Making a birthday cake for your child's birthday can be intimidating, but it does not have to be. There are many cake designs that even a novice can successfully execute. One popular party theme is monkeys. By using a glass bowl to create the shape, you can create a chocolate, peanut butter and banana cake that looks like a monkey's head.
Make one box of yellow cake mix according to package directions. Preheat the oven as the box indicates.
Fill one cup of a muffin tin that is lined with a paper baking cup. Fill it 3/4 full. Pour the remaining cake mix into either an oven-safe glass bowl or a domed cake pan. Grease the bowl or pan first as the box indicates. Bake your cupcake and cake in your preheated oven. Your cupcake should take about 30 minutes to bake, while the cake takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Test your cupcake and cake with a wooden skewer before removing from the oven. If the skewer comes out clean, they're ready.
Remove your cupcake and cake from the oven. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cupcake from the pan to finish cooling. After 10 minutes cooling in the bowl, turn the bowl upside down on a clean kitchen towel. Remove the bowl, and allow the cake to cool thoroughly before proceeding.
Use a serrated knife to cut the cupcake in half vertically so that you have two half circles. Cut the flat side of the cake to level it.
Place your cake on a serving platter with the flat side down. Cut it in half horizontally to make two layers. Place the top section to the side for the moment. Use a pastry brush to brush away the crumbs from your serving plate and the top of your cake.
Place several strips of wax or parchment paper under the bottom edge of the cake. This will make a lining to keep the icing off of your serving platter.
Place a layer of store-bought chocolate icing on top of the cake that is on your serving platter. You can use a spatula or an icing knife to ice the cake.
Cut up a banana into small rounds. Place the rounds on top of your chocolate icing layer.
Place the domed layer of cake on top of the chocolate and banana layer. Use your spatula to ice the entire cake with chocolate icing.
Attach your cupcake half circles to the sides of your domed cake with the flat cut sides against the cake. The easiest way to attach it is to add a little bit of chocolate icing to the cut side of the cupcake. Insert three toothpicks in this iced side, and then press the toothpicks into the sides of the dome cake. Ice the ears with chocolate icing.
Place your cake, on the serving dish, in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow the icing to harden slightly before you add another layer.
Place two cups of creamy peanut butter in a small bowl. Use a spoon to mix the peanut butter to loosen it up and warm it slightly. This makes it easier to spread. Place your mixed peanut butter into a pastry bag with a large, round tip. If you do not have a pastry bag, use a zip-close bag. Once you fill the bag, cut 1/4 inch of the bag on one of the corners. Squeeze the bag to pipe a large oval on the lower section on the front of the cake. This oval will be the area for the monkey's mouth and nose. Pipe a half circle on each of the ears. Use an icing knife to smooth the oval and half circles.
Place two brown, hard-shell chocolate candies above the large oval for the monkey's eyes. Cut a piece of black shoestring liquorice into two 1/2-inch pieces. Place these two pieces of liquorice for the monkey's nostrils. They should be parallel to one another and placed vertically underneath the eyes. Place a full piece of liquorice horizontally in the oval in a smile shape. This will be the monkey's mouth. If you do not have candies or liquorice, you can use food colouring to darken the chocolate icing and draw the eyes, nose and mouth using a pastry bag filled with your darker icing.
Remove the waxed paper, and you are ready to serve.
If you have a peanut allergy, you can tint white icing with yellow icing to make the ears and mouth areas.