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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Polar Bear Love


Say hello to "Rusko," the newest member of our family.

Isn't it strange how some kids develop such a strong affection toward a certain type of animal? My youngest son loves penguins. In fact, he told me today he wants to grow up to be a "penguin petter" - isn't that too cute? On the other end of the earth's axis, my oldest boy loves polar bears! He even created an imaginary polar bear that has inspired hours of creative story telling, not to mention polar bear projects and crafts. It's catching - last year I knit this hat because I was bit by the polar bug.


Today was my polar bear boy's birthday. What else could I make but a cake to suit? This was a really easy cake to assemble, and I forgot to take pics of the process, but I think you can easily figure it out.

The cake is one box of standard yellow cake mix, but I divided the batter between an 8" round pan and four cupcakes. I made sure to really fill up two of the cupcakes so they'd get "muffin tops" - I cut those off to make the ears, cutting down one side to fit the curve of the head. The muzzle is the upside down cupcake bottom from one of those muffin tops. That left a couple cupcakes for us to snack on while we made the frosting. Hee hee!

The frosting is made from scratch, not my first choice (I'm all about quick and get-it-done birthday cakes). But I'm soooo glad I took the time to make this because it's delicious! This is marshmallow frosting - oh, yes, 16 big fat marshmallows are melted into all kind of sugary goodness. It's perfect for this cake because the resulting frosting is thick and sticky - great for sculpting and smoothing out the bear's face. The recipe is from an old church cookbook:

Marshmallow Frosting
2 egg white
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1/4 lb marshmallows (16 large or 160 small)

Put egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, corn syrup, and water in top of double boiler. Place over boiling water; beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Beat until thick enough to spread.

After our bear was frosted, I buzzed some coconut in the blender to make it finer, then sprinkled that over the frosting to make the fur. I sculpted a couple of eyebrows/eye indentations to add to the realism. Hey, that fine art degree wasn't for nothing! Milk Dud eyes and a chocolate-covered Oreo nose completed his face. Voila!




17 comments:

Tina Wilson said...

I'm in love with Polar Bears! This cake is so awesome, I want to snuggle it :)

Dani said...

I just made this cake, turned out great! Thanks for the idea!

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for posting this! By far, the best I've seen...going to try it next month!

Kate said...

This cake is amazing! I made it for my birthday to take into work and it was so much easier than I expected. Thank you!

wannabeMACqueen said...

I'm so in love with polars! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

This is just too cute. I am making this for Christmas, my theme is North Pole and artic,

Rachel said...

I Just made this cake - super easy but can anyone let me know if I can put it in the fridge for a day?
I made it a day before hand, but i don't want the super yummy frosting to go bad

Rachel said...

Can anyone tell me if I can put the decorated cake in the fridge or should I leave it out... i need it for tomorrow

the Domina said...

I usually put my cakes in the fridge to keep them nice and fresh.

Bea said...

This cake is just what I've been looking for!
Can you tell me what sort of sugar you use in the frosting? Thank you!

the Domina said...

Thanks! I used regular white sugar in the frosting.

Shanna said...

I just made this cake for my daughter's polar bear party and the kids loved it! I occasionally contribute to the Big Kid Small City blog and was hoping I could add a link to your page when I write about the party. Would that be okay with you? Thanks!

the Domina said...

Yes, that's fine with me. I'm so glad the cake was a success!

Anonymous said...

Making this cake for my nephews graduation. Where he is going to college the mascot is polar bears....he is gonna be surprised! And his favorite cake flavor for him too. Gonna be awesome. Not all are fans of coconut and not my nephew so I am using the grass tip and doing it all icing with NO coconut.

Anonymous said...

You could use a York peppermint patty for the nose instead of having to cover an Oreo in chocolate!

Anonymous said...

You could shred white chocolate instead of coconut if you are not a fan of coconut!

Cristina S said...

I made the bear cake for my granddaughter's 1st birthday, but made if into a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It turned out very well and would definitely make it again! Thanks for the great idea.