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Purdy the pig cake

Ingredients

This Purdy the pig cake is the perfect children’s birthday party centrepiece and is fun to make with the kids. Make this pig birthday cake and you'll be the birthday girl or boy's star baker! 

For the pig cakes

  • Oil or butter, for greasing
  • 6 medium RSPCA Assured eggs
  • 100g natural plain yoghurt
  • 50ml RSPCA Assured milk
  • 450g butter, unsalted
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp pink food colouring
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

For the syrup

  • 100ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

For the butter icing

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 350g icing sugar

For the decoration

  • 700g pink fondant icing
  • 25g white fondant icing
  • 25g black fondant icing

Method

For the pig cakes

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3. Grease and line the base and sides of three 20cm circular cake tins with greaseproof paper. You will also need a 23cm cake board for later on.
  • Whisk the yoghurt, RSPCA Assured eggs and milk together in a jug. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy then add the flour and contents of the jug. Mix again until smooth.
  • Spoon a third of the mix into a bowl and add the cocoa powder. Fold gently and then spoon into one of the prepared tins.
  • Add the pink food colouring to the rest of the cake mix and fold until the mix is an even colour.
  • Spoon into the remaining two prepared tins then bake all three for 40 minutes.
  • Now make the syrup; heat the water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes, add the vanilla essence and leave to cool.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven when ready - insert a skewer into the sponge and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Whilst the cake is warm, not hot, brush each one with the sugar syrup.
  • Do not soak the sponge, just make sure you get an even coverage that goes all the way to the edges.
  • Leave for 10 minutes to completely cool before turning out onto a rack. Don’t start decorating until the cakes yet - the icing will melt!

For the butter icing

  • Beat the butter until it becomes lighter in colour and has a smooth texture.
  • Add half the icing sugar, combine the ingredients with a wooden spoon before beating in a mixer.
  • Stir in the remaining icing sugar with your spoon and then whisk again until smooth and fluffy.
  • When you’re ready to assemble the cake, spoon a dollop of butter icing onto the cake board and place one of the pink cakes on top, then cover in a generous layer of buttercream.
  • Top with the chocolate cake and repeat, finishing with the second pink cake on top.
  • Cover the last layer generously with buttercream and smooth down the sides with a spatula, being sure to fill in all the gaps.
  • Save a little buttercream back for some final touches at the end.
  • Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes before decorating.

To decorate

  • Once cool, measure the top and sides of the cake using a piece of string or by carefully measuring against a rolling pin. This is a guide for rolling out the icing.
  • Make sure your work surface is clean and free of crumbs then dust with cornflour or icing sugar.
  • Knead the pink fondant icing until soft before rolling into a ball and flattening.
  • Roll out the icing so it’s wide enough to fit the cake and half a centimetre thick.
  • Carefully lift the icing using a rolling pin or your hands and drape over the top of the cake.
  • Smooth using your hands, starting at the top then working down the sides to remove any air bubbles.
  • Use a knife to cut away excess icing – don't cut too close to the cake.
  • Now smooth the icing down using a spatula for a perfect finish.

To create Purdy's pig face

  • Use your excess icing from earlier. Roll two pieces (slightly thicker this time) and shape into triangles using a knife.
  • Wet the bottom edges and stick to the side of the cake (remember to smooth these down afterwards) and fold over to create ears.  
  • Next, knead and roll a ball of icing to create the nose.
  • Flatten the ball on both sides until it resembles a snout. Use your little finger or a tool to make two indentations for nostrils.
  • Wet the underside of the nose with water and stick to the cake.
  • Roll out the white icing and cut two circles for eyes. Wet the underside and stick to the cake.
  • Make two black balls from the black icing, flatten and add to the eyes - alternatively paint on with black food colouring.
  • Give Purdy a smiley mouth with a strip of black icing or a stroke of food colouring.
  • Lastly, mix your remaining buttercream with cocoa powder and roughly spread onto any exposed cake board so your pig has some mud to wallow in.
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