Week 22 – Surprise Inside – Cheetah Print Cake

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Week 22 of Reddit’s baking challenge was to produce something with a surprise inside. There are so many things you can bake with a delicious surprise inside, but I wanted to try something I have never tried before, so I decided to go with making an animal print cake, cheetah to be exact. I thought it would be fun to have a plain looking cake from the outside and then once it’s cut open, to have a fun, colorful print appear. I also happened to make this on my cousin’s 16th birthday, and decided to bring it over for dessert. Besides, what 16 year old guy doesn’t want a cheetah print cake!

For this recipe, I used my basic vanilla cake recipe, actually any white cake recipe would work. This video from Cookies Cupcakes and Cardio is the guide I used and her video had a very thick and very fluffy looking cake mix. I will be honest and tell you that my cake mix is not that thick or fluffy, more of a liquid batter and I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came out of the oven. You can see in the images below how much different my cakes look from the videos. The colors looked like they were blending together and there wasn’t nearly as much consistency.

 

So after baking and cooling, I still wasn’t sure what the print was going to look like, because we weren’t going to eat the cake until the next day, and didn’t want to cut into one of the layers, so I decided it would stay a surprise. You can see in the images below, the colors stayed really vibrant, which usually doesn’t happen when you color cake. I have found that color usually bakes out and looks really drab after it’s finished. All of the colors except the blue, were achieved using the neon gel food coloring from Walmart and would definitely recommend them. The blue was from Wilton’s color right system and turned out to be a really vibrant blue, almost Cookie Monster blue. In the images below, you can see the golden brown around the edges, but the colors stayed very bright and vibrant.

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I made a full frosting recipe and took about half and added Oreo crumbs and stacked and frosted three layers with Oreo Swiss Meringue buttercream and a thin layer of chocolate ganache. I took the remaining half of the buttercream and frosted the outside, with no decorations or anything special. I wanted to give the illusion of just a plain cake, inside and out. I would definitely recommend trying this technique. Although it was a bit time consuming with having to separate and mix all of the colors of frosting, people will be saying wow when the cake is cut and they aren’t expecting it.