Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Non-Vegan Cow Cake

Allen turns 53 tomorrow. We got together to celebrate his birthday today. I (Rose) was in charge of bringing the cake.

I knew a while back that I wanted to bake some sort of cow cake. I mean, he's a dairy farmer, he loves cows. I started Googling "cow cakes" to find inspiration. I wanted to find a picture of something someone else had created and pattern my own cake after it. Alas, I found the perfect image! I followed the link to a website with more directions. And then, I gasped. The image was on a Vegan blog. 

I was at a crossroads. On one hand, I really liked how the cake looked. On the other, I couldn't help but wonder if using a Vegan blog as inspiration was like making a deal with the devil. After days of deliberation, I decided I would use the vegan cake as a model, but I would be sure to use extra butter in my own recipe.

So, here's what I did. I whipped up a marble cake mix and baked it in two 9 inch round pans. (Did you know that you can substitute milk for the water in a cake mix to make an extra moist cake?!)

Next, I plopped the first cake down on the cardboard circle that I planned to serve the cake on. I freehanded a cow head and two legs on wax paper, and cut through the wax paper with a knife. 

Then, using my trusty Wilton cake lifter, I lifted up the cow head and set it aside. I took the second 9 inch cake and placed it on the cardboard circle. I put the legs aside on a small plate. 

I placed the head on the "body," put the legs in place, and crumb coated it with frosting. (If you've never decorated a cake, this is a layer of frosting that you put down to hold the crumbs in place.) I also traced the mouth and some spots onto the body with a toothpick.

I used regular buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream frosting. The chocolate frosting is easier to turn black, since it's already a brown color. I used star tips and a regular round tip. I used the Wilton buttercream recipe:


  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening (I use butter! It has great flavor!)
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 7 tbs milk (You can use water, but the milk has a rich flavor. Plus, it supports the dairy industry!)
Combine shortening and vanilla. Add sugar and milk. Beat at a medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Ready to see the finished product? 

Non-vegan approved ingredients used in the cake and frosting:
  • 3 eggs in the cake
  • Milk instead of water in the cake
  • Butter in the frosting
  • Milk in the frosting
So, there you have it, my alternative to the cow cake found on the vegan blog. I've never had vegan cake, but I can tell you this conventional one was pretty tasty!