Making a cake shaped like Miffy the rabbit!
CrashGirl was our first child and our folk’s first grandchild. As she approached her first birthday I think I probably had my first panic attack. Are all mothers not judged by the fabulousness of their cake decorating skills?!? No, probably not, but I wasn’t going to risk it.
Her favourite book was ‘Miffy the Fairy”, so I figured I’d make her a Miffy cake. Unfortunately that one isn’t in the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake book. So, off to the internet I go . . .
I used Google Images to find pictures of Miffy birthday cakes and finally came across some that were linked to a blog with step by step instructions to make a Miffy cake – hooray!
The Crash Test Kitchen for this project belonged to my MIL. I also commandeered the dining room table for the mega effort icing marathon
The inspiration for my Miffy cake is Vegan Cooking on livejournal. You can also check out some of the step by step pictures (with some instructions) on their Flickr page. These are actually better and show more detail than the blog.
The cake recipe used is vegan and the frosting/icing used Crisco vegetable shortening which isn’t readily available here. I worked around both these things, otherwise I pretty much followed the instructions.
Not being vegan, and needing to cater to a number of tastes I settled on carrot cake (Miffy’s ears, head and feet) for the kids and devil chocolate cake (Miffy’s body) for the bigger kids.
To get the shape I just copied a picture free hand onto newspaper rather than faffing around with enlargements on a photocopier. I used a round cake tin to guide size of the head and a square one for the body. I actually made a third rectangular cake for the ears and feet.
Instead of using shortening, and because it was a carrot cake, I used a cream cheese frosting instead. I used a thinned down portion of it to glaze the cake (the crumb layer) before starting the hand-cramping agony of piping the entire cake in little stars. It took me hours, and multiple trips to the fridge to keep the frosting firm. But the result was worth it!
- I felt very proud and worthy of being a mummy
- My hand was in agony
- Everyone was very complimentary
- How did Miffy do – well she kept her head as everyone went for the ears and body first. Actually we nibbled away at her head for a few days after, but she was so cute, it was a bit difficult.
My top 5 tips for making this work (not stuffing it up)
- To keep Miffy looking whiter, don’t use butter in your cream cheese icing. Here’s the recipe I always use. Be careful not to over beat it, or you won’t be able to pipe it.
- Splash out and buy gel food coloring. I used the normal stuff and it was really hard to get Miffy’s dress looking red (all the extra liquid also thinned my icing out too much)
- Make sure you’ve got enough room in the fridge – we had to deconstruct Miffy and glue her back together the next day!
- Con someone else into piping all the stars! Alternatively, you could just spread the icing on, but I really like the texture of the piped stars. Back to plan A, or start using one of those hand strengthing things in the weeks leading up to the birthday!
- Don’t try and do all of this in one day – it almost killed me!
This was a quick retrospective crash test. CrashGirl is now 3 and a bit, so there have been two other birthday cakes since then. I’ll be writing up a quick crash soon on:
- How to make a hungry caterpillar birthday cake
- How to make a rainbow 3rd birthday cake
Have I learned my lesson – short answer, no!