Sunday, 23 May 2010

Labbit sponge birthday cake

Another birthday, this time Mr CC – it’s my last family birthday until September! I anticipate that I need to do some explaining as most of you won’t be au fait with Labbits.
Also, I think I should remind you that I am not a skilled cake decorator – so please be kind!

Frank Kozik is a respected modern artist, initially most famous for poster art. He created a range of street tough rabbits called Smorkin’ Labbits who are always smoking and doing naughty things (naughty even by rabbit standards!). Mr CC and I aren’t really into that range but love the Pride Labbits, who are far more genteel and sensitive. Here’s the family we’ve acquired thus far (I have no doubt there will be more):

When I asked Mr CC what sort of birthday cake he’d like he replied, “a Labbit cake”. I’m not sure whether he was serious or not but I took him at his word and have created one...well, a Frankenstein equivalent of one!

The cake is all Victoria sponge; I used an easter egg tin for the body and sculpted cupcakes for the legs, ears and tail.

As I needed a white frosting I had to look further afield than my usual default of swiss meringue buttercream. I chose seven minute frosting – my favourite thing in the recipe was that, under the heading, it said “ready in 10 minutes”. This is my first experience of seven minute frosting and I like it – it’s sweet and sticky and easy to work with. My big gripe is that nowhere did it warn me that you have to really use it the same day. I lovingly frosted Mr CC’s cake the night before and found it didn’t keep – it starts disintegrating (a bit like shaving foam) giving the cake an odd look. Luckily (for me) I took most of my photos the evening I frosted the cake; unluckily (for Mr CC) he didn’t see the cake until the next day.

Here’s something you don’t see in a kitchen every day – a Labbit ‘tache hanging out to dry!
I painted a rice paper template with melted chocolate. Making a washing line of string between my kitchen cabinets I did wonder if this could be pinpointed as the official moment that I “lost it”!

I doubled the quantity of sponge set out below to make cupcake size sponges to use for paws, ears and tail.
The leftover ones I simply cut in half and sandwiched with jam to make mini Victoria sponge sandwiches.

Happy birthday Mr CC!


For the cake:
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
80ml milk
300g self raising flour

To sandwich the cakes: raspberry jam

For the seven minute frosting(make the day you will be serving the cake):
2 egg whites
300g caster sugar
5 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Grease the tin you are using with butter; this quantity will make a deep 20cm round cake or two 20cm round layers for a sandwich cake.

Start by making the sponge: Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage as this is when you get lots of lovely air into your sponge.

Beat in the eggs gradually, add some of the flour if it looks like it might curdle.

Beat in the milk.

Stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

Spoon into the prepared tins and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Another good sign is if the sponge is just pulling away from the edge of the tin.

Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Sandwich the cakes together with the jam.

Now make the frosting – only make this on the day you wish to serve the cake as it doesn’t keep all that well: place all the ingredients except for the vanilla in a bowl.

Set this bowl over a pan of boiling water and whisk until the icing makes firm peaks – this is meant to take 7 minutes (hence the name) but mine took 10.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.

Continue to whisk until the frosting is thick enough to spread.

Spread over cake as desired.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.



I heart cupcakes said...

As a HUGE fan of Frank Kozik (I have a huge print of his signed by the man himself!) I ADORE this cake. And I love the Labbit tache :)
Such a shame about the 7 minute frosting - I was about to use this for some cupcakes of Martha's till I read that it should be used the same day or refrigerated so am now going with some flavoured buttercream!
I think Mr CC would've been chuffed with all the effort you put in - I know I would be!
Btw love your little posse of Labbits!

Baking Addict said...

What a genius idea. Looks really yummy. Happy Birthday Mr CC.

pigpigscorner said...

You did a great job! So cute!

silverpebble said...

Nice 'tache Mr cakey Labbit. Have a nice birthday Mr Crusader.

C said...

Fab! You can see the love that's gone into creating your Labbit! Mr CC is very lucky (despite the disintegrating icing!)

I have to admit that I hadn't heard of Labbits before now, I shall consider myself educated!

You'll look back on that Labbit moustache in years to come.....

Rhyleysgranny said...

Didn't you do a great job? Mr CC must have loved you for it. I had such a laugh at the moustache drying. Excellent work x

Soo said...

7 minute frosting was my favourite frosting when I was a kid. (Oddly worrying about keeping it overnight was never a problem!!)

That is a spectacular cake in any event. Genius work as always.

Trash said...

Before reading the post I did wonder whether it was a typo and you meant 'Labbat's'.

'Lager flavoured cake??' I thought 'That isn't going to end well.' But no, it was actually a Labbit cake and I too am now further educated than I was before reading the post.

Jacqueline said...

That is just brilliant. It did make me laugh. Such a cute bunny. Just fabulous. You have outdone yourself again CC. I am off for another look. Must get Graham to come over and see it :D

Joy said...

I love it!

Katie said...

Aww its so cute, the mustashe is just adorable! I think you did a wonderful job making it 3D

Margaret said...

I had previously never heard of a 'labbit'. You have done a great job and the labbit looks great fun CC.

Lovely Lacey said...

I have never heard of labbits before but they are super cute and so is your cake you did a really good job.

Cakelaw said...

This is so cool! Mr CC is a lucky guy. I have never heard of Labbits before - you learn something every day.

sanya smith said...


totally going to give this a try..