Make a birthday party positively prehistoric and amaze your guests young and old with this delicious critter cake. The chocolate layers are firm and dense -- developed especially for building our birthday bronto. It can be lightly covered with plastic and kept in the fridge for up to one day -- just waiting until it's lighting time.
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: Best Cakes & Cupcakes Special Issue, 2013
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 30 gumdrop leaves
- assorted candies
- 1 1/4 cup butter softened
- 5 3/4 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- yellow food colouring
- green food colouring
1. Grease two 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake pans; line bottoms with waxed or parchment paper. Set aside. In small bowl, whisk water with cocoa until smooth; let cool to room temperature. In large bowl and using electric mixer, beat butter with sugar just until blended; beat in eggs, 2 at a time, and vanilla.
2. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with liquid, making three additions of flour and 2 of liquid. Pour into prepared pans. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Invert onto baking sheet, then invert onto rack; let cool. Peel off paper.
3. Icing: In bowl, beat butter until light. Alternately bat in sugar and cream, making three additions of sugar and two of cream. Transfer 1/2 cup (125 mL) to small bowl; tint purple with food colouring. Tint remaining icing green. With serrated knife, cut one of the cakes as shown. With the knife parallel to work surface, cut horizontally through both A pieces to form four legs.
4. Cut remaining cake as shown. Turn 1 of the C pieces over; spread thinly with green icing. Top with remaining C piece. Stand, cut side down, on a large cake board or inverted foil covered baking sheet to form body; cut off corner of 1 side diagonally to form chest.
5. Arrange pieces D1, D2 and D3 as shown to form tail, attaching together with icing. Trim to shape of tail discarding scraps. Attach tail to body with icing.
6. Cover belly and chest with purple icing. Cover tail and remaining body with green icing. Spread edge of each leg with icing; press to side of body. Cover outside of legs with icing.
7. Spread icing over front and back of head piece (B). Attach to body with four 6-inch (15 cm) skewers, inserting 2 through lower neck and two through head as shown. Spread sides with icing.
8. Cut gumdrop leaves in half to form 2 leaves; insert into top of head and along spine and tail. Attach assorted candies for eyes, mouth and claws as desired.