Monkey Chimp Face Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate Monkey Chimp Face Celebration Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40-45 minutes

Yield: 8-inch layer cake

This cake is a chocolate lovers dream! A chocolate layer cake filled with chocolate buttercream, and topped off with white and milk chocolate fondant icing. Rich, moist, and decedent, and turned into a cheeky monkey.

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 250g (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 75g (¾ cup) cocoa powder
  • 50ml (¼ cup) sunflower or canola oil
  • 400g (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 300g (2½ cups) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the Frosting

  • 250g (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 500g (4 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 100g (¾ cup) milk chocolate, chopped

For the Decoration

  • around 1kg milk chocolate (or light brown) ready to roll fondant icing (sugarpaste)
  • around 750g white chocolate (or white) ready to roll fondant icing (sugarpaste)

Directions:

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), 350°F, gas mark 4. Grease and line two 8-inch sandwich tins with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into 125ml (approx. ½ cup) boiling water. Stir in the oil, then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour with each addition, then beat in the cocoa mixture.
  5. Sift in the remaining flour and baking powder, then gently fold in until smooth.
  6. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before filling and decorating.

For the Frosting

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second intervals until melted. Or if you prefer, use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Set aside.
  2. Next, beat the butter, vanilla extract and a little of the icing (confectioners’) sugar together, adding more icing sugar slowly until fully incorporated, then slowly add the melted chocolate to the buttercream frosting and mix thoroughly.

To Decorate

  1. Sandwich the cakes together and fill with half of the frosting.
  2. Using the remaining half of the frosting, crumb coat the cake with the remaining buttercream. If you have any remaining frosting, pop in the fridge in an airtight container for other use.
  3. Cover the cake with the milk/brown chocolate fondant (sugarpaste) icing, and start creating the eyes, eyebrows, nose, ears, and mouth with the milk chocolate fondant. For the eyes, I rolled a ball of fondant icing and flattened it.
  4. To make the face template, use parchment paper folded in half then draw a bunny ear with a wide half circle underneath, place over the cake to see if it fits. If so, cut out your template and unfold. Then using the white chocolate fondant and a sharp knife, cut out the design using the parchment laid on top as your template. Secure to the cake using cooled boiled water, then secure the other features, such as the eyes, eyebrows, nose, ears and mouth.
  5. For the ears, roll a large ball of milk chocolate fondant and shape into a semi-circle, hollowing out the middle and moulding a larger lip at the top. Next, add a white chocolate fondant semi-circle inside the ears and secure in place. Immediately add a toothpick into the bottom and allow the fondant to dry for 24 hours before inserting into the cake.

Notes:

  1. Cup measurements are approximate.
  2. Prep time does not include decorating time as it varies depending on your skill level. For me, a beginner, it took around 3-4 hours.
  3. If you don’t have any self-raising (rising) flour, substitute for plain (all-purpose), but add an additional 3 tsp baking powder.
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