When I was a kid I loved monkeys, chimps specifically. I made chimpanzee sounds (pretty authentically scary actually). I begged my Mother for a chimp. She said "No way" as you can imagine. I begged that he could wear diapers and I would change him. Ah...., noooooo. I am very glad that she said no because I have seen a program on PBS about the sad, left behind chimps that people had and then could no longer manage. Poor things! Broke my heart.
But I still have a special fondness for all things monkey, including Curious George. I am just about as happy to watch Curious George on PBS as my kids are.
My youngest daughter seems to feel the same way about monkeys or maybe I have superimposed my love of them on her. So for this birthday I went for it and made this adorable monkey cake that I saw on Martha. Oh, so cute! Ooh ooh ahh ahh!
For all the instructions on constructing a monkey cake, go here.
This is the recipe I used for the cake inside.
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
adapted from Allrecipes here.
1 cup baking cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Dissolve cocoa in water; let stand until cool.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well.
Add cocoa mixture; beat well.
Pour about 3 cups into a 3 quart mixing bowl. Fill two muffin tins 2/3's full (an extra one for any mistakes). And the remainder in any other pans you may want to make. Anything extra you can use for a later project. In my case that would be my other daughters birthday at the end of the month.
This cake is not deeply chocolatey. It is a lighter crumb cake that if you leave in the oven too long will dry out so be careful.
Go easy on the yellow food coloring. I was a bit heavy handed.