Recipe #1: Elephant Birthday Cake

Hello again 🙂

Another post, another topic! So, you may not know but I love cooking and baking and most of my friends and family tell me that they love my cakes.

Due to my sister’s birthday and her love for elephants, I had the idea to give her an elephant shaped cake for her birthday. I thought that it would be rather simple to do it, just bake it, cut it and finish with sugar paste on top.

Although this was not the first cake where I used sugar paste, this was my first solo experience.. and what an experience!

So, the departure point was to bake the cake. I decided to go for an simple cake without any specific flavor. I used this recipe, but since it’s in Portuguese here is the translation:

  • Ingredients:
    • 10 eggs
    • 300 gr of sugar
    • 200 gr of potato starch
  1. Pre-heat oven at 180ºC. Oil a cake pan with butter and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the yolks with the sugar for about 15 minutes, or until they have tripled in volume and are whitish.
  3. Beat the egg whites.
  4. Mix a 1/3 of the whites in the egg yolks, beating until homogeneous. Mix the remaining whites, carefully, using a spatula.
  5. Sift the starch over the dough, gradually, mixing gently and gently so as not to break the whites.
  6. Pu the dough in the cake pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a pastry rack before deforming.

This is the simplest cake ever and I did use it without any filling but if you want you can cut it in half and fill it with Nutella or custard cream, just to sweeten it up a little bit more.

Now, here comes the hard part. I had to draw the elephant on a sheet of parchment paper first to make sure it would fit on the rectangular cake I had, but if you are a design expert you may just go free without the drawing first.

So if you use the drawing first technique, you have to fix the sheet on top of the cake with toothpicks to be sure it doesn’t move at all. Then, just use a knife and start cutting around the drawing but always make sure that you are also cutting the top half of the cake and that the drawing is being marked on it. After you are completely sure about the shape of the cake, cut everything out and perfect all corners until it is ready to get the sugar paste.

About the sugar paste you can either buy it on party stores or make it yourself at home, but I went for the first one. I got grey, white and black for this cake and sure it was enough. First, you start to stretch out the paste as much as you want but I did make it very thin since when it’s more thick it is just too sweet for me.

After stretching as you want, just carefully place the sugar paste on top of the cake and start shaping it around the cake (check on YouTube some videos with detail on how to cover a cake with fondant). Cut the ear of the elephant on what’s left of the sugar paste/fondant and design the eye, mouth and tail.

To keep everything together you can use a sugar syrup or small amounts of condensed milk and I assure you that nothing will fall apart! Here is the final result!

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XOXO,

S.