Nothing brightens up a special occasion, such as a birthday or holiday, like an attractive cake in the shape of a favorite cartoon or book character. These can be easily made by cutting shapes from a sheet cake or from single layers of cake, arranging them on a serving dish and decorating them appropriately. It is possible to even boost the nutrition of the cake by selecting a nutritious cake recipe and adding fruit decorations.
The Basic Cake
Boost the nutrition of the beautiful cake by selecting a cake that includes nutritious ingredients. Some options for this might be gingerbread with raisins, carrot cake or banana bread. Lower the amount of sugar in the recipe by using a fruit puree for half of the sugar. You can substitute an equal amound of fruit puree for all the sugar, but you will have to adjust the cooking time. Plain old applesauce works great in spice cake recipes, but peach or apricot butter will also work. If the birthday child is sensitive to gluten, an angel food cake using rice flour instead of wheat makes a tasty confection.
Creating the Shapes
While the cake is baking, select or draw a picture of the cartoon character that will be the model for the cake. Focus on large shapes that are easy to reproduce, such as circles, squares, rectangles or triangles. Cut shapes such as stars or eyes to enhance the look of your cake. Create waxed paper or foil patterns. Let the cake cool before beginning to create the shapes.
Cutting the Pieces
Turn the cake out onto a platter, large clean parchment paper or a cutting board. Place the patterns on the cake, and use a sharp knife to cut the various shapes. Arrange the shapes on the serving dish to create the foundation for the character or picture. If some of the pieces crumble a little, don’t worry. Use some of the frosting to stick the lost parts back onto the rest of the cake. The finish frosting will cover it up.
Decorating the Cake
Use a basic, buttercream icing for the foundation colors on the cake. Food coloring can be added to create various colors. Create interest by using raisins, nuts, sliced fruit, pieces of citron or even small candies to create eyes, nose, mouth and various other features. Licorice strands and coconut make wonderful hair. Let your selection of decorations be guided by the kinds of treats most enjoyed by the birthday child. Otherwise, give free reign to your creativity.