Monday, January 30, 2012

The George Cake

I admit it, I'm pretty pleased with how well my Curious George cake came out for Ben's birthday.  The boys are actually glad the cake is nearly gone so I'll stop talking about it.  But, since I'm not quite done being proud, I'd thought I'd share how I went about making such an awesome cake...just in case someone out there wants to try it, or something similar.

I started by making a marble cake.  It was a pretty dense cake so I thought a nice fudgey frosting would go well.  The frosting I used was the recipe from the back of the can of Hershey's Cocoa Powder:

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter and stir in cocoa.  Alternately beat in cocoa powder and milk.  Stir in vanilla.

This is a really fudgey frosting and sets up quick, so you have to use it immediately.  I wanted hard frosting as my "canvas" so I could trace my design without the mess of a butter cream.  Once the cake was frosted, I used a hot, wet knife to smooth the frosting. 

I went online and found a picture of Curious George's face.  (PBS had a perfect one on their website that was actually a Curious George mask.)  I cut it out and laid it on my cake.  Since the frosting was hard, it didn't stick, and I was able to use a toothpick to trace the outline of George's head.  Once that was on the cake, I cut the picture down further so I had just the light brown part of George's face cut out.  I laid that on the cake lining it up against what I already traced and traced that out with a toothpick.  I mixed up a small amount of light brown frosting, using a small can of white decorating icing and some brown food coloring.  I filled in the light brown portion of George's face and ears and smoothed that with my hot, damp knife.  Once that had set up, I used a tube of black icing to go over the lines I made with my toothpick.  I went around the light parts of George's face and added details to his ears and added a smile.  I used a small amount of white to make his eyes (I did that freehand) and outlined them with black as well.

Then I stopped and demanded everyone come look at my AMAZING work.  Since I was so proud of myself I decided to add a little more detail with some large star sprinkles I had.

And voila, I had a super awesome George cake, which Ben saw and said "It's George!!" and then spit all over it while blowing out his candle.  It was not easy to cut him up...but he did taste quite nice...

It was actually really easy to do, but looked super impressive.  It wasn't "perfect" but all I really cared about was that my kid could tell it was George...and he could!  I hope this gives somebody else some good ideas for making an awesome cake!

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