This Owl birthday cake was for my son’s 2nd birthday – he loves owls (not hoot, but real live owls!), so I thought I’d give it a go. This was my first attempt at a 3D cake shape and piping.
I used a Dolly Vardon cake tin to bake 3 butter cakes (basic butter cake recipe – but I put in food coloring- yellow, green and red so it looked a bit more colorful when cutting into it!).
Once I had 3 Dolly Vardon shapes I froze them. Took them out 3 days later and started to sculpt my owl shape. The first layer I cut about 4cm off the bottom (narrow end) of the cake so it would sit a bit more sturdy. I then used butter cream (125g butter/1 ½ cups icing sugar/2tbsp milk) to put on top of cake and placed the next cake (wide edge down) and used skewers to hold them together.
I cut about 4cm off the top of the next layer (narrow edge) so that would act as my neck. I then used the final cake and sculpted a head shape (looked at images on the internet and went to town!), once again using butter cream and the skewers to hold in place.
Once it was all together I made sure I was happy with the shape before covering the entire cake with butter cream (to “dirty ice”) and placed in fridge. I used ready made white icing for the breast and face of the owl, I placed flaked almonds on the breast for the feathers (starting at the bottom and working towards the head).
I used apple rings for the eyes and painted them yellow with food coloring, and then painted a black ring (food coloring) the eye was a black sugar candy. I used the paint brush to brush “brown” on some of the almonds to make it look more realistic as well as brushing some texture into the face. The beak and feet were made out of gum paste and black fondant mix.
I then used lemon butter cream (colored different shades of brown) to pipe the head, wing, back and tail feathers. I used tip 67 for the small wing feathers, tip 70 for the larger wing, back and tail feathers and tip 63 for the small head feathers. I bought some bread sticks and soaked them in chocolate to lay at the owls feet as a “nest”.
The cake tasted delicious and my son was so excited seeing this owl next to his toy owl!