Wednesday 12 November 2014

'Dinosaur' Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cake

It's finally time to bake the dinosaur birthday cake after my trial bake two months ago!

This is a very involved bake with brown sugar cookies, a 3-D dino, two base vanilla sponge cakes, a green layer cake AND cream to make. Needless to say, the entire thing required lots of planning and patience. So glad that it's finally all come together!

To prevent this blog post from being super long,  I won't go into the details of how to make the various chiffon cakes and brown sugar cookies. I will just type out the ingredients, baking time and temperature for each component of the chiffon cakes. Note that baking times are approximate values only as every oven is different. Use the skewer and/or spatula pressing test to check for doneness.  You may refer to my trial bake post for details of chiffon cake making.

Brown sugar cookies
Refer to my old post for recipe.

Baked and iced brown sugar cookies!

Store in airtight container until it is time for assembly.

Vanilla sponge cakes
Ingredients (makes two 9" round cakes):
5 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
70g canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
70g milk
100g cake flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

7 egg whites
80g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

- Bake for 15 minutes at 160°C and then for another 15-20 minutes at 150°C.

Freshly baked!

Tightly double cling wrapped, placed in ziplock bag to prepare for freezing.

Green layer cake
Ingredients (makes one 10" square):
2 egg yolks
10g caster sugar
28g vegetable oil
28g milk
40g cake flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Green gel food colouring

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
33g caster sugar

- Bake at 160°C for 15 minutes.
- Wrapped and frozen until assembly. You will need to cut it to fit the size of the uncoloured vanilla sponge cakes.

You will need a yellow and a bit of white layer cake for this in addition to the red cakes. If you feel lazy you could paint on the features like I did for the trial. I made some changes to the ingredients to make the dino a brighter shade of red, and some baking parts to make the dino more lively. I didn't bother with giving Dino toes this time.

2 egg yolks
10g caster sugar
28g oil
28g milk
40g cake flour
A pinch of salt
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp strawberry emulco
1/2 tsp beetroot powder
1/4 tsp red yeast powder
Some red gel food colouring

3 egg whites
1/5 tsp cream of tartar
32g caster sugar

- I divided the egg yolk batter and meringue ingredients into 2 as there are many parts to bake:
• first batch: one 6" square very flat layer (neck and tail), one 6" square thicker layer (spine), 4 round ice cube tray cakes (feet)
• second batch: two egg shells (head plus one extra) and two round bottomed glass bowls (body plus one extra). My glass bowls had outer diameter of 8.5cm.
- Baking times:
6" very flat layer: 160°C 8-9 minutes
6" thick layer: 160°C 14-15 minutes
Ice cube tray: 160°C 14-15 minutes
Egg shells: 160°C for 10 minutes, followed by 150°C for 7-10 minutes
Glass bowls: 160°C for 10 minutes followed by 150°C for 20 minutes (I filled the glass bowls till they are quite full).

Here's the assembled dino!

Without spots!

With spots!

Do brush the dino with simple syrup before storing in air tight container if you are not assembling the whole cake yet to prevent it from drying out too much.

Here's a picture summary of how I assembled the cake with strawberries and non-dairy whipping cream. First time using a cake ring for cream and fruits so pardon the amateurish assembly :p. I used melted marshmellow to stick the dino and cookies on. As these cookies are of gingerbread man texture, they are still yummy when stored in the fridge with cake. Brush the base layer cakes with syrup too to moisten them before adding cream. There is a thin layer of cream between the green layer and plain sponge below.

Finally done! 

The birthday boy was really happy to see his favourite creature on the cake and his friends were all excited about the cake too! My friend said the cake and cookies were yummy :). The cake was light and not too sweet. The "bless" was already in Nathan's tummy when my friend wasn't watching :p.

So glad that the cake was well received! Blessed birthday Nathan!

With love,
Auntie Phay Shing

Check out my second dinosaur cake! Someone requested for the same design but different colour :).


  1. Thank you Auntie Peixin, for blessing us with your gifting and patience in making this lovely cake!

    1. You are welcome :). Glad that all of you loved it!

  2. Hi Phay Shing,
    Lovely bake! Please advise where I can buy the round ice cube tray cakes (feet)
    and could I bake the body in round bottomed ceramic bowls? Should I grease the bowl & ice cube tray generously to prevent sticking?
    May God bless.

    Thank you!
    Clara Teng

    1. Hi Clara,

      Thanks for your encouragement! I bought the silicone ice cube tray at Robinson's but you can use silicone cakepops moulds too. I have not tried baking in ceramic bowls but I have tried metal bowls. Those work too. Light greasing will do. I hope this helps :).
      God bless!

  3. Hi Phay Shing,
    Please advise where to buy the round ice cube tray & could I bake the body in a ceramic bowl? Should I grease the ice cube tray & bowl generously to prevent sticking?

    Thank you!
    Clara Teng

  4. Thank you, Phay Shing!
    Clara Teng

  5. Hi Phay Shing,
    I used orange batter like yours & baked in a ceramic (9 cm diameter bowl) for dino's body. It works. But I wonder why there is a chewy orange top (3cm diameter,0.1 cm thick )on top of the dome of the dino's body after baking( can be peeled off). Other than that, the cake was fluffy & soft. Could it b coz I greased the bowl overmuch & the sunflower oil collected on the bottom of bowl?

    By the way, could I use Digestive cookie as the dino base? Also, how long should I assemble the dino in advance?


    1. Hi Clara,
      Thanks for trying out the recipe and letting me know that ceramic bowls work too :). I am suspecting that the ceramic bowl is rather thick compared to glass, metal or silicone moulds so the layer could be due to slower heat conduction, further insulated by the generous amount of oil. I had that layer once when I baked in glass bowl because oven temperature was too low. You can carefully remove that layer with a wet serrated knife such that the cake still looks pretty :).

      The cookie at the base is not compulsory. I used it as a reinforcement as my orange dino was softer than the strawberry one in this post. You may wish to make the dino neck shorter to make the whole structure more stable. I used my brown sugar cookie as base because it is not the brittle crispy type of biscuit and will be able to withstand a skewer through it without shattering. I am not sure about digestive biscuit. You can try skewering one and see if it works. I am concerned that the digestive will turn soggy under the cake. My brown sugar cookie is still good even when soft as it's original texture is the soft and chewy type.

      You may assemble dino a day before you bake the base cake below. Just keep all baked parts in airtight container. Brush the assembled dino with syrup to prevent it from drying out during storage.

      I hope this helps :)

    2. Thank you, Phay Shing! Appreciate your thoughtful & detailed answer.