Last weekend my son decided that it was Simba from the Lion King’s birthday. Now you need to bear in mind here that Simba is also (in this case) a stuffed animal. I was told at bedtime of Friday that “Tomorrow might be Simba’s birthday” so I asked if Simba would like a birthday cake and had one very happy little boy on my hands.
In the morning I started by checking what sort of cake we should make – I was expecting chocolate but was surprised when I was told very seriously “No not chocolate cake, Simba’s a LION, lions don’t eat chocolate cake they eat lion food! Now I don’t mind making a birthday cake for a stuffed animal but I do draw the line at making one that a real lion would like; luckily I convinced my son that lions like food that’s the same colour as them so we made carrot cake instead. I happened to have a Simba cookie cutter so to decorate the cake we used cream cheese frosting and a fondant Simba based on the song I just can’t wait to be king.
For the cake:
300g light muscavado sugar
2 eggs – beaten
100ml whole milk
3tsp lemon juice
300ml corn oil
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
half tsp ground ginger
half tsp salt
half tsp vanilla extract
300g grated carrots
100g shelled walnuts – chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 170 c / 325 f and grease and line 2 x 20 cm tins
- Add the lemon juice to the milk to sour it. (Alternatively you could use buttermilk).
- Place the sugar, eggs, soured milk, oil and vanilla extract in a free-standing mixer and beat to combine.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and continue to beat until smooth.
- Add the grated carrots and chopped walnuts then stir by hand to distribute evenly.
- Pour into the two tins and level the mixture
- Place in the preheated oven for about 40 min or until a cake tester / knife comes out clean.
- Turn out onto racks to cool
For the cream cheese frosting
600g icing sugar
100g butter – softened
250g cream cheese – cold
- In a free-standing mixer beat the icing sugar and butter together until combined.
- Add the cream cheese and beat at a medium speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
be careful not to over beat the frosting or the cream cheese will split and become runny.
- Use a palate knife to spread the frosting evenly and add extra chopped walnuts on top for decoration.
For the fondant decoration
The cutter came from my Disney cake magazine subscription but if you don’t have that you could always print out an image of Simba and place on top of rolled yellow fondant then prick out the design with a pin.
I cut out two Simbas, one in light yellow and one in dark yellow, I then replaced the inner ears and eyes, added a pink nose and black pupils. Finally I added black water icing whiskers and mouth detail. I ten cut out red fondant leaves and placed them in a circle on top of the cake then placed Simba on top.
I asked how old Simba was and was told after a bit of thought 3, so we put 3 candles on the cake and sang happy birthday to Simba!