It’s time to celebrate!
This week, the blog hit 115,000 views. As we’ve only been around for 9 weeks, I think that’s exciting! So thanks for all the interest you’ve shown in our project. We love doing this!
It’s also time to celebrate the end of a school year, not just for Justin and myself, but for my younger siblings too. On the last day of their school year, Justin and I put all our efforts into embarrassing my soon-to-be 7th grade sister. We decorated the car with window paint and streamers, making sure EVERYONE knew just who we were there to pick up. My brother helped us barricade her side of the car with streamers so that after opening the door she’d have to tear through them just to get inside. We had party hats, oh yes, and we had annoying blow-in-your-face noisemakers.
I don’t believe we mortified her too badly, but just in case we had a surprise owl cake awaiting after dinner as a sort of peace offering. Isn’t he cute?
I knew this was perfect for my sister when I realized that he is the unintentional twin to the owl on the background of her ipod. Plus her owl is made out of coffee beans; Our owl is coffee flavored. This dessert was destined her!
As this is our first attempt to make any type of decorative cake, I was very pleased with how it turned out! It’s probably much more simple than you think. Instructions are listed below. You may use any type of cake or icing combination you like, but I used the following recipes…
- For his head: this chocolate cake recipe
- For his body: this coffee-flavored cake
- For his body: this chocolate frosting
- For his belly: this coffee-flavored icing
I thought the colors and flavors went nicely together!
- 2 ovenproof glass bowls. I used these:
- 2 batches of cake batter, to be baked in 1-quart Pyrex bowls (See recipe)
- 1 batch of cake batter, to be baked in (12 oz) ovenproof glass bowl (See recipe)
- 2 Oreo cookies
- 5 banana Runts
- 2 types of color-contrasting frosting (I made this and this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons mini-chocolate chips
- 2 Junior Mints
- A wooden dowel, skewer, or chopstick for support
Remember to grease your bowls before baking. You want your cakes to pop out of the bowls easily with no tearing!
Bake your first cake in the larger ovenproof bowl and set aside to cool. (Note that due to the fact that they are in a bowl and not a shallow pan, they will take longer to cook than usual. Just keep an eye on them.) You may want to get started on your icings while the cakes are baking.
Fill your second, smaller bowl over 2/3 of the way with cake batter so that as it bakes, the cake will rise up beyond the edges and round out on top. This is going to be the owl’s head. Now, the original website said to bake two of these and put the bases together just like we’ll do with the larger cakes, but I found that our one cake was just about the perfect size in proportion to his body, so I only made one (albeit large) head. Just play this by ear and don’t forget the power of a carving knife! You’ll likely have enough leftover batter to make several cupcakes.
Carefully remove the first cake from the bowl. Wash and reuse the same bowl for cake number 3.
Meanwhile, with a serrated knife (preferably electric), find the “seam” on your larger (1st) cake where the perfectly rounded base ends and it begins to puff up from the baking. We want to cut very evenly along this line. Feel free to snack on the top part to taste test your creation. This is just extra.
When its twin cake is finished baking, cut it in the same way. Spread a layer of icing on top of one layer where you made the cut, then flip the other cake on top, flat side down, to create a symmetrical owl body. They should line up perfectly.
If your bowls were very rounded, you may want to cut 1/2 inch from the very bottom so that the cake will stand properly.
Like I mentioned before, depending on your bowl, you may want to follow the same process for the head, but one small head cake worked well for us. We secured it to the top of the body with another layer of icing and did some minimal carving to flatten out his face. Just carve as needed until you have a nice owl outline. Insert a dowel or chopstick through the center to keep the layers secured.
Now you’re ready to decorate. Start with the lighter colored frosting and liberally ice his “belly” area in smooth streaks. Thickly apply your darker icing everywhere else. Once you have a base, you can create the feathered effect by gently pressing the back of a spoon in the dark icing and pulling it out again. Do this everywhere except the face.
Cut one Oreo cookie in half and cover it in icing to match the body. These are the owl’s ears. Just insert them, curved side out, at the top of his head.
Slice two more Oreo cookies in half, being careful to keep the white centers all on one side of the cookie. (A butter knife helps.) With a dab of icing, secure Junior Mints to the white of the Oreos and place your eyes in the appropriate spot.
Use one banana Runt candy to create a beak, and two per foot to create talons, as pictured.
Add mini chocolate chips to his chest area for a speckled look.
You’re done! If any of these instructions were confusing, you may want to check out the original directions on Parenting Magazine‘s website.