Does your little one love the wild animals at the zoo? Why not create this fun giraffe cake for their next birthday.

Chocolate Mud Cake

220 grams butter

⅔ cup plunger coffee (or use 1 teaspoon instant coffee mixed with hot water)

2 cups white sugar

220 grams dark chocolate

4 eggs

100ml buttermilk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola etc)

¾ cup plain flour

¾ cup self-raising flour

50 grams cocoa

½ teaspoon baking soda

20cm cake tin, greased and lined


20 x 30cm rectangle cake 

Apricot jam, sieved to smooth

One stick uncooked dry spaghetti

565 grams yellow fondant (I used Bakels Pettinice fondant, available in white at supermarkets and colours from specialty cake shops online and instore. i.e.

50 grams brown fondant

700 grams white fondant

Thick cardboard

Chocolate Mud Cake

Preheat oven to 180°C. 

Place butter, coffee, sugar, and chocolate in a large saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the butter is melted and everything is combined. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Whisk this into the cooled chocolate mixture.

Sift the flours, cocoa and baking soda together. Whisk into the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into  the tin.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out mostly clean, with just a few crumbs sticking to it. (The cake is quite moist.) Allow to cool before decorating. 


Use our template to cut out a giraffe ‘head’ and a ‘face and nose’ from your rectangle cake. Discard the off-cuts. Use the same templates to cut shapes from the cardboard.

Place each of the cake pieces on these, as this will them easier to move once they’re iced.

Lightly brush the cake pieces with the jam. (This will make the fondant stick to the cake)

Giraffe head: Mix 125 grams white fondant with 375 grams yellow fondant and roll out to 3mm thick, in a piece large enough to cover the top and sides of the head. Place on the head cake and smooth the sides down with your hands, or a fondant smoother. Trim excess from bottom.

Giraffe face: Mix 190 grams yellow fondant with 560 grams white and 5 grams brown fondant. Roll out to 3mm thick and place over face cake. Gently smooth from the top down evenly around the cake. Trim excess from around the bottom.

Place head and face cakes together on your final serving plate.

Horns: Use the leftover fondant from the face to make two ‘horns’. Take 15 grams of fondant for each and roll into sausage shapes, about 5cm long. Break spaghetti stick in half and insert each piece into the giraffe’s head, between the ears. Leave 3cm protruding. Rub one end of each of the horns with a little water and push these ends onto the spaghetti, until they touch the head. (The water helps the horns stick to the head.)
You may need to support them until they harden, so place a folded paper towel or similar beneath.

Eyes: Use the template to cut two ovals from rolled out white fondant (or use a 40mm oval cutter) and two circles from brown fondant (or use a 10mm circle cutter). Use a little water to stick the brown circles onto the ovals.

Nostrils: Use the template to cut two circles from brown fondant, or use a 20mm circle cutter.

Ears: Use the template to cut two tear drop shapes from brown fondant.

Attach eyes, nostrils and ears to the cake, using a little water on the back of each piece.

Smile: Indent part of a large circle cutter into the fondant where you want the smile, or use a small round plate or the edge of a bowl.

Neck: Roll the leftover yellow fondant into a long oblong and trim to fit around face and edge of the board. Roll out leftover brown fondant to create the spots. Place on the yellow fondant neck and trim to suit.


You might also like