I made this Larry the lizard birthday cake for a friend’s son’s sixth birthday. She hired a reptile professional to come and do an amazing show for the kids and wanted a reptile cake to top off the day. Having recently fallen in love with cake making, I knew I was her gal the moment she mentioned her desire. I scoured the Internet gaining inspiration from many fantastic cakes, several from this site!
First I baked 1 large chocolate butter cake (9″ by 13″). I froze it after cooling and cut it one lengthwise and then split each half into two layers ending up with for equal size layers. I used chocolate butte cream generously between each layer and I assembled the cake into a 4.5″ by 13″ by 5″ block. I wrapped it very well and froze it. I did not frost the outside of the cake!
Once frozen, I carved the block in to a rough lizard shape.I used a sharp bread knife. I frosted the whole cake with more butter cream frosting. I chilled it until very firm.
I made my own fondant using a popular recipe for “Marshmallow Fondant”. I color several different portions using regular grocery store food coloring except for the really dark color which was coloring using special black paste color.
To cover the cake, I rolled out a large rectangle of green fondant and draped it over the cake. I gently brought the fondant down to the edges and pressed the fondant smoothly to the side of the lizard’s body trying not to tear it. I used my fingers to shape the back ridge better and the eye ridges (these were in cake underneath but messy). The scales were actually cut by my husband who helped me finish this cake on schedule. He cut them with a small circle cutter and I adhered them in a random way. I attached the legs out of fondant using toothpicks. The tail was made of cake ball mixture covered in fondant and also attached with a toothpick. My 3 year old daughter reminded me to add the claws and my son suggested he be a “smiling lizard”.
My husband really liked the idea of the cookie crumb “sand” and I was pleased with the look as well. I loved the reaction of my friend when she picked up the cake. She was expecting me to find some gummy lizards and stick them on a sheet cake or something, so she was totally blown away. She was smiling so wide and going, “Seriously? Wow! That’s crazy!”
The birthday boy was equally impressed and actually looked a bit sad for Larry when his mom served him up. The funniest part of the night for me was when the child’s grandma came up to me and said, “Oh my god! Have you seen that cake, yet? Amazing!”. She then asked my daughter who told her, ” I saw it this morning when my mommy was making it”. Hilarious!
However, my most memorable part of the night as an aspiring baker was when my dear friend told me the cake was wonderful not just because it looked cool, but because it tasted so good too.
I think there will be many more cakes in my future.