Mouse was born on Christmas Eve.
I know, right?!
So rather than letting him get ripped off year after year with no birthday parties, we celebrate a half-birthday in June. His one-and-a-half (or as I liked to say, his 1.5th, pronounced one point five-th) birthday party was this weekend, and it was a blast! We had it at a park and the kids had a great time on the playground while the adults chatted.
I chose a puppy dog theme for this party, because we have two dogs who Mouse loves to death. Train Guy suggested a train theme (surprise!) but I figure we’ve got years and years of Thomas parties ahead of us so why jump the gun? I was determined to make my own cake, partly out of nostalgia (Mom always made my cakes), partly out of flavor (I don’t like too many store-bought cakes), and partly out of theming (not too many non-licensed-character dog cakes out there. Because Mouse really, really cares). I scoured the internet–and by the way, what on earth did we do before the internet?–for doggie cakes and found a bunch that looked really hard and another bunch that looked really bad. My cake decorating skills land firmly in the Beginner category, so I finally decided on a hybrid of two ideas.
It turned out awesome and was a HUGE hit!
Trust me when I say that if I can make this cake, ANYONE can make this cake. You need:
- Cake mix (or recipe)
- Two round cake pans
- Something to put the completed cake on (I wrapped a cookie sheet in foil)
- Six Twinkies
- One can vanilla frosting
- One can chocolate frosting
- Fruit Roll-Up or red licorice
- M&M’s (for eyes, optional)
- Cake decorating bags or sandwich bags
And here’s the procedure! See the picture below for the completed layout.
- Bake cakes according to package direction. You can use any combination of round cake pan sizes–I just happened to have a 9″ and 6″ and couldn’t find any others.
- When cake is cooled, unwrap Twinkies
- Place two whole Twinkies on the bottom as feet
- Cut one Twinkie in half and arrange curve-sided down to make paws
- Cut a tip of one Twinkie diagonally to make a tail flush with the side of the cake
- Cut the ends of the other two Twinkies diagonally to make ears. Make sure they alternate angles
- Place one tip of Twinkie to make a nose (or I ended up using a cherry)
Here’s what the cake should look like before it’s frosted:
This cake was supposed to be a chocolate/vanilla swirl cake, but as you can clearly see from above, I totally jacked up the chocolate swirl part. Oh well. It tasted just as good in the end!
Now frost everything with the white frosting except for the nose, which should be brown. Sit back and admire your work. Have a glass of wine, or three. Now it’s time to add the chocolate decorations.
If you have real cake decorating bags, go for it. I do the poor man’s decorating bag, which is that I spoon frosting into a regular sandwich bag, seal or twist it up, and then snip off a small corner as the tip. Works for me! Add brown spots in what seem like reasonable areas. I added M&M’s as eyes but you can improvise if you don’t want to eat the rest of the bag. Which I did. Using a smaller “tip,” add a little mouth thingy under the nose. Draw “claws” on the paws. Have another glass of wine. Finally, use a Fruit Roll-Up to make a collar and a tongue. Voila!
Now it was only about halfway through this that I realized one cake mix wasn’t going to feed the 25+ people coming to the party, so I had Train Guy run out to the store and get a second cake mix and more frosting. I made an additional set of cupcakes. I tried drawing little paw prints on the cupcakes but they ended up looking like menacing bear claws, so I settled for little doggie bones (two lines, four dots, done!).
And there you have it! My puppy dog cake and cupcakes, sure to be a hit at any doggie-themed party. Works for me!