There has been a lot of monkey business going on around here. Specifically, an adorable monkey cake topper! When there is a sweet two-year-old who loves monkeys, you just have to say yes when she wants a monkey cake. And when mom sends you pics of the birthday girl literally sitting on the table and leaning over to hug the monkey on her cake, it just makes your day! So I wanted to share the love with a tutorial on how to make this cutie, and I expect to hear about some monkey business going on in your cake world soon!
When creating a topper this large, it’s helpful to start with a really lightweight base. If the whole thing was made of gumpaste or fondant, it would be super heavy and prone to sinking into the cake. Plus, a gumpaste piece this large would want to sag and get that awkward squatty look. I chose to use styrofoam balls because I had them on hand, and I knew no one was going to eat the monkey. (You could easily use rice krispie treats instead.) For the body, start with a 2.5-inch or 3-inch ball, and then add some gumpaste to the top to create an egg shape. Run a bamboo skewer through the body and into a styrofoam block approximately the height of your finished cake tier. Add a 4-inch styrofoam ball to the top and cut off the skewer level with the top of the head. The skewer will not only give you stability as you form your monkey but will also provide you with a way to easily anchor your topper to the cake and keep it from falling off.
Now wrap the styrofoam structure with brown fondant. Blend your seams as well as you can, but concentrate seams down the center front since we will be covering them up shortly anyway. Grab an oval cutter and cut out a light brown oval for the stomach. I chose to apply most of my details with egg white since it dries quickly and I knew it would not be eaten.
For the face, I used a LARGE circle cutter and then used a knife to freehand cut the top edge. Use a small ball tool to mark eye placement and a pointed tool to mark the ear placement. (Using a pointed tool to make a hole provides a place to anchor the ears to the piece.)
Now let’s shape the ears. (Don’t panic if steps are happening to fast! There is a video at the bottom to walk you through each part.) The ears were made by rolling a piece of fondant into a teardrop shape and flattening slightly. Then do the same with a much smaller piece of light brown fondant and layering it onto the dark brown. Use a modeling tool or knife to add some creases for some character. Apply to the sides of the head.
This is also a good time to apply the legs. Roll two even ropes of fondant. Flatten the ends slightly and use a small knife to mark toes. Thin the back edge of the leg before applying to the bottom edge of the body in order to avoid bulk at the back of the monkey.
Adhere two tiny balls of black fondant for the eyes, and use an edible marker to add eyelashes. For the nose, roll a small ball of brown fondant and shape into a triangle before adhering to the face. Then use a tiny ball tool to indent nostrils on the sides. Now you can use a shaping tool to indent a mouth on your monkey.
She’s looking cute already!!! Next step is going to be a tutu and bow. The bow is pretty straightforward. I find it easier to make individual loops and then shape a center to cover the joint. The tutu is formed by cutting strips of fondant and pleating by hand before adhering to the body of the monkey.
A couple more details and we’re done! We can make the arms just like we made the legs. Just put a little bend in the elbows using the back of a paring knife. And let’s give her a little flower! I made a little rose using the same method I used here. For the stem, I inserted a small piece of spaghetti into a green fondant rope to give it some added stability and make it easier to place. And brush the eyes with egg white to give them a little shine.
Now grab some pink petal dust and give those cheeks some color. And if you’re feeling gutsy, add a little bit of color to the mouth and ears too. Just to jazz things up a bit. Why not, right!?
So cute!!! Now whip a sweet cake as a perch for this cutie and prepare for a very happy birthday girl!!
*Sigh* I never get tired of this creation. It’s just so sweet and adorable! What do you think?
Until next time!