BREAKING NEWS: It’s “Meat-Cake Month”. Time to Get Our Bake On

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It’s May.

Long-time readers of this blog (poor bastards) will know that May is a VERY important month on the Hugzilla calendar.

Crack out the chicken schnitzel and champagne: it’s Meat Cake Month!!

TIME TO GET OUR BAKE ON.

The Hugzilla household celebrates two very important birthdays in May – my younger son and my husband both have birthdays within a week of each other.

It has become a family tradition to put my notoriously-dodgy baking skills to the test in order to create two unique novelty cakes:

1) An ambitious theme-cake for my son

and

2) An ambitious meat-cake for my husband

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Meat-Cake Month: This Year’s Festivities

This year we are celebrating the 3rd annual Meat Cake Month, and the difficult selection process for both cakes has now been finalised. Today on Hugzilla I will reveal the inspiration for this year’s theme-cake.

> MEAT CAKE

As always, the meat cake is prepared under strictly top-secret conditions, and will only be revealed once finally complete. Previous years have established my meat-cake credentials as the leading pioneer in the genre; sole inventor of the Chicken Schnitzel Cake and the Rainbow Chicken Schnitzel Cake.

This year will be no exception: expect the unexpected.

Chicken is out. I’ll be working with totally different core ingredients this year.

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> THEME CAKE

Each year for my son, I set a public challenge for myself. Last year I nailed it with a faithful reproduction of my friend’s Bird’s Nest Cake and the year before I nailed the Rainbow (Hornless) Unicorn Cake.

This year I have decided to finally face my fear of fondant, and will be attempting this Backpack Cake for my Dora-The-Explorer-obsessed three year old son.

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Looks easy, right?

WRONG.

People who are familiar with my baking know that I can barely even get a cake out of the oven without it spontaneously combusting into a catastrophic pile of crumbs.

Think I’m joking?

Here’s the Red Velvet Cake I made a couple of weeks ago.

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So, while that Backpack Cake might look like a breeze to most of you, rest assured that it will push me way beyond the limits of my astonishing ineptitude. I had to give myself at least a chance-in-Hell of succeeding with this. I mean, my kid has to eat this shit.

Preliminary Preparations: An Update

As usual, I have done zero preparation for this colossal undertaking, the first of which is due to be delivered in two days time. I am relying on the fact that Aldi have a sale on fondant tomorrow, so I can get my shit together for this project. If anything goes wrong with the Aldi supply-chain I’ll be in serious trouble, because I have NFI where to get fondant from otherwise.

I’m also operating on the unverified assumption that you can smoosh fondant together to make different colours, the same way you can with play-doh. If it doesn’t, I am going to have to engage the Official Emergency Back-Up Plan: Use a shitload of food colouring and pray for purple.

Meat Cake May: History and Context

I don’t usually pimp my own back-catalogue on Hugzilla because that would be insufferably naff, but anyone interested in the history of Meat Cake Month can check out these posts:

Rainbow (Hornless) Unicorn Cake

Bird’s Nest Cake

The Original Chicken Schnitzel Cake

Rainbow Chicken Schnitzel Cake

Anyone who enjoys a good kitchen disaster can also check out:

The Hugzilla Cake Wreck “Hall of Shame”

And, the obligatory disclaimer: Yes, I really am that bad. I know it’s difficult to comprehend. I’ve had 38 years to come to terms with it.

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77 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: It’s “Meat-Cake Month”. Time to Get Our Bake On

  1. Get a sponge from Woolies. Seriously they taste pretty good and you can get them in either plain or chocolate. I don’t even make my own icing any more. I get one of those Betty Crocker tubs. Betty knows her shit.

  2. What an adventure you have ahead! I can’t wait to see what the meat-cake is!
    As for the fondant I still haven’t mastered the art yet either I believe there is a lot of kneading involved (a mini mummy work out). Looking forward to seeing this years outcomes 🙂 Goodluck

  3. Ha ha. I’m so impressed that you are attempting fondant – I can’t do that (although did find some pre-coloured stuff in Coles the other day so if Aldi run out!) Now, the meat cake – love it. My husband would think he has died & gone to heaven – his birthday last year was the festival of meat which was very time consuming so to put it all in a cake is genius! Can’t wait to see the end results!

  4. Haha…good luck! I think I’d rather eat the backpack cake even if it doesn’t turn out great. Not so sure about the meat cake! 😛 Oh and the bird’s nest cake looks pretty damn good. I’m just good for a regular chocolate cake. Anything else is beyond me!

  5. I don’t think it’s stretching things too much to suggest that you are the ONLY pioneer in the genre of meat cakes. I do, however, think it’s a genre worthy of further development:-) P.S. Can I order a schnitzel cake for my May birthday? Do you deliver? (#IBOT)

  6. Here’s a tip, cook the cake for the backpack a couple of days in advance, then freeze it. It’s much easier to carve / shape when partially frozen. Easier to apply the sticky icing as well – yes to need to put something between cake and fondant to make the fondant stick – even just brushing the whole cake with slightly beaten egg white will help, but a flavoured icing will make the fondant more palatable.

    • LOL I am terrified of fondant too! I don’t even like eating it. This is one of those character-building “face your fears” type scenarios. Who will be victorious…? Not me.

