How to Make a 3-D Deer Head Cake

Written by olivia deangelo
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Celebrate the next birthday of the avid hunter in your life with a 3-D deer head cake. Cake decorating has turned into edible art over the years and opened up a world of creative designs for people to tackle. Sculpted deer head cakes look as if they are defying gravity and physics, but are in fact created using a delicate inner structure and plenty of imagination.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • 2 medium mixing bowls
  • Large whisk
  • Hand mixer
  • 18 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 3-D soccer ball cake pan
  • 3-D football cake pan
  • Soccer ball chocolate mould
  • Black melting chocolate
  • Measuring spoons
  • 0.907 Kilogram salted butter, softened
  • 2.72 Kilogram icing sugar
  • 3 teaspoons clear vanilla flavouring
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 22-gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • White modelling chocolate
  • Brown gel food colouring
  • Wilton cake tip #233
  • 24-inch disposable decorating bags
  • Black gel food colouring
  • Glycerine
  • Small paint brush
  • 12-by-12-inch piece of plywood
  • Grease-proof decorating paper
  • Serrated knife
  • Butter knife
  • Spatula
  • Rolling pin
  • 1/4-inch dowel rods
  • Melon baller

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    Prepare the Cake and Frosting

  1. 1

    Grease the 3-D soccer ball and 3-D football pans. Preheat oven to 162 degrees C. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and flour and beat at medium speed for three minutes. Portion the amount of batter needed for each pan according to the insert with the pan. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the centre. Once finished, let cool completely. You will need two football cakes and one soccer ball cake.

  2. 2

    Microwave 10 pieces of melting chocolate in a disposable decorating bag for one to two minutes. Every 30 seconds pull the bag out and knead it with your fingers to move the chocolate around until all chips are fully melted. Cut the tip off the end and squeeze the chocolate into four of the soccer ball mould cavities. Place in refrigerator until firm.

  3. 3

    Beat two pounds of softened salted butter and vanilla on medium speed using a hand mixer. Slowly add icing sugar one cup at a time, continually scraping the sides of the bowl. After you have added one and a half pounds of icing sugar, add the water to the mixture. Continue to add icing sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks but is not so thick that the mixer does not easily move through it. Scoop one quarter of the frosting into a medium bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of brown gel food colouring to the remaining frosting and beat until it is a medium brown.

    Make the Antlers

  1. 1

    Roll out a baseball-size ball of modelling chocolate.

  2. 2

    Cut into one inch wide strips using a butter knife. Cut the 22-gauge wire and bend to the shape of deer antlers. The main strand should be approximately eight inches long and be curved forward. Attach four wire strands that are two to three inches long to each of the main strands.

  3. 3

    Wrap strips of modelling chocolate around each wire. Continue adding pieces until it builds a thickness that is proportionate to real deer antlers. Add extra chocolate around the bottom where the antlers attach to the head.

  4. 4

    Smooth the modelling chocolate with your fingers. Use the non-serrated side of a butter knife and etch lines down the antlers to create texture.

  5. 5

    Dip the tip of a toothpick in the brown gel food colouring. Add it to one tablespoon of glycerine. Mix thoroughly using the toothpick.

  6. 6

    Paint the food colouring mixture onto the modelling chocolate antlers to give them a natural tan hue. Allow to dry.

    Mold and Decorate the Cake

  1. 1

    Wrap the plywood with greaseproof decorating paper. Remove soccer ball cake from the pan. Cut the soccer ball in half with a large serrated knife. Smooth a dollop of frosting onto the cake board and place one half of the soccer ball, flat side down, on the paper. This portion will act as the shoulder/breast area of the deer head.

  2. 2

    Remove both football cakes from the pan. Cut four inches off each end of each football. Cut one of the ends in half lengthwise to create two triangles and set aside.

  3. 3

    Insert a dowel rod in the lower third of the soccer ball half on the cake board. The dowel needs to be inserted at a 45-degree angle. Apply frosting around the base of the dowel and slide one of the footballs on vertically. Place frosting on the inside of the 45-degree angle and attach two of the cut off football ends with the points facing outward.

  4. 4

    Carve away layers of the cake, slowly, with a serrated knife to shape the neck and body.

  5. 5

    Insert a dowel through the top of the neck of the deer and attach the other football horizontally as the head.

  6. 6

    Carve a deer face out of the top football, excluding the ears. Use a melon baller to scoop out the eye sockets.

  7. 7

    Insert two one-inch dowel rods to the top of the head and attach the two triangle pieces that were cut from the football ends as ears. Use a picture of a deer as a guide for proper placement and angle. Trim the ears to match those of a real deer.

  8. 8

    Cover the entire cake with a thin, smooth layer of buttercream frosting and refrigerate for four hours.

  9. 9

    Place the #233 cake decorating tip inside a disposable decorating bag. Fill bag with brown frosting. Remove cake from refrigerator and pipe short hairs in a downward direction all over the neck, breast, face and ears except for under the chin, chest and on the nose.

  10. 10

    Fill a second decorating bag with the #233 decorating tip and white frosting. Pipe the remaining of the chest, neck and under the chin with white fur.

  11. 11

    Squeeze a small amount of white frosting onto one chocolate soccer ball mould and lay a second mould on top of it to create a completed ball. Repeat on the second set of chocolates. Insert chocolate balls into the eye sockets of the deer.

  12. 12

    Press modelling chocolate onto the nose area of the deer cake head. Smooth it using a butter knife. Paint it black with black gel food colouring. If colouring is too thick, add two to three drops of glycerine to thin it.

  13. 13

    Insert two one-inch dowels next to the deer ears. Slide on antlers pushing the dowels through the modelling chocolate. Apply a small amount of frosting under the antlers to hold them in place.

  14. 14

    Add finishing touches to the fur on the ears, around the antlers and around the nose. Apply a dot of white frosting to the eyes for a realistic look.

Tips and warnings

  • Airbrush plain vodka onto the cake to give it a glossy finished look.
  • Do not use boxed cake mix for this project. Sponge cake has a better hold for creating moulded cakes.

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