Jungle Animal Cake
A friend of mine asked me to bake a cake for her little boy’s first birthday. I was super excited when she showed me the invite and I saw that it was little wild animals. I have only done a few cakes orders since we moved here, and jumped at the chance to show off my cake skills. I haven’t done any 3D animals before and had fun figuring out to make them work.
For the giraffe, I started with a practice one. You can see it in the first picture. I had seen a few cakes with animals and that is what I used to make mine. I just look at the pics and figure out how to put mine together.
I used all fondant for this and colored it with a mix of yellow and brown to get what I wanted. I shaped all of the pieces by hand and used toothpicks and water to stick them in place. I used a shade of brown to make the spots and the feet for the giraffe. The last thing to do was the face. I used fondant eyes and a food writer marker to do the mouth and nose dots.
The later it gets, the less pictures I take. So…all I have of the lion is the finished piece. I will say that it took me forever to wrap my head around the giraffe and the lion came together in about 20 minutes.
The body is just a chunk that has a flat base and is rounded. The head is a round ball. I used a circle cutter for the mane and made sure that the head was the size of the inner circle. I added little legs and used a tool to make the lines in the feet and the mane. Add the ears and face and it was all done.
For the overlay on the top, I rolled the brown out in a circle. I used a 6in board and used a ball tool to lightly trace a scallop pattern around the circle. I used a pizza cutter and the blade to finish cutting it out. I went right on top of the cake making sure that it was straight and not longer on one side.
The palm tree leaves were cut with a leaf shape. I used a mix of fondant and gumpaste for these. I had two different shades of green. I used a tool to score both sides of the leaf. They were left to dry in and on flower forming strips. That gave the leaves some shape. I put a toothpick in each leaf and used a food marker to color the part of the toothpick that would show green. For the tree, I wrapped a rolled piece of brown around a plastic hollow dowel. Then I used a tool to make x marks so it would look like a tree trunk.
I rolled out snakes of orange fondant to shape his name. I dried it and then put toothpicks in the bottom of each letter to stand it in the cake. Same for the #1—rolled it out and shaped it. It was just leaning on the cake and didn’t need toothpicks.
Now to assemble all of the pieces. This is always the scary yet fun part. I love seeing it all come together.
I was so happy with this cake. It makes it even better when I deliver and the customer is happier than me. They loved the look of it and raved over the taste of the cake. It is a ton of work, but I love it! Enjoy!!