Saturday, November 26, 2011

Monkey cake and cupcakes for a monkey themed party

I did it. I made my first party cake for my toddler's 3rd birthday. Now that I have started, I won't be buying anymore cakes for future birthdays :) Hooray for being able to DIY (do it yourself)!

The party was all about monkeys. Monkey anything for little boys is adorable. The younger they are, the cuter. Our boy Tristan has tons of clothes with monkeys on it in some form or another. He was dressed as a monkey for two Halloweens straight! Throwing a monkey-themed party was something I just had to do :)

I searched and I searched and found my monkey designs for the cake and cupcakes through the Martha Stewart site and Pinterest. I love Pinterest! If you are a foodie or craft person, you should get on Pinterest stat. No seriously, sign up now! :)

I had leftover marshmallow fondant I made not too long ago that I wanted to use so instead of following exactly what was described, I just used fondant wherever possible. This is the second time I have played with fondant and my first cupcake using it. The only thing I have ever created using fondant were ruffle flowers for the cake I made for my mom's birthday. This time, I really got to play with it. I had both brown and ivory color paste but I discovered that brown and yellow makes sort of a tan or dark ivory color. Neat! The fondant was a bit tricky to work with when it dried up and it kept sticking to the table. I had to clean the table a few times from the build up of fondant. I used a mix of mostly icing sugar and a bit of cornstarch to prevent from sticking too much and I had to work fast before the fondant got dry and hard.

I didn't want to make the cake that was used on the Martha Stewart site since I wanted something just chocolatey. The thing with monkey-themed parties is that people want to incorporate so much banana into everything. Bananas are good but chocolate is way better, don't you agree? :) The only banana thing we had were real bananas. Well, I made banana looking sugar cookies too but they were lemon-vanilla flavored. So the cake I did was chocolate but the design I used was pretty much an exact copy from the Martha Stewart site. I made my favorite icing but this time I made it chocolate. It's actually the swiss meringue buttercream recipe off of Martha Stewart as well. What can I say, Martha has good stuff on her site :)

The cupcakes I chose to do were nutella. I made them once before but I kind of messed up so I wanted to try them again. This time they turned out great. Some were slightly overcooked. I guess I didn't rotate them in time. The fondant design I used was from The Frosted Cake 'n Cookie site. They have a great tutorial with lots of pictures on that site. It really was easy. I used the chocolate buttercream on the cake and cupcakes. The nutella cupcakes were for the more daring guests. In case any of the kids had an allergy to nuts, I wanted a chocolate cake alternative. Both cake and cupcakes turned out delicious. They weren't too sweet since I cut down on the sugar and the buttercream went super well with the marshmallow fondant. I was a bit afraid the fondant would be stiff and hard but the buttercream icing totally softened it up. It was a perfect marriage!
The monkey cake had more success at the party. I think because it looked totally cool. Jean-Louis preferred the taste of the chocolate cake more since he said the nutella cupcakes were not as moist. I thought they were moist enough. The consistency was more like a moist brownie than cake though. If you like nutty fudge stuff, you'll love nutella cupcakes! I personally loved them but I also loved the cake too.

Finally what is a monkey party without monkey and banana sugar cookies? I made these lemon-vanilla flavored ones for party favors. Jean-Louis thought they should have been banana flavored but the idea of that didn't appeal to me. So there you have it! There are tons of monkey designs out there for desserts and they are so much fun to do :) Now, go throw yourself a monkey party! Oo-oo-ee-ee!
Tristan & I decorated together! This is his creation :)

1 comments:

Maria said...

Beautifully done! Tristan is lucky to have a mom like you.

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