My father-in-law's birthday was on Groundhog's Day. In Pennsylvania, a groundhog is also the mascot for the PA lottery and he loves to play. So, I made this cake with "Gus" the groundhog holding a sign with a lottery ticket that said Happy 66th Birthday Dad on it.
Here is the play-by-play on how I made it.
This was the first marble cake I have ever made and boy is it delicious! To make, you make up separate white and chocolate batters. Then you alternate spooning in one flavor after the other until your pan is full. You can then take a knife or scewer of some kind and slowly swirl the two flavors without mixing them totally. I made two cakes so I could stack and fill them.
After baking, I created a dam with buttercream and filled it with strawberry jam (I had short notice and had no time to make a filling from scratch):
I assembled the cakes and dirty iced them. Then I started on the ground hog. Because it would require some carving (which I will admit I had NEVER done before) I used a pound cake recipe). I made half of a ball cake using a Wilton Sports Ball Pan. I let the cake stay in the fridge over night so it would be cold and ready to carve. I did not take many pictures of the carving because, to be honest, I was really nervous because I really did not know what I was doing. Luckily, it turned out the way I had hoped:
After icing the round cake with some green colored buttercream, I used tip 233 to make a grass top. I used the same technique outlined in this post, just on a larger scale.
The pound cake was pretty heavy so I used some dowel rods in the bottom cake to help hold the groundhog up. An explanation of how to properly do this can be found here. I also used one as a pedestal on the back of the groundhog and covered it later with icing so he would not tip over. I used star tip 18 and individually placed the fur on the groundhog. I dragged the frosting out a bit so it would look like fur. I then used crushed graham crackers mixed with baking cocoa and placed it around the groundhog with a little on his head to look like dirt.
I added some accents for the face and wrote happy birthday on the side. I made the fake lottery ticket on my computer. This was actually a pretty easy and fun cake to make!