I have a love hate relationship with cake. I know I sound like a monster when I say I don’t like cake, but I really don’t. I think the love part comes in because saying you don’t like cake is seen as a sin to most people. Nevertheless, I make a new cake every three weeks at work. That is a real struggle for me, especially because decorating is less than my strong suit. To make it worse, my co-workers have been cake-ing much longer than me so I feel that my cakes pale in comparison. The past two weeks, they set the bar super high and I was really nervous going into the cake this week and to make it even more complicated, the decorations had to include Teddy Grahams. Yes you read that right.
I spent all last weekend thinking about what to make for the cake and hoped the decoration inspiration would come to me. I knew I didn’t want to make anything with chocolate so I started thinking about what flavor combinations I liked and then it hit me, Banoffee Pie. For those who don’t know what it is, not only are you missing out, but the way I like to explain it is the British version of banana pudding. As a Southerner, I have eaten quite a bit of banana pudding in my life, but I remember the very first time I was introduced to the concept of banoffee pie. To be specific, Mind of a Chef Season 2 episode 13. April Bloomfield made one on that episode and it stayed in my mind until I finally made one of my own and totally understood how good it was. What is not to like about a sweet crust, sliced banana, globs of dulce de leche, and piled high with whipped cream? Seriously, I can’t think of anything that could make that better. This is her recipe which is what I used: Banoffee Pie.
Sorry for the tangent, but I figured it was important to explain. I took those flavors as inspiration for a layer cake. I made a plain white cake, I believe it was a Martha Stewart recipe: Simple Layer Cake. I doubled the recipe and made three massive 9-inch cakes. I also doubled my batch of frosting to make sure I would have plenty to decorate with and used this super fluffy dulce de leche buttercream. I layered sliced bananas and dulce de leche in addition to frosting between the layers and this cake was super tall, like it barely fit in the cake box.
So I had the cake idea but still had no clue how I was going to decorate it much less incorporate Teddy Grahams, then I started laughing to myself. Bananas…monkeys…Teddy Grahams dressed as monkeys. It may not have been a “refined” decorating plan but I decided to just go with it. I was already super out of my comfort zone making a cake to begin with so why not do something I would never normally do.
First up was turning the Teddy Grahams into monkeys. I cut up little pieces of tootsie rolls and rolled them in the thin ropes and stuck them on to the backs of the grahams and shaped them like tails. Next, I took Pirouettes to decorate the outside of the cake to give a little more of a jungle feel. Then I colored my leftover frosting and piped the entire top of the cake with a Wilton 233 tip to make grass. Just as a fair warning, my hand was aching after I finished so here is your heads up if you want to decorate the entire top of a cake with grass. Once my Teddy-monkeys were in place, I gave them all candy bananas (sorted out from Wonka Runts).