170g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust cake pan
½ tsp vanilla essence
For the Filling
250g icing sugar
1-2 tsp water or milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp jam
1kg of ready-to-roll white icing
Brown food colouring and other colours of your choosing
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Grease and flour a Medium (16cm) Hemisphere Cake Pan.
Make the cake: mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs and half of the flour, then beat in the last egg, vanilla essence and remaining flour. Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake for 50-55 minutes. Leave in the tin until completely cool.
Fill the cake: beat the butter until light and fluffy then gradually stir in the icing, vanilla essence and enough water or milk until the buttercream is a spreadable consistency.
Cut the cake in half widthways, spread with the jam and a little of the buttercream, set the rest aside. Put the cake halves back together and place onto a cake board.
Decorate the cake: take 650g of the icing and add brown food colouring, a little at a time, until desired colour is reached.
Reserve a small amount of white icing, then cut the remaining icing into small blocks, and mix with your chosen food colours. Roll each out ready to use.
Cover the cake with the reserved buttercream and roll out the brown icing to about the size of a dinner plate. Place onto the cake, and gently smooth from the top downwards before trimming away any excess.
Use a small cutter to create brown icing circles and place on the chest in a triangular shape, overlapping each. Use a knife to cut the wings and your fingers to shape the ears and place onto the cake.
Use differently sized round cutters to create circles for the eyes. Stack from the largest to the smallest before placing on the cake.
Roll a piece of brown icing into a log shape and place below the owl. Use a knife to cut a beak, feet, bow and leaves from your coloured icing then place onto the cake.
Tip: When placing icing shapes onto the iced cake, moisten the back with a little cool water first. This will help hold them in place.
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