Birthdays are such wonderful moments in a child’s life. For one day, no matter how many siblings you have, no matter how busy life is , your family celebrates you. I know I was always made a fuss of on my birthday and I certainly went all out for my children. Now that I have friends with children I love to help them prepare for the BIG day. In this case little Daniel is turning three and had asked for a monkey cake. What else would you want when you are three? I really enjoyed baking the cake and putting it  together knowing that it will bring a smile to his face.

Pretty simple really you only need to make a round cake and a small round cake the size of a muffin. I bought the smaller cake as I was running out of time. You cut the smaller one in half and place an ear on both sides. The face is made from fondont icing with chocolate and milk chocolate buttons for eyes and nose. The mouth and ears have banana lollies (I am not sure if these are only in Australia) and I used cream frosting for the brown fur icing

Here is the recipe for the

Chocolate Cake


2 cups flour
¾ cups cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line one 25cm pan with baking paper
  2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence and beat with an electric mixer for about two minutes. Add the boiling water and mix until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  5. The cake should spring back when touched if ready
  6. Slide a knife around the edge of each cake to loosen it from the pan, turn the pan over onto a metal rack and peel off the paper.
  7. Let the cake cool overnight in the fridge is best completely before covering with icing.

Butter Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar, SIFTED
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar  and cocoa and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time


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