I used to bake 8 inch cakes. I then baked 6 inch cakes because we didn’t need so much cake. I took it a step further and decided to bake a 4 inch cake because let’s face it – two girls experiencing the sad slowdown of metabolism in their late 20s do not need to eat any more than what’s absolutely necessary.
Broke out my trusty chocolate cake recipe and decided to go with a coffee flavoured buttercream. I was extremely pleased with how the flavours turned out – a nice balance of chocolate and coffee with just the right amount of moistness.
Then came the decoration dilemma.
I tried to pipe swags and failed miserably – I’m still not quite talented enough for that sort of thing. I then tried to pipe cornelli lace and failed miserably on that front too!
Things were getting desperate. After more brainstorming I decided on a walnut border at the bottom. And then it hit me – I’ll have a squirrel holding a walnut as the cake topper!
Squirrel walnut silhouette
Once again, I apologise for my extremely non step-by-step series of photographs of this cake. I just can’t remember to stop at every step to take a photograph!
Squirrel Coffee Walnut Cake Recipe
The recipe used in this cake has been outlined in my previous post, Caramel Spiral Cupcakes. It makes 2 rounds of 6 inch cakes, enough to complete a layered 6 inch cake.
250g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
1 packet instant coffee
- Dissolve instant coffee in 3 tablespoons of boiling water and leave to come to room temperature.
- Cream butter and sugar together until pale in colour and increased in volume. Add instant coffee solution into batter slowly, mixing until well incorporated.
Squirrel template (click link to download)
Plastic piping bag
- Melt chocolate (my favourite technique explained here).
- Placed melted chocolate into piping bag and snip a very small hole at the top.
- Place squirrel template under waxed paper. Pipe squirrel outline and then flood entire area.
- Press a piece of walnut into the squirrel’s hands before the chocolate sets and leave until fully hardened. Peel off wax paper carefully and leave to set.
- Fill cake with buttercream and cover completely.
- Press walnuts into the bottom of the cake to form a border.
- Place squirrel on top of cake – squirrel should be able to stand on its own. If not, prop up with a walnut.
I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did making it. I thought the cake turned out quite well and it’s a simple technique that can be applied by anyone.
P/S: I’m obsessed with Instagram at the moment, admittedly a little late to the bandwagon but better late than never, apparently! If you’re interested in random photos from my daily life as well as my projects click here.