It was my God-daughter Talei’s second birthday coming up and I had to decide what kind of cake to make her.

Finally! An excuse for me to start using my copy of the Australian Women’s Weekly Kids Birthday Cakes. I had been looking forward to this moment for a long time.

For the cake, I tried a new twist on Pioneer Woman’s sheet cake (yes I know I use it all the time, but its an excellent recipe and what’s more, I always have all the ingredients in my cupboard. Plus there’s no pesky melting-of-chocolate involved, which adds heaps of extra washing up, boo.)

Instead of making it a chocolate cake this time, however, I removed the cocoa powder and added in a good two teaspoons of Queens Vanilla bean extract (with actual beans, as opposed to just the alcohol). I also had a spare egg that needed to be used up so in that went as well. The result was quite good – it was a very moist dense vanilla cake that did not have a very strong flavour (which was great for the kids). 

For the frosting, I just made a simple buttercream (butter, a teeny bit of milk and icing sugar) and tinted it orange. 

To make the ‘spots’ on the giraffe, Women’s Weekly suggested melting chocolate, pouring it onto a lined cookie tray and then slicing it into diamonds when it was half set. 

To cut the cake into the perfect size, Women’s Weekly had a special printout which you copied onto baking paper, cut out and then placed on the cake to use as a guideline. You could easily trace a design onto baking paper yourself or make a smaller version with just an A4 piece of paper. You can see that the outline is quite simple to draw.

Then cover it with frosting and start decorating.

Ta daaa! To decorate the rest of its face, I just used extra pieces of chocolate – I had plenty to spare, so this also went onto the sides of the cake. For the feet, mane and the top of the giraffe’s head, I used dark chocolate bullets. The eyes were M&Ms and piping gel. The choc diamonds were just choccy melts. 

Me with the Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl and her cake (she just woke up, hence the sleepy/sad face.. lol).

Happy Birthday my beautiful God-daughter.