Friday, April 27, 2012

Now, That's a Horse of a Different Color: Westie Cake

What's sweeter than seeing this face when I wake up in the morning? Nothing.
Except biting into cake shaped like that face!

Last year for the hubs' birthday, I painstakingly made the Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cake over 2 days because I wanted to make something for him from scratch. It was delicious. This year I was inspired by a friend who made this popular Easter Bunny cake:
Betty Crocker
Instead of from scratch this time, I took the alternate and much preferred method of using cake mix and amping it up. Let me tell ya, it was just as tasty if not more than last year's birthday cake. I spent less time baking and more time with cake shaping shenanigans.

Ingredients:

Buddy Body
1 box Duncan Heinz French Vanilla Cake mix
Eggs, Oil, and Water as instructed on box
1 teaspoon almond extract
~1.5 cups of sweetened shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting & Fur
1 stick of butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 (8 oz.) pack of cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
 ~3 cups sweetened shredded coconut for fur coating

Eyes & Nose
3 well-proportioned Junior Mints

Baking Tools
1-8" cake round
1-4" cake round (I used this one)
1 standard cupcake tin (I baked 1 cupcake...ok 2. 1 for this cake and 1 to eat. It's called taste testing, people).
Parchment paper
Toothpicks

Paper Ears
white paper
pink paper or post-it
toothpicks

Directions 
Follow directions on box of cake mix. Add almond extract and shredded coconut to batter. Mix just to combine. Line cake tins with parchment paper if you have some. Pour mix halfway up each cake tin (the 8" round, 4" round, cupcake). Bake as directed until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean (the 4" and cupcake will be done first). Allow cakes to cool completely before assembling the cake.

While cakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and almond extracts, and stir to combine.

Assembly
Prepare your display tray. I used a baking sheet lined with wrapping paper. Add two strips of parchment under the edges of the cake so you can frost it on the tray and then remove the parchment later, keeping the wrapping paper clean.

The Body: Cut the 8" round in half . Using an offset spatula (or butter knife), spread an even layer of frosting on the flat side of one half. Place 3 toothpicks like a triangle for added support. Line up 2nd half circle of cake on top of the other and attach, flat side down so the frosting is in between both layers. Stand up the half circle onto the flat part where you cut the cake in half. Here's a nice diagram from the Betty Crocker website (just the top two diagrams, don't cut out a notch).
Betty Crocker Bunny Diagram
Head and Snout: Take the 4" round and cut off a tiny sliver to make a flat side of the circle. Place in front of the body and attach using 2 toothpicks. If it helps, shave off a bit of the body to make it flat so the head can rest flush against it. Repeat with the cupcake, cutting some of the bottom off it necessary and flattening one side of the circle. Attach to the head with some frosting.
Side view
Here's an important tip, keep your model in sight for inspiration. 
Model and crumb catcher
Cover the crease between the two cake layers with frosting. Continue frosting the entire cake then add coconut shavings on top. Place Junior Mints eyes, nose, and paper ears in appropriate places. Remove parchment when completed.
Cake in creepo unfinished state
And voila! Buddy cake.

Side-by-Side
Mm. Delicious.

What's your favorite birthday cake shape?

6 comments:

Allie said...

That is SO adorable! I wish I was good at baking things. :)

Kelsey said...

That is so freaking cute!!

lavenderpug said...

cute and tasty! just like buddy. good for nibbling.

Jessica said...

Aww! I love it!

BigAppleNosh said...

SUPER cute!! My favorite birthday cake shape is "edible"

Jennie said...

I can't tell who's the model and who's the cake ;) ::thumbs up::