Friday, June 4, 2010

A Doll Cake for the Guys: Marble Loaf Cake

Not long after I completed the Queen of Hearts Cake, my family proposed the challenge of making a Hunting Cake. And I accepted. There wasn’t a recipe in the box that gave specific instructions on decorating a cake for someone who enjoys hunting, so I had to improvise a bit. But after a few months of planning combined with the lessons I’d learned from other recipes in the box, I had my idea for a Hunting Cake. And it came just in time to present it to my dad for an early Father’s Day celebration.

We went to my parents’ house this past weekend for Memorial Day and to celebrate Father’s Day since I wouldn’t be able to make it home on the actual holiday. While my dad went out Saturday morning to do some field training with his dog, my mom and I began work on his cake. The recipe we used for the cake itself was a marble loaf cake. Instead of baking the cake in a loaf pan, however, we used a small rectangular pan to make the decorating stage easier (we tried to use a typical 9” x 13” pan, but that was too large so we used a slightly smaller one). While the cake was baking (this didn’t take as long as the time on the card since we baked it in a different pan), I started on the frosting. I chose the whipped cream, cream cheese frosting I’ve used before because it’s easy to make, easy to dye and tastes really good on pretty much anything. I dyed a small portion of the frosting blue to make a lake and the rest of it green. In addition, I also dyed coconut green to sprinkle on top of the green frosting to make it look more like the grass in a field (luckily my dad is a big fan of coconut). 

The biggest challenge for this cake was finding a doll to use for the hunter. But one of my favorite stores, Fleet Farm, came to the rescue (I swear that place has everything). They carry a line of dolls called Hunter Dan (or you can get his female companion Hunter Ann). I chose the duck hunter version which came decked out in camouflage, had a rifle and duck call, and even included little cardboard ducks! And of course, I had to buy his hunting companion, a black lab named Hank, who even had a mallard in his mouth. 

Once the cake was cooled, I created the lake and field from the frosting, sprinkled on the coconut grass, added ducks to the water’s edge, and arranged Dan and Hank in the field. We finished just in time for my dad to return from training. The cake was a hit. We were having so much fun looking at it that we didn’t want to cut into it. But it was worth the destruction of our masterpiece because the marble cake was really good and the frosting was a great match for the flavor of the cake. It was like so many of the other cakes I’ve made from this box: very dense and rich in flavor, but not overpowering. 

Hunter Dan and his dog Hank

One of the best parts of baking this cake was that I got to do it in my mom’s kitchen, which is larger than mine and has a Kitchen Aid mixer (a nice step up from the hand mixer I use), and I got to do it with my mom by my side. No matter what we do, we always have fun together and this was no different. And thanks to her, I learned a cool trick for making a marble cake! I regret not spending more time in the kitchen with her as a kid; I missed out on some valuable learning experiences. But I’m thankful that I got to share this experience with her and have her be a part of this project. Thanks mom, you’re the best! And happy early Father’s Day dad! But this is only part one, I have another recipe to post for you on Father’s Day... 


  1. What's your mom's "cool trick" for making a marble cake?

  2. Instead of dropping in spoonfuls of each flavor of batter like the recipe suggests, she put all the white cake down, dropped big spoonfuls of the chocolate cake, then used a flat metal spatula and dragged it through the batter in an even motion back and forth across the entire pan. I'm sure it's a pretty basic trick, but since it was my first marble cake, I was very impressed.

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