This Monster Cake (that I lovingly call “Moppy”) is a great way to display cake pops. This works for birthday parties or Halloween (which, have I mentioned I can’t wait for!?) I first got this idea after looking through the Bakerella site. One of the readers sent in a cake that had cake pop eyeballs, and I instantly loved the idea. There are different ways to do a shag look, but below are instructions for how I put this cake together.
1. Stack 2 (6 inch) cake tiers that have already been filled (use a 6 inch cardboard round for the base of the top tier). Make sure to dowel the bottom tier before placing one on top. Buttercream the entire cake. It should be between 8 and 9 inches tall at this point.
2. Now, the interesting part: how to get shag. I initially tried doing this with buttercream and a Wilton grass tip. It was a disaster. It looked sloppy and did NOT give me the shag look I was going for, so I went back to my favorite icing, fondant. Yes, those are strings of fondant… and no way did I roll them out one by one. I’m not insane. A pasta machine would work for this. I however, did not have a pasta machine so I improvised. Necessity is the mother of all invention… especially in cake baking!
I used a potato ricer that I got from Bed Bath and Beyond (pictured to the left). But anything that will push fondant through holes the right size will work. Get creative (see if you have a playdough machine set somewhere!) Whatever you decide to do, remember that after you press it through you’ll want to jerk a sharp knife slowly across so only a few strands drop off at a time (otherwise they clump together). Now make your purple shag about 2 inches long. Remember to work in chunks. If you make all the shag at once it will dry out and be difficult to work with.*
3. Cut a strip of fondant roughly 2 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the cake. Lightly wet the top of the strip and attach your purple strands to the wet part leaving the bottom majority of each strand loose and detached from the fondant.
4. Take your strip and attach it along the bottom of the cake.
5. Now, cut a purple strip but make it roughly 1-1/2 inches wide. Cover it in strands making the top of the strands flush with the top of the fondant strip. Line the bottom of the strip (NOT the bottom of the fringe) up with the top of the already attached strip below it. The fringe should overlap the bottom fringe by at least 1/2 inch. (You can play with the overlap amount so that the shag is how you like it, but remember to adjust the width of the strips if you do that.)
6. From here on out you will cut the strips 1-1/2 inches (only the bottom strip is 2 inches). Now repeat step 5 with the green fondant, making and attaching two strips.
7. The mouth is a little tricky. Place the half circle of black fondant so it is overlapping the top of the green layer. Then take a purple shag strip and cut it in half (width-wise) and attach the strips to either side of the mouth. Now take a whole purple shag strip and attach it so the bottom of the strip of fondant is lined up with the top of the mouth. There should be some shag hanging over the mouth.
8. Continue as normal with the next two green shag strips and just curve it up over the top edge of the cake.
9. Cut out a purple circle that fits into the middle of the green that has been wrapped up over the edge. Arrange shag onto the purple circle so it fans out in a circle with the center being the center of the top of the cake.
10. Attach your eyeball cake pops (see the Cake Pop Tutorial article for help on making cake pops, but color the white chocolate to be a matching green, you can also just cover it in fondant if it is easier for you). Use white and black fondant to give it an eyeball look and use a little bit of red fondant to add a tongue in the mouth.
*If the fondant is too thick to get through whatever you’re using, you can try thinning it a little with Crisco. Just knead the Crisco into the fondant bit by bit until its a consistency that is easier to work with. I had to do this with the Potato Ricer.
NOW LETS GET THE HALLOWEEN CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING SO WE’RE READY FOR OCTOBER! Won’t be long, you know.