As I mentioned, yesterday was O’s fifth birthday. Tonight, we’re celebrating with pizza and cake. I couldn’t just bring a five-year-old a loaf cake. I knew the cake had to be pretty special, since O is a pretty special little guy. Enter Perry the Platypus.
A little while back, I came across a Perry the Platypus cake on Pinterest. I couldn’t believe how easy it looked, and couldn’t get over how adorable it was. Lucky for me, O is a fan of Phineas and Ferb. For those not in the know, Phineas and Ferb is a musical-comedy cartoon aired on the Disney Channel featuring Phineas, his step-brother Ferb, and their controlling older sister Candace. It’s a pretty entertaining show, and the star of the sub-plot for every episode is the family’s pet platypus, Perry. Unbeknownst to the family, Perry lives a double life as a secret agent for OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym), attempting to take down Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
Now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about Perry the Platypus, let me tell you about how this cake happened. I used a basic buttercream frosting recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride, and chose it because I wanted a buttercream that would set. Getting the frosting the right shade of teal was an interesting experience, I strongly suggest just using Wilton’s teal gel food coloring instead of hovering over the mixer like a mad scientist adding blue, then green, then some more blue gel like I did. Other than that, the cake turns into a platypus pretty easily.
Buttercream Frosting (and directions for Perry the Platypus Cake)
for the buttercream frosting:
- 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
- 6 C. powdered sugar
- 5 Tbsp milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- pinch of salt
- a few drops of food coloring, optional (I used Wilton’s gel food coloring)
To assemble Perry the Platypus cake:
- 3 graham crackers
- orange chocolate melts (I used roughly 1/2 of a 12 oz. bag)
- 1 marshmallow
- 2 Circus Peanuts candies
- 2 teal Airheads candies
- 2 brown m&m’s
- yellow loaf cake or pound cake
To make the buttercream frosting, place all buttercream ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Beat until no streaks of powdered sugar are visible.
On high speed, whip the frosting for 3-4 minutes. Stop about halfway through to scrape the sides of the bowl.
This makes enough to frost 18-24 cupcakes. I had about half left over after frosting the yellow loaf cake.
To make the bill and tail for Perry the Platypus, break one of the graham crackers in half. Carefully round out the edges on one side so it resembles a bill.
Melt the orange chocolate melts in a double boiler or in the microwave, according to package directions.
Spread some chocolate onto one side of the whole graham cracker and do the same for the rounded half graham cracker.
Put the remaining whole graham cracker on top of the whole cracker with the melted chocolate on it. Put the remaining rounded half cracker on top of the half cracker with the chocolate on it.
Place both sets of crackers on waxed paper and freeze for a few minutes to set the chocolate.
Meanwhile, frost the entire loaf cake smoothly with the buttercream frosting.
Remove the graham crackers from the freezer, and spread chocolate on one side of each “sandwich.” Lay them, non-chocolate side down on waxed paper and freeze for ten minutes to set.
Meanwhile, using clean scissors, cut the marshmallow in half and stick it cut side down, onto the top of the frosted cake.
Use a dot of frosting to secure each M&M candy to a marshmallow half.
Flatten both circus peanuts with a rolling pin and tuck them under the cake for Perry’s feet.
Shape the Airhead candies into Perry’s arms and stick them onto the sides of the frosted cake.
Now, remove the graham crackers from the freezer and coat the other side of them in chocolate.
Put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden completely.
When the chocolate has hardened, stick the “bill” into the front of the cake, and the “tail” into the back of the cake. Use toothpicks to support the tail if needed.