Animal Cracker Truffle Cake
430 g 15 oz plain (all-purpose) flour
265 g (91/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
125 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
375 ml (12½ fl oz/11/2 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
10 drops pink food gel
2 tsp strawberry flavouring
1 cup funfetti sprinkles
Animal cracker truffles
360g white chocolate, melted
360g pink candy melts, melted
1 cup rainbow caviar sprinkles
Animal cracker sprinkles from fancysprinkles.com
White chocolate drizzle
100g white chocolate
50ml whipping/thickened cream
To fill, crumb coat and decorate this 6 layered, 8” cake you’ll need 2.5 batches of my chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
1 tsp strawberry flavouring
4 drops pink food gel
Split the frosting into two bowls. Colour one using pink food gel and strawberry flavouring, leave the other one white.
Please note: to make the 6 layered cake in this recipe + the cake pops on top of the cake, you’ll need to make 3 batches of vanilla cake. All other recipes and measurements are enough to put the cake together and decorate it.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (280F) or 160C (320F) for a conventional oven. Spray three 8” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Spray and line a rectangular baking tray with oil spray and baking paper. Set aside
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together using a hand mixer until well combined.
Next add the softened butter and mix on low speed until mixture reaches a crumbly sand like texture.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, strawberry flavouring, pink food gel, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until no dry ingredients are showing. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
Add 1/3 of the batter into the baking tray. Split the remaining batter amongst the three 8” cake tins. I find using an ice cream scoop to help me do this makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly so that everything bakes at the same time. Add funfetti sprinkles on top and mix into the batter using a spoon.
Bake all of the cakes for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the pick comes out with wet batter, bake for a further 10 min at a time until fully baked. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature inside the cake tins and then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate. So, I bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
Crumble the sheet cake into a large mixing bowl. The finer the crumbs, the better. Add about 1 cup of frosting into the bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined.
To make the cake pops perfectly round you’ll need a round sphere mold. I used a 1-inch silicone half sphere mold with 15 cavities. Fill the mold with the cake pop mixture. Once filled, place in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
Once chilled really well, place a cake pop stick into one half of the cake pops. You’ll be making two different coloured cake pops. Pink ones and white ones. For the white cake pops, dip the cake pop halves in white chocolate. For the pink ones, use pink chocolate.
Allow excess chocolate to drip off before adding another cake pop half on top using the melted chocolate as glue.
Place the glued together cake pops onto a baking tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. You’ll need 8 pink coated cake and 8 white chocolate coated cake pops.
Once chilled coat the cake pops in their assigned chocolate and sprinkle with rainbow caviar sprinkles. Once completed, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside in the fridge to chill until ready to use.
To fill and crumb coat cake
To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake before you trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers of cake.
To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of frosting onto an 8” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
Add white frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layers.
Add more frosting around and top and sides of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
White chocolate drizzle
Add the white chocolate and cream into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth.
Use a small offset spatula to smoothen out the top of the cake. Don’t worry about getting it perfect because we’re going to come back and smoothen it out properly.
Use the cake scraper to smoothen out the sides of the cake.
Add sprinkles to the cake by beginning at the bottom of the cake and adding less as you go up. This will help give you a sprinkles ombré effect.
Drizzle the top of the cake with the white chocolate drizzle.
To prepare the swirls of frosting that go on top of the cake, lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on your workbench. Add white frosting to a piping bag and pink frosting to another bag. Pipe lines of frosting on the plastic sheet alternating between each colour. Wrap the frosting up into a log and twist each end of the log. Snip one end off using scissors. Place into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe swirls of frosting on top of the cake.
Finish the cake off by adding the cake balls on top. If your swirl frosting is too soft to support the cake balls which can be a bit heavy, place it in the fridge for 30 minutes before placing on top of the cake.
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 1 hour before serving).
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CAKE TIN: For this recipe you’ll need at least one 8” cake tin but preferably three 8” cake tins. To prepare the tin, spray with oil spray. To prepare the baking paper use a pen to trace around the bottom of the cake tin on to the baking paper. Use scissors to cut slightly inside the circle you traced. Place the traced side down onto the baking tin with oil spray.
HAND MIXER: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.
OVEN TEMPERATURE: Each oven is different. Some are old, some are new. Some ovens can be hotter on the inside than the temp you set your oven at. If you find your cupcakes, cakes or macarons are browning or cracking, turn the oven temp down 10C. A handy trick is to get an oven thermometer which sits inside the oven and will give you an accurate temperature reading. They’re inexpensive and can be purchased online or at your local kitchen supply store. And always bake in the centre rack of the oven for best results!
BUTTER: Make sure the butter is very soft for the cake mixture. Theres two ways to do this. Microwave for 5 seconds at a time flipping the butter on each side until very soft (not melted). If you don’t have a microwave run a large bowl over hot water. Dry the bowl and place over the butter for 1 min. The heat from the bowl will create a warm enough environment to soften the butter.
BAKING TIME: This cake will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and caramelisation so that if the cake is coloured it doesn’t change colour and brown. After 50 minutes, stick a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.
Cake turn table/lazy susan
Large mixing bowls
Magic Whisk for wet ingredients
Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
8” cake tin
Ice cream scoop (optional)
Cake turn table
150mm Cake scraper/bench scraper