The Gruffalo is a big deal in our house. Whether the books or on TV, it’s always a big hit with Maya. So when we needed to celebrate and reward a particular potty training milestone (I won’t go into details here), a gruffalo cake seemed like a great idea.
The idea comes from Gruffalo Crumble and other recipes – The Gruffalo Cookbook, which is a lovely book full of ideas to make food exciting and gruffalo-themed for the kids (and a little bit for the adults too).
The cake itself is a simple chocolate sponge. Blend together 200g butter with 200g caster sugar then add five eggs and mix well. Sieve 200g flour, 4tbsp cocoa powder and 3tsp baking powder into the mixture and fold in. Pour the mixture into a greased, 20cm by 20cm cake tin and bake at 180° for 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
For the icing, blend 150g butter with 450g icing sugar. Take 2 tbsp of the icing out and mix with red food colouring until it’s pink. To the main batch of icing, add 3 tbsp milk and the same amount of cocoa powder and mix well.
Now onto the fun part…
Once the cake has cooled, you need to cut it into the shape of the gruffalo’s head. Then cut two ears out of the cuttings. Discard / eat the rest. Stick the ears in place. Icing will do but a cocktail stick will make them extra secure. Cover the whole cake with the chocolate icing, use the back of a fork to create texture, then add the pink icing to the ears.
Draw on the gruffalo’s mouth, whiskers and eyebrows with black writing icing. Use white marzipan to make tusks and teeth. Add purple smarties down the back of his neck and a green one on the end of his nose. For the eyes, take the orange jelly from two jaffa cakes, add to the cake and use black icing to outline and for his pupils.