Friends and family will know that I recently made a 3D dino cake for Vera's 4th birthday party a week ago. I am not one that bakes much given my crazy schedule and lack of ability to follow cooking instructions. Tell me to add 2 cups of flour with 5 eggs and I will be bound to somehow mess that up in the name of improvisation. How did I manage to make this 3D dino cake you may ask....well I will tell you my secret...Sara Lee!
Yes! my secret is Sara Lee! By gosh I did not even have to switch on the oven to "bake" this cake! I came upon the idea of using Sara Lee cake blocks. I read somewhere that you need a really dense cake to be able to construct a 3-D cake, least it will crumble in your hands and leave you in tears and desperation. I was not sure about being able to "produce" a dense cake so I came up with the idea of using Sara Lee's cakes. (post note...I might have thought about this idea from a friend who casually mentioned this before but I cannot be sure where the original inspiration for this came from. So I will not take 100% credit for coming up with this "Sara Lee" idea.)
Any way, from my own experience with Sara Lee
(the plain favour is the densest and easiest to work with), you can easy construct what ever it is you want to make as if you were building with lego. It is really easy....and everyone loves Sara Lee cos it is tasty, rich yet light
For the dino, the first thing I constructed was the body which consisted mainly of 2 cake blocks with the corners rounded off. Then I cut 4 smaller stumps for the legs and begun working down the head and tail. The good thing about buying Sara Lee
off the supermarket shelf is you can also mix and match favours for different parts of the cake.
After I was satisfied at what looks like a dinosaur, I began applying whipped cream. You can easily get whipped cream from any regular cake store and all that needs to be done is the whipping and adding of colours. In my case, I chose pink for my girl (what else?). It was fun slapping on the whipped cream which also acted as the "glue" to hold the blocks together. The key here is to have fun with the whipped cream and get a bit of texture out of it instead of trying to achieve a smooth flawless surface. It is a dino after all!
After applying the whipped cream, I decided that what I had originally intended to be the head of the dino looked more like the tail portion so I added a longer tapered portion to complete the body.
Now there it is...body, head tail, legs.....
I completed the finishing touches by cutting up triangular pieces of pink fondant
(also available in any regular cake store) for the spikes on the back of the dino. The toe nails ,nostrails, name were also all made from fondant.
Then I sprinkled M&Ms (kids love these) around the base of the dino for some added colour and some chocolates for the dino eggs/poo. and viola! My 3D- dino cake is completed in less than an hour...And the best part is, I spent less than $50 for this cake. Compare this to the hefty $200-900 price tag you would have to cough out if you were to buy a professionally made 3D cake....of course, it may look nicer if you spend more but I think nothing beats letting your child know that you "made" this cake with love (they will probably better appreciate this effort when they are older).
Hope you will give this easy no-bake method a try and let me know how it turns out! If this method works for you, it will be nice if you can link back to this tutorial post.
Have fun and be creative!