A first birthday cake


As some of you will already know, I take cakes very seriously. They are an essential part of life, and if I was a doctor, I would prescribe regular cake injections to everyone as a way to stay content! So when it came to the task of making my daughter’s first birthday cake, it was major pressure for me to find something that looked fun and tasted delicious, obviously, but also one that wasn’t too complicated to make, because I didn’t want to have a nervous breakdown. I also didn’t want to make anything that was prim and proper or PINK (I don’t do prim cakes, and neither, I suspect, would our daughter, as she can be quite blokey!).

So thank gawd for the wonder-blog Smitten Kitchen, because after trawling endless celebration cake websites, I found inspiration for the perfect one here – a monkey cake. Fun!!! Not only was it pretty straightforward to make, but it was delicious – a silky soft banana cake enrobed in fudgy frosting. SK recommends that you make a little cake on the side, called a ‘smash cake’, in this case a decorated muffin with the same monkey face, so that your baby can bash it up and smear it all over themselves. I duly presented baby daughter with her little cake. E decided, after regarding it with some calculated deliberation, to throw hers on the floor, icing side down. Hah!

Here’s how everything got made…

The frosting – one colour for the monkey face, the other colour for the monkey ‘fur’ and cake sides:


Pinning the  bottom layer of monkey ears to the head – a halved muffin, placed either side, and fixed in place with cocktail sticks:


The base cake layer and ears get their layer of filling:


Then you attach the second cake on top, as well as a second layer of ‘ear’, fixed with a cocktail stick:


Piping on the outline for the monkey faces on the big and small cakes:



You fill in the white ‘face’ first, then go around it with the brown frosting, then you chill the cakes for an hour or so in the fridge:



When the first layer of icing is chilled, you go at the cake with a second layer, mmmm:


Use a piping bag to make the eyes, noses and mouths:


Voila – ready for action!


Find the full recipe here.

Happy birthday E – at least you didn’t throw the cake AT me! xxx



  1. Great job! Looks like I'm not the only one who had a little monkey turning one recently. Thank goodness for SK!


  2. Such charming monkey business!


  3. […] how I am going to do it until the night before. Last year I made a penguin, the year before that a monkey. This year, turning three years of age, E is a lot more vocal and persistent about what she wants. […]


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