  7. OMG! Meat cakes – you are hilarious! I am a bad baker too… I have only just mastered the packet cake recently. I seriously don’t know what is wrong with me. I find birthday cake so stressful. I can cook but run for the hills if I say I am going to bake! Love this post! Happy May to your boys xo

    • It’s always nice to find someone who shares my unique malady! Lots of women seem to come out of the womb doing this stuff and I am deadset useless, no matter how much I try. Thanks for making me feel normal.

  8. Meat cake just sounds so wrong. I suppose it’s Paleo… That bird’s nest cake is sensational. The only cake I ‘made’ was when I bought two sponge cakes from Coles, put whipped cream in the middle and smothered the whole thing with chocolate icing and smarties. The other kindy mothers thought I made it from scratch. I used to order mine from the cake shop and get them to put one of those icing photographs of the kid in question on the top. Perhaps this is why they don’t make a fuss of me on Mother’s Day. I was a slack mother. Good luck with it all Hugzy x

  9. I am also a tragic cake wreck type person. I have managed to fool the system but buying icecream cakes and then creating little paper toppers in whatever theme we are chasing. Being vegetarian, I will have to pass on the meat cakes.

  10. OMG how did I not know about meat cake month before now!!
    I showed my husband a picture of your chicken schnitzel cake and his response was “that’s best, make one for me!” “That’s a fucking brilliant idea” and “If I wasn’t already married to you, I’d marry that chick.” So clearly, you’re on to a winner there. And now I have to make a chicken schnitzel cake to keep the love and affection of my husband. Lol.

  11. Oh my husband would love a meat cake! We already have what I call a ‘meat fest’ every time he cooks a BBQ for dinner and there isn’t a side of salad or even some potatoes in sight! Look forward to seeing your creation! Oh, and you’re a legend in my eye for even attempting fondant icing!

  12. In the immortal words of the Partridge Family, I think I love you. Once when I was younger and delusional I tried making my kids’ birthday cakes. No sorry, I tried making my elder son’s birthday cake. The younger never got a look in because after the third year I abandoned all efforts and outsourced to my mum who has in turn outsourced to a cake shop on at least one occasion. She’s always said she buys an excellent dessert. I too am the last minute let’s just have faith that Aldi has what I need, which they won’t, in which case I will cobble something a bit half-assed together or just ditch th whole idea altogether mum. After all, are the kids really going to notice or care?
    The meat cake, on the other hand, is brilliant. I think all birthday cakes should be made from a food stuff of the birthday-person’s choice. Can you make a champagne and blue cheese cake? My eldest would probably have a lasagne cake while my little guy would have a rice cracker cake. I’m not going to show hubby your chicken schnitzel cake as I don’t want to encourage any expectations that cannot be met 😉

    • I always like the idea of baking cakes for my kid until it gets to the point where reality kicks in and I have to think about things like buying ingredients and making sure I have the right equipment and then having to cook the bloody thing. Then I regret everything. I occasionally get a good blog post out of it and then all is forgiven again. Until the following year. LOL.

  13. Surely nothing can top the parmie cake?! Can’t wait to see what brilliance you create. Best of luck with Backpack. I can’t stand fondant but I like your thinking re. mixing the colours like Play-Doh – what could possibly go wrong?! At least Backpack is one colour and you’re not trying to recreate a character like Tico and his amazing technicolour vest….Whatever you do, stay away from Pinterest. You’ll lose days looking at cakes and decorating. God speed!

    • I have to say, I’m a little bit intimidated by the legacy of the chicken schnitzel cake and am feeling the pressure to live up to that. Either way, it’s all going to be a disaster. Hopefully a beautiful (or at least comical) one.

  14. Just buy the tinted fondant – save your energy for the meat cake lol. Also coat the cake with a thin layer of jam before you apply the fondant. Fondant is a far easier bastard to work with then that evil butter cream which just screams to be licked from the beaters.

    • Not sure if the jam comment is a gee-up but I’m going to do it anyway (my kid is not only obsessed with Dora, he is also obsessed with JAM, so it seems serendipitous). Surely adding an extra element is not going to give me something else to fail at…

  15. Oh god, you’re really attempting fondant? I mean, I have faith and all… actually, that’s a lie. I don’t. Fondant is a bastard and unless you have superior rolling and transferring skills, will end up looking like a badly cellulited arse cheek. But best of luck!! 😉

    • But seriously: if you can only find white fondant (also available in the cake aisle at Coles and Woolies. In a box. Usually Orchard brand) you can colour it with red and blue liquid colouring to try and get purple. Use only a tiny amount at a time and then knead like a mofo.
      You’ll need some icing sugar to dust over your bench and your hands so it doesn’t become a sweaty, sticky mess. Trust me. Lots of sifted icing sugar everywhere. You’ll need it.
      And use baking paper on that tray woman!

      • OK cool – thank you! Aldi are having a special today on all the different colours of fondant I need (I took that as a affirmation from the universe) so in theory all I have to do is roll it and cut it into shapes. In my head it’s deceptively easy but I’m very aware of my fraught history with cake decorating. But yes. Icing sugar is a good tip. I would have probably used flour otherwise.

  16. Oh my gosh… It’s Meat cake month again already?! *sings* It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m serious, even though I’m vegetarian I get more excited about this cake reveal than christmas. Really. Although that may have something to do with the fact that meat cake day doesn’t cost me anything and I get to have a good laugh. FYI If you make a decent looking cake I will be disappointed and no longer believe in Santa. Or unicorns. Or backpacks.

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