Furry Friends Cake
Celebrate your furry friends with these spectacular cakes, that are really easier to make than they look. —Sarah Farmer, Taste of Home Test Kitchen Director
Total TimePrep: 1 hour + standing Bake: 35 min. + cooling
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 4 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 brown milk chocolate M&M's
- 2 large red gumdrops
- Red Hots
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semisweet chocolate; stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup just until mixture is well blended, forms a ball and is no longer shiny. Turn onto an 8-in. square of waxed paper. Press chocolate mixture into a 7-in. square. Let mixture stand at room temperature until dry to the touch, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 8-in. round baking pans. Let separated eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave white chocolate with water at 30% power until chocolate is melted; cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla and white chocolate mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into white chocolate mixture with coconut and pecans.
- Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Set aside 1/2 cup for decorating.
- Roll out semisweet chocolate mixture on waxed paper to 1/8-in. thickness. Using a sharp knife and pre-cut templates, if desired, cut out two ears, two ovals and two small circles for eyes, a muzzle, a thin strip for muzzle detail, a small heart-shaped nose, a curved strip for the dog collar and a small U-shaped hook; set aside.
- Flatten gumdrops with a rolling pin over a small amount of sugar. Cut one into a heart-shaped dog tag and the other into the shape of a tongue.
- Add candy detail to collar using the reserved frosting for decorating.
- To assemble, place the bottom cake layer on a large platter. Spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add the middle cake layer; spread with an additional 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; frost top and sides with remaining frosting.
- Position ears, eyes, M&M pupils, muzzle and nose onto cake, using reserved frosting, if necessary. Add frosting wrinkles and whisker spots. Place collar directly onto platter, below the cake.
- Editor's Note: For cat: Follow directions above using templates resembling cat features.