Nate told me he wanted a dinosaur cake - chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing I can handle (or so I thought), but a cake decorator I am not and so I just bought two sets of three little plastic dinosaur figures from the dollar store.
At first, I attempted this recipe, but it was a colossal failure. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to snap a few pics before dumping it in the garbage can. The recipe seems to get rave reviews so I'm sure it probably had something to do with the fact that I baked it in a roaster oven instead of a regular oven. Our oven stopped working a few weeks ago and since we didn't use the oven much through the summer, it didn't seem like a big priority at the time and we still haven't arranged for a repairman to come and fix it.
The second cake I attempted was this. It turned out much better (although it did fall a bit in the center upon cooling). I iced it quickly with chocolate buttercream. Nate helped me place the dinosaur figures on it.
No one would ever mistake it for a pro cake, but Nate liked it so that's all that matters.
He goes to daycare a couple of times a week and I decided to make a special little birthday treat to send with him to share with the other kids. I used this recipe and it went much better than my earlier experiences in baking cakes. I used a rainbow cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix with sprinkles stirred in. Here's the result:
Hope the kids like them!