident. We had a cookout at the house which I had made some cupcakes for. My friend Melissa’s daughter fell in love with the cupcakes and asked her mom if I could make her Birthday/Graduation cake. Melissa asked if I would make the cake and voila! An animal print cake was born! Melissa’s daughter Brianna designed the cake, from the giraffe and zebra print to the inward cut angle of the two cake layers.
Pans; 10” square and 8” square. Cake bases; square 10” cardboard and 8” cardboard. Buttercream frosting. Fondant. Yellow, brown and black food coloring. Two 18” decorator bags and #2 Wilton tips.
Each cake has two layers. Each cake rests on a cardboard base that is cut slightly larger than the footprint of the cake. After the angle in the cake is achieved cut each cardboard base so that about 3/8” protrudes out from the cake all the way around.
1) To achieve the cut angle of each cake, dry stack the two layers of the 10” cake on the cardboard base and skewer with four skewers so it will not shift position as the blade slices through. Cut an inward angle from top to bottom using a knife or a “cake leveler and slicer”. When the cake is shaped to your liking now is the time to mark the cardboard 3/8” larger than the cake base, remove the skewers and cake. Cut the cardboard then place the lower cake layer back on the base that has been prepped with four small dollops of frosting to seal the cake to the cardboard base. Spread frosting atop the lower cake layer, and then top with the second larger cake layer. Replace the skewers and refrigerate for one hour to set the two layers. (Repeat for the 8” cake)
2) Take about one cup of frosting and thin out with 1 or 2 tbsp. of water to make a smooth workable consistency. This thinned frosting will crumb coat and seal the cake. Remove both cakes from refrigerator and frost tops and sides with a thin layer of this crumb coat frosting. This will trap crumbs within it so that when the top layer of frosting is added it will be crumb free. Remove the skewers and refrigerate cakes while preparing the next step.
3) I wanted the appearance of the white frosting to mimic being covered in fondant and I found this creative video posted on You Tube that helped me accomplish the affect I was looking for. The original video has been pulled from You Tube but I located a similar one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GfeQBUjxzA.Follow Use the instructions given and you will create such a smooth picture-perfect finish on your cake. (Repeat for the 10” and 8” cake)
Remember to keep cakes refrigerated when not working on them.
4) All right! Now the cakes are ready for the bling! I used fondant cutouts to create the patterns. For the giraffe affect I colored the fondant with yellow and a bit brown food coloring to make a golden sandy brown. Roll the fondant out and with a sharp knife cut the giraffe shapes. Water down some brown food coloring and use a small piece of cheese cloth or a paper towel and dab into the mixture. Tap the towel on a paper plate to get off excess color. Take the dampened towel and dab the outer edges of each piece, gently blending the color so it fades away to leave the center of each piece golden sandy brown. Carefully arrange the pieces on the cake.
5) The zebra pattern was so uncomplicated! Color the fondant with black food coloring. Roll out and then cut random strips, incorporate forked and curvy pieces within the pattern. Carefully arrange the pieces on the cake.
6) Prep your serving platter with four small dollops of frosting. Place the giraffe cake on the platter, the frosting will seal the cardboard cake base to the platter and stop it from sliding. Size and cut four skewers by inserting them in the cake to gage where to cut, these will be the supporting members for the zebra cake. Place them in a 6” square pattern to line up with and support the zebra cake. Next step is to prep for adding the zebra cake by placing four small dollops of frosting over each skewer in the giraffe cake. Carefully place the zebra cake on the giraffe cake. Refrigerate.
7) With remaining frosting; color some of it green and some blue. Decorate the cake using two 18” decorating bags and two number 2A Wilton tips. Fill each bag with each color. Remove cake from refrigerator, make ball shaped borders using the instructions from this Wilton web site. http://www.wilton.com/technique/Ball . For the finishing touch I made a pyramid shaped pile of balls on the top.
Enjoy and I hope this cake generates many yummy comments and smiles of satisfaction to the lucky people that get to eat it!