Cakes, desserts in general, are second-class citizens in my kitchen, as is probably evident from the handful of dessert recipes shared here among the few hundred recipes so far.
Birthday is that special occasion in our family that inspires me try some new cake just for the fun of it. I try to gauge the kids' interest and plan a cake that will surprise and amuse them, not to mention fill them with sugar high leading to invariable sugar crash. But, since we do this once a year, well twice - actually thrice (counting D) - it is quite satisfying.
So, when it was time to make a cake for Oggie turning four, I considered his unnatural affinity for these hardy flightless birds of the Antarctic and thereabouts as a prime candidate.
The deal was sealed when I came across this Penguin Cake.
Two layers of 6-inch round lemon cakes and two layers of 6-inch round regular white cake stacked up, along with a dome-shaped head made with the piece sliced off the top of the round 6-inch cakes made the penguin head+body.
Dark chocolate frosting with added black food color for sticking the layers together and frosting the outside made this little guy's adorable frame.
A triangular piece of lemon cake became the hat, covered in blue fondant, with buttercream frosting as the glue. Some white fondant colored appropriately for the beak, feet and eyes, stuck on with buttercream, as usual... had to keep the fondant to a minimum as none of us at home like it.
The squat and stocky little penguin, looking silly and cute at the same time, was too much of a treat for the kids: they had to taste a bit of the eyes, a bit of the beak, a bit of the feet, a bit of the hat, and a bit of the body, all gouged and cut and excavated from the cake and reassembled in their plates.
All in all, a wonderfully fun effort for me and an ecstatic eating experience for the kids. And, considering I was aiming more for rustic rather than elegant, I think I got close enough :)