Big-Eyed Owl Cake

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This owl cake is a hoot to make. The simple smeared dot technique gives this bird its feathers.
Here's what you need:
- 1 10" round cake any flavor
- Chocolate buttercream frosting
- 2 6" round cakes any flavor
- Food coloring
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
- 2 chocolate-covered cookies
- 2 red candies

Step 1

Place 10-inch cake on your work surface. Then lay 6-inch round cake pan on edge of cake so it overlaps about 2 inches. Cut along the pan edge to remove an oval from large cake. Then move pan over and repeat cut so you have 2 oval cutouts.

Step 2

Lay cake on edge of 10-inch cake directly below oval cutouts, again overlapping about 2 inches. Cut out an arch shape from cake.

Step 3

Place the cut 10-inch cake on a 18-inch round cake board. Spread the chocolate buttercream frosting along the two cut edges at the top of cake. Nestle the 6-inch cakes into the cuts. It should look like a body with two large eyes.

Step 4

Cut one of the oval pieces from step 1 in half width-wise. Spread chocolate frosting on the sides of the pieces. Place them just above the eyes. Then place the arch-shaped pieces of cake you removed in step 2 above the eyes to finish the head.

Step 5

Spread chocolate frosting over the owl's wings, between the eyes, and on the head. Leave the eyes and the center of the body unfrosted.

Step 6

Color some vanilla buttercream orange and put it in a pipping bag with a round tip. Then fit another pipping bag with a large round point. Fill this bag with uncolored buttercream.

Step 7

Pipe a row of round white frosting drops on the bottom of the body. Add a bead of orange frosting on top of each with drop. Use a spatula to flatten frosting drops, then pull them up towards the eye. Continue adding rows of frosting drops and pull them up until the body is covered in frosting feathers.

Step 8

Use orange buttercream to frost the eyes. Then add drops of more orange frosting around the edges of the eyes. Use a spatula to flatten frosting drops and pull them towards the center.

Step 9

Set a chocolate-covered cookie in center of each eye. Pipe a small white dot on each cookie and top with a red candy.

Step 10

Color a small amount of vanilla buttercream yellow. Put it in a pipping bag with a round tip. Pipe a triangle of yellow frosting between the eyes as a beak. Then pipe the feet on the cake edges between the wings.

Step 11

This recipe is excerpted with permission from "Custom Confections: Delicious Desserts You Can Create and Enjoy" by Jen Besel and published by Capstone Young Readers.

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