I designed this monkey cake for my son's first birthday. We did a jungle theme for his baby shower and in his nursery, so we thought we'd continue it for his first birthday too! We also like to call him our little monkey man, so we thought it fit well.
I actually designed this cake as I was lying in bed, wide awake, at 4:00 in the morning. I had been looking at this website and some others and really wanted to do a monkey cake, but we were planning on having a good sized birthday party, so I wanted a cake bigger than just a face.
I made two 8 inch rounds and used a pan lid to measure so I could cut about an inch off the edge of one of the rounds, so that the head would be a bit smaller. I saved the piece cut from around the head and used it as the tail and the banana. I also made about 35-ish cupcakes (some a bit smaller than normal) and used the smaller cupcakes as the ears, hands and feet. I also used scraps to built up the monkey's eyes and nose.
I make a full recipe of chocolate frosting and two of white frosting (which ended up being way too much, but I'd rather have too much than not enough!). I mixed a bit of chocolate with the white in a separate bowl to make the light brown for the face, belly, hands and feet. I decorated with peanut butter M&M's (nice and round, and just that bit bigger than the chocolate ones that I needed to make everything look like it matched), pecans and store-bought "happy birthday" letters (I had never decorated a cake like this before and didn't want to stress out on the lettering. I need to take a class for that!). I also used some black decorating gel to draw on the face.
Once I got the body all set, I just started placing cupcakes and ended up with the green, coconut covered ones on the bottom as the grass and the others ended up as the sun and a red balloon. For the balloon, I cut a piece of ribbon and attached it from the bottom cupcake of the balloon to the top of the hand the put another small piece coming from the bottom of the hand, to give the illusion of the monkey holding it.
The cake ended up being a big hit at the party and I am very happy with how it turned out and proud of my first try at decorating a cake. I even ended up making a small monkey face cake for my son to attack in his high chair (and he enjoyed every crumb of it!). I hope you enjoy my cake too!