Happy Monkey Face & Bunny Face Cakes

I can’t help but smile when I look at this happy monkey face. When I made this cake I was pregnant. Even though the baby was months away, we’d already amassed a sizable collection stuffed animals, most of them monkeys.

MONKEY FACE photograph by Gabrielle Revere
BUNNY FACE: flip the design around, make a few modifications,
and you've got a Happy Spring Bunny Face Cake

for the Bunny, we used a smaller
7-3/4" X 5-5/8" oval pan for the face
and cut the ears out of cake baked in a 7" round pan

above: transferring the template design onto the fondant by making pinholes

pinholes: guide for making a face

use a #20 star decorating tip to pipe rows of stars around the face and the sides of the cake (this cake was done almost entirely by a very delightful 14-year-old )

(In our house, its VERY hard to escape getting "bunny ears" in a photograph,
I only wish I knew how this bunny was able to pull that off.)

Monkey Face Cake Instructions
*if you're making the Bunny Face Cake just modify the template, colors, pan size and ears as instructed in the captions above.

Timing tips:
Make the ears at least 24 hours in advance, so that they can hold their shape.
The cake gets its basic shape from an oval pan.
The rest is simple. You can follow the template for the face, and attach the modeling paste ears with toothpicks.

Here's what you'll need:
Buttercream icing
Sugar paste, also known as gum paste for ears *(can also be carved out of ovals cake)
Cornstarch (for coating fondant work surfaces)
Paste food color: ivory, blue, brown, black and orange
Royal icing
2 Jellybeans- black, (or what ever color you like) for eyes
Pan: 11-inch oval (or 12" round pan, then cut cake into oval shape)
cake boards: 11-inch oval or 12" round cut into oval shape
base: 12-inch fondant covered foamcore
decoration template (below) for face. Drag attached template image to your desktop and print out at 11-inches high.
icing tips: #4 round and #20 star
icing bags and couplers
Print out of template
metal spatula
rolling pin
4 tooth picks
4 skewers

Monkey cake template: Print out on 8X10" paper

Bunny cake template: Print out on 8X10" paper

IN ADVANCE 1. Make the ears: Color the sugar paste by mixing in a small amount of ivory paste food color. Mold the ears of sugar paste. They should be approximately 4-inch long oval shapes (see photos below). Let set for at least 24 hours. *If you'd prefer to make the ears out of cake, simply cut some small ovals of cake into the same shape and cover tops with fondant, then follow directions for sugar paste ears.

2. Color fondant with a small amount of ivory paste food color. Seal in plastic and set aside.

3. Prepare the cake base: Color the fondant with a small amount of blue paste food color. Cover the 12-inch base with blue fondant. Let set for about 24 hours. Attach 1/2-inch ribbon to base of cake with hot glue gun.

4. Bake and cool cake completely.

5. Attach the cake to its board.

6. Chill the cake for several hours.

7. Fill and crumb coat the cake with buttercream icing.

8. Attach to the fondant covered cake base with royal icing.

9. Roll out an oval of fondant using the face template as a guide. Cover the top of the cake with fondant and let set.

10. Gently place the template on top of the cake. Pin all four corners in place. Transfer the template design onto the cake by making pinholes following the lines of the template. Remove the template, and you have a guideline for piping (or drawing with food marker) your design.

11. Pipe the face: make the royal icing nose, mouth and face outline using the #4 round decorating tip. Mix black food color with lemon extract, and using a fine line paint brush make the outlines black.

12. Attach the jellybean eyes with a little bit of royal icing.
13. Attach the ears: first position the skewers as supports. Measure about 2-inches from the base of the cake and halfway between the top of the head and the chin and score with a toothpick. Guide an ear, toothpick end first along the skewers and slide into position, inserting the exposed toothpick into the cake.
14. Pipe the fur: Mix the rust color by combining small amounts of orange and brown paste food color into the buttercream. using the #20 star decorating tip, start piping a continuous row of stars around the outline of the face and then around the bottom edge of the cake that meets the base. Continue piping rows of stars around the face working downwards to the bottom of the cake until it is completely filled in. Pipe around the edges of the ears last.
*excerpted from my cake decorating book,
Kate's Cake Decorating published by Quarry Press


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