Saturday, November 17, 2012

Monkey Boy Cake

Today I delivered a 3-tiered cake for baby Aiden's first birthday.  His mom Jen works at Skidmore, in another office, and we met a few weeks ago for lunch to talk about the cake.  She envisioned three tiers and gave me one of his party invitations for inspiration.  I would be using it as a reference for color and design.

Aiden is a beautiful little boy, and it was a pleasure to make this cake for his special day.  Jen requested almond cake for the bottom tier, chocolate cake for the middle, and white cake for the top tier.  I have good recipes for chocolate and white cakes, but hadn't made an almond cake in years, if ever (can't remember one!).  I searched the internet for good recipes and found a highly-rated one on  It uses a cake mix as a base, but there's much more added, so I consider it more scratch than not.  I didn't adapt it at all, since I trusted the reviews.  The cake baked high and firm, and when I trimmed the tops to level, realized that it was an incredibly moist cake, probably because of the addition of sour cream.  The almond flavor was obvious but subtle and not at all overpowering.  It had the classic flavor of a white wedding cake, when wedding cakes were all white and flavored with almond (the '60s?)...  Anyway, with the addition of my buttercream frosting and some artsy fondant work, Monkey Boy came together nicely, I think!

Henry was my assistant today, and he had his own ball of fondant to play with as I made my creations.  He came along as we took the 1/2 hour drive to deliver the cake to Aiden.  I was driving as if I had a 3-tiered cake in the back of my car (which I did), slow and steady, which lulled Henry.  He was sound asleep as I pulled into the driveway.  Still, it was nice having him come along.  He's an excellent assistant, even if it means clean-up time, upon returning home, takes twice as long!

Oven 325 degrees Farenheit


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour an 11x13 inch cake pan.
2. Stir together the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Pour in the water, sour cream, vegetable oil, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg whites, and beat with an electric mix on low until all the ingredients are mixed and moistened but some lumps still remain, 4 minutes.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake in the preheated oven until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.


  1. Very cute Jeannie! You know I love Chocolate but the Almond sounds yummy too! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week with the family. Enjoy the day! Lynnie

    1. Thanks Lynnie! I hope to meet baby Breccan when they are home from Ohio. Let me know. I owe Em a cupcake! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving as well. Maybe we can find some time to catch up over the long weekend!

  2. Looks so cute! Nice work, as always!

    1. Thanks Teresa! Maybe this will be YOUR month to win a free cake or cookies! Appreciate your comments - keep 'em coming! xox - Aunt Jeannie

  3. So cute..great job as usual. The almond cake sounds great!I love it that your grand kids are so much a part of your everyday blessed! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family! CKJ

    1. Thanks Cindy - I love reading your comments and look forward to them every time. :)

  4. Hi Jeannie,
    This is Melissa B., Colleen's sister (Colleen B., now H. :-) ). I've looked at your blog now and then, and I enjoy it whenever I do! Thanks for writing such nice posts; it's time to finally sign up! :-) I also love to bake and share goodies with family and friends and enjoy hearing about others' baking, so I'm looking forward to following your blog more regularly! Oh, and this monkey cake looked GREAT!! It also gave me the idea of making almond cake soon. I really love almond anything. Take care!

    1. Hi Melissa! Welcome aboard! It's a pleasure to have you join in on our baking conversations. I have so enjoyed getting to know Colleen, and I look forward to getting to know you as well! Thanks so much for your comment!