This monkey cake is comprised of 2-9" layers with a cupcake on top. It is covered in chocolate fondant.
To make the monkey cake, you will need:
2 9" layer cakes
1 lb. white fondant
yellow, green & copper food color paste
vodka or lemon extract
shot glass or circular fondant cutter
Fill and frost the 9" cakes. Cover with chocolate fondant. Set some of the chocolate fondant aside to make the monkey and the border.
Tint about 1/4 lb. fondant green, 1/4 lb. yellow, and a fistful peach color, using the copper food color paste.
Cut the rounded top off of the cupcake. Ice the cupcake with either buttercream or you can simply coat it with jam. Roll out some of the yellow fondant to 1/4" thick, making it large enough to drape over the cupcake. The side of the cupcake that you cut will go face down. Place the cupcake in the center of the cake. Push a skewer into the center of the cupcake and down into the cake and then remove it. This will allow you to place the monkey on top of the cupcake later without cracking the fondant.
Make the bananas for the monkey cake:
Some of the bananas are made to look whole and other look peeled. Each banana is about 3/4" long.
Pinch off pieces of the yellow fondant. Roll it into a ball. Then roll it in your hand until it elongates slightly. Pinch each end to narrow it, making it resemble the shape of a banana.
To make the peeled bananas, use a knife to split the end of the banana on one side. Use your fingers to bend and shape the "peel" to look realistic.
Make about 20 - 25 bananas. Set them aside to dry.
Once the bananas are dry, mix together cocoa powder and vodka (or lemon extract) and paint each banana along the edges to resemble a banana. You can use a real banana as a model. You can even flick the end of the paintbrush slightly to create the look of the brown spots bananas get.
Make the monkey cake design:
The bottom part of the monkey figure is really hidden by the bananas, so you don't really need to worry about the details of the legs. You really can arrange the monkey cake any way you like, so position the bananas however it works best on your cake.
Roll a ball of chocolate fondant about 2" wide. Slighly elongate it to make the body of the monkey. Insert the skewer into the body. You should have a few inches of skewer sticking out of the monkey. You can trim the skewer if needed.
Make another ball of chocolate fondant about 1" big. This is the monkey's head. Push the skewer up slightly into the head. This will help to hold the monkey together. Make 2 small balls of chocolate fondant and attach to the head for ears. Indent the centers. In the centers of the ears, place a small ball of flesh colored fondant. Flatten a small ball of flesh colored fondant onto the face of the monkey. Make another small ball of flesh colored fondant to create the mouth of the monkey. Flatten 2 small balls of white fondant for the eyes. Place 2 smaller balls of chocolate fondant in the center of the eyes. Make 2 nostril indentations with a toothpick. Draw a line with the toothpick to create the mouth. Paint the mouth with a bit of the cocoa and vodka mixture.Dot the cocoa mixture into the nostrils to make them show up.
Roll a small ball of flesh covered fondant. Flatten it with your fingers and attach it to the monkey's belly. You can use a dab of water to make it stick. Place the monkey onto the cupcake by pushing the skewer down into the whole you already made. Now you can make the rest of the monkey's body. Use chocolate fondant to create the arms and legs. The monkey's feet and hands are made with the flesh colored fondant. The monkey's hands were made to hold one of the bananas.Roll a thin piece of chocolate fondant to make the tail.
Once the monkey is done, use icing to stick the bananas all around the monkey, covering the cupcake and coming down onto the top of the 9" cake.
To create the top border, roll balls of fondant equal in size and place them all around the top edge of the cake.
The bottom border was created by rolling out yellow fondant and cutting it lengthwise to go all the way around the cake. It is about 1" wide. Affix this strip of
fondant to the cake by slightly wetting the back of it with water.
Add the green, yellow and chocolate dots to the side of the cake by cutting the different sized circles out of green, yellow and chocolate fondant that has been rolled
out to about 1/8" thick. Wet the back of each circle to stick it to the cake.
The bottom border is covered with dots of green and chocolate which alternate around the cake. The sides of the cake have alternating yellow and green dots. Space the dots evenly all around the cake.
To finish the monkey cake, you can make a birthday sign as shown in the photo or write your message along the cake board.