Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Make a Monster Cake

Katie's birthday was on March 6. I knew I didn't have much to spend on gifts, so a few weeks before her birthday I offered to make the cake. I wanted to do something creative, not too difficult, and made with a cake mix. This is what I came up with:

Monster Cake w/plates and candles

It's Monster Cake with a side of Om Nom Cupcakes.

Monster Cake!

It took me a while to decide what to do. I considered making this Rainbow Cake after hearing about it at a party, but I decided six layers were too many. I also considered a different Rainbow Cake, but I didn't like the idea of a cake made from cake mix and Sprite. (Later on I read the directions more carefully and found out that it should work with regular cake batter. But by then I was already sold on monster cake.)

While I was brainstorming, Mom showed me a Taste of Home magazine that featured monster cupcakes for Halloween. These looked too difficult for me to make, but they inspired me to make this cake.

Om Nom Cupcakes

I needed a cupcake for the eyes, and I was going to have a lot of extra batter, so I made a "side" of cupcakes. I think the "Om Nom" on top complemented the monster.

Katie had suggested a rainbow chip cake a while back, so that's what Mom bought, along with white icing that came with sprinkles. (The icing had a catchier name than "White Icing with Sprinkles" but I can't remember it.) Mom bought it before I decided what my cake would look like. Luckily, it worked.

Cake Time

I think I used a nine inch round cake pan. It may have been eight inches. Whatever it was, I learned the importance of flouring the pan after you grease it. We ended up with some crumbly spots around the edge.

I used cupcake papers for the cupcakes, so I didn't have to worry about greasing the cupcake pan.

The monster ate the candles!

(Putting the candles in the mouth was Mom's idea. I wanted to put them in two of the cupcakes.)

I mixed the batter according to the directions on the side of the box, filled the round pan and poured what was left into the cupcake papers. I ended up with really big cupcakes, so it may be possible to get seven cupcakes out of the rest of the batter.

Once everything was baked, out of the pan and cooled, I started assembling the cake. I cut one of the cupcakes into three rounds, and iced each one with the white icing. These would be the eyes.

Then I mixed yellow and green food coloring into the remaining icing. I used the ratio recommended on the side of the box for "lime." If I were to do it over, I would have made the icing darker.

I iced the cake with the green icing and placed the three cupcake rounds along the top of the cake for the eyes. The rest of the icing went on the five other cupcakes.

Lighting the Candles

I made a trip to Central Market while the cake cooled to get cake decorations and some gifts (including chocolate covered orange peels and chocolate covered gummy bears.) I wanted to get some prepackaged icing already in the tube to add the details, but the options at Central Market were pretty expensive. I ended up getting some embellishments from the bulk candy section instead.

Om Nom Cupcakes

I bought Strawberry Licorice Pinwheels for the mouth and the "Om Nom" on the cupcakes. I unwound the pinwheels. There was a nice groove down the middle of the licorice, so cut them in half lengthwise. I cut the licorice into pieces for the mouth and teeth. The monster ended up with such a big mouth because it was easier to go with the curve of the licorice rather than trying to reshape it.

By the time I got to the cupcakes, I was tired from cutting the licorice lengthwise. Stirring the food coloring into the icing and cutting the licorice were the two parts of the process that hurt my shoulder and back the most. So the pieces I cut for the N and M's were fatter. I used the swirly middle of the pinwheels for the O's.

The pupils in the eyes were those Gummy Raspberry and Blackberry Candies with candy "seeds" on the outside. I picked out three blackberries and put one in the center of each eye.

Finally, I spread the sprinkles on the three remaining cupcakes. My creation was complete.

"Proud to be Awesome"
(Yes, they have matching shirts.)

Katie liked the cake. She was surprised, especially since she had forgotten that I volunteered to make the cake in the first place. I'm pretty proud of myself. There are lots of cake ideas on the Internet, but I came up with an original idea. And now it's on the Internet for other people to use.

As usual, there are more pictures of the cake and the party on Flickr.

Parting Shot: Other People's Projects (OPP)

Katie and Aaron just finished sewing their own zafus this week, with some help from Mom. They wanted to make their own to sit on in their martial arts classes. Of course, I had to take a picture of the finished products.

Katie and Aaron and their Zafus

No comments: