In my new picture book I illustrated some teddy cakes that the character Nonna makes with Celia. I decided to recreate them in real life. I took a batch to Ivanhoe library where they were quickly gobbled up. I was told they were delicious – I should have made more!
I am sharing the instructions here so educators and parents can enjoy this easy activity with their children. I don’t profess to be a cake decorator, my sister, Joy is the expert in that field I can honestly say this is an easy recipe.
Chocolate cup cakes
small light brown biscuits (I used Almond Florentines)
Small chocolate drops (or brown smarties)
Soft white vanilla Icing
Black writing icing
You will need:
a sink of soapy water
will power not to eat all the left-overs!
Gather all the ingredients:
Chocolate cup cakes. Make your own or buy them Chocolate chip is okay too.
Shop bought Almond Florentines where used for a “Italian Nonna” theme but some children don’t like the strong marzipan taste of these. You can use any light coloured biscuit this shape. These were approximately 2cm wide.
As I was making the cakes on a very tight time frame I used bought vanilla frosting in a small tub. The type that stays thick but soft.
Pink Smarties for the teddy’s noses and small chocolate cooking drops for eyes. Alternatively you can use the brown Smarties for eyes. Do what you will with the left-overs – yum!
Pretzels: we will loose a few to breakage but aim to break off the 2 sides like so. These will be our teddy’s ears. We will need enough for all our cakes.
When you have prepared your pretzel ears start assembling the nose. Spoon a good amount of icing into the piping bag and use to glue the pink Smarties to the florentines.
Using the black writing icing pipe the mouth on the florentines.
Then stick the whole florentine to the cup cakes, slightly offset, allowing room for the eyes on one side.
Making the eyes
Next, pipe a good amount of white icing onto the cupcake where the eyes will be. When we add the chocolate drop eyes the overflow will create part of the eye. Push each drop into the icing until almost touching the cake – but not quite!
Add a small amount of white icing to each end of the snapped off pretzel and push gently inot the cake until it grips. Ta-da!
Lat tip: If transporting your lovely teddy cakes, use a muffin tray so they don’t slip around. We don’t want teddy looking beat up, do we?!
If you have some teddy cake pictures you would like to share here, I would love to see them.
My goodness, life as a children’s author and illustrator is a busy one – but incredibly fun!
We are in the throws of book week (which goes for more than a week) where I have been visiting children in different parts of the state. Storytelling and creative education has to be the best job in the world.
My reward mazimus is witnessing the excitement in the eyes of my young readers. I love it when the children rush up to me excited about what they now CAN do with all they have learned. It is so much fun to ask the question, “was that fun?” and get the response, “It was AWESOME!” I am especially enjoying the introduction of my cheeky puppet tortoise, AT (pictured above hiding in his shell) and friends. You know you’ve hit the sweet spot when all the children unanimously sigh, “ooooh!” when I have to put AT away. I have fallen in love with him also. He has come fully alive over the sessions. I didn’t realise how much fun puppetry was until now!
So far, I have the pleasure of presenting to over 1300 students and I have more to visit still. Tomorrow, I join other authors and illustrators for the Ford Street Literary Festival at Scotch College in Hawthorn. Victoria Lane (author of Celia and Nonna) and myself will lead workshops for grades 4,5 and 6 tomorrow amongst lots of fun happenings during the day.