The making of the chicken cake! A tutorial.
Cate is 7! She’s a chicken enthusiast and along with her mum and 2 older brothers tends to their 6 hens and coop. The cake is even baked with their eggs!
I made a double batch of lemon cakes, 2 boxes fit in 1 kitchenaid 4.5 qt. I baked 2 8” rounds and 3 6” rounds. Substituted the oil with melted butter. After they cooled I wrapped them in parchment paper and plastic wrap and put them in the cake freezer while i ran an errand, cleaned and made the buttercream, so several hours.
Obviously my kids wanted me to make this one into a chicken also, and are coming up with all kinds of ideas for their birthdays- 6 months away.
I didn’t end up needing the 3 x 6’s at all for the chicken cake. We ate the first 6” one in slices while trying the new buttercream recipe. Quality control! Why did I bake so much extra? I just wasn’t sure at that point my plan was and I’d rather have more than enough than not enough. It’s just as easy to double the batches as it is to make just the one.
The head and tail sculpting was made out of what I like to call cake meatball, cake and icing mixture, like a cake pop except without the chocolate coating and not on a pop. Rice Krispie treat would also work for this. If this was larger or had farther to travel I would have stuck a dowel rod in to hold up the head, this one did fine on its own, but I was regretting skipping that step during the anxiety filled delivery drive.
Kind of hard to see the layers but it’s the 8” torted, so 2 layers, of each, then the top layer is split with the slightly larger side then smaller half. I guess technically it’s an 8 layer cake.
I took the cake carvings from around the bottom edge and added them around the top to fill in the gaps. Buttercream is a great glue. I used more cake carvings to make that cake meatball mixture. Giving it more shape and stability. I had my 6” back ups for it but I didn’t end up needing them.
I’m using the white chocolate vanilla bean buttercream, link to recipe. Cover it all over and put in cake fridge to firm up. We also had hoagies in fridge and I was worried about the smell of lunchmeat permeating into the cake. Something to think about when you’re making this at home.
I worked on the fondant while it chilled. Eyes, beak, toes, and the red chicken things are fondant. The eyes are protruding but I knew the feathers would cover them up if they weren’t big enough. A toothpick could have held the beak in place, however I made it stay on by elongating the top and wrapped it over for extra stability. the buttercream holds it all in place. I dyed my hands red coloring the fondant. Gloves are recommended.
Used a leaf tip #352. The buttercream was soft, very thin consistency. I had to work fast, and had to rebag the icing once because of the warmth of my hand. Piping in layers, some building on top of each other, some wedging the tip underneath. The tip does the work. This icing made great points.
I didn’t research anatomical correctness. That bit me in the butt when the birthday girl told me their feet wouldn’t be sticking out the front of her body 🤣. You want to keep the leaves/ feathers going in the same direction.
The only fondant tool I pulled out and used was my favorite Dresden tool, or veining tool.
PME Flower Leaf Shaper Tool, for Cake Decorating, 6.6-Inch https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0073361AA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_60WZ3Y2Y0CV96ZWK1WF8
She slept in the fridge overtime so she was nice and firm for the delivery.
Delivery was hella stressful, as all cake deliveries are. Every wedding weekend I’d have to remind myself of how many successful deliveries I’ve made and try NOT to think about the handful of disasters I’ve had over the years. But every bump in the road, big turn, short stop, the downtown traffic, all I can picture is the chicken on her side, the head or tail falling off and taking half the cake with it, layers of feathers falling off. Telling myself I shouldn’t have cut corners and that I should’ve used dowels, or at least brought my tool kit with me to fix anything or a piping bag at the very least. But alas, she made it unharmed spare a touch of icing on the back of the box that happened while boxing her up, which left just a couple unpointed feathers.
It looks small at first, but this 6” cake is “wedding height”. Torted and filled, this could be a 12 serving wedding tier. It’s more than my family of 4 needs, but too small to give away, so I guess we’ll have to finish it. 😜
Hope this inspires you to try to make a sculpted cake! Let me know if you make a chicken cake!! What other sculpted shapes cakes can you think of using these simple techniques? 🤩