Every year, our geology department has an end-of-year gathering, and I’ve taken to making “geology themed” cakes. Last year, it was a subduction zone cake. This year, I decided to stick a little closer to my own field: paleontology. I actually study microfossils (pollen, spores, little guys called dinoflagellates). But since there are a few people out there (okay, okay, a lot of people out there) who don’t find 36 million year old pollen as interesting as I do, I went with some more universally loved fossils: dinosaurs!
I started by using fondant icing to make very simplistic dinosaur bone shapes and staging them prior to putting them on the cake. I am definitely no sculptor and had some serious reservations about my ability to mold a few dino bones, but it turned out pretty well.
I baked four 13″x9″ cakes: two chocolate and two butter. Then, I put the white cakes on the bottom, iced them and added a few random “bones” around the edges of the cake before placing the chocolate cake on top. Sedimentation at work! After adding the chocolate cake, I dug out some shallow areas in the approximate shape of the dinosaurs. I saved the crumbs from the parts I had dug out to use as dirt around the “excavation pits.” Then I added the bones and iced brown icing around all of the dinosaurs. I sprinkled the crumbs of cookie “dirt” around the edges before adding some green “grass” icing to add a little color punch here and there around the excavation sites.