Go wild with a party where all sorts of animals roam free across everything from cupcakes to popcorn cones and take-home treats; SARAH EBERHARDT shows you how to unleash the fun
Kids will go wild for this animal-themed bash
SERVES approximately 20 large wedges of cake or 30 smaller pieces Banana cake (see recipe below) Chocolate ganache (see recipe below) ¼ cup apricot jam, sieved 1kg fondant icing 2 tablespoons edible confetti pastel dots 3 plastic animals 3 animal party hats (2 large and 1 small – see page 117) 1 Cut the cake into three layers. Place the bottom layer on a thin cake board and spread with a third of the ganache. Top with the middle layer of cake and spread with another third of the ganache. Add the top layer of cake and use the remaining ganache to ice the sides and top of the cake. Refrigerate for around 15 minutes until the ganache has set hard. 2 Brush the cake all over with a thin layer of the apricot jam. (This will make the fondant stick to the cake.) 3 Gently knead the fondant icing until it warms a little and is easier to roll out. 4 Lightly sprinkle cornflour on the bench and roll the icing out to 3-4mm thick. Gently lift it using your rolling pin and place over the top of the cake. Use your fingers to smooth the icing gently across the top, then, working around the cake, smooth down the sides. Trim the excess, cover and set aside to use again. 5 Dip your finger in a little water and rub around the bottom 2cm of the iced cake. This will make the fondant sticky so you can attach the confetti dots. 6 Press the confetti dots onto the dampened area of the cake. 7 Place the cake on your serving plate and top with the animals. Use a little bluetack to keep hats in place if necessary.
You can ice the cake with buttercream icing instead of fondant if you prefer. Confetti dots will stick to buttercream icing easily.
250 grams butter 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 2 cups mashed banana 3 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons vanilla essence ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup milk, at room temperature 1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 2 Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Then add the mashed banana and mix in. 3 Sift flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. 4 Mix vanilla essence, baking soda and milk in a separate bowl. 5 Gently fold the flour and milk mixtures into the creamed mixture alternately, starting and ending with the flour. 6 Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
500 grams dark chocolate (50 per cent cocoa), chopped 250ml cream 1 Heat the cream in a saucepan until it’s just about to boil, then remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth. 2 Leave to set overnight in a covered bowl on the bench before using to fill and cover the cake.
MAKES as much as you need Variety of fruit – we used mango, pineapple, grapes, cherries and mandarins 1 Peel and cut the pineapple and mangoes into small pieces, remove the grapes from the stalks. 2 Put a mixture of the fruit pieces into a cupcake cup and top with a cherry.
Iced animal biscuit cupcakes
MAKES 15 – 17 cupcakes Carrot cake cupcakes (recipe below) Cream cheese icing (recipe below) Iced animal biscuits (30-34 biscuits) 2 tablespoons 100s and 1000s Piping bag Icing nozzle – Wilton No.10 1 Fill the piping bag with icing and pipe around the top of the cupcake from the outside in, pulling up at the end to release the icing. 2 Sprinkle 100s and 1000s around the edge of the icing and top with two animal biscuits icing side to icing side.
Carrot cake cupcakes
MAKES 15-17 cupcake cases 1½ cups flour 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg ⅔ cup oil (mild flavoured such as sunflower, canola etc) 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1½ cups grated carrot 1 Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases. 2 In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, then make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, eggs and vanilla and pour into the dry ingredients. 3 Add the grated carrot and gently mix. 4 Pour batter into each cupcake case until ¾ full and bake for 18-20 mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 5 Cool on a wire rack before decorating.
Cream cheese icing
250 grams cream cheese, softened 125 grams butter, softened 3 cups icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 Beat cream cheese and butter together. 2 Add icing sugar and beat until combined. 3 Add vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
White chocolate popcorn
MAKES enough to fill 6 cones 125 grams white chocolate 6 cups plain popped popcorn 2 tablespoons 100s and 1000s 1 Gently melt the chocolate either in a bowl over hot water or in the microwave on low heat in 30 second bursts. 2 Toss the popcorn through the melted chocolate and spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with 100s and 1000s. 3 Leave to set, then break up and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Divide between paper cones. Pizza popcorn MAKES enough to fill 6 cones 2 tablespoons butter ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 6 cups plain popped popcorn 1 Preheat oven to 180°C. 2 Melt the butter in a large saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the paprika, garlic, oregano, basil and Parmesan. 3 Add the popcorn and stir until coated. 4 Spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 7-10 mins until the cheese melts. Leave to cool then place in an airtight container until ready to serve. Divide between paper cones.
Lion dip and veggies
SERVES 10 -12 Hummus (we used store-bought) 2 olives, Spanish pitted 2 cauliflower florets 2 round crackers Chives, chopped into 6-10cm pieces Red and yellow capsicum 2 carrots 1 Place the hummus in a round bowl and use the image below as a guide to create the lion’s face with the crackers and half an olive on top of each as the eyes. Cut a ring from the remaining olive and halve it to create the nose. 2 Place the two cauliflower florets under the crackers and a piece of red capsicum as the tongue. Add chives as whiskers. 3 Cut the capsicum and carrots into sticks and place around the bowl to create the mane.
MAKES 12 12 ‘heat and eat’ mini rolls 12 cheerio sausages Tomato sauce 1 Cook the mini rolls according to the instructions on the packet. 2 Place the cheerios in a saucepan and cover with water. Heat on medium heat until the water comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and drain. 3 Cut a slit down the middle of each of the rolls and insert a cooked cheerio sausage. Top with a squiggle of tomato sauce.
Small jars with lids (i.e baby food jars) Superglue Small plastic animals (2 for each jar) White spraypaint Mini M&MS 1 Remove the lids from the jars and glue an animal to the top of each lid. 2 Take the lids outside or into a wellventilated area. Place on newspaper and spray with several coats of paint. Do this at least a week before the party so the paint smell disappears from the jar lid. 3 Place an animal in each jar then fill with mini M&MS.
Animal ear headbands
(see treasures.co.nz for templates) White scrapbook card Black Sharpie pen Glue gun Black plastic headbands Double-sided tape 1 Use our template to draw and cut out animal ears from white scrapbooking card. Use a sharpie pen to outline and draw ear details. 2 Fold ears around the headbands and secure to the band with glue. Use double-sided tape to stick the two sides of the ear together.
Placemats and party hats
(see treasures.co.nz for templates) Black Sharpie pen Sheets of A4 paper Scrapbooking card or paper Mini pompoms 1 Draw animal hoof prints onto A4 paper for children to colour at the party. 2 Use our hat template to draw and cut out hats from coloured scrapbooking card and paper. 3 Roll into a cone shape and use either a glue gun or glue stick to secure edges. 4 Glue pompoms on top of the hat and around edge if desired.
Paper popcorn cones
(see treasures.co.nz for cone template) Animal print paper (we used free online images and printed them on A4 paper in black and white) Double-sided tape 1 Use our cone template to draw and cut out cones from animal print paper. 2 Roll into a cone shape and use double sided tape on one edge to secure.
(see treasures.co.nz for templates) Pencil Black Sharpie pen White paper cups (Spotlight) 1 Trace around our templates in pencil to create animal ‘noses’ on the sides of the cups, then go over the tracing with a black Sharpie pen. 2 Provide crayons on the party table for the kids to colour their cups in.
Lion dip & veggies Iced animal biscuit cupcakes White chocolate popcorn
Mini hotdogs Animal jars Animal ear headbands Colouring cups