When Trevor turned 4, he was so excited to have a Curious George birthday party. I figured a monkey-face cake couldn’t be *that* difficult… but all it takes is a Google search to prove me wrong! I found “George” cakes that looked like pigs and dogs and bears. Big ears, no ears, Oreo cookie eyes. Some did look like monkeys, but finding a true likeness of the one-and-only Curious George was decidedly hard to come by. I’ll take the challenge!
The very best Curious George birthday cake I came across was on My Blessed Mess. And so, careful to keep the frosting off my open laptop, here’s what I came up with. You need one batch of cake, white frosting, chocolate frosting, and a black or very dark brown frosting in a bag with a small round tip. You could also use a writing gel or similar.
With one yellow cake mix, I made a 9″ round cake, two regular size muffins, and a dozen mini-cupcakes. Flour the round pan well or use a parchment round on the bottom. I could have put a little more batter in the round pan and a little less in the two muffins.
The mini-cupcakes were basically using up leftover batter since one mix makes enough for 2 round pans. Bake the extra however you want.
Yay, out of the pan without sticking! You want to cool the round cake with the rounded “top” facing up.
Next, use globs of frosting to glue the ears on George. You’ll need to cut the muffins down to size. I cut off the rounded muffin top and some off the side of each one. Not pictured: scraps I snacked on. Take your time with placement. They are not exactly centered on the sides of the face but rather slightly below center. (See finished photo at the bottom.) Honestly I think mini-size muffins would work fine here. My George’s ears were on the large side.
Time to mix up some face paint. Take a scoop of vanilla frosting out of the tub and add a scoop of chocolate. Stir stir stir.
Before you get crazy here, take a toothpick and gently draw the face outline in the top of the cake. Notice that the sides dip in very close to the tops of the ears. This photo is angled slightly so see the next photo for a better look. Ok, now you can frost the tan center of the face.
Frost the dark chocolate next and the ears last. Be careful with the ears. You don’t frost dark brown to the edge of the round cake. Better take a toothpick and draw part of the ear onto the top of the round cake first.
So far so good, but so far yet to go! Here’s where I started feeling uncertain of my novice cakery skills. Deep breath. Use the toothpick to draw if you need to. Take some reserved white frosting for the whites of the eyes. Many cakes I saw had horrific eyes. Mine turned out slightly different from each other but I claim it added character. Whatever you do, don’t make them too big, and please don’t use Oreos!
I practiced my black piping on a saucer. Ok, it wasn’t actually black but very dark chocolate “brownie topping” I picked up on clearance one fine day. Been in the pantry for ages, gooey and hard to squeeze. How nice that my round frosting tip fit perfectly.
Did you catch the outline of the eyes? Don’t complete the circles. Notice where the nose lines up with the eyes and ears. See how low and wide the smile is. Have fun, George is smiling at you!
I was so pleased with the result that I took a picture to show off all the fingerprints on the plate. Anyway, the Birthday Boy was very happy with it.
Happy Birthday Trevor!