Xylosaurus Cake

Saturday was the little one’s first birthday.  Isn’t he sweet all ready for his party?

For his birthday party this year, I was inspired by Threadcakes.  A contest in which bakers can make and submit a cake based off a Threadless T-shirt design.  Be sure to check out my submission and “like” or tweet it! 

When I saw the Xylosaurus, I was in love!  How cute and whimsical for my baby’s first birthday!

This was my first sculptured cake, so I got to try several new techniques.

I started off with a Funfetti cake mix doctored up using this recipe.  I baked it in two 9x13 pans at 375 degrees F, for about 25 minutes.  Once cooled, the cakes were cut and stacked with butter cream in between the layers (sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step!)  There were 6 layers, ranging from 4 ¼ inches wide to 2 ¾ inches wide.  This was then wrapped carefully with plastic wrap (still on the cake board) and placed in the freezer overnight.

The next day, the cake was removed from the freezer and carved into the desired shape with a nice sharp knife.  The scraps were used to fashion a ball for the head and four legs and thin layer of butter cream was applied as a crumb coating.

Meanwhile, I made a batch of sugar cookies.  I divided the dough into 7 equal sections and kneaded color into each section.  After it was chilled in the refrigerator, the dough was rolled out color by color and cut into rectangles 1 inch wide and ranging from 3 ½ to 2 inches tall.  After chilling in the freezer, cookie sticks were inserted and the cookies were baked (after the excess flour was brushed off by my handsome assistant!)

Then the fun part started!  I had my husband bend a piece of wire (he actually used a clean wire hanger) into a tail shape that I could slide under the cake.  I covered the wire in rice cereal treats to add some bulk.

I was nervous about the rice cereal treats falling off the wire, so I placed the whole cake in the refrigerator overnight (plus it was midnight by this point and I was tired.)

The day of the party, the whole cake got a thick layer of butter cream, including the nice, sturdy rice cereal treats tail!  This was followed by a layer of fondant, and smoothed out.

Then it was time for the final assembly!  The cookie sticks were trimmed and inserted into the cake.  I also made a small mallet from a left over end of a cookie stick and a ball of fondant.  The final touches of the face and spots were added with an edible food marker and the transformation was complete!

The cake was loved by all the party guests (kids and adults alike!) and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.

Happy first birthday, my sweet baby!

Rice Cereal Treats

2 cups rice cereal
2 ½ cups mini marshmallows
1 tbsp butter

In a small food processor, pulse the rice cereal several times to break the cereal into smaller pieces (but not into a powder)

Melt the marshmallows and butter together in 30 second incrememnts in the microwave.

Stir the rice cereal into the melt marshmallows and apply to the cake form.