If you have a little explorer at your house -- or a family member who just has a thing for giraffes -- a giraffe cake is one way to indulge that fondness. Granted, giraffes are a tall order, since they aren't the most common cake decoration, but with a little perseverance you should be able to come up with a cake that's head and shoulders above the rest.
Herds of Giraffes
One possible way to go is to purchase five to 10 small plastic giraffe models of varying sizes, and group them on top of the cake to simulate a herd of giraffes walking across the Serengeti. Use a tan or light-brown icing to simulate the desert. If you can get them, model trees, such as the ones used in train sets, can help you create the feeling of Africa. A hobby or toy shop is a good place to look for both. Or, you can make your own palm trees with pretzels and candy.
If you don't want to be bedevilled with special shapes or drawings, cover a round cake with giraffe spots. You can do this by making a brown or yellow cake and piping threadlike, white icing over it to outline the spots; cover yellow icing with rounded squares in brown icing to simulate a giraffe's spots; cover a tan cake with blotches of chocolate chips, brown sprinkles or broken shards of milk chocolate bars; or spread melted chocolate onto the cake through a giraffe-spot stencil or transfer sheet.
Draw a Giraffe
If you have artistic talent, you can opt to draw a giraffe on the top of your cake. You can use a child's colouring book as a template; pipe in the outline with royal icing and fill in with thinned royal icing in the proper colours. Alternatively, outline the giraffe with royal icing and fill it in with sprinkles and small candies, such as chocolate chips.
For the simplest giraffe cake, place a giraffe toy alongside, or on top of, a yellow cake. A small plush or plastic giraffe toy works well. If you want to make the giraffe part of a more traditional zoo or jungle theme, some bakeries sell ready-made cakes with giraffe decorations already included.
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