A few weeks ago I offered to make a cake for a friends daughter’s third birthday. My friend seemed a bit overwhelmed at the thought of making the requested “cat cake” for her daughter. I thought it sounded like a fun challenge, the cat part being the challenge not the cake. She wanted chocolate cake and I knew straight away that I was going to make my mom’s famous chocolate cake. Well, I don’t know how famous it is but it’s well liked by anyone who’s tried it and likes chocolate cake. I’ve made it numerous times, even once without any sugar (not on purpose) and it still tasted good (covered with cream cheese icing).
For the cat inspiration I looked online, mostly on pinterest, and was surprised at the lack of cat cakes. There were a few, some very simple (think cat shape cut from slab, or cat head made from round pan), some very complicated (looked like real cats) and not many that I liked the look of. I found 2 pictures that I liked the designs of and decided to base my cake on those.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the cake, the design, how it was going to look, how I was going to decorate it, how I was going to make it awesome. It really consumed my mind for a while. I loved it! I haven’t had an opportunity to be creative for so long, so it felt so good to actually do something that involved baking AND creativity. I made one rectangular cake and 2 round cakes a few days in advance and froze them so they could be cut easily (I’ve watched enough cooking shows to know this).
I had in my mind what I wanted it to look like but I am not an artist, AT ALL. I can’t draw unless it’s really simple, and usually even then what I have in mind doesn’t come out on paper the right way. Thankfully I’m married to not only a science and musical genius, but also an artist! Tim did all the design and cutting of the cake, he’s awesome!
2 days before the party we cut the cakes and did a crumb coat. I learned about crumb coating a cake from the internet and cake shows. Basically, when you cut a cake you have crumby edges that will put crumbs in your icing if you just frost it normally. To prevent this, you need to crumb coat it. You take some of your icing and add a little milk to it, to make it more liquidy, then cover your cake with it. Lastly, refrigerate it so that it hardens. It didn’t work out perfectly for me this time around, but it was good enough to make me happy with it.
Here’s our cat with the crumb coat:
It already looks pretty cute eh?
I had also made some cupcakes, but they didn’t turn out for some reason. I think I overfilled my silicone muffin cups, because when they baked they puffed up too much and spilled out over the sides. It was still perfectly good cake, but not pretty, so I decided to try my hand at cake pops. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re kinda trendy right now. Basically, you bake a cake and then blitz it in a blender so you end with a cake crumb. You mix in some icing and roll them into balls, then refrigerate until you’re ready to coat with chocolate. You stick a lolly/sucker stick in each ball, coat it in melted chocolate, then sprinkle it with sprinkles if you so desire. Delicious!
The night before the party Tim and I decorated the cake and it turned out amazing. What do you think?
And here is it at the party, along with the cake pops and an extra cake I made because I was worried we wouldn’t have enough for everyone.
Now I have Eden’s birthday coming up and I feel a bit at a loss. I was going to make a rainbow cake, but she’s still talking about Esme’s chocolate birthday cake almost two weeks later, so I think I’m going to have to make her a chocolate one too. Not really sure if I should attempt something this creative or not. Any suggestions?