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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Peppa Pig cake tutorial

This post has been soooo long in the pipeline, so after six months I am finally getting round to it. For Noah's third birthday, back in September, I made him a Peppa Pig birthday cake. I did have a little look online to see if I could find any inspiraration, but I came to the conclusion that Peppa, delight that she is, is such a crude shape that really it should be reasonably easy to work it out myself.

So, here follows my step-by-step guide to making your own, very lovely, Peppa Pig cake. Probably for your toddler, maybe for yourself.

You will need:
A sponge cake recipe. I used the Genoese Sponge from River Cottage Cakes
A buttercream recipe. I used River Cottage for this too.
Raspberry jam.
Royal icing recipe. Yep, I used River Cottage!
Pink, red and black food colouring.
Icing sugar for fondant icing.
Loose base cake tin, or two, or three if you're lucky.

1. Using a loose cake tin base (I used 20cm), draw around twice and cut out two circles

2. Fold one of the circles in half and cut down fold

3. Finding a reference photo of Peppa, arrange one of the halves under the complete circle, and draw an outline of the snout and around the edge of the main circle on the snout piece.

4. Cut the unwanted paper from the snout piece. You can then place the snout next to the main round to see it taking shape.

5. Take the piece of paper you cut out of the snout where it fits into the main circle and fold in half. Referring to your Peppa photo, draw an ear shape on each half and cut out.

6. You've propably noticed by now that Peppa's head isn't a perfect round. Draw a slight curve below the nose to get the correct shape, and trim off.

7. You can now place your pieces together to check your shape, and draw on some features if you like, to make visualising the end product easier!

8. Prepare the surface for your finished cake to go on. You will want to work the icing on this surface as the cake cannot be moved once constructed. I used a white plastic Ikea chopping board, covered in foil.

9. Bake three sponge cakes all the same size. Because I have only one 20cm tin, I actually made the mixture three times and baked them one after another. If you have two tins, this stage will be much easier.

10. Taking the main face template, place it on one of the cake circles and cut out along the curve. Repeat this with a second cake.

11. Take the third cake circle and cut in half, then place the snout template, as shown, on one half, and carefully cut out. Repeat with the second half.

12. Begin to assemble the cake on your prepared board. Place the two main pieces on top of each other, then place the snout pieces correctly, also on top of each other.

13. Taking the remains of the snout cake, cut out the ears and arrange on the board.

14a. When you are happy with the placement and assembly, remove the top layer and make your buttercream. Plaster the top surface of the bottom layer with it...

14b. ...then cover this with raspberry jam and replace the top layer.

15. Make the royal icing, adding pink food colouring to make it the right colour, and spread over the whole surface of the cake using a pallette knife.

16. Make fondant icing with your icing sugar, quite thick, and using a piping bag or other piping tool, pipe on the eyes.

17. Put a small amount of the white fondant icing aside, and add the pink food colouring to the rest to make a darker pink than the royal icing. Use this to pipe the outline, cheek and nostrils onto Peppa's head.

18. Using the set aside icing, add red food colouring to use for the lips, and pipe on (excuse this dreadful photo - I do clean up the lip line!) Please refer to note at end of tutorial before adding food colouring to all of your icing.

19. Finally - take the black food colouring and blob directly onto the whites of the eyes to make the pupils.

I used a tube of black food colouring which made blobbing it on easy, but if you have a bottle, you may want to save some more of the white fondant icing, rather than adding red to all of it in the previous step, to make black fondant which can be piped on for the pupils. Also note that if you do put the black food colouring directly onto the cake, it will not dry, so be careful if you need to transport the cake, as I did, and need to cover it - it will smudge if touched.

Goodness, that took considerably longer than anticipated! I hope it's thorough enough for someone to follow. Here are some more gratuitous photos of the finished cake.

And here's the birthday boy blowing out his candles...

... just pretend not to notice the smudged eyes - I spoke from experience earlier!

Happy baking! I'd love to know if you attempt a Peppa cake too.

xxx Sam

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