Chocolate and Banana Gruffalo Cake – Emily’s 3rd Birthday

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This is the first year Emily has been big enough to be able to ask what kind of cake she wanted. The answer was an instant “Gruffalo” . After some googling a 3D cake seemed rather out of my skill-set and with rather a lot on my plate this year I did consider buying some handy cake toppers from eBay   really taking the pain out of cake decorating.

But the first Google link was this little fellow with a soft buttercream icing , eminently preferable over a hard royal icing in my book.

I changed the recipe slightly , banana rather than chocolate cake and milk rather than dark chocolate icing. I also used by 175g recipe  because it never fails to produce a light moist cake.

The most terrifying bits were cutting the cake shape and modelling, the rest was pretty easy and  I made the cake over 2 days , actually one night and a very early morning.

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The relief  I felt when Em correctly identified it as a Gruffalo cannot be expressed loudly enough.  It was intended to go to Nursery with her that morning but they are a bit overwhelmed with 10 birthdays in July and some very over-sugared children so it was a grandparent only affair, incredibly patient she waited two days to blow out the candles. A massive improvement over previous years when the singing of happy birthday has resulted in bafflement or tears. Time is going very fast … so it’s really important to mark these moment

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Banana and Chocolate Gruffalo Cake 

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 350g of self raising flour
  • 350ml of sunflower oil
  • 350g of  caster suhgar
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 bananas
  • 5 eggs

For the butter cream

  • 150g of butter
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 150g of milk chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsps hot water

For the decoration

  • 100g of ready made royal icing
  • Food colouring orange , green, purple and black
  • 1 fruit roll-up or liquorice strings

 1 day before

Make the cake sponge

  1. Blend together the oil and sugar and bananas
  2. Mix in the eggs
  3. Mix the flour with the  bicarbonate of soda
  4. Add the flour and sugar
  5. Divide the mix into 2 lined square cake tins each 30x30cm
  6. Bake at 175degC for 40 minutes until golden and firm to touch.
  7. Turn out from the tins and leave to cool

Make the Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Melt the chocolate until liquid but don’t let it bubble
  2. Mix together the butter and icing sugar
  3. Add to the chocolate
  4. Mix well and leave to cool ( if you refridgerate , you will need to take it out of the fridge a few hours before use to let it soften)

Die the royal icing enough to make

  • Purple prickles
  • Two eyes of orange , with a small dot of black colouring to make the pupil
  • Small green poisonous wart
  • Keep enough white to make whiskers , tusks , teeth and horns
  • For the mouth and eyebrows you could die royal icing black but I found it impossible to get it dark enough ending up with a lot of soggy grey icing. Instead  an unrolled dark fruit roll-up or liquorice lace works well

Leave wrapped in clingfilm to prevent the icing drying out

Day 2

Assemble the cake

  1. Sandwich the two cake layers with buttercream
  2. Cut into a Grufallo shape using the offcuts to form ears
  3. Cover with buttercream and fork

Shape the features  once they are all completely shaped lay them onto the cake.

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5 Responses to Chocolate and Banana Gruffalo Cake – Emily’s 3rd Birthday

  1. fergie51 says:

    What a ripper! Wish I knew what a “gruffalo” was! So much fun birthdays are.

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