Shall I tell you a secret? I didn’t even know what The Lion Guard was until my soon to be three year old godson asked for a Lion Guard cake for his birthday. The good news is that you don’t have to know a lot about the Lion Guard or a lot about making cakes to pull this beauty off!
I must confess that all this birthday cake making has had me and David in a Mexican stand off of the most delicious kind. Having “engineered” three cakes, David now considers himself to be a full time cake boss, whereas I, having made the cakes and the buttercream, purchased the decorations and planned the design, see David’s role, one of cake dresser, rather than cake boss. On this one my friends, we will have to agree to disagree!
One thing we always agree on is using Nigella’s Buttermilk Birthday Cake for building wonders like these, because it holds it’s shape and keeps really well. If you want to make it ahead of time, it will keep well for a few days uniced and it is also very freezer friendly if you want to be extra organised.
The Lion Guard figures were not cheap but they totally made the cake. There were extra figures left over, and when paired up with the figures atop the baked goods, they made a great (and much loved) gift for the birthday boy.
This tutorial assumes that your cakes are made and you have a batch of buttercream whipped,(check the ingredients list for all the links to recipes you’ll ever need!) and that we’re good to go. Let’s make this cake!
FOR THE CAKE
2 quantities x Nigella’s Buttermilk Birthday Cake (26cm x 30cm tin)
1 quantity x Nigella’s Buttermilk Birthday Cake (2 x 18cm round tins)
1/3 cup strawberry jam
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
2 batches of buttercream icing
black food colouring
green food colouring
black food colouring
250g chocolate fingers
150g candy rocks (I used these)
You will also need:
1 x 26cm x 30 cm cake tin
2 x 19cm round tins
1 large tray or cake board
a piping bag and nozzle
Lion Guard toys (I used these)
How to: Assembling the Cake
- Level the cakes if necessary. Cut two circles from each of the circular cakes using a 12cm plate or saucer. Set the small round cakes aside (and taste test the left overs!)
- Place five blobs of buttercream on the tray, one in each of the four corners, and one in the centre of where the cake will be. This is going to be the “glue” that holds the main cake in place. Place one of the rectangular cakes on to the buttercream “glue.”
- Cover the cake generously with jam. Don’t spread the jam right to the edge, leave a border of about 1cm.
- Carefully, turn the other rectangular cake over and spread with buttercream and then place the buttercream face down on the jam.
- Now you’ll need to give the cake a “crumb coat” or what I like to refer to as “dirty icing.” Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of buttercream first over the top and then over the sides of the cake to seal in any loose crumbs. Remove any excess frosting with the palette knife.
- Repeat the jam and buttercream with the two small rounds. Once the circles are sandwiched together, “shave” the cake with a knife so that the sides are uneven and it looks very rock like.
- Give the rock a crumb coat too before you position it on the cake. Place a blob of buttercream on the crumb coated cake and position the rock in place.
- When the cake and the rock are assembled and the crumb coat is done, pop the cake into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
How to: Decorating the Cake
- Position Kion the Lion into the rock. Our toy Kion had a deep base so we embedded that into the cake.
- Take a quarter of the buttercream and add a few drops of black food colouring to make grey buttercream. Use a palette knife to cover the rock in grey icing. Don’t worry, if it’s not smooth, it will look rustic and rock like. Leave a gap for the stream.
- Take another quarter of the buttercream and add some blue food colouring. Using the palette knife, apply the blue icing from the top of the rock, all the way down across the cake to the far diagonal corner.
- Add some drops of green food colouring to the remaining buttercream and cover the remaining top and sides of the cake with green buttercream. You don’t have to be too precious about this because the top will be covered with coconut “grass” and the sides are going to be covered with chocolate fingers.
- Add a few drops of green food colouring to the coconut and mix well. Sprinkle the green coconut to make grass around the rock and either side of the stream. Position Beshte (the hippo) and Fuli (the cheetah) in position.
- Place the candy rocks around the base of the rock and along either side of the stream.
- Place the candy rocks around the perimeter of the base of the cake.
- Cut the chocolate fingers in half and then place the fingers vertically on top of the candy rocks all the way around the cake.
- Pop the cake in to the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow everything to set.
Who’s the Cake Boss in your house? Have you seen the Lion Guard? If you could have any cake for your birthday, what would you choose?
Linking up with Kylie for IBOT