How to Make a Monkey Smash Cake

Posted on November 2, 2015  |  Print Recipe

A chocolate smash cake that looks like a monkey! This first birthday cake is made from scratch and delicious.

How to Make a Monkey Smash Cake for a first birthday

Most people were pretty shocked to find out that L’s first taste of something “sweet” was at his first birthday party. It took a lot of restraint, but it definitely made his first experience with sugar a little more special. And of course I wanted to be the one to take credit for my child falling in love with dessert.

I mentioned before that his birthday party wasn’t all smiles, in fact, there were a lot of tears. So when a bunch of people sang happy birthday and we dared to put him in a high chair to try his cake he kind of lost it. Luckily, after some prodding, we managed to get him to eat a few joyful bites.

L's Monkey Smash Cake

And later in the day, after a little afternoon nap and in the quiet of our own apartment, the kid went to town. Watching him go at his birthday cake with such delight (two-handed at times) was priceless. I sized down the cake to be 6 inches, but it was still more than enough for a little boy so Matt and I proceeded to grab our own forks and dig in as well. Slices are so overrated.

L loving his Monkey Smash Cake

Anyway, my original plan was just to make L a chocolate cake with chocolate icing because that was my all-time favorite growing up. But when I came across this adorable monkey cake, I changed my plan just a bit. A couple of months ago, L started doing the monkey sound any time you mentioned monkeys or showed them to him in a book, and I just can’t get over it. As a result, I ordered him a monkey Halloween costume and ultimately decided to make a monkey birthday cake.

How to Make a Monkey Smash Cake

It’s clearly not perfect, and actually, the very finished product was a little better than the photo above (I lined his face with mini chocolate chips), but I was happy with it. I love that it was pretty easy and you really don’t need any real decorating skills to accomplish the fun design. Plus, the cake was seriously delicious. The chocolate cake was flavorful and moist and the chocolate buttercream was good enough for a few extra finger swipes. The insane sugar high L was on that night, well, it was worth it.

5.0 from 1 reviews

How to Make a Monkey Smash Cake
 
A chocolate smash cake that looks like a monkey! This first birthday cake is made from scratch and delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: One 6-inch cake

Ingredients
  • 2 6-inch layers of chocolate cake (recipe below)
  • Light chocolate buttercream (recipe below)
  • Dark chocolate buttercream (recipe below)
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 regular Oreos

Instructions
  1. Spread about ¼ cup light chocolate buttercream over one layer of cake; top with second layer of cake
  2. With a small offset spatula, spread, use the light chocolate buttercream and spread a circle in center of top cake layer; spread additional light chocolate buttercream under the circle in a big arc rounding the edges to make “cheeks” for the monkey
  3. Use a clean offset spatula to spread dark chocolate buttercream around the face of the monkey (careful around the edges) and around sides of cake
  4. Use chocolate chips OR pipe dark chocolate buttercream to make eyes, nose and mouth for monkey; line the edges of monkey’s face with chocolate chips where different buttercreams meet if desired
  5. Take each Oreo and carefully tuck them in (1/3 of the cookie) to each side of the cake where layers meet for monkey’s ears

Notes
You may have extra buttercream
Store cake lightly covered in a cake box or with seran wrap at room temperature up to two days

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Chocolate Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: Two 6-inch cake layers

Ingredients
  • 175g (~1⅓ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 40g (~1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • ½g (1/8 teaspoon) salt
  • 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 250g (~1 cup + 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 75g (1 large whole + 1 egg yolk) eggs at room temperature
  • 5 milliliters (1 teaspoon) vanilla
  • 215 milliliters (7 fluid ounces) water

Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour two 6-inch round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside
  4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla and beat one minute at medium speed
  5. Reduce speed of mixer to low and add ⅓ of the dry ingredients; add ½ of water then repeat
  6. Add remainder of dry ingredients and turn off mixer; make sure not to overbeat; if there are any lumps fold them in with a spatula
  7. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-34 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cakes
  8. Set cake layers aside to cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove each layer from pans; run a knife around the edge of each layer for easier removal

Notes
Cake slightly adapted from Hershey


5.0 from 1 reviews

Light Chocolate Buttercream
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 56g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 160g (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 3 milliliters (1/2) teaspoon vanilla
  • 30g (6 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa

Instructions
  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until light and creamy
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined; mix in vanilla
  3. Add cocoa and mix on medium high speed for three minutes or until light and creamy


5.0 from 1 reviews

Light Chocolate Buttercream
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 63g (4½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 160g (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 3 milliliters (1/2) teaspoon vanilla
  • 40g (8 tablespoons) unsweetened extra-dark cocoa

Instructions
  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until light and creamy
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined; mix in vanilla
  3. Add cocoa and mix on medium high speed for three minutes or until light and creamy

 

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How to Make a Monkey Smash Cake
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