Giraffe Baby Shower Cake


20140330-193750.jpgI was invited to attend the baby shower of a former coworker of mine recently and was asked if I would be willing to make a cake for the occasion.  Would I?  I most certainly would!

I got word that the baby theme would be giraffes (partially because of the husbands love of the long necked creatures)

I decided to do a 4 layer yellow cake with chocolate buttercream all around, to stay consistent to the giraffe colors of yellow and brown.  I started with baking two 8″ round cakes. I divided the batter evenly between the two pans.

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Once cooled, I sliced each cake into 2 to get create 4 layers, also levelling off the domes at the top of each cake.

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I put a little buttercream on the bottom of the cake board so that the bottom cake layer would adhere better.

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I measured out a cup of the chocolate buttercream for each layer so that the layers would look consistent between each layer.

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And repeat.

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Once the layers were stacked, I chilled the cake for about 30 minutes to let the icing set before doing the crumb coat.

Once set, I applied the crumb coat, starting with spreading the icing out on the top of the cake, then all around the sides, working from the bottom up.  As mentioned in past posts, it’s okay if it’s a bit messy and the cake peeks through.  You’re gonna do a second coat.

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I put the cake back in the fridge to let the buttercream set and harden a bit so that the icing was not tacky to the touch.

Once that happened, I took the cake out again and did my second and final coat of buttercream.

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Then take a metal bench scraper, hold it at 90 degrees, and slowly drag the scraper around the edge of the cake, occasionally removing the icing that accumulates on the scraper.

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Once done, I put the cake back Into the fridge to let the buttercream firm up again. While the cake was in the fridge, I started working on my yellow buttercream for my decorative border.

Once the cake set again, I took a wilton #3 round tip in a pastry bag and piped a simple scallop border. First I piped a circular bead.

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Then I took the back of a spoon handle and light made a divet into the bead. Repeat all the way around the cake, letting each subsequent bead slightly overlap around the previous one so that it looks continuous. I did this for both the top and bottom.

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I also wanted to do some simple decorative lettering to spell out “BABY Z” (Z representing the last name of the family), so I took some gumpaste, dyed it yellow, rolled it 1/8″ thick, and cut them into 1 inch wide strips.  I used my mat which had guidelines to make sure that all of my letters would be the same height. I worked on no more than a couple letters at a time keeping the rest of the gumpaste saran wrapped, as it dries pretty fast.

I tried to minimize the number of separate pieces needed to form each letter to reduce the risk of them falling apart.  With the letter “B”, I needed to cut out 3 strips, one for the back, and two separate pieces for each bump.  However for letters like the “Z”, I was able to get away with just taking one longer strip and folding it at the appropriate angles.

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I let those harden up until they were completely dry.  I had also had created a cute fondant giraffe ahead of time to use as a cake topper. Unfortunately because it was one of the first animals I ever made, I was too distracted to take any progress pictures.

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Once the gumpaste letters dried, I placed them on the top of the cake, pushing them into the cake so that they were about halfway in, that way they wouldn’t slide around.

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And then the little giraffe on the top to finish it off.

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And the finished cake.

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The couple was very much surprised and touched with the giraffe cake and the baby shower thrown for them, and they even took the little giraffe home with them, which I thought was awesome!

And like the cake, although the giraffe was completely edible, I did suggest to them it probably wasn’t the more appetizing thing to eat at that point.

That was probably good news for the giraffe.

Congratulations to you two! You guys are gonna be great parents!!

 

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