Do you feel things often seem to happen all at once? Suddenly everyone has an event on the same day or one particular week becomes jam-packed with plans? For me, it certainly does. Fortunately, my recent situation was all for happy occasions. After a full three days of bridal party festivities, I drove to the other side of CT to attend a second birthday party for my good friend’s daughter, Bruna. And my husband had to go into work that evening. And I was also baking her cake.
As you know, I love a good challenge, but I’m often asked why I take on so much. The only way I can think of responding is, ‘Why not?’ When there’s a will, there’s a way. Besides, there’s no greater feeling then seeing a smile on someone’s face and knowing I contributed to that joy. It’s a wonderful honor when someone I care about trusts me to help make their day better. Most of all, everything I did this weekend was for really fantastic people who would do the same for me. I guess I’m lucky in that sense.
The tradition of making Bruna’s cake began with her first birthday last year. I was touched when asked to be part of something so special another time around. Who knows? Down the line I may be baking a few tiers for her wedding day!
Bruna requested a Muno cake from the popular children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba. I gladly accepted, and then did a little research considering this series isn’t part of my regular line-up. I brought the dessert over in a cake box, which I highly recommend for traveling. It was ideal for both fridge storage and safe transportation. Check your local kitchen or craft stores for various sizes, but I’ll let you in a little secret: I got mine at the Stop and Shop bakery, free of charge!
Here’s a step-by-step recap in case you ever want to create this character yourself. It isn’t laced in fondant or made with fancy tools, but I assure you it was prepared with 100% pure love. This morning my friend told me she asked Bruna what her favorite part of the party was and she said, “Jenn made Muno cake.” What could be more rewarding than that?
Chocolate cake (see recipe)
Vanilla frosting (see recipe)
1 small bottle red food coloring
4 drops yellow food coloring
Black cookie icing
2 boxes DOTS candy, red and pink only
1 sugar or chocolate chip cookie
1 chocolate circle
1 jumbo marshmallow
Bake cake according to directions. I suggest using parchment paper to make it easier to turn out of the dish. I sprayed it with vegetable oil and sprinkled it with cocoa powder.
Once cooled, flip cake upside down onto a plate or rack. This will ensure you are working with a flat surface.
To form Muno’s head, place a bowl at the top of one end of the cake and use a sharp knife to cut around the bowl. Drag the knife around at the top and on a downward diagonal towards the sides.
Prepare frosting and reserve a small amount for the eye. Add food coloring to the remaining mixture and stir well until blended.
Move cake onto your board and frost completely.
Cover cookie with white frosting and add a small chocolate circle to the center of the cookie to form the pupil. Place cookie about 1/4 of the way down from the top of the cake.
Pipe black cookie icing onto the bottom portion of the cake in the shape of a mouth. Form a wide half circle and connect it across the top with a straight line from left to right. Fill it in completely with black icing.
Using kitchen scissors, cut marshmallow in half. Snip a triangular shape on one end of each piece to form the points of the teeth.
Place them onto the mouth.
Add DOTS candy sporadically around the head and sides. Spread a small amount of frosting on the bottom of the candies to help them stick to the cake. Use a damp paper towel to clean any extra frosting off the board.
I added a message to the girl of honor by piping “Happy second birthday” onto the board with white icing. I made a bouquet of balloons by sticking yellow peanut MnMs together onto a pool of frosting. Yellow writing icing was used to create a string.
Eat and enjoy after the candles are blown out